1 Education by Thomas Barlow (Thomas) on Myspace

1 Education

In general what the movement needs to address is political education countering the current media and questioning them, informing people of the truth of international situations and national ones (especially in revealing what is going on unbeknownst to most of us) as they happen, and of patterns in current political and economic systemic behaviour.

Secondly we need to address and educate practical skills, such as those mentioned above, ones that are needed to immediately impact our surroundings (sustainable development Languages, Artistic creation and practical apprenticeships) and ones to help us become more informed and capable citizens (social research, facilitating decision making, alternate political systems (though that can be a divider)).

The first is an absolute necessity in the current climate of fear, repression and misinformation. In many ways it sometimes this all the left is really involved in, fighting a losing battle to present the truth. The pros of the this are that its hugely essentially. People need to know the truth and start forming their own opinions before they can even think about acting on them.

The pros of this are obvious. The negatives are that it can be sometimes dispiriting, especially in the current climate of cynicism, which make reports harder to believe and even harder to act, there seems such an innumerable amount and most importantly no easy way to do anything about them. The information is also often boring and un-engaging, most specifically in the presentation.

There are ways round both of these things. Firstly all information should be presented with a clear and simple way to find out more and get involved with something (be it discussions or action) to effect the issue. Secondly the information should be presented in continuously interesting ways. We have the media and the capability to do it. Documentary showings are popular and far more interesting than speeches with an ability to package a lot more information and make it a lot more presentable. Music, the internet and animation, as well as merchandise are all modern, media savvy ways of engaging people.

Also it is best when tying information to one cause, or presenting any information, not to use terms that are not in every day usage. Proletarian, comrade, axiom, dialectic those kinds of word have no place in the basic education of the modern day anti establishment movement.

What is currently done are speaker tours, documentary showings (local ones are better with discussion groups afterwards) and internet activist tools. Most of these are used for other activists and have either become ways of preaching to the converted, or merely informing the converted of their decisions (Indymedia) (SWP speaker tours).

However if you want to get involved in these things then it is best to get involved either with Indy media for internet information and media production, or the Socialist Workers Party for regular speaker tours and weekly discussion groups on the issues of the day (as well as Marxist ideology).

With practical education there are the pros that this educates people hugely in things to make real differences to themselves and their surroundings. The Cons are that it can lead to social isolation, where people follow their skill bases and live the dream without encouraging the rest of society or engaging them on a mass scale.

The way around this is too encourage all people doing (teaching or learning) community courses, development courses and so forth to form a national Union and with small donations create some form of national Media and a yearly co-ordinated campaign or at least some information sharing device.

At the moment to teach or learn most of those skills takes entering the national education system in someway. That means Uni, College, community college or night school of some form. However for whats going on in your area it is also good to check Indy media as there could be free or cheap community courses that they are doing that can also hook you up with some pretty impressive people.

There are small help points there, but a suggestion for greater improvement is more innovation in the presentation of information, more cohesion and knowledge of what everyones doing, and if you are an organiser, new or old, more promotion.

Radio, