Patching has failed

Posted: 20/11/2011 by zandtao in Democracy, Education, Finance, Struggle
Tags: , ,

When I grew up I became angry. I looked at the system and I started blaming the system for so many things that were wrong; to begin with I did not blame people. After throwing aside my conditioning in a few uncomfortable tempestuous years after university I gravitated to caring for children. But child care was a holding job, and I was looking for change – improvement, so I became a teacher. Teaching is my profession, it is where I belong, in my next life I will be a teacher, but in reality all I have done as a teacher is patch the system.

Does that sound bad? It doesn’t, does it? You kind of think of patching a bike to fix a puncture, once you have patched it up you can ride your bike. But when you start to analyse the system that was patched you realise that what you were patching up was a system that facilitated the wealth of the 1%. I was patching in order to make them wealthy, not helping people. Any credible caring that I managed within my career just left the students more a part of the system waiting to be exploited than any genuine education. I have no doubts on a personal level that I helped many students with their own self-worth, but in terms of creating a better society I contributed little. I was never allowed to. Education is integral to the exploitation by the 1%, no matter how much I tried within the system I could never alter that. Nor could all the others who were trying, and the situation is far worse now than it was when I started teaching.

I grew up just after the last generation that stood up against the system, my teenage years were the 60s. These people were saying “Make love not war”, it was the love generation, it was a caring generation. People like myself were only looking for a caring society, and we wanted to stand up for this. There was an excitement as many people searched for ways to develop this caring. It was a generation of innovation, the art world sought new means of expression and whilst there were charlatans, much that was art turned back barriers. There was an air of questioning the authority that could have developed society into one of compassion. Instead minds grew out of control seeking wider and wider expansion leading to the greed and deregulation of Reagan-Thatcher that was the beginning of the current financial crisis. Our parents and grandparents had experienced a world war, all they wished to do was to live comfortably and work for their families. The 60s questioned that and asked for a more caring society. Whilst the movement in my view was genuine, the results have been minimal. Many of the people were sucked back into the system, but it could be argued that as a result there has been a hippie sub-culture of businesses on the periphery of society.

But mostly the situation has gradually worsened. When I was young obtaining a mortgage for a house was difficult, there were rules – you could only borrow 2 and a half times your annual income. Whilst I bemoaned this at the time, it was an indication that banking was more careful. Although loans to dictators were immoral, they were at least sound financially – an oppressed people would always pay back through taxation. Before the recession credit was available for almost anything, and the ratio between the amount of money in circulation on computers compared to tangible assets is far too high to be safe. This has been caused by greed and deregulation, the two being closely linked as those who deregulated were doing it out of greed. From a society that had such great potential the result is recession and war for profit.

And what did I do? I patched it up. I went to school and I told the kids “trust me and you will pass your exams”, whilst this was true what good did it do them? Did I know the system was flawed? Of course I did, but my generation wore our hearts on our sleeves saying we will try hard. Now when I say “my generation”, of course it was not all the people. But in many ways these caring few gave younger people a direction and hope, but I think this ended with Thatcher and the ill-conceived miners’ strike. From that time until Occupy in general young people grew up to earn money, and they measured social value by the size of their bank balance. Whilst my generation didn’t help enough, it is the “Reagan-Thatcher” generation who sat back and allowed the economy to sink into the bank balances of the 1%.

And what did many like me do? We patched up. When the black students at my Inner City school got angry at the racism I attempted to make education more palatable. I tried to gain their trust, and was successful in some way. And the result some anger was dispersed, and often turned on themselves as failures. I was doing what I was paid for “keeping them in line”. Were they ever meant to be successful? Deep down I knew they weren’t, but when some looked for success I tried to give it to them. But it was never meant to be.

Was patching the right approach? Yes, marginally so. All the legions of people who were patching up, helped a little, but overall the tide of the exploiting 1% was far stronger. Is there a place for patching now? I don’t believe so. That is the way the system wants caring young people to be channelled – caring, patch up the system. They will not pay much for that caring, they will try to squeeze every last drop of blood from the people in caring professions. But all of us in caring patchwork professions must remember – financially we were still in the system. It was still our salaries in their banks. they still lent their money based on the salaries we put in – even though such a high proportion was credit that had no asset base.

If you care, don’t patch up – you are only being used. Find an alternate way. Form cooperatives – no bosses, but don’t trade in their currencies. Minimise your financial transactions and seek trade as barter or alternative currency as a way forward. From the hippies communities were developed, and whilst their trade motivations were not based on greed their money was still within the system. My generation gave up saying the system was too striong, the need to be alternative financially was not as strong as it is now.

No patch, no money – #O.

  1. […] we all leave society to the hands of the 1%? No. But in doing this I have already put forward that patching does not work. Nor does compromise – discussed in part in this blog. Neither patching nor compromise work, […]

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