The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come. But today, the point of education is not education. It’s accreditation. The more accreditation you have, the more money you make. That’s the instrumental logic of neoliberalism. And this instrumental logic comes wrapped in an envelope of fear. And my Ivy League, my MIT students are the same. All I feel coming off of my students is fear. That if you slip up in school, if you get one bad grade, if you make one fucking mistake, the great train of wealth will leave you behind. And that’s the logic of accreditation. If you’re at Yale, you’re in the smartest 1% in the world. […] And the brightest students in the world are learning in fear. I feel it rolling off of you in waves. But you can’t learn when you’re afraid. You cannot be transformed when you are afraid.
Junot Díaz, speaking at Yale (via malinche)
Those final four sentences are something else.
In the microcosm of society that is my classroom, many days I feel I as though I am struggling to challenge/support students who are either learning in fear and/or are (actively or passively) resisting forming new knowledge because of how oppressive the institution of school feels. Trying to learn/transform/grow/mature/develop while in perpetual anxiety and/or apathy results in social reproduction (or decay/death, truthfully). The more I am in the classroom the more I realize how much of teaching (and who is and is not allowed into the profession) is a war over ideas. At the moment it seem that neoliberalism has created a culture that makes a blind march toward collective suicide appear as if it were literally the only option. Old school critical pedagogue, Henry Giroux recently said in an interview, “It is easier for us to imagine the death of the planet than it is to imagine the death of capitalism.” S/O to Diaz, Giroux, my mentors (Mom/Pops, Jeff, Allyson, WMD, Wes, Cam, Rick, Amy, Noah) and so many countless others for learning and transforming so fearlessly. Other ways of being and seeing are so fucking precious in our age of anti-poetry and without your examples I’d undoubtedly be much more fearful and apathetic than I already am.