“Schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions- to define, classify, control, and regulate people.”
― Michel Foucault
I write today’s quote as a culmination of what I’ve learned this quarter. I realized, as I’m heading towards the end of my spring quarter, that education began as a form of controlling man. Higher education, such as college, began and aimed to educate the “bearded,” wealthy man and excluded the woman. Foucault, among others such as Derrida, Saussure, Bartholomae, Berlin, etc, have provided the educational system with many informative standpoints.
Week after week, I have heard class discussions argue about the proper form of writing, teaching, thinking and living and everyone ends up concluding that it is impossible to standardize such things. Although individuality really doesn’t exist in the form of true individualistic exploration and action, but we can try to fight the mass construction of a clone. Certainly, there are many discussions regarding each discourse and the true individualistic presence of each and it is impossible to say that we are not, somehow, influenced by the next therefore creating a realm of thought as we stamp it to be our own individualistic form. Pop culture and the media, much like school, seems to be a regulatory system. We are being shaped and molded by what the media, today, defines to be acceptable and “cool.” I think the best way to live is to definitely quote Sir William Shakespeare, “love all, trust few, do wrong to no one” while still not necessarily having to accept everything and anything someone states is okay. It is okay to not agree with today’s “it” culture, while still loving your neighbor and not hurting others. It is perfectly acceptable to form your own thoughts and feelings, but definitely excluding hate. Simply because someone’s views of life do not match our own, shouldn’t spark anger and hate, but should, therefore, inspire us to further love others while remaining true to our own values. Simply put, should we accept the conformity of being defined, classified, controlled and molded by every new trend or thought? Absolutely not and that very form of free will is the beauty of why we were given the choice, by God, to decide on following him or not. He could’ve made us as robots, to follow him without doubt, but he didn’t want that. “Free will,” or at least the illusion of it, the very reason why it is beautiful to have a mind of our own. Contradicting final statement? Perhaps. Am I rambling? Surely, as I often do, especially as I find my brain completely fried towards the end of a grueling quarter.
Have a wonderful day.