Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

educate, educate, educate...

So now that we can see what's become of this thing called "democracy", what's to be done about it?

What we've got now is fear driven and opinion poll driven policy making winning elections for the right wing parties. Opinion polls mirror what the public thinks and in that sense who could argue that this is not the highest purity of the democratic process.

But where do the people's opinions come from? Well, many of their opinions come from a corporatised media which is in the thrall an economic model that must implode sooner or later, and the later it is , the bigger the devastation which will be visited upon the people. But the people get their opinions from other sources too. Opinions about lifestyle issues come to them from advertising, marketing stunts, TV shows, movies, and lifestyle magazines. Religions too play a huge part in opinion-shaping. And it starts with an education system that is totally pro-capitalism. So it's no wonder that in the US and here in Australia the right is on a roll.

How is the left going to counter these powerful forces shaping the people's opinions? My thinking is there should be a free, voluntary, supplementary education system run independent of government control or funding (funded 100% by the left). This education system should only address those subjects/ideas which mainstream education has distorted or suppressed e.g. in history, economics, media studies, political theory, philosophy, ethics, etc. This education could take the form of free online courses aimed not just at adults but also children and teenagers.

Free (or very inexpensive) online supplementary schools and universities is what I'm on about here. Supplementary schools and universities that are 100% online, independent and accredited. The schools could issue certificates for subjects studied which the pupil could add to his/her mainstream education CV. The online alternative (and accredited) universities could similarly issue degrees and doctorates for areas of study or theory not being provided by the mainstream.

We can't wait for the corporatised mainstream education system to "fix" itself. We have to set up supplemental education in areas which are missing or suppressed in the mainstream. And we must deliver them free or at low cost. With the internet and an altruistic approach by teaching and admin staff giving their services free of charge (or at low cost), this could be done.

There is already a good alternative media emerging online and in print. Perhaps we also need to look at nurturing more non-corporate Radio, TV and Film.

Funding? Donations, ultra-low fees, union subsidies (you could help by joining a union and talking to them about this), philanthopists, sponsorship, etc, etc.


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