Liberty, Fraternity, Pre-School?

povkids Big business marketing makes education its natural twin topic. That’s partly because BBM receives twice the budget of all U.S. schools combined, and also because, as the #1 devourer of the mental energies of the citizenry, it is also the #1 enemy of teachers.

Nonetheless, education is itself a major false answer to the massively harmful core purpose and product of corporate capitalism: the radical maldistribution of wealth and power.

Consider the latest findings about how that maldistribution affects human lives. According to today’s New York Times:

Nearly two decades ago, a landmark study found that by age 3, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than those of less educated parents, giving them a distinct advantage in school and suggesting the need for increased investment in prekindergarten programs. Now a follow-up study has found a language gap as early as 18 months, heightening the policy debate.

Of course, the obvious answer to this structural unfairness is the radical redistribution of economic power.

Ah, but efficient and obvious solutions are forbidden in this market totalitarian society, aren’t they?

The Future of Schools

In market-totalitarian America, everything must serve the overclass, and increasingly so. Hence, the latest marketing platform? The institution known as school. Per Ad Age:

Kleenex (an ecocidal marketing/waste endeavor of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.) had approached Studiocom with an interesting challenge: create a back-to-school push promoting the brand’s “stronger, more absorbent tissues.” Problem was, “No one cares when a brand says something like this,” said Creative Director Todd Slutzky. “It’s basically a meaningless statement like ‘new and improved.'” So the Studiocom team decided to put the brand to the ultimate test–in the hands of some science savvy kids. The agency went out to the top 100 science elementary and middle schools around the U.S. and asked them to come up with creative ideas to test the strength of the new tissues.

Ten of the schools took part, each backed by $5,000 funding from Kleenex. The Studiocom team then captured the most creative and compelling “Xperiments” on film.

Here’s the smarm and teacher prostitution that “positions” this appalling trick:

Gosh, I wonder how Kleenexes would do in a strength test against the cloth handkerchieves they are designed to obscure. Science anybody?

Sometimes I Feel Guilty…

I stand on the shoulders of giants more than most. I am a mere intellectual gnat. To the small extent I am able to notice what I notice, it is because my friends, mentors, and loved ones suggested taking a look.

My own small additions to that tradition are mainly affirmations of the degree to which existing trends are intractable and implacable: We live, from everything I can see, in a thoroughly totalitarian society, the operational success of which Stalin and Hitler could only have dreamed. The institutional pressure in this market totalitarian society never stops or even pauses. Not of its own accord, certainly. And, as it rolls us all on down the road toward the historical cliff, it has 99.8 percent of even its would-be critics bamboozled.

Advertising, which has already arrived and must arrive virtually everywhere else — shopping carts, urinals, the entirety of electoral debate — is now coming to SCHOOL LOCKERS.

If they come into decent existence, our grandchildren will be stunned that we sat by and watched this onslaught happen.

[Special Hat Tip: Douglas Pressman]

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