Think Like Us or Get Sent To Live With the Peasants!
This is in response to the following comment by Morquendi. It is in response to a post where I said I value research and data because I don’t consider my personal opinion sacrosanct. He has issues not with the issues I bring up but with me, personally.
there’s one thing on which I agree with you 100%
“formulating national educational policy won’t really benefit from my ‘original’ opinion”
It won’t. Because you have no clue about the education system in Sri Lanka. If you didn’t have those WB books lying around the house this argument would most certainly not have gone on for this long. And do you want to know who else, for the same reason as you, has no clue about the education system in Sri Lanka? The World Bank.
I think I’ll go ahead and bear the wrath of Morq’s evil eye as it leaves his navel. He can’t seem to engage in the debate beyond a personal level – be it anecdotes of people he knows or calling Chanuka an asshole. So, I’ll take it on that level. For a debate on higher education, Morquendi a surprising disdain for facts, stats and research. It’s unclear that he values higher education at all. Specifically, its injunction to look beyond ones own immediate perceptions in trying to make sense of the world. In the spirit of fun, let’s see what kind of University it would take to form an argument up to Morquendi’s standards.
*The Anti University*
The Anti University is devoted to preserving ancient Communist Idealogy and the destruction of reactionary elements. It is innovative in that it educates students without books, research, math or even critical thinking. The Anti University is devoted to pure ideology and attacking anyone and anything that questions the ideology. Its founder is a people’s champion, who sacrificed his packed lunch to fit in with poor people. Here are some of the courses offered at Morquendi U:
Communist Propaganda 101
There are a few things that I like about the way Sri Lanka is run. Among them two of the most important would be the Free Education system and the Free Healthcare system, and *an inherent understanding* among many politicians and people that somehow, for some reason, privatizing essential public services is a bad thing. I’m not a real commie but I like it that we’re still called the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. (Universities Debate)
Anything that is market driven will cater to those who can pay and will neglect and marginalize those who cannot. Indi believes in that and I think his blind faith in how money and the market system will save the world is beyond debating.
The goal of the course is to enculcate an idealogy in the student. The focus is on emotion and the destruction of critical thinking. The ideal graduate will reject all opposing opinions, research, and facts and refer always to the idealogy. The ideology is, specifically, a drama of poor vs. rich, oppressed vs. imperialist. The good side is a totalitarian and all knowing state, and free markets are the enemy. The exact workings of the state are not to be discussed. The first semester involves energetically ignoring the rampant poverty and starvation in the former USSR, North Korea, Khmer Rouge Cambodia, Burma, and the economic gains of India and China upon embracing capitalism. Also ignoring the higher standards of living in capitalist countries. Once the student is sufficiently supple, insert the same old Communist Dogma, making sure to avoid its miserable failures over the last 50 years. Use basic conditioning so that market=bad, capitalism=bad, capitalism=oppression. Also teach students to always refer to ideological opponents as ‘elitist’ or ‘brainwashed’. If the student begins to think critically or ask for empirical support of anti-market arguments, please refer them to Book Burning 104 or the Blog of Morquendi.
Book Burning 104
I don’t have slanted facts and stats… If I paid them enough and told them to give me a study that says children prefer to learn in classrooms without roofs then they would. It’s market driven, like everything. The client pays, and the client gets.
*Prerequisite:* Communist Propaganda 101
This course consists on taking the books out of the library and burning them. A common Corequisite is Nationalism 214. Remind the students that all knowledge and research is part of the market system and thus corrupted. Special emphasis on the burning of statistics, surveys, polls, and ballots. Any students attempting to support their arguments should be failed and told to retake Communist Propaganda 101. Extra credit for punching kids with glasses.
I will not refer to foreign systems where certain things have worked. This is a Sri Lankan problem… However much you have read about a country, however much you have studied it, as long as it’s systems are not a lived experience for you, you will not be able to comment on their workings as anything but an outsider. A word from an outsider is good. But one word from someone for whom the system is a lived experince is better than the 10,000 word thesis of an observer.
