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Grades Are Capitalism in Action. Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.

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The capitalist economic system has major failures. It generates extreme, socially divisive inequalities of wealth and income. It consistently fails to achieve full employment. Many of its jobs are boring, dangerous and/or mind-numbing. Every four to seven years, it suffers a mysterious downdraft in which millions of people lose jobs and incomes, businesses collapse, falling tax revenues undermine public services, and so on. If these failures were widely perceived as the inherent failures of the capitalist system, the desirability and thus sustainability of capitalism itself might vanish.

How, then, has capitalism survived? Its persistence can best be explained in terms of ideology. The system produces and disseminates interpretations of its failures that blame these problems not on capitalism itself, but on other altogether different “causes.” Institutions have developed mechanisms to anchor such interpretations widely and deeply in the popular consciousness.

One key example is the concept of “meritocracy.” Schools are a key institution that teaches and practices meritocracy via the mechanism of grading. From primary school through the completion of my doctorate, I suffered the imposition of grades (A, B, C, etc.). Since becoming a professor, I have constantly been required to assign grades to my students for matters such as papers, exams and class performance.

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Grading takes up much of my time that could be better spent on teaching or otherwise directly interacting with students. Meanwhile, grading has little educational payoff for students. It disrespects them as thinking people. And finally, it chiefly serves employers — but often in ways that are not much good for them either. In short, grading remains an immensely wasteful, ineffective and largely negative aspect of education at all levels: primary education, secondary education and higher education.

Let’s start from the teacher’s perspective as grader. When I read a paper or exam, I can see when a student presents a reasonable version of what I intended in my lectures or what I found worthwhile in the assigned readings. But of course, I cannot be sure whether the student is simply demonstrating their short-term memory and repeating whatever I stressed in class, or whether the student has genuinely understood — in the sense of grasping and internalizing — key points, as part of the student’s own intellectual formation. Without much more time and interaction with the individual student than schools enable or allow in 99 percent of cases, I cannot know which it is when I assign a grade.

When I see that a student has not understood the concepts that were taught, the possibilities become more numerous. Did the student understand the material differently from me in ways not reducible to matters of right and wrong? After all, every piece of verbal or written material is subject to perfectly reasonable multiple interpretations. Education is not well served by insisting on one answer as right and alternatives as wrong. Such insistence is more like indoctrination than education; it undermines creative, critical thinking. Grading has little educational payoff for students. It chiefly serves employers.

Alternately, did the student’s lack of understanding reflect poor teaching more than poor learning? Education in schools is, after all, a relationship between people: a relationship to which both persons contribute. Grades reflect and represent the power of one side in that relationship over the other. Grades students get from teachers affect their intellectual development, their school and work careers, and major dimensions of their self-esteem. Most students never assign grades to their teachers. The few that can know full well how much less power their grading of teachers wields than the grades imposed on them by teachers. Moreover, teachers and students disagree over their relative responsibilities for “poor performances” by either. I was present in countless faculty meetings where teachers defensively blamed students entirely for the poor grades they “had achieved” (i.e., teachers had given them).

Should teachers have the compensated time to carefully read, listen to, or watch multiple presentations and responses by each student? Should teachers have the compensated time to explain to each student how they have approached and evaluated their work? Would not education be best achieved if students and teachers together were able to discuss, compare and debate their respective interpretations of questions, answers, issues and analyses? If all that were done — a very rare scenario in the U.S. educational system today — why also assign a grade? It would add little of substance.

Today’s economic system precludes teachers engaging so carefully, repeatedly and thoroughly with students. Capitalism’s enterprise organization — a small minority of employers (owners and their top executives) directing and controlling a large majority of employees — is replicated in private and public educational institutions. That organization and its financial constraints combine to preclude the interactions among teachers and students that real education requires. Beyond docile acceptance of the second-rate education they can offer, most schools shy away from efforts to hold the system responsible for fear of antagonizing university donors or officials. Education in schools is a relationship between people: Grades reflect and represent the power of one side in that relationship over the other.

While capitalism’s imposed limits help explain the practice of grading, they do not excuse it. It is a very poor substitute for far superior educational practices thereby foregone.

Grading is not only a mechanism designed to save money spent on “education.” Grades also function as a major foundation and support for the meritocracy. The merit ideology functions as a crucial defense mechanism for capitalism given its failures. The U.S. idea of meritocracy asserts that one can quantitatively rank individuals’ qualitative capacities. Each individual’s work skills, production capabilities, contributions to output — as well as their intelligence, discipline, social skills, and much more — can be ranked. This framework holds that there are some individuals who best or most possess such qualities; some who possess the worst or least of them; and many who occupy positions between those two quantitative extremes.

