Schooling vs. Remote Learning, which one is better?

Pictured: Stock photo of a school building.

I see a lot of debates about how to handle schooling under Covid, with regards to whether remote learning or conventional classroom environments should be considered.

But I see a problem here, which is that it rests upon a very pretentious dichotomy which completely ignores exactly what the premise of the matter is.

Namely, that we gave up on education just around the time when it became a civic right for the masses. Prior to this, you learned Latin, and studied the classics, and history, and civics and all manner of useful and meaningful things.

But then came mandatory schooling, and suddenly schools got very dumbed down. Suddenly they seemed considerably less ambitious. They became obsessed with children’s psychology, and pedagogy, and developmentalism, and regimentation.

Suddenly you had curious vocabularies being developed like “problematic” and “problem child” and “zero tolerance.” The rich kids never got zero tolerance, they seemed to get every chance in the world.

Yes, there was corporal punishment, and some might pretend that’s different from modern forms of punishment, as is usually the trend when it comes to contemporary ways in which to practice violence on those who cannot defend themselves.

However, some might argue that say, there’s nothing all too traumatising about falling down a flight of stairs, but if you sustain the same injuries from your spouse beating you senseless then maybe that’ll somehow, by some peculiar property, be a million times worse.

As though, by cutting out the middleman and making sure there’s no physical traces left on the child, we can tell ourselves that times are different now.

That’s why depression, eating disorders, social anxieties, phobias, bullying and self-harm are but distant memories to the world of education, and do not signal any particular warning signs as to just what the hell kind of institutions we are running here.

My point is, have we examined the third option? Namely, to just not do school? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s a perfect solution, but I honestly think that education under three decades of neoliberal austerity, post-9/11 jingoism, liberal middle class pseudoscience and social eugenics, and the many bleak and dystopian doctrines that have polluted our lives since Pax Americana took over the world’s media, might have gotten to the point of where the kids are better off without schools.

I am not opposed to schooling, in fact, I think it’s a great idea, but I believe that these modern day kid prisons are probably doing more harm than good. I think that the mentally challenged kids can probably manage better without the constant segregation and demeaning treatment.

I think the young girls can probably manage better without the ridiculous amounts of double standards and pressure and uncomfortable levels of scrutiny.

I think the young boys are probably better off learning about team dynamics from playing football rather than some vulture in reading glasses who tell them about how they live in the greatest country in the world and how the foreigners are nothing but tinpot republics where everyone starves, or conniving enemies that want to somehow hurt them and their families.

And I think everyone — literally fucking everyone — can manage without homework. Homework is some of the most pernicious and obscene kind of mental regimentation. All it does is train children into accepting unpaid menial labour outside of workplace hours as a normal expectation within society. It is the legacy of slavedrivers and fascists. Homework belongs in the deepest and brightest fires of hell.

It creates a very gross and intrusive relationship with your first ever taskmaster, it invites the boss, the manager and the executive into your child’s personal life. As someone who is psychologically literate, it is creepy and gross and weird and extremely inappropriate for impressionable children who lack a clear sense of what is or isn’t a healthy relationship dynamic.

Homework just undermines every boundary and sense of self worth in a kid. When kids hate homework, then that is because every single natural instinct in their minds tells them that this is a very unhealthy and unnatural dynamic, and they’re right.

Some say kids just hate chores or work, but that’s nonsense. Kids hate arbitrary chores or work. If you teach a kid to chop wood, or do gardening, or how to use a screwdriver, then you got a kid that’s very excited to participate.

What gets them is how weird and creepy homework is, how it comes from this authority figure they cannot question, how there is no sense of “no” or “yes”, how it just forces itself into your life and you can’t figure out what purpose it has. Even Sunday school is optional. So here you have this force, this dynamic, this taskmaster in your life that purports itself as even bigger than God.

That is genuinely disturbing to someone who hasn’t been brainwashed into thinking it’s normal. Just look at it from their perspective as an innocent being who hasn’t been psychologically broken yet. It’s highly alarming from such a viewpoint.

Obviously school should stay at school, it has no right to stalk its students. If you cannot teach children sufficiently throughout a workday, then you’re clearly not a very good teacher. Thankfully though, that is not a requirement in order to be a teacher in modern day, because the role of the teacher is to train kids into this kind of unnatural relationship to the various taskmasters they will later on encounter in their lives.

That is precisely why so many students suffer from deep psychological problems. That is precisely why mass shootings is a modern phenomenon. That is precisely why self harm, eating disorders, bullying and all those other things are so commonplace. Because schools haven’t been schools for a long, long time.

And now, thanks to Covid, the upside is that children are being protected from these houses of horrors, but it wasn’t long until some idiot decided that we should figure out a way to make them creepier, by having the teacher talk to the kids through a fucking camera in their bedrooms.

And everyone thought “Shit, okay, that seems reasonable. That seems like a valid course of action. After all, I also went to school and therefore also lack any kind of healthy frame of reference as to what one would consider as appropriate or healthy boundaries to a governing institution that outnumbers me a thousand to one.”

Schools need less of a presence in children’s lives, not more. The way schools are set up as to give children zero authority and recourse, as to give them no capacity for determination and critical thinking, as to instruct them that questioning things, and defying convention and relying on your own mind are not only a waste of time, but transgressions to be punished, is a crime.

Not a shitty liberal crybaby crime that judges would whine about, but a real crime, a moral crime. The kind of crime that will be in history books rather than courtroom records.

I just think we all need to take this rare opportunity to reflect upon exactly how skin crawling and gross modern schools actually are, and how they strip students of every possible sense of self worth and dignity to the point of where some of them decide to get guns and kill everyone.

And I love how schools respond to that by the way. “Oh well maybe they shouldn’t have guns then!”

Imagine that response, from a place intended to prepare people for living as responsible adults.

What is the point of this place if it can’t even cover basic stuff like “Don’t murder everyone just because you found a weapon.”? And even if, for the sake of argument, guns do ascribe to liberal mythology, and have these magical hypnotic rays that fill children’s minds with urges to shoot people.

Just like video games, rap music, sugary snacks and the million other scapegoats that schools use to deflect genuine criticism, then so what?

It’s a school. A school that gets exclusive right to a child’s attention span for over a decade during their most formative years. A school that gets staff, funding, venues, planning and all manner of resources to do its job, but oh no, looks like the gun magic won this round, oh well, thoughts and prayers I guess.

And then look at when they can’t find any scapegoats, like with eating disorders. All these kids not eating anything because of how schools strip them of all sense of self-worth to the point of where even food seems like some kind of excessive or indulgent thing, and what happens then? Crickets. Absolute silence. They tried blaming Nickelodeon or something for a while but that didn’t quite get traction. So now they’re just literally sticking to their guns, and trying to milk that controversy for all its worth.

My point is, schools are sort of garbage. They raised us to be overworked and overexploited people who do not set healthy boundaries, who do not have a good sense of what our personal lives should be, we carry with us the homework mentality to the point of where we lack the time and resources to actually help raise the next generation, both as parents, but also as relatives and extended family members.

And then what happens? Out from the shadows come the school again, with a big sinister evil grin, “oh don’t worry, you can just leave them with us…”

It’s a vicious cycle. And I think we should either do schools right, or just trash them, this whole anorexia and spree killing boot camp thing is doing more harm than good. Especially since, and let’s face it, the average secondary school graduate isn’t exactly out there composing symphonies or solving binomial equations, now are they?

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