For the first time I find myself in disagreement with Heather Mallick. She writes in part that “[e]ducated people are more likely to deny authority. People who don’t read don’t have an intellectual storehouse to help them think independently. They do what they’re told. They have an endless desire to please those in authority; they don’t know they don’t have to.”
If it was anyone other than Heather Mallick who wrote that, I would be outraged. As it is, I am simply confused and upset. I am in my second year of University in Communications Studies. I am 51 years old and spent 30 years working for Bell as a technician. Most of those years I was basically, just existing – yes following. I had not formed a sense of class consciousness yet. I did so bt reading and paying attention, but I wasn’t TRAINED to do it. Elites are trained to think in certain ways, and believe me as a university student, I believe intellectuals have a lot to teach us. However, knowledge gained without some grasp of the realities of the working class existence is dangerous – especially in these days in which PR spin counts as hard news.
Some describe working people as followers who will believe whatever they are told. Yet it is educated elites who go along with George Bush – good people who are looking out for their own well-being – on the backs of working class Iraqi’s who are being blown up by the dozens everyday!
As a worker, I got involved with the union, became a Local president and ran for the NDP in 1999 and 2000. I attended Labour College in 2000. Today I describe myself as a Socialist convinced that “Neo-Liberal” elites promoting a business agenda for every human endeavour have brought the world to the brink of global disaster, through increased conflict and environmental collapse.
Noam Chomsky says that the educated elites are more easily indoctrinated – they are the followers enabling the power elites to continue their assaults on working people in order to maximize profits.
There is a certain common-sense to the collective mind of working people. It doesn’t take a well-educated belief to know genocide when confronted by it. However, to live and work under the yoke of a large corporation is to live a life of resistance everyday. And it takes away energy that could be used to constructively confront and challenge corporate power.
In other words, working class people would by their very nature, stand with their bloodied class peers in Iraq, except the filters on the media that Chomsky and Herman describe in “Manufacturing Consent” tend to blunt the energy and fighting spirit inherent in the working class.
The working class could and should be the policy leaders of society and we are not because we have always been in a class war, THAT WE ARE LOSING, and most people – elites and working class – do not see it that way.