Proletarians with a Degree

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woofnbark
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Jan 7 2005 20:33
Proletarians with a Degree

Two questions really.

I had notice that a number of people on enrager are currently "bettering" themselves in education by going to Universities. Surly this helps in creating an ruling class of people over those with lower qualification?

I have witness a number of times during my time with various 13 years of employments that people with degrees are more than often "Fast Tracked" through the company promotion scheme. Despite that fact I've been a "model" worker, working overtime for free (I don't have a choice.) etc, etc.

The question is really aimed at those people who are claiming to be a Proletariat with a Degree (surly a middle class status if I see one).

1.) How do you explain this justification of calling yourself a Proletariat?

2.) Why are you helping creating a ruling class of people?

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Refused
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Jan 7 2005 20:38

If your theory is correct, we'd be perpetuating the existance of a ruling class, not creating one.

Wayne
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Jan 7 2005 20:43

Typical intellectual wanker roll eyes Proletarian my arse. Get back on the #73 mate. And stop oppressing me.

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Steven.
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Jan 7 2005 21:26

Just a quicke 'fore I go out: proletariaN is the singular - proletariaT is a collective noun for the entire global working class.

And there's nothing oppressive about having a degree ffs!

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cantdocartwheels
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Jan 7 2005 21:36
John. wrote:
Just a quicke 'fore I go out: proletariaN is the singular - proletariaT is a collective noun for the entire global working class.

And there's nothing oppressive about having a degree ffs!

tssh didn't you hear, these days when you finish the degree they give you ownership of a major international corporation apparently, its all this new fangled fast track business, very cunning

I'm looking forward to it, there i thought i was heading into a standard teaching job, but apparently they offered me full ownership of microsoft, RESULT!

lucy82
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Jan 7 2005 23:08

i thought i was a worker cause i've worked since i left school part of which included working to get a degree as an adult. so i've got one and my daughter hasn't but she earns more than me and got promoted faster than me. at least i now know that as a member of the ruling class i can oppress her when she gets on my nerves.

thanks woofnbark for that.

WeTheYouth
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Jan 7 2005 23:28

1.) How do you explain this justification of calling yourself a Proletariat?

Because whatever i do i am still a worker, i will still be working for a wage whatever i do when i finish my education.

2.) Why are you helping creating a ruling class of people?

Help creating a ruling class of people is not the same as getting your self a good education, is it wrong for working class people, or working class anarchists to do well in education surely our only way to emancipation is through education.

I think it is wrong to look down on any person as a class traitor just because they are clever and hard working, and do well in the capitalist education system.

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Choccy
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Jan 8 2005 01:27

What? Having a degree makes you middle class? My status as a worker hasn't changed fuck all since I graduated, in actuality I would have been much better going to tech and doing a trade apprenticeship. My mates in school who left at 16 and were called wasters went to tech, done shit like, plumbing, electrician etc and earn more now than I'll probably ever earn.

The only fast-tracking with a degree is to a call-centre to work minimum wage at a tedious job with no salary scale or prospects and usually shift work or temp. contracts.

Walk into a temping agency, you'll find most the people there are recent graduates who can't get any sort of regular fulltime work at all.

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Ramona
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Jan 8 2005 12:54

But I'm getting my fees paid by the State, and I get the maximum loan through means testing cos my mum's a prole. Can I still be a proleteriat now?

lucy82
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Jan 8 2005 13:06

no you are duty bound to oppress your mum

yozzee
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Jan 8 2005 13:20

I think it's a shame more people don't go on to further and higher education. I'm sure there's loads of reasons why people don't but if it's down to lack of confidence or expectation then that's sad really.

What was that old slogan. "Education for the masses not just the ruling classes"

mk12
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Jan 8 2005 14:03

You are only a member of the ruling class if you exploit people. IE. You own a company in which you hire labour power.

If you have to sell your labour on the labour market (factory worker, teacher/lecturer, shop assitant, nurse...) then you are member of the proletariat.