Within the framework of meritocratic ideology, employers seek to hire the “best” employee and are willing to pay such individual workers more than they pay workers with “less” merit (ranked lower on some scale of productivity). In meritocratic logic, those offered no jobs can only blame themselves: They must assume they have too little merit. Workers learn in school to seek to accumulate merit and achieve higher rankings along the scales that count for employers. Coalitions of educators and employers have inserted the educational system into this merit system as an important place to acquire and accumulate merit that employers will recognize and reward. Better jobs and rising pay reward rising merit acquired through more education as well as “on-the-job” training. Meritocracy redirects the blame for capitalism’s failures onto its victims.

Schools not only enable the consumers of education to acquire and accumulate merit; their operations also exemplify the merit system they support. Harvard University conveys more merit, per credit, than Kentucky State University. Schools that signal more merit can charge students more money. Among schools, within each school, and within each classroom, merit rules.

Meritocracy and the educational system’s key place within it are important because capitalism’s survival depends on them. The merit system organizes how individual employees interpret the unemployment they suffer, the job they hate, the wage or salary they find so insufficient, the creativity their job stifles, and so on. It starts as schools train individuals to accept the grades assigned to them as measures of individual academic merit. That prepares them to accept their jobs and incomes as, likewise, measures of their individual productive merit. Under this framework, unequal grades, jobs and income can all be seen as appropriate and fair: Rewards are supposedly proportional to one’s individual merit.

This paradigm leaves little room for any systemic criticism. Inadequate educations are not blamed on an inadequate educational system unable or unwilling to fund high-quality mass schooling. Unemployment, bad jobs and insufficient incomes are not blamed on the capitalist economic system. Had they been so blamed, both systems could well have come under criticism and opposition and died off long ago.

Meritocracy redirects the blame for capitalism’s failures onto its victims. Schools teach meritocracy, and grading is the method.

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COVID: The squeeze play on the population

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It’s a con as old as the hills. The ancient chieftain of a little territory looks out across his domain and says to his top aide, “You know, we have these clusters of people worshiping different gods. That’s not good for business. Our business is CONTROL, so we need UNITY. Make up the name of some god, and go out there and sell it. Take down those little shrines and tell all the people they have to believe in the new deity. Use force and censorship when necessary. Later on, I may decide I’M really the name you chose for the new god. We’ll see. If you have any trouble right away, call me on my cell. I’ll be out sunning by the pool.”

Unity of thought. That’s what controllers are after.

In the case of this fake epidemic, the population must view WHAT IT IS in the way public officials and the press are describing it. Dissenting analysis must be pushed into the background.

Here is a 4/9 Bloomberg News headline: “5G Conspiracy Theory Fueled by Coordinated Effort.” [1] A sub-headline states, “Researchers identify disinformation campaign but not source.” The article begins: “A conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the outbreak of the coronavirus is quickly gaining momentum…”

Obviously, such wayward thinking has to be stopped. And down further in the Bloomberg article, we have chilling news: “Some social media companies have taken action to limit the spread of coronavirus conspiracy theories on their platforms. On Tuesday, Google’s YouTube said that it would ban all videos linking 5G technology to coronavirus, saying that ‘any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19’ would now be in violation of YouTube policies.”

“In the U.K., a parliamentary committee on Monday called on the British government to do more to ‘stamp out’ coronavirus conspiracy theories, and said it was planning to hold a hearing later this year at which representatives from U.S. technology giants will be asked about how they have handled the spread of disinformation on their platforms.”

Independent analysis of the “epidemic” hangs in the balance. The masters of control want to maintain an information monopoly.

It goes without saying that, in order to achieve this monopoly, detailed surveillance of Internet content is necessary.

Another type of surveillance is also part of the squeeze play. Apple.com has the story (press release, 4/10) [2]:

“Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people… Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology.”

“To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.”

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Passport to the Brave New World: the vaccine

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I have already written about the currency reset and other features of a technocratic future waiting in the wings. —New levels of visible surveillance, social credit scores, universal guaranteed income, Internet of Things, energy-use quotas, smart cities.

—Events can move in several directions, going forward. In this article, I explore one of those directions.

The occasion is this fake pandemic; the big hammer is the vaccine against the phony COVID.

As Fauci mentioned a couple of months ago, it could be a DNA vaccine—new technology—which means it is really gene therapy. Synthesized genes are injected into the body. They purportedly set up immunity. Actually, they PERMANENTLY alter the genetic makeup of the recipient.

