Skip to main content

Educational system today catering to needs of 'techno-feudal' economy

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* 

Education stands on the twin pillars of essentialist and emancipatory consciousness. Education, in terms of skills, qualifications, grades, marks, and employability, reflects the essentialist criteria of consciousness, which are crucial for meeting the everyday requirements of human life and ensuring a dignified living. It plays a vital role in helping individuals recover from poverty, homelessness, hunger, and illiteracy.
The emancipatory consciousness within education addresses these essential needs while also aspiring to higher goals. It aims to create a society free from all forms of exploitation, inequality, and discrimination, including those based on gender, race, caste, and other social divisions. 
By fostering critical thinking and promoting values of justice and equality, emancipatory education empowers individuals to challenge oppressive structures and work towards a more just and equitable world. 
This dual focus ensures that education not only equips people with the tools needed for personal survival and success but also nurtures a commitment to collective well-being and social transformation.
Mere qualifications defined by certificates do not foster emancipatory and egalitarian consciousness. While individuals may be educated in terms of formal credentials, their social and moral consciousness often falls to a low point in their everyday practice. 
Education, in many cases, breeds hypocrites of various kinds. Many educated and well-qualified individuals are reactionary and uncivilised in their behaviours, celebrating and upholding regressive values.
The number of such individuals and the prevalence of an essentialist trend within education are growing. Educational institutions, curriculum developers, and teachers have largely failed to instil emancipatory ideals within their learning and teaching practices. 
The focus on the essentialist aspects of education, such as skills development for employability, has been prioritised to meet the demands of the burgeoning techno-feudal markets and their idle capitalist masters. These masters live off rent without producing any real social value or meaningful commodities for society.
As a result, the educational system increasingly caters to the needs of a techno-feudal economy, emphasising practical skills for economic survival while neglecting the development of critical thinking and social consciousness. 
This shift has contributed to a society where educational attainment does not necessarily translate to enlightened or progressive thought, but rather to the perpetuation of existing power structures and inequalities based on reactionary and immoral ideals.
In the age of techno-feudalism, the rent-seeking nature of various political, social, and cultural institutions, systems, and processes has become pervasive. 
This has fostered a culture where individuals, families, and religious denominations operate like rent-extracting machines in their most brutal form, devoid of accountability, responsibility, and human concern. 
In these processes, relationships between and among individuals and various interpersonal interactions have become transactional, dominated by self-pleasure and self-preservation at every step of human life. 
This phenomenon has been accelerated by digital media, social media, and traditional celebrity culture, where an individual's success and failure are determined by the power of money.
Many of these celebrities are school dropouts or have never attended an educational institution, yet they serve as brand ambassadors of techno-feudalism and its ideals in everyday consumerism, defined by both tangible and intangible commodity consumption. 
Celebrities, as purveyors of techno-feudal dreams, often celebrate low grades or failure in school or college exams achievements
These celebrities, as purveyors of techno-feudal dreams, often celebrate low grades or failure in their school or college examinations as if they were achievements. In doing so, they leverage their celebrity status to undermine education and human consciousness grounded in science, reason, rationality, and secularism. 
This celebration of ignorance perpetuates a cycle where education and critical thinking are devalued, further entrenching the power of techno-feudal systems.
In such a context, it is crucial to revive the radical promises of education that can cultivate higher consciousness and skills for the progressive transformation of individuals and society based on solidarity, peace, and prosperity. 
Education must go beyond the mere acquisition of certificates and qualifications, striving instead to develop individuals who are not only skilled but also deeply aware of social justice and committed to positive change.
To achieve this, educational institutions, curriculum developers, and teachers need to integrate emancipatory ideals into their teaching practices. 
This means fostering critical thinking, encouraging empathy, and promoting values of equality and justice. Education should aim to empower students to challenge oppressive structures and work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive society.
Moreover, the curriculum should include diverse and decolonial perspectives and histories, teaching students to appreciate and respect differences while working together for common goals. 
Collaborative projects, community engagement, and service learning can be effective in instilling these values. By connecting theoretical knowledge with practical action, students can see the impact of their learning on real-world issues.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a holistic educational experience that prepares individuals not just for economic survival but for active and meaningful participation in society. This approach can help rebuild a sense of collective responsibility and foster a culture of solidarity, peace, and prosperity. 
By reviving the radical promises of education, people can work towards a future where learning is a powerful tool for social transformation and the betterment of all.
*London Metropolitan University



Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.