Politicians Pretending They’ve Done Something

This is how you know it’s election season in Peru, the streets are lined with about a billion dollars in banners declaring that some great act has been completed.  Of course, this is supposed to get all the voters thinking, “ah…you see that so-and-so-candidate really gets things DONE!”

This is amazingly transparent, but it’s sickening how much it actually seems to work.  Take into account that the majority of people (not just in Peru or in the US, but in the whole world), are really frickin’ uneducated, and you see how ripe the mass population of humanity is for exploitation.
A couple of days ago on one of my articles, GringoPeruano made some interesting comments about education.  He’s doing the admirable job of attempting to educate the disadvantaged.  This is a fascinating issue because it made me stop and take stock of a couple things.
First of all, when I first went to Peru I spent a great deal of time teaching in poorer districts for little or no money.  What I found is that poor students are much more polite and harder working than the entitled students you get at pricier schools.  Why did I start teaching at pricier schools?  For the money of course.  I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke up your ass about how noble I am.  Sure, I spent some time teaching poor kids, but sooner or later you have to think about making a living for yourself too (and making money to give to your own kids when that happens).
To be honest, though, I’m not sure a “standard” education is all that worthwhile to disadvantaged people.  I was pretty disappointed when I received my teaching certificate in the US because it seemed that the underlying principle was not really to turn the students into independent thinkers, but rather give them enough of a skill set to be useful in society, but to discourage them from examining any of the blatant flaws and contradictions of society.
Look folks, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but it’s not entirely illogical to believe that the state will do things that are not in the best interest of the individual in order to preserve the peace and fundamental well-being of the state.  Is providing a sub-par education necessary to ensure a healthy, well-behaved society?  Well, it certainly keeps the people under control.
Education is always one of the less dynamic, but always present firebrands of any election.  Here in Wisconsin, Governor Walker is facing recall largely because of his socialist Republican hand-outs to the rich (in the form of absurd tax breaks), which he’s financed by gutting education budgets and taking away affordable health care for impoverished children.
In the national election, the Republicans are also fond of saying how “snobbish” it is to be educated, yet every one of their candidates has a degree from an Ivy league school.
But let’s face it folks, the stupid piece of paper that shows you’re “educated” is just a redundant piece of trash.  It’s a declaration of debt (which means you’ll be docile in the work environment), or it’s a declaration that you come from a wealthy family (which means you can be called on for “special favors”).  If the Republican platform was all about encouraging major corporations to hire people without any accredited degree, then I’d be voting for them.  But really this anti-education stance is just a dishonest, insincere ploy.
Does it do any good to teach disadvantaged Peruvian kids about literature and art?  Or would you be better off showing them how to strip down and rebuild a motor quickly and efficiently?  
During the time I spent teaching English to impoverished kids, I really had to sit and wonder how much good I was doing.  That’s part of why I wanted to get certified as a Physics teacher.  Now THAT is a subject that will take you places.
Hit them with a lot of math and computer science and then give them “The Prince” to read in order to know that the only way they’ll ever be treated fairly is to make it so it’s impossible to mistreat them.
That’s the only way to keep the masses from being fooled by a bunch of colorful banners that are attempting to create a false perception of achievement.
It’s been my experience that very few people achieve anything on a daily basis besides waking up, dressing and bathing themselves, and getting somewhere on time.  Perhaps I’d be energized by teaching a bunch of disadvantaged kids the type of skills they need to rend the world.  I’ll keep thinking on this.
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