The idea that the market will solve such things as environmental concerns, as our racial divides, as our class distinctions, our problems with educating and incorporating one generation of workers into the economy after the other when that economy is changing; the idea that the market is going to heed all of the human concerns and still maximise profit is juvenile. It’s a juvenile notion and it’s still being argued in my country passionately and we’re going down the tubes. And it terrifies me because I’m astonished at how comfortable we are in absolving ourselves of what is basically a moral choice. Are we all in this together or are we all not?
The last job of capitalism – having won all the battles against labour, having acquired the ultimate authority, almost the ultimate moral authority over what’s a good idea or what’s not, or what’s valued and what’s not – the last journey for capital in my country has been to buy the electoral process, the one venue for reform that remained to Americans. Right now capital has effectively purchased the government, and you witnessed it again with the healthcare debacle in terms of the $450m that was heaved into Congress, the most broken part of my government, in order that the popular will never actually emerged in any of that legislative process.
This last part is what should concern us all, and what should be a focal point in our kids’ educations. Ask kids if they understand the root of the dysfunction in Washington right now and see what they say. Then ask them how they’d fix it. Now that would be an interesting assessment.
And by the way, if you’re waiting for big business owned politicians to amend education policies and move away from standardization and dysfunctional teacher accountability schemes, you’ll be waiting along time. As Simon suggests about capitalism in this piece, it’s all about keeping score, and so we’ll continue to focus on efficiencies and measurables. May not be what’s best for kids, but it’s just easier that way.