The implications of the 1960s Counterculture and its factions throughout Part I share a recurring pattern of existential questions. All of them are related to the concept of a national educational system in most nation-states in the State of Total Mobilization. Part II has been split into “Liberalization of Minds” and “Socialization of Minds.” The former is justified by the presence of a Pop Culture and Subcultures, the latter relying on the High Culture and Low Culture of a Totality. I will be illustrating the fundamental and subtle differences between educational systems of the OCED-Type Student Economy and that of the SSE (Socialist Student Economy).
Two instructive lessons can be inferred from the “Third Wave Experiment” “UC Berkley protests,” and “American Catholic Education” during the 1960s. The most obvious is the feasibility of Council Democracy being applied as early as the secondary school, where the rite of passage into adulthood for teenagers includes political-economic-social participation in the student government of their SSE. The other implication, which binds those three case studies, pertains to the pedagogy of secondary and tertiary educational curricula. Anyone who attended a secondary school in an OECD member-state (which includes America and all Western nation-states) should realize that the pedagogy is designed to drill Fordism-Taylorism into all teenagers.
This is precisely where I am going with the terms “Liberalization of Minds” and “Socialization of Minds.” Every national educational system, at the end of the day, is derived from the broader social and cultural attitudes of its own affiliated nation-state. It is at the secondary school and university where the student body encounters and interacts with their national culture from a multitude of contexts and behaviors. Everything here supports the recurring arguments that I had made previously regarding the need for the Work-Standard to act as its own conception of Currency.
Liberalization of Minds: “Liberal Arts” of OECD-Type Student Economies
Unlike the SSE, an OECD-Type Student Economy is deliberately designed to function as its own economy through subtler methods. These methods are not always going to be obvious unless one knows what to look for and know where to find them. Any attempts at finding those subtler methods must begin with the realization that Fordism-Taylorism does not necessarily have to begin at the workspace, but in secondary school classrooms and on university campuses. Only then can anyone be expected to identify the real significance of “Liberal Arts educational curricula.”
The high school student is either a factory worker or an office worker, their classmates being the coworkers and their teachers as the supervisors. School desks arranged to resemble a “factory assembly line” or an “office cubicle.” Schoolwork assignments do not teach anyone anything except to inculcate a lifelong tolerance for repetitive tasks under Neoliberalism. The “senioritis” that one may encounter among classmates or even experiencing themselves is meant to simulate the effects of burnout under Neoliberalism. The desire to “skip class”–to commit Truancy–is meant to simulate the effects of going on Strike, complete with police interventions in some cases. Thus, since most students do not learn anything meaningful, the rush to “cram” information before their upcoming quiz or test is meant to simulate future life experiences of trying to generate the greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld at the last minute. This Incentive also assumes other forms like “scholarship,” “tuition,” “financial aid,” and “university acceptance letters.” A high school graduation is only a promotion into tertiary education.
Moreover, forget about homeschooling: the pedagogy of Fordism-Taylorism cannot be avoided by the student cowering in the home. The homeschooler who grew up in a large family household with a mother and father on the country farm or ranch is no exception. When homeschooling is not a diversion, it enables this Neoliberal phenomenon to become more obvious by including Deindustrialization as an additional variable. When parents deceive themselves into believing that everything can be resolved by homeschooling their children, what they are essentially doing is repeating the “outsourcing” process of Deindustrialization. The parents are now the “subcontractors” of their children’s education under the employ of the nation’s educational ministry acting as their “temp agency.”
Whether the student was homeschooled or went to secondary school like a normal teenager, the Total Mobilization of Production for Profit emerges by the time they set foot on the university campus of an OECD member-state. The Incentive of generating the greatest Quantity of Kapital and the least Quantity of Schuld is now the “student loan,” the “university degree,” the “internship,” and the resulting “underemployment” after graduation. As for the “dormitory,” it introduces the concept of “paying Rent” and the possibility of “being evicted.” Everything comes full circle upon graduation because neither secondary nor tertiary education in Liberal Capitalist regimes is designed to indoctrinate students into accepting their Inauthentic Dasein as debt-slaves. In the Total Mobilization of Production for Profit, the greatest Quantity of Kapital and the least Quantity of Schuld has always been the student’s Incentive, from the moment they began secondary school to the moment they graduated from the university.
