Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teaching Marx: The Socialist Challenge


Announcing a forthcoming book: Teaching Marx: The Socialist Challenge
Edited by Curry Stephenson Malott, Mike Cole and John Elmore
To be published by Information Age Publishing
Critical Construction: Studies in Education and Society, see: 
Series Editor: Curry Stephenson Malott, West Chester University

“There is growing disillusionment with a social system where increasing productivity leads only to increased gaps between rich and poor, where reductions in social programs (retirement, health care, education) are the chief response an uninspired political sector can muster, and where non-sustainable exploitation of the Earth continues undiminished -- in short, as the looming, world-wide economic crisis draws nearer, the essays in Teaching Marx: The Socialist Challenge are critical reading. It is time for our teachers to prepare students not to take their place in an increasingly corrupt economy, but to bring about the fundamental changes we need to build an equitable, prosperous, sustainable future” -- Dr. Dennis Vickers, Humanities Department, College of Menominee Nation, Keshena, Wisconsin.
Teaching Marx: The Socialist Challenge is an extraordinarily important text at this juncture of world history. Functioning as more than just another pedagogical weapon to be used against the ideological structures of death and social hallucinogenics manufactured by the transnational capitalist class, it is a book that can provide fecund opportunities for teachers to re-learn how to put social and economic justice front and center in the agenda for educational reform by putting Marx front and center, where he belongs” -- Peter McLaren, Professor, UCLA and author of Che Guevara, Paulo Freire and the Pedagogy of Revolution

Teaching Marx: The Socialist Challenge provides a useful starting point for understanding the origins of today's global crisis of capitalism. Our work in public schools to encourage respectful dialogues between Indian and non-Indian students about local conflicts over land ownership, through the TERRA Institute, should encourage cooperative action to find common interests. This book reminds us to move those specific discussions to explorations of the causes of conflicts over land, including the imperatives of global capitalism” -- David Stanfield, TERRA Institute,

“As this book so clearly and illustratively points out, the work of Marx has always served as a critical tool for identifying and scraping away the residue of commodity relations as a means to an end of revolutionary purpose, and teaching Marx is therefore keynote to education becoming able to serve as a tool of liberation and revolution. The reasons for why this is so are very clear in the book. As its authors successively and in detail clearly point out, we are ‘educated’ to believe that we live in a meritocracy where god-given abilities and hard work afford position and reward, and the work of social institutions like the school play a key part in this. These institutions, as ideological apparatuses of the State, barrage us with propaganda and bombard us with ideas inside practices that are designed to convince us all that at the head of the equation of the constitution of the social and economic order is the work, skills, ideas, knowledge and commitment of individual people themselves and that the effort and competences of these individuals determine social position and the possibilities for economic reward and even social justice for all.
Put directly and simply, the book shows us how the public has been hoodwinked by the school and other social institutions to believe in the ethics of capitalism and its central ideological tenet that the present social order is natural and in the end inevitable and beneficial for us all. However, as well as critiquing the work of the school as an instrument of reproduction, the book also shows how and why the education system could and should challenge the anti-democratic perspectives that disguise and defend the current social relations of production and the ideological and material needs of the capitalist class. It offers that is an educational challenge to the inevitability and “correctness” of capitalism by showing how its laws can be made visible to ordinary people so the oppressive power of the capitalist class can be more correctly identified, challenged and defeated.  In this way the book both poses the question and provides answers concerning what role education can play in a possible future revolutionary moment: both as a “true” education as an act of liberation and as a dialectic lens for critiquing the world in which we live. Used appropriately the book can become a clear and fundamental ingredient for helping to create the possibilities for a more egalitarian and socially just world” -- Dennis Beach, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

“This collection by Malott, Cole and Elmore’s is a very timely contribution to the current revival of Marxism in education. The authors engage seriously with the ideas of Marx – from his theory of capitalist crises to the increasing impoverishment of the working class – and debunk many of the commonly held myths about Marxism. The compilation of writings provide a devastating rejoinder to those who believe that we can only make changes within the present system and show how this crisis has made discussion of socialist alternatives, in education and society, an urgent necessity. They argue that, in Marx’s words, the educators need to get educated and find ways – through their students, through what they teach, and through their political activism – to feed into wider movements of social change” -- Marnie Holborow, author on Marxism and Language, Dublin City University, Ireland.

“A spectre haunts the contemporary capitalist classroom: the ghost of Karl Marx. This volume explores the implications of opening the classroom door to Marx’s ideas, theories and outlook on capitalist and post-capitalist life. It does this in an engaging and thought-provoking manner, providing conceptual foundations and inspiration for teachers seeking to generate a critical edge and relevance to classroom activities in the current crisis of capital. Malott, Cole and Elmore have produced a book desperately needed by teachers, students, teacher-trainers and administrators in educational institutions dissatisfied with the apologetics and evasions of mainstream capitalist pedagogy” -- Glenn Rikowski Senior Lecturer in Education Studies, University of Northampton, UK.  

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski
All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski:
The Flow of Ideas:

No comments:

Post a Comment