Owen
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Jan 8 2005 19:54

It seems that what anarchism is against is a society that perpetrates an economic or political elite, a class with the ability to hire and fire and divorce one from ones lively hood and with control of the means of production and the necessities of a healthy life(land, energy, food and water), and not necessarily against outstanding individuals who better(not enrich) themselves through education, technical knowledge or their own effort.

The Spanish anarchists for instance put great emphasis on education and on productive work. Like Emma Goldman many of them where somewhat Nietzschian in their outlook towards the individual. Individual spanish Anarchists such as Durutti, Ricardo Sanz, the Ascasos, Ferrer, Fermin Salvochea, Sabate and others all have an overman (in the sense of expecting more of themselves then of others and taking responsibility)like aura to them when one reads of their deeds and exploits.

The thing is not to become bogged down in the university academic system without applying what one has studied in the real world. If it has no application outside of a university it is probably not worth learning.

Another thing is not to use that knowledge to become part of the economic, military or political elite or to aid any of these in perpetrating their rule.

A well rounded education is probably better then knowing just one thing. If possible it's also probably better to be self taught (The notable Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta for instance was a self-taught radio mechanic) or taught by doing then by academic work in a university or other formal education. However it's not possible in everything, for instance in medicine.

I don't see how we anarchists can expect to get rid of the capitalist system if we can't demonstrate the skills that are necessary to maintaining a healthy existence, such as medicine. In the new system and in creating it we are still going to need doctors and dentists.

I would hope more young anarchists who have an interest in the subject would learn skills such as medicine, not to become show offs living in luxury in rich neighborhoods, but instead to apply those skills at cost or even if possible for free in the areas they are from or most needed, preferably in the area that they live in.

We might get more people to listen to and respect our ideas if we could provide the specialized needs capitalist system can't. If the capitalist and authoritarians alone are allowed to monopolize the skills the people in general will follow their lead.

Imagine the uproar there would be if the government persecuted a popular physician or nurse who was running a free clinic because of their political beliefs and practices.

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gav
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Jan 8 2005 20:34

owen, good first post smile

bare in mind, since this board is based in britain, some of your points about free health care dont really apply here due to there being a welfare health service

Joe Hill
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Jan 8 2005 22:06

I think there is a good point from woofnbark in here. Many proletarian kids get co-opted to assist with capitalism through this process, creamed off as it were.

Education in itself is a good thing though and self education is good especially helpful via radical organisations (like many of my family were).

Wayne
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Jan 8 2005 22:29
Quote:
Individual spanish Anarchists such as Durutti, Ricardo Sanz, the Ascasos, Ferrer, Fermin Salvochea, Sabate and others all have an overman (in the sense of expecting more of themselves then of others and taking responsibility)like aura to them when one reads of their deeds and exploits.

I am a bit like this as well to be honest. I suppose I have something of an ubermensch complex. I try to see each new day as an opportunity for revolution and if I haven’t started one my nightfall then I can be quite down on myself.

I’m not a believer in false modesty- I am pretty outstanding and have bettered myself and most other people too. I studied with Stephen Hawking for a time and even bettered him. Though he is crap at the breast-stroke. However, I’m not going to rush into some well paid job- as Conrad Miles said, ‘it is not the most noble use of exceptional powers to crawl ashore deaf to the cries of drowning companions’.

So I am hoping to set up an entirely free medical practice. I have been studying medicine with such resources as I have been able to scavenge from second hand shops. Thus far only Williams and Roberts et al’s excellent Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility and T. Seldof’s rather splendid Illustrated Introduction to Colposcopy. Consequently, the range of surgery I feel confident offering is somewhat limited and to avoid accusations that my practice is… unsavoury, I feel I need to expand my knowledge. I am looking forward to when redyred is finished with my All Colour Textbook of Paediatric Parisitology.

I also need new premises as LARC, while an excellent resource, is not best suited for complex surgical procedures. The recent spate of hysterectomy’s that followed nuclearcivvy’s irrefutable logic were interrupted by a squat party hosted by DJ Koola. With retrospect, it wasn’t the right time for me to get mashed.

