Sunday 1 April 2012

What then is to be done?

Sometimes, as by a flash of light, you realize that the obvious is not the obvious.
Even if you know this at an intellectual level you have to cope with the obvious that is not obvious at all because - it looks obvious.

Today I was shaken by this story - nothing particularly very new about it. I will come back to it after this:

The other day I read an inside story from the public transport company (a telling word) in the town I live in, my personal commitment to this "company" is expressed by my avatar.
The story is funny and sad at the same time because the teller of the story, who worked for one-and-a-half year with this "company", makes it clear she is completely indoctrinated with the story that the company is not about transporting people from one place to another.
The municipal transport company is about making profit. Therefore it is no longer called municipal transport company but MTC, without article, please!

If transporting people is not the goal of a public transport service anymore, why bother to keep it at all?
If making a profit is the goal of
caring for the elderly who cannot take care of themselves anymore,
of healing people who are ill,
of preventing diseases,
of locking up people who somehow are deemed worthy of being locked up,
of policing the streets,
of educating the young and the adult and the old -

why at all bother to keep up these former "services"?

Because they were never meant to be profitable.
Because "profit" as well as "competition" are social constructs, figments of an imagination that has totally derailed from humanity, humaneness - however you want to name it.
Maybe co-operation and mutual aid are too. I do not think so, but you may call it a matter of opinion. That is what the ideologues of profit and competition will say in return if you say this. They will insist that profit and competiton are "facts of life" and they are proven right every day and all the time because they impose their order.

As Choccy, the blogger whose piece I mention above, writes, school will not be handed over to the profitmakers directly. There will be unctuous stories about charity and bringing out the best in the pupils etcetera.
Look at this one, calling itself "christian" as if they still needed to bother.
The Golden Award Winners are lined up. ONLY ONE CAN WIN. Just like on the telly.

Whereas education - especially since that is etymologically the meaning of the word: leading someone out [of ignorance] - should be about learning what "profit" actually is, who gets it, who loses from it (you, the pupil, your parents, Society) and that there are alternatives.

These are not new insights, I know.
This is just to write down my tolstoyan moment of urgency: What then is to be done?