At the beginning of September, a new school year started in most states in Europe. Pupils and students returned to their nursery schools, kindergartens, schools and universities. The thing they have in common, regardless of where they are or what they are studying, is that their right to education and their rights in general are under attack.
The reason for this is simple: it is not profitable for capitalism to educate the youth more than the system needs to do its job. This is the basic principle of education under capitalism, and it cannot be otherwise in this unfair system.
Today’s school, which was created during the last decades, was formed by a confluence of several factors.
• Capital was forced to make some concessions facing the main demand of the labour movement for an educational system that would act in the interests of the working class.
• The existence of socialism in the Soviet Union and other countries constituted an alternative to capitalism, forcing capital and its governments to make adjustments in order to limit the possibility of realizing the necessity of socialism.
• The correspondence of the modern educational system to the development of the productive forces – a certain educational level was needed for the workers to handle the means of production.
These factors have created today’s educational system, but as anyone can see, there is no existing socialism to act as an alternative and at the same time we are still lacking a revolutionary and well-organized workers’ movement.
This situation gives capital both incentives and possibilities to take back all of the concessions that are not necessary for the handling of the means of production.
In some countries, this has already resulted in major cuts in the educational system, forcing the peoples’ families to pay dearly for the education of their children, while there has been an educational degradation and the conditions of education rapidly deteriorated.
In times of weak capitalist recovery – while the next crisis is just around the corner – we will witness intensified attacks against the working class in Europe. Whatever right is left, is in danger of being destroyed in the near future.
Apart from the purely economic point of view, it is possible to witness an intensification of the attempts to further ideologically manipulate the content of education. Private companies are increasingly active in schools and universities, attracting students and pupils to a spirit of ’entrepreneurship’, distorting reality.
Likewise, the anti-communist efforts of the EU and its governments are increasing. Funds are directed to departments and private initiatives promoting the smearing of communism, the unhistorical equation of communism with the monster of fascism and the spreading of lies concerning capitalism and communism within schools and universities.
These developments will negatively affect students and pupils’ rights in education. They will seek to veil reality and instead present an incomprehensible and illogical version of reality, suited to the needs of capital. They will hamper the cognitive and political development of the youth and rob them of their possibility to seek the truth and to seek an explanation for the situation that the world is in.
These developments create – and will continue to create – uncertainty and insecurity, they will exert an even greater pressure on the youth.
These developments require a resolute answer from the communists, along with the students, pupils, young workers and parents, from the working class. To combat their lies, we will maintain the historical truths that proved the superiority of socialism. To combat their efforts to marginalize the youth, we will do our utmost to strengthen collectivity in struggle as a positive example of what we can achieve together. To combat their attempts to damage our welfare, we will maintain and increase our efforts to organize our class for a free, contemporary and public popular educational system without any entrepreneurial activity in education.
However, in the end, an educational system directed towards the needs of the modern youth cannot exist under capitalism. History has shown that any reforms and benefits that have been achieved are temporary and precarious. They cannot be permanent. That is why we also struggle for socialism, where power rests in the hands of the working class, to the benefit of the working class.
This power is the only power that can guarantee an educational system adapted to our needs, aspirations and dreams. That is why we call on the people and the youth: struggle together with us for your future!
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