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Flinders University School of Education (with the Social Justice Research Collective, Adelaide, Sturt Campus and the Hawke Institute (University of South.

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Presentation on theme: "Flinders University School of Education (with the Social Justice Research Collective, Adelaide, Sturt Campus and the Hawke Institute (University of South."— Presentation transcript:

1 Flinders University School of Education (with the Social Justice Research Collective, Adelaide, Sturt Campus and the Hawke Institute (University of South Australia) Dave Hill Professor of Education Policy, University of Northampton, UK Chief Editor, Journal for Critical education Policy Studies, Class, Capital and Education: Resisting the Current Neoliberal Onslaught Thurs 15 June

2 Introduction  Class and Capital: incessant capitalist demand for cheaper and cheaper labour and labour power. The essential class-based (albeit `raced’ and gendered class) nature of capital  Class War from Above. (ref David Harvey book). Neoliberal and Neoconservative Capitalism and its aims and policies  Ideological and Repressive State Apparatuses (ref. Althusser). How Capitalism reproduces it  The (`raced’ and gendered) class impacts of neoliberal capital policy: impoverishment, immiseration, hierarchicalisation of provision (education, health, pensions), assault on individual pay, work conditions, trade unions

3 Introduction  Neoliberalism and Education: common features: commercialisation, pre-privatisation, privatisation, conservative conforming, technicist vocational non- critical education.  Impacts of Neoliberal Capital on Workers’ pay, rights, conditions: casualisation, pay, reductions in the social wage (benefits/ pensions), assault on trade union rights  Resistance to neoliberal capital: Latin America, Western Europe, 29 Jun Australia against IR laws  Ideological/Organisational forms: Social Democracy cf Marxist analysis; qualitative change in social democracy (eg Blair’s New Labour, ALP, PS in France, SDP in Germany)

4 Social Class (that is `raced’ and gendered) Marxists agree that class is not the only form of oppression in contemporary society, yet it is also a fact that class is central to the social relations of production and essential for producing and reproducing the cultural and economic activities of humans under a capitalist mode of production. Whereas the abolition of the caste system, racism and sexism or homophobia does not guarantee the abolition of capitalist social relations of production…. ………. the abolition of class inequalities, by definition, denotes the abolition of capitalism.

5 SOCIAL CLASS  No such thing as Class?  Capitalist Class knows it is a class  In general, in the class war, the w/c has been demobilised. Only the Capitalist Class knows itself to be in uniform.  Task of Marxists, to change w/c from a class ‘in itself’ to a class ‘for itself’

6 The Capitalist Class knows it is a Class They are a class for themselves as well as `class in themselves’, that is to say, a social grouping with (an awareness of) similar class interests. The capitalist class does not tear itself to pieces negating or suborning its class identity, its class awareness, its class power over issues of `race’ and gender (or, indeed, sexuality or disability). However, currently, whilst the class war still rages … … the working class in general has been demobilised and only the capitalist class knows itself to be in uniform.

7 Marxist Social Class Analysis and Globalising Neoliberal Capitalism 1. Social Class Analysis- class as the essential salient structural cleavage in capitalist society 2. Against conservative, postmodernist, social movementist, Weberian and other sociological classificatory analysis (`the Box People ’ ) and left- liberal (Apple) analysis 3. Working class as major victim of neoliberal capitalism/ intensification of extraction of surplus value- role of structuralist neo-Marxist analysis against neo-Marxist relative autonomy analysis 4. The Growing Global Working Class (waged labourers, part-waged labourers, retirees and dependents) and proletarianised Service Workers such as teachers 5. `Race ’, Class and Gender and the Equivalence Theories such as Michael Apple 6. Relationship of Marxist Social Class Analysis to educational and political strategy and project for a transformed socialist egalitarian education and society

8 Social Class and Class War from Above … neoliberal policy and neoconservative policy are analysed in relation to two debates. 1. the arguments that there is no such thing as class, or that class in simply one signifier among many of equal importance. 2. the Class War from Above, a permanent war under capitalism, is in full swing, and, currently, in particularly naked form. … how neoliberal and neoconservative policies aimed at intensifying the rate of capital accumulation and extraction of surplus value comprise an intensification of `class war from above’ by the capitalist class against the working class.

9 Neoliberal Global Capitalism For neoliberals, `profit is the God', not the public good. Capitalism is not kind. Plutocrats are not, essentially, or even commonly, philanthropic. In Capitalism it is the insatiable demand for profit that is the motor for policy, not public or social or common weal, or good. With great power comes great irresponsibility.

10 Neoliberal Global Capitalism and Education Within Education the Agenda of Capita for/in Education comprises a: 1. Reduction in Expenditure on Public Education Services 2. Capitalist Agenda for Schooling and Education- the production of hierarchically skilled and ideologically quiescent labour power 3. Capitalist Agenda in Schooling and Education- through pre-privatisation and privatization, to make profits out of it 4. New Public Managerialism mode of organisation and surveillance/ control 5. Capitalist Agenda for Education Business - British and United States(and other leading local capitalist states’) based corporations in the vanguard of privatisation and profit taking internationally 6. Differentiated Schooling and Education 7. Cheaper Teachers and Workforce

11 Neoliberal Capitalism and Increasing Inequalities of Wealth and of Income  downsizing the state  up fronting the role of big business in political and social affairs  debilitating the unions  lowering the cost of labour  diluting the social support systems.... a reflection of, firstly, a right-wing, neo- liberal social and economic agenda, aimed at:

12 David Korten, 2004, EDucate, 3 (2), p17

13 Johnson & Lynch, The Guardian, March Income tax and national insurance contribution rate, % Sponging off the poor As a percentage of income, middle and high earners pay less tax now than at any time for 30 years. It’s the low-paid who are getting a raw deal

14 Impacts of Neoliberal Capitalism The effects of neoliberal capitalism are: 1. increasing (racialised and gendered) social class inequality within states 2. increasing (racialised and gendered) social class inequality between states 3. degradation and capitalisation of humanity 4. environmental degradation impacting primarily in a social class related manner 5. suppression of critical and oppositional thought through both ideological and repressive state apparatuses 6. the sidelining and reduction of site-based, of local, and of national democracy and democratic control and governance 7. weakening key working class organisations such as trade unions and democratically elected municipal government 8. worsening pay, benefits and working conditions of workers in education- the intensification of labour and of the extraction of surplus value from workers’ labour power. (Hill, 2005a).

15 SOCIAL CLASS ANALYSES,AND POLITICAL PROJECTS `revisionist socialist ’ or `left liberal ’ analyses … take the focus off of the capitalist class and put it elsewhere (such as on issues of `race ’ - in itself a declassed concept) … in doing so serve to block the proletariat from developing class consciousness.

16 PROJECT, STRATEGY, ORGANISATION a political project- socialism; strategy- the development of socialist class consciousness; organization- a workers’ party with a democratically accountable and replaceable theoretical and political vanguard, to provide and develop theoretical and organisational leadership, including of/ within broader political movements and united fronts. Marxist and progressive educators must play a part in developing working class consciousness with the aim of working towards a successful democratic socialist transformation of capitalist economy, society and politics. … necessity of the leading role of the working class in the global anticapitalist struggle. The class analysis identified and theorized in this paper has particular consequences relating to:

17 GOOGLE and see the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies and the Institute for Education Policy Studies


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