First I noticed that with the beginning of the wave of occupations [mainly lecture halls at universities] two months ago the communication and exchange of information between various groups in different countries increased tremendously. I am convinced, that for the first time a rather big crowd of activists actually noticed, that there are also people in other countries struggling with the same problems – the increasing commercialisation and privatisation of public education.
And now? Many express their solidarity with the protests elsewhere, but there seems to be no real interest to really unite in the our struggle.
Why is that?
Well, I think that many groups still generally focus their main energy on expressing specific demands and directing them at politicians or those they deem to be responsible for certain problems. This keeps many from developing a real interest in global networking.
I think that itself is a big problem mainly due to two reasons:
* Activists, groups and movements indicate, that they don’t see their protests as part of the global struggle. By directing demands towards some authority, these authorities are being legitimised and these authorities [usually a specific political party or head of university] are propagated to be the root of the problem.
* It indicates that the primary goal of achieving free and emancipatory education can be demanded from authorities, which of course can’t. The education system is a stage for several interests, which partly contradict each other: economical interests, state interests and institutionalized religious interests for example. Emancipation enables people to live self-determined lives. Current dominant organized interest groups, such as the three mentioned before, want to influence and control the people by nature. Therefore we have contradicting interests [emancipation - control/power] here.
Therefore demanding emancipatory education makes no sense.
So this again indicates that many activists, groups or movements don’t even struggle for emancipatory education, but are solely focussing on improving the “conditions within educational institutions” and lobbying against the introduction or increasing of tuition fees.
What can we conclude from this? Isn’t there a fundamental conflict between groups who don’t want to change society and the (economic and state) system [which is inevitable for free and emancipatory education], but merely lobby for “better conditions and less fees” [sometimes even arguing, that this is better for the "national economy"] and those who generally want to kick off a public discussion on the actual functions of so-called “education” [which nowadays is more like training] within society and whose interests are really reflected within current “education systems” [training systems] worldwide.
How can this be handeled? Ideas? Comments?