Thursday, April 8, 2010

Education and Consumerism are Scams

Education and Consumerism are Scams

Derived from…

Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable

How Work Has Changed

RAP2 : How You Became a Cog

PROFIT : “Do well at school and you’ll g
et a good job.” Were you sold this line too? It worked for a while and it no longer does. There are no longer great jobs where someone tells you specifically what to do. Now, it’s up to you to turn your job into great work.

The Two Scams

Sometimes we’re unwittingly lead astray. A game is set up for us to play yet the rules are stacked against us so we cannot win. Here’s two scams that turned you into a cog in the machine...
1 Education

The first scam:
Be good at school and you’ll get a good job.
This was okay during the Industrial Revolution when we needed to convert farm hands into factory workers.
We were taught just enough to get the job done.
And, not too much where we’d start to think independently and upset the system.

So, sit down, shut up and listen.
And, if you fit in, follow the rules and pass our standardized tests we’ll promote you.
Does that remind you of school?

And it applies to both factory workers and office workers.

Our place on the assembly line simply got swapped for a cubicle.
Work is still planned, controlled and measured for you.
At least you now have air conditioning!

2 Consumption

Capitalism needs compliant workers and it needs consumers too.
And, that’s the second scam:
Consume lots of goods so we can avoid over-production and keep the economy growing.
We’ve been so well-trained in this we still buy stuff to be happy even though we know it doesn’t fulfil us.
Want to go shopping?

Your Choice
You have a choice...
You can either control and protect the existing system or expand it and explore new possibilities.
What’s it going to be?


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At April 13, 2010 3:22 PM , Blogger Mazarine said...

Thank you for posting about this. I agree with you, Seth, and John Taylor Gatto, who first let me know about this some years ago. John Taylor Gatto's book, "A Different Kind of Teacher" is an excellent model to show exactly HOW we are turned into willing sheep through compulsory education,

And he shows how it ties into consumption, mainly, school is boring, full of busywork, so therefore a job is supposed to be boring, and therefore life is boring, only Coke or Nike or "pick your brand" holds relief from boredom.

Let's all escape this consumerist trap and make our own things! Grow our own food! Work for ourselves! Who's with me?


At April 13, 2010 5:01 PM , Blogger Geoff McDonald said...

Two thoughts/resources...
One of the books that has really influenced me is 'Your Money Or Your Life' by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.
It makes the connection between what you spend your money on and how much of your life it takes to earn it.
I find now I just don't buy a whole bunch of stuff because I don't feel as if I need them.

And, in Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about a school study that showed the difference between what the rich kids and the poor schools learnt was... the stuff they learnt outside of school.
My take: school is useful and it's what you learn outside school that will really get you ahead...


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