You can talk about models and statistics and Marxism and Capitalism and lots of other things but you really have no clue about Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans or how things work here. I forgive you because you’ve never had the opportunity to get to know the ‘system’ here. For all of us here it’s a lived experience. We have grown up with the system and have a instinctive understanding of what means what. Not an academic interest like yours. (Comment)
This course is a detailed study of ignorance. It starts from the assumption that Sri Lanka has nothing to learn from the rest of the world. Sri Lanka is an island in every sense of the world, comprised of superior and entirely incomparable people. The first semester consists of burning books on Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The last semester is devoted to urinating on then burning books on America. Optional
readings indoctrinations include babble on racial superiority and glorification of ancient achievements.
*Final Thesis*: live in Sri Lanka for a day and then take a dump.
This is something that we can’t just talk about. Those who want a complete privatization of the education system can sit on their asses and wait for the WB and the Government of Sri Lanka to do it. But people who believe that free education needs to be protected and strengthened before we turn education into a commodity (which sadly is an eventuality for which we can only prepare) have their work cut out for them. Sometimes on the streets.
This is an advanced internship. Whenever the herd leaves the University follow them. Chant whatever slogans you are given, bearing in mind the lessons of Communist Propaganda. Any student attempting to research and understand the issue they are protesting will be failed. Please encourage them to focus on the ideology. Any student attempting to engage in debate with the other side will be failed and possible expelled.
Character Assassination 202
I would like to remind this scum that there are some people who enjoy a free lunch. People like him. Who do nothing for our economy and still reap the benefits. While the poor people of this country slave away in foreign households, work day and night in garment factories and work day in and day out for a mere pittance in the estate sector so that they can bring in the foreign currency that keeps assholes like Chanuka fed. Listen Mo*Fo*. You are able to say the shit you do because of the work these people do. Yet you do not lift a finger to help them. And you would even deny their children an opportunity to go to school. If they stopped working your fatcat life would be over. No more X-Box!!!! I’m not going to listen to unfounded uneducated uninformed neo-feudal-bourgeoise comments like the one this scum Chanuka made… (Asshole Warning II)
You on the other hand had your petty bourgeoise buddies at Ananda College. Perhaps they were also rabid Sinhal Buddhist Nationalists. Ananda does produce a steady stream of hatemongers. But I’m not going to hold that against you. You are a true product of the Colombo elite. You go to school with your rich kid buddies.
If the ideology is ever threatened the student must learn to attack the person, not their arguments. The ideology is infallible and not open to argument. Any opponents must be crushed personally as they are reactionary elements. Basic skills learned in the first semester include Googling for dirt, and use of the words ‘asshole’, ‘elitist’, and ‘scum’. Also the word bourgeoise, which may have to be written down on a charred bit of paper, if you can find one. Advanced skills in the second semester involve researching peoples families, for example:
[Indi has] a parent who was an integral part of the push for WB-proposed reforms in the education system a few years ago… You could learn a lot about Marxism as a lived experience and Sri Lankan politics from your grandfather (who I think is a really cool guy)
If you cannot find dirt make sure your opponent is aware that you know who they are. Possible internships in North Korea, Zimbabwe, China, and the Republican Party.
So, that’s The Anti University. No books, stats, or research. Also, no study of anything beyond Sri Lanka since foreign countries are irrelevant. Actually, no study at all since the only relevant knowledge is in front of your nose. Really, no need to leave the village at all. If you’re Sri Lankan and you agree with the idealogy, no need for higher education. Just protest when everyone else does and consult your little black blog when in doubt.
*PS*. Undoubtably Morq (who is, incidentally, an intelligent person) would like to respond, so the best dirt I can think of on myself is that my Sinhala is beyond terrible, and that I spent the vast majority of my life abroad. If Morq has an alternate plan as to how Sri Lanka can provide better education that would be better, but without ‘slanted facts and figures’ we’re left with this.