Before the industries took over, the economy of a nation was based on agriculture. This was the system which had prevailed since Man had started to settle down and plough fields. Then suddenly in the 19th century the world was taken over by “Machines of Europe”. The Industrial Revolution revolutionized the way of life man had known for centuries.
Industrial revolution brought a rapid change in the economies due to production of goods at faster rate. The Steam Engine and The Textile Mills were the first products of this era.
The populations started moving from the villages to the cities, known as “Urbanization”.
Now let us first examine who were the people that benefited from this revolution. In the “Draft of Communist Confession of faith” the answer to the Question “How did Proletariat Rise?” is recorded as:
“The proletariat came into being as a result of the introduction of the
Machines which have been invented since the middle of the last century and the most important of which are; the steam-engine, the spinning machine and the power loom. These machines, which were very expensive and could therefore only be purchased by rich people, supplanted the workers of the time, because by the use of machinery it was possible to produce commodities more quickly and cheaply than could the workers with their imperfect spinning wheels and hand-looms. The machines thus delivered industry entirely into the hands of the big capitalists and rendered the workers’ scanty property which consisted mainly of their tools, looms, etc., quite worthless, so that the capitalist was left with everything, the worker with nothing. In this way the factory system was introduced.”
The “Machines of Europe” were purchased by the rich, thus widening the “gap” between the classes of people, which had already existed in the agricultural system. The inequality “gap” among the rich and the poor started getting wider and wider, as these factories proved to be money printing machines for the rich. The laborers were made to work on meager wages, and in hostile working conditions.
Further, from the “Draft of Communist Confession of Faith”, once capitalists saw how advantageous this was for them, they sought to extend it to more and more branches of labor. They divided work more and more between the workers so that workers who formerly had made a whole article now produced only a part of it. Labour, simplified in this way, produced goods more quickly and therefore more cheaply and only now was it found in almost every branch of labour. As soon as any branch of labour went over to factory production it ended up, just as in the case of spinning and weaving, in the hands of the big capitalists, and the workers were deprived of the last remnants of their independence. We have gradually arrived at the position where almost all branches of labor are run on a factory basis. This has increasingly brought about the ruin of the previously existing middle class, especially of the small master craftsmen, completely transformed the previous position of the workers, and two new classes which are gradually swallowing up all other classes have come into being, namely:
I. The, class of the big capitalists, who in all advanced countries are in almost
Exclusive possession of the means of subsistence and those means (machines, factories, workshops, etc.) by which these means of subsistence are produced. This is the bourgeois class, or the bourgeoisie.
II. The class of the completely property less, who are compelled to sell their labour to the first class, the bourgeois, simply to obtain from them in return their means of subsistence. Since the parties to this trading in labour are not equal, but the bourgeois have the advantage so the property less submit to the bad conditions laid down by the bourgeois. This class, dependent on the bourgeois, is called the class of the proletarians or the proletariat.
Since the areas of factories were simplified into different specialized branches, so were the workers into different specializations. More specialized workers lead to more productivity, which in turn generated huge profits for the factory owners (capitalists).
This in turn created a need of specialized workers, who are trained properly for a specific job. This in turn changed the whole education system.
Now education was to be for the source of income, rather than learning and knowledge. Its effect is most seen in the working class people. Since the class of the completely propertyless are compelled to sell their labor
to the first class i.e. the bourgeois to obtain from them in return their means of subsistence. The subjects of History, Social Science, Arts and Literature are considered of no use, since they can’t generate income. People are forced to be unaware of their own history and culture. Their lives are reduced to 9 to 5 work, eat and sleep. People have no time for their own lives, all they are living for is to earn for their sustenance.
Another cause which this system of education has served to the capitalists is to make their workers obedient. History has proven that humans can’t be controlled by force. Whenever there was an attempt to control people by force, there has been a rebellion against him. The cause of the rebellion was the sense of injustice and oppression, which human nature has a natural tendency to go against. In order to control this rebellion a system must be put in place which would make people obedient to their masters.
The system of education has done exactly the same. The thinking brains are not much in demand, because they can become a source of rebellion. So they are strained at the lower levels through this system. Even if some would reach to the higher levels they are made to believe that their thinking does not do any good, because it will not create a source of income. When these obedient beings reach to the higher level of professional institutions, they are trained for a specific job which they would perform in the factories of their masters. Here also they are given a fake sense of freedom by allowing them to choose their field of specialization, by limiting the spectrum of acceptable options.
Also during the professional training, students acquire huge amounts of debt, because these training courses don’t come cheap. So a student, who passes out and lands into a factory, has to first clear his debt and when he has finished that he has to work hard all his life for his sustenance. Putting people through all this, how can we expect them to think?
Some might argue that there are countries where education is free. Yes there are, but most of them are what we call first world countries. These countries produce inventors, scientists, policy makers etc., If there arises a thinking brain from a third world, he is directly hired by a western corporation, and if he tries to change the condition of his people, which is considered a rebellion, he is to be eliminated.
Post World War 2, world was set up as The Grand Arena. Every part of the new world was assigned a specific function. Industrial countries (factories) were to be guided by “great workshops” of Germany and Japan. The Third World was to fulfill its function as source of raw materials and market” (Noam Chomsky).
The world is now working as a huge corporation. Its factories are placed in the third world, where they squeeze their resources (Raw Materials and Labour). Its Headquarter is in the USA.
The system which we call ‘The system of Education’ serves to the interests of capitalists, by preparing for them an army of obedient laborers, who are trained from a young age and only exposed to the environment which will keep them in control. So we need to see where we are heading. I remember the famous words of Steve Jobs when he launched the iPad, he said “sometimes people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” In other words we are only shown what our masters want us to see.
Author is an engineer, having done his masters in Project Management from Cardiff University, UK.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.