Class Warfare Blog

July 8, 2013

A Model for Us Politically?

Filed under: Education,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:32 am

I have written about education off and on, most recently about the corporate raiders who are bad mouthing public education, either to convert education into a profit making enterprise for themselves or in the mistaken belief that a profit motive works somehow to make education better. The approach is a classic textbook one: define the bad guys (it’s those teachers (aka pigs at the public trough) and their Unions), then extol American values (It’s for the kids!” What exactly do they mean by “it,” I wonder.) and then they promote an American solution (Let the market decide!) which in this case is charter schools, religious schools, bringing creationism and religion back into school curricula, massive (and profitable) testing of students, etc.

A group of teachers has formed to oppose these forces. The call themselves The Badass Teachers Association ( They are a registered Facebook group, but since I do not “do” Facebook, you will have to find it yourselves (try

Here is their “About Us” statement: “We are a community of teachers, professors, and educators running from Kindergarten all the way to University. We are also parents, your neighbors, and your friends. We are members of your community, and we care deeply about that community. We have come together to push back against so-called corporate education reform, or the Educational-Industrial Complex and the damage it has done to students, schools, teachers, and communities.”

This may be a model for us politically. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are doing a particularly good job of serving the people (albeit the Republicans are far worse), instead choosing to serve corporate interests over those of Americans.

When the critics of recent whistleblowers (Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, etc.) trotted out the “treason” argument, I was shocked. Was not this country founded upon treason? Did we not rebel against our overlords? And the crime of these whistleblowers was informing the American people of what our government was doing. Would you have known that there were over 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed if not for Bradley Manning? Would you be aware of the incompetence and corruption of the “contractors” in both war arenas if not for him. Would you be aware of the NSA’s secret spying programs if not for Edward Snowden? Since when is telling the American people what our government is doing become “aiding and abetting the enemy?”

Maybe a little organized treason is in order again.

I am following the Badass Teachers Association (I profess to be one) and recommend all of you who are concerned about the corporatization of the U.S. and the real situation regarding U.S. public education to do so, too.

BAT Anne Sullivan BAT Cornell West BAT WEB duBois



  1. “Let the market decide!”

    What a crock. They speak as if the market was some disconnected entity that humans willingly follow.


    Comment by lbwoodgate — July 8, 2013 @ 11:59 am | Reply

    • Interestingly, even Adam Smith and many of the early economist warned of letting too much market economics into our national discourse. Of course, that position is now held by ignoramuses with whom one cannot argue. Then, taking a closer look at economics, much of the ordinary word of economics is based on assumptions that would invalidate any physical model. A physical model in which friction is ignored … temporarily … is useful …. if you then bring the friction back in, even as an empirical factor. But an economic model . . . based on everyone having perfect information (and apparently they have never heard of advertising), access to all goods, with no transportation costs, no taxes, etc. are just too ludicrous for words. ANd then these “perfect markets” have these wild swings brought about by people manipulating thiose markets out of their self interest and then, with a straight face, the say “Let the market decide” which is another way of saying “I know how to make money off of this thing, at your expense.”


      Comment by stephenpruis — July 8, 2013 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

      • I haven’t read Adam Smith (at least, not as far as I remember), but I’m not surprised these people would cherry-pick Smith’s work just as they cherry-pick the Bible and the Constitution.


        Comment by List of X — July 8, 2013 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

        • Unfortunately Adam Smith seems to be cherry-picked by everyone. His work is in the public domain, so available on the web for free and “Wealth of Nations” can be read quickly and will be informative.



          Comment by stephenpruis — July 8, 2013 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

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