The school life of students involved in the secondary and tertiary education of an OECD-Type Student Economy is best defined as Totalitarianism, which is in itself an obscure side effect of Fordism-Taylorism. This is self-evident in the apathy, indifference, ambivalence, boredom, unfreedom and insecurity exhibited by the student body. The “student government” only exists in name only, incapable of allowing every student to participate in the affairs of their nation. It does not even bother with delegating in the interests of the student body. Another noteworthy phenomenon involves the “afterschool clubs” behaving as privatized student organizations, unbeholden to its own “student government” and providing the psychological conditions conducive to laying the psychological groundwork behind “secret societies” at the university and privatized commercial firms in the Market/Mixed Economy. More importantly, they also provide the metaphysical basis behind “philanthropies” with Incentives to support a portion of the OECD-Type Economy, their injections of Kapital very reminiscent of “special interests lobbying for political parties at a Parliament.”
It is perfectly understandable for parents and teachers alike to arrive at the conclusion that OECD-Type Student Economies never teach young people any meaningful or valuable life skills. There is the argument that the curricula taught at secondary schools and universities are “theoretical knowledge” as opposed to practical knowledge. Another variation is the belief that high school students should not attend university but instead attend “technical schools” as part of the same Incentive to generate the greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld. This is because every facet of school life in an OECD-Type Student Economy is designed to force the student body into accepting Neoliberalism. Ideological indoctrination of the student body is the real Incentive, Fordism-Taylorism serving as the means by which to achieve it. By focusing so much on trying to indoctrinate the student body, the Liberal Capitalists are deliberately setting entire generations of young people for failure.
These ‘problems’ within the national educational system, like the political, economic, financial and social systems of any nation-state, cannot be rectified by resorting to half-hearted reforms. The social safety net of an OECD-Type Student Economy includes “financial aid,” “scholarships,” “tuition grants,” “debt forgiveness,” “community colleges,” “safe spaces,” “temp agencies,” and “philanthropies.” And just like the social safety net of every Market/Mixed Economy, it too is designed to deceive the student body into a false sense of security that prevents them from entertaining any notions of establishing an actual SSE.
Role of Pop Culture and Subcultures
Given the fundamental and subtle characteristics of the OECD-Type Student Economy, it becomes inevitable for the student body to develop disillusionment and alienation. If the student body does devolve into mental health and existential crises, expect the vast majority to delve into forms of escapism as a sort of coping mechanism. The student body will try to imitate aspects of Pop Culture and its affiliated Subcultures as a coping mechanism, another manifestation of the Liberalization of Minds. Pop Cultures and Subcultures are created by advertising and marketing firms acting under the Incentive of the greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld, in addition to functioning as Totalitarian repression and censorship. They must never be conflated with the student body and their Totality’s High Culture and Low Cultures because those two emerge from authentic traditions and customs that developed over the courses of centuries, if not millennia.
Whatever is propagated as “trendy” by the marketers and advertisers will become the prevailing Pop Culture for young people. When the student body struggles to find a sense of identity and also feel alienated by the latest trends, they eventually gravitate toward an emerging Subculture “to be different for the sake of being different.” If there is a recurring characteristic that all Subcultures share with their prevailing Pop Culture, it is the propensity toward promoting ridiculousness and irrelevance over the course of years, if not decades. While there are plenty of examples regarding this sort of social behavior among Liberal Capitalist regimes, post-1945 Japan and South Korea and are arguably the most egregious and blatantly obvious among the OECD member-states. Find the origins of these trends with the Work-Standard and one will immediately arrive at the conclusion that a Pop Culture and its Subcultures are related to the same Liberalization of Minds.
In post-1945 Japan, the subcultural term “Freeter” was derived from two loanwords, the English-speaking world’s ‘Freelancer’ and the German-speaking world’s ‘Arbeiter’. Its accurate translations for English and German speakers alike are “Temporary Worker” and “Leiharbeitnehmer” respectively, both of which are part of the same phenomenon as the Japanese Freeter. But unlike the English and German equivalents, the Japanese version has had two connotations over the course of two decades. Coinciding with the 1980s Asset-Price Bubble in the wake of the Plaza Accord, the Freeter once denoted a “Japanese youth who is wealthy enough to work for minimum wage and fewer working hours” in the Keynesian sense. Since the Lost Decade of the 1990s, however, Freeter now refers to an “underemployed Japanese youth.”
Another is the more ubiquitous “Otaku,” a term chosen by Japanese speakers to describe someone having fixated obsessions toward a given Subculture. The obsession in question does not necessarily have to be a Light Novel, a Manga, an Anime or even a Cosplay because the Japanese have identified other avenues. The “Reki-jo” is a “‘reactionary’ subculture” for Japanese teenage girls and young women whose obsession toward Japanese history is simply a fashion trend and nothing else. There is the Jendāresu (Genderless) fashion trend of androgynous youths, the socially withdrawn and alienated Hikikomori (Hermits) unwilling to help their peers confront Neoliberalism, Jōhatsu (Disappearance) subculture and all its implications of insurance fraud and identity theft. Some Subcultures are even able to create distorted perceptions of Japanese Culture itself such as the “Kyariaūman” (female careerist) and her male counterpart, the “Sōshoku-kei Danshi” (male herbivore). The former is obsessed with her career and the latter wants to fulfill his debauched sexual fetishes with her, the two subcultures repudiating normal social behaviors like getting married and raising a family together.
Just like Japan, the ROK (South Korea) also exhibits similar Subcultures, all of which will never be found anywhere in the DPRK (North Korea). This is an important observation because, unlike the Japanese and Chinese Totalities, the Korean Totality on both sides of the 38th Parallel had consistently placed far greater emphasis on the homogeneity of their Culture as part of a centuries-long effort to distinguish themselves from the Japanese and Chinese. The Koreans’ Intent is no different than that of Belgium, which is a country of predominantly Dutch and French speakers who are capable of distinguishing themselves from the Netherlands and France.
But South Korean Pop Culture and its Subcultures undermines this Intent by causing the ROK to imitate aspects of the Japanese Pop Culture and its Subculture. The most obvious examples pertain to how the distinctions between the “idols of K-Pop” and “Korean Anime” and the “idols of J-Pop” and “Japanese Anime” cease to exist when anyone realizes why they are products of their regimes being Liberal Capitalist. In essence, the South Korean Parliament tends to copy the Japanese Parliament’s social policies of promoting their youth subcultures, which is in itself related the very concept of “Soft Power Projection” within International Relations:
“What is Soft Power? It is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. When our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our Soft Power is enhanced.-Joseph Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success
[A] country may obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because other countries – admiring its values, emulating its example, aspiring to its level of prosperity and openness – want to follow it. In this sense, it is also important to set the agenda and attract others in world politics, and not only to force them to change by threatening military force or economic sanctions. This Soft Power – getting others to want the outcomes that you want – co-opts people rather than coerces them.
[W]hen you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive.”
in World Politics, ca. 2004
Socialization of Minds: “National Arts” of Socialist Student Economy
All of these aforementioned variables inherent among OECD-Type Student Economies are capable of being supplanted by the SSE. With the Work-Standard, it is possible for the Total Mobilization of Production for Dasein to rediscover the Totality’s original presence in the national educational system. Familiarity with the ways of young people is but the first step toward making the required decisions to remove Fordism-Taylorism from the pedagogy. Educational policy is more than capable of bringing the SSE and its characteristics into being for the student body, but it has to be done under the same contextual framework as any other domestic policy in the Socialist nation.
When embodied by the SSE, the national educational system operates under a more appropriate Socialization of Minds. The pedagogy of secondary and tertiary educational curricula for an SSE in the State of Total Mobilization has to be more than just about providing the student body with the means to live as independent, upstanding and law-abiding adults. It is true that the SSE will have students take an Interpersonal Compact to establish their personal identity before entering secondary school, followed by another Interpersonal Compact prior to their graduation. It is also true that the SSE allows every student to choose an EGO (Extracurricular Guild Occupation) for themselves as an extension of their own ego. However, if that was everything that the SSE is capable of providing as part of the curricula, then the student body is at risk of missing out on some very important opportunities to learn valuable social skills and form lasting social bonds.
