Monday, May 14, 2007

School Days Are Done Now

School Days are Done Now

Graduate, your school days are done now
What did you learn from those days?
Do you know what the system expects of you, Graduate?
Is it what you're heart desires, graduate?
There is a path waiting for you our there
Which one are you going to take?
What role are you going to play?
Clock ticking away
Death one step closer
The paths are waiting for you, graduate
Who are you?
How are you going to fit?
Control and coercion
Freedom and responsibility
Slave and master
Love and life
Machine and predictability
Spontaneity and play
Your free to choose, graduate
This is your day


The basis of the panoptic sort is the remote, invisible, automatic and comprehensive sensing of personhood and the classification, evaluation, and sorting of individuals into groups for efficient training, rehabilitation, or elimination, based on their value to the economic and political elite who control the sorting.

The most highly valued are the rich and other rulers; They are given the primary fiscal benefits of the sorting system. Also high in the hieracrchy are those trusted strategists who can make sense of the vast information apparatus. Below them are technicians who are privy to the data by the surveillance machines. Below that are the people of the middle class who enjoy enough benefits so that their sense of privilege out weighs their nagging feeling of never quite reaching the top. (From the point of view of those who run the system, the value of the middle class is to provide the bulk of the surplus value.) Below the middle class are working-class people, who run and maintain the machines that produce consumer goods. They, too, enjoy enough benefits to keep them at work, to give them the illusion that they're living a good life, and to keep them from looking for a different way to live. And as Henry Ford saw early on, it is essential in an industrial system to give at least some of the workers enough pay to buy at least some of what they build, or else the system's inevitable production has no outlet. Toward the bottom of the value scale are those who are "of little substance who carry the sick, bury the dead, clean and do many vile and abject offices."* But even the unemployed and the homeless are of some value to the system. For example, they keep wages low by making sleeping under a bridge seem the only alternative to the treadmill of rent or mortgage. Below the value scale altogether are those who will not partake of the benefits of the system, because they provide the system's servants with alternative visions and lifestyles. Because the existence of these alternatives cannot be tolerated, lest the servants become restless, those who live these alternatives must be banished from the servants' view, or destroyed altogether. Welcome to the Machine pg. 112-113

Welcome to the real world, graduate.

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