As you can imagine, this creates the opportunity to put many different genes into humans. To try to invent “new humans.”

The so-called immunity certificates Fauci is now talking about? They would be issued to people who test positive on the new antibody tests for COVID-19—which is an interesting turnaround, because, since 1984, positive tests results have generally been taken to mean “infected.” Why the shift?

Because there is a need for these immunity certificates—as an INTRO to condition the population to an IDEA.

If and when the COVID vaccine arrives, the certificates would be used to signify immunity for all those who take the shot.

It would function as a license. Your passport into the Brave New World. You’re “immune,” so you’re allowed to move out of fear mode. And circulate and travel and enter schools…

For DNA vaccines, the reference is the New York Times, 3/15/15, “Protection Without a Vaccine.” It describes the frontier of research. Here are key quotes that illustrate the use of synthetic genes to “protect against disease,” while changing the genetic makeup of humans. This is not science fiction:

“By delivering synthetic genes into the muscles of the [experimental] monkeys, the scientists are essentially re-engineering the animals to resist disease.”

“’The sky’s the limit,’ said Michael Farzan, an immunologist at Scripps and lead author of the new study.”

“The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or I.G.T. — is underway, and several new ones are planned.” [That was five years ago.]

“I.G.T. is altogether different from traditional vaccination. It is instead a form of gene therapy. Scientists isolate the genes that produce powerful antibodies against certain diseases and then synthesize artificial versions. The genes are placed into viruses and injected into human tissue, usually muscle.”

Here is the punchline: “The viruses invade human cells with their DNA payloads, and the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA. If all goes well, the new genes instruct the cells to begin manufacturing powerful antibodies.”

Here is the punchline: “The viruses invade human cells with their DNA payloads, and the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA. If all goes well, the new genes instruct the cells to begin manufacturing powerful antibodies.”

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A Vital Paper: David Crowe challenges the discovery of the COVID-19 virus Apr 24

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Canadian author and independent researcher, David Crowe, has spent several decades analyzing and torpedoing SPECIFICS of conventional medical research. At the deepest level.

I’m talking about, for example, the mainstream claims of discovering new viruses.

Crowe doesn’t lay on vague brushstrokes. He goes to the core of fabrications and exposes them, chapter and verse.

His new paper, which he continues to update and expand, is: “Flaws in Coronavirus Pandemic Theory”.

Here I quote from the section of his paper where he takes up the question of discovery—have researchers actually found a new virus which they assert is the cause of a new pandemic, COVID-19?

At the end of this article, I list the published papers Crowe refers to by number, as he takes apart the very basis of the COVID illusion.

David Crowe: “Scientists are detecting novel RNA in multiple patients with pneumonia-like conditions, and are assuming that the detection of RNA (which is believed to be wrapped in proteins to form an RNA virus, as coronaviruses are believed to be) is equivalent to isolation of the virus. It is not, and one of the groups of scientists was honest enough to admit this”:

“’we did not perform tests for detecting infectious virus in blood’” [2]

“But, despite this admission, earlier in the paper they repeatedly referred to the 41 cases (out of 59 similar cases) that tested positive for this RNA as, ‘41 patients…confirmed to be infected with 2019-nCoV’.”

“Another paper quietly admitted that”:

“’our study does not fulfill Koch’s postulates’” [1]

“Koch’s postulates, first stated by the great German bacteriologist Robert Koch in the late 1800s, can simply be stated as”:

“* Purify the pathogen (e.g. virus) from many cases with a particular illness.
* Expose susceptible animals (obviously not humans) to the pathogen.
* Verify that the same illness is produced.
* Some add that you should also re-purify the pathogen, just to be sure that it really is creating the illness.”

“Famous virologist Thomas Rivers stated in a 1936 speech, ‘It is obvious that Koch’s postulates have not been satisfied in viral diseases’. That was a long time ago, but the same problem still continues. None of the papers referenced in this article have even attempted to purify the virus. And the word ‘isolation’ has been so debased by virologists it means nothing (e.g. adding impure materials to a cell culture and seeing cell death is ‘isolation’).”

“Reference [1] did publish electron [microscope] micrographs, but it can clearly be seen in the lesser magnified photo, that the particles believed to be coronavirus are not purified as the quantity of material that is cellular is much greater. The paper notes that the photos are from ‘human airway epithelial cells’. Also consider that the photo included in the article will certainly be the ‘best’ photo, i.e. the one with the greatest number of particles. Lab technicians may be encouraged to spend hours to look around to find the most photogenic image, the one that most looks like pure virus.”

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