All of these considerations are part of why the SSE has its delicate task of integrating the student body into the Totality because they too are Citizens of their nation-state. This can be done without the curricula becoming an ideological platform to peddle the ideals and principles of a particular Socialism. Compared to their Marxist counterparts, the Non-Marxist Socialists will have an easier time finding lots of middle ground possibilities with Conservatives and Nationalists, Traditionalists and Ultramontanes. While some form of standardization is needed to accompany foreign youths studying in other countries, accommodations are going to be made for SSEs to express themselves socially and culturally as an integral part of their nations. In a Socialist world where every nation is a member-state at the World State Organization, this will be encouraged and recognized by all WSO member-states under international law.
The secret to the Socialization of Minds involves avoiding the Freedom-Security Dialectic. Instead of the “Liberal Arts” employed by OECD-Type Student Economies, each SSE shall be distinguishable by the National Arts of their educational system. The pedagogy shall be designed to educate each student about their culture, tradition, social customs and norms, and why they should be proud of the best qualities that define their nation. Like the older generations, younger generations are part of a shared historical legacy that binds them to their personal sense of national identity. Young people can and should be allowed to offer their contributions to the broader national culture and history of their nation through the SSE. Every innovation from the youth has to be done under the framework of a tradition considered part of their nation.
Furthermore, there is nothing inherently wrong about allowing foreign students to learn about other cultures and traditions or the cultural exchanges between two or more nation-states. World history is full of countless instructive lessons about the social interactions between Cultures and Civilizations in the Spenglerian sense. The flow of information can be facilitated through physical or digital means without either method devolving into meaningless Cosmopolitanism as a hidden pretext for Kapital and Schuld. A Civilization may introduce a new Technology or two that can be related to itself, the Technology later spreading to another Civilization that eventually assists in the creation of yet another Technology. While it is true that Western Civilization continues to be the only one teaching its ways to the rest of humanity, it would be extremely naïve for Faustian Westerners to assume that the rest of humanity is incapable or incompetent at returning the favor.
Consider the Socialisms among different Civilizations for example. Even though Pan-Germanic Socialism still receives worldwide condemnation because of its historical associations with Hitlerism, its related brethren have been able to evade the same treatment and survive the Cold War as active political forces in dozens of nations around the world. It is interesting to note that Philadelphia Bishop St. Johann Neumann, CSsR of Bohemia and Pan-Germanic Socialism both originated in 19th century Czechia, where National Socialism is still understood today in the 21st century as a form of “Democratic Socialism” and where it is perfectly legal for political parties to register themselves as National Socialist. This is not a joke: there are actual National Socialists in Czechia who are unashamed about being themselves. This includes the Česká Strana Národně Socialistická (Czech National Socialist Party) since 2005 and the more recent Národní Socialisté – Levice 21. Století (National Socialists – Left of the 21st Century) since 2011.
Meanwhile, the late 20th century later witnessed Pan-Slavic Socialism, Pan-Arabic Socialism, Pan-African Socialism and Pan-Hispanic Socialism. Even the Scientific Socialists, the so-called “Communists” adhering to the Socialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, will always treat those four with far more respect than Pan-Germanic Socialism. Pan-Slavic Socialism still resonates among the nations that once constituted themselves as the former Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union, whereas the other three still have adherents and small political parties scattered among the Middle Eastern, African and Latin American nations.
The inequality of the Socialisms will not always be apparent under the Liberal International Economic Order (LIEO). Familiarity, recognition, and acceptance of these inequalities will become the norm in the Socialist International Economic Order (SIEO). Let not forget about the Sectarian strife between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam that will no doubt continue if Islamic Socialism is allowed to exist again. Let us also not forget about the obscure power struggles among the Jewish people to redefine Zionism because even the Jews are being exploited by Neoliberalism. Yes, some Jews would rather prefer Zionism to be more like Italian Fascism, National Bolshevism, Marxism-Leninism, or just plain Jewish Socialism as Ariel Sharon insisted on when he was still in the IDF. How many people in the Western world are even familiar with those obscure historical facts? Or why the rehabilitation of “National Socialism” will only be made possible by a Socialist world order?
If there is anything for Faustian Westerners to learn from the Socialisms outside the Western world, it should be the expectation that every Socialism will always be defined by the Totality that embodies it. The Work-Standard is more than capable of revealing this to be actual historical reality and not a literary figment through the Socialization of Minds. Thus, the SSE will always be the Teaching Community envisaged by Mary Perkins Ryan in every sense.
Categories: Third Place