So I have started building a new practice in North Wales with the assistance of a lesbian friend who taught herself structural engineering through the Open University. I am currently trying to borrow Electromagnetism and Integrated Circuit Engineering with Converters from my local community resource centre as I see Freedom Press don’t stock it. Does anybody know how to build a CAT scan? Do you think help will be contactable through LETS? I would be happy to offer my knowledge of hysterectomys, colposcopys or the results of my extensive research into para-aminosalicylic acids.

Quote:
If the capitalist and authoritarians alone are allowed to monopolize the skills the people in general will follow their lead.

Yes, my nan had to wait six months before Richard Branson was free to do her hip operation. And it’s so hard to get a reliable dictator to call round if your pipes burst.

Quote:
A well rounded education is probably better then knowing just one thing.

I totally agree. People who know only one thing tend to become somewhat repetitive IMHO. I know so many things that I can’t even count them all. For example, I know that political activists are going to make revolution and take over all the functions currently provided by consumerist dupes.

Quote:
I don't see how we anarchists can expect to get rid of the capitalist system if we can't demonstrate the skills that are necessary to maintaining a healthy existence

Definitely. In fact we should start dividing up who does what now. For example, the Wombles could be responsible for disabling nuclear reactors. If Uncle Bulgaria learns how to release a pressurized water reactor, then Wellington Womble (the scientist) can study the insertion of control rods necessary to halt fission, while Tobermory Womble (the craftsman) can manufacture the materials necessary to store uranium. This would leave the only wombles I’ve ever met; Orinoco (the lazy fat womble), Stepney (the womble with dark fur and short dreadlocks) and raw (the kick it till it breaks activist womble who doesn't like jokes) to make a big banner and some puppets while espousing the revolutionary potential of Lavazza coffee and vespas.

Earth First! Could take over the sewerage systems and CAG could be responsible for schooling (redyred’s choice). This would leave me responsible for running the NHS, the AF responsible for transport, The solfed responsible for Spanish Civil War archives and Class War in charge of wine production.

Or maybe… Maybe… Maybe 'we anarchists' aren’t the revolutionary force in society? Maybe political activists can’t change their underwear let alone the economic system?

Welcome to the boards wink

Joe Hill
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Jan 8 2005 22:35

God, you are funny wayne, not..

Bring back Revol for a bit of wit at least if not sense. (although you could be interchangeable possibly)

lucy82
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Jan 8 2005 23:01
Quote:
so hard to get a reliable dictator to call round if your pipes burst.

had one in my kitchen only the other day..

"can't get parts for that now luv, wot you need is a whole new system, could take it out to the mains pipe and with a new boiler, it'll be ooh, for you i'll do a deal, only £500".

proles, don't cha just love them?

(i tried to organise him in the workplace, i really did, but he looked at the badly photocopied leaflets in my hands and just wouldn't listen)

this thread seriously makes me want to do a Phd.

Quote:
Maybe 'we anarchists' aren’t the revolutionary force in society? Maybe political activists can’t change their underwear let alone the economic system?

yep

Joe Hill
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Jan 8 2005 23:14

Lucy, do the PHd, but don't forget who you are.

I am so glad that the working classes are romanticised in this thread!

lucy82
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Jan 8 2005 23:22

who am i? i am suffering from class confusion

born

was poor

got older

still poor

got less poor. could afford cheese.

did degree

poor

still poor

yeay! less poor again. can afford posh cheese but not a house

still no house

oops, might be poor again come summer, shit stuff at work...

still no house

but bless that poverty. if nothing else it gives me an identification with er.. the working classes.

grin

Joe Hill
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Jan 8 2005 23:25

Also, I have 2 degrees, one more and I could be a group. I personally prefer my M. Phil., makes me seem really intellectual (which I am, but my mother was a school cleaner (an honourable job, keeping the school clean for the kids) and my dad a weaver!).

Ha! Beat that!

lucy82
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Jan 8 2005 23:28

can't. like i said i'm variably poor and only briefly educated. my dad was a printer and my mum was a housewife mostly, then worked in an abortion clinic for a while. now shes a cleaner when shes not being retired which she does in the afternoons.

as i said to zobag. the only thing you can do to maintain your class credentials is oppress your parents.

look on it as part of the class struggle

sad but necessary

sad

Joe Hill
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Jan 8 2005 23:37

I will never do that

lucy82
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Jan 9 2005 00:35

sorry, joe. its just my sense of humour.

smile

gurrier
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Jan 9 2005 01:29

Wow, Owen, great debut post. You've obviously put some thought into it. Welcome to enrager. black bloc

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gav
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Jan 9 2005 12:03
Joe Hill wrote:
God, you are funny wayne, not..

Bring back Revol for a bit of wit at least if not sense.

Ha ha revol is going to love that! grin

[John. posting]

ftony
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Jan 10 2005 10:08

i'm sorry to be a party pooper, but surely all this i'm-more-working-class-than-you bullshit is precisely why a homogenous movement (i.e. an exclusively working class and everyone else can go stuff themselves movement) is counter-productive. Don't get me wrong, it's all in good humour, but there are dangers.

Firstly, you don't have to be poor to be proletariaN- it's in the relations of production,

Secondly, yes, be proud of your parents for surviving the system against the odds, but beware- it is the present and the future that we must look to for answers, we can only learn from the past's mistakes (GOD that sounded pretentious, sorry!).

Thirdly, if anyone thinks that being uneducated is somehow more 'pure' or whatever, then they're so undeniably elitist they should just become the leader of the SWP. I happen to have quite a thirst for knowledge, and am proud of it- anyone who makes someone else feel ashamed of how educated they are should be ashamed of themselves. Education is by far the best way of facilitating, expressing and conceptualising base feelings of revolutionary consciousness.

Still, i think who ever it was who said that the education and skills of individuals should be utilised for the greater good, rather than personal gain is RIGHT ON- it's all engulfed in DiY culture, and that's the way to go if y'ask me.

That said, you can be really clever, and really knowledgeable without having a degree...

Garner
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Jan 10 2005 12:34
Joe Hill wrote:
Also, I have 2 degrees, one more and I could be a group. I personally prefer my M. Phil., makes me seem really intellectual (which I am, but my mother was a school cleaner (an honourable job, keeping the school clean for the kids) and my dad a weaver!).

Ha! Beat that!

Snap! I too have an MPhil, which I'm not actually using since there aren't too many openings for theoretical molecular evolutionary biologists.

I have several friends who left school at about 16 and are printers, who all earn substantially more than I do, and who I guess started earning a decent regular wage about 7 or 8 years before I did.

I dare say there are probably quite a few company directors who never went to university, but obviously they're proles and I'm the ruling elite despite the fact that they earn about a thousand times more than me and tell me what to do. I guess I'm just not doing a very good job of keeping them in their place...

woofnbark
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Jan 10 2005 18:09

I was kinder expecting to have my head bitten off I was in a grumpy mood when I wrote this so I apologise for acting like a twat. I wasn't aiming at anyone in particular.

At the time I was thinking about all this working class business and it was just getting on my nerves at I will take the point that ftony made. You can't just group people into nice easy slots.

I'm for people bettering themselves, but if people are going to get tetchy about certain people shouldn't be being here and calling them a liberals, etc. I have to asked are they passing the same judgment on themselves?

Anarch
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Jan 10 2005 23:18

It may well be that if you get a degree you are middle class...and I have gone back and forth on that issue for a while. But look at it this way, given most anarchists I know, even the ones from totally working class backgrounds have had some college, it might not be useful to kick em out of the proletariat.

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cantdocartwheels
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Jan 11 2005 19:25
Anarch wrote:
It may well be that if you get a degree you are middle class...and I have gone back and forth on that issue for a while. But look at it this way, given most anarchists I know, even the ones from totally working class backgrounds have had some college, it might not be useful to kick em out of the proletariat.

Oh really, so you were going ''kick em out of the proletariat'' were you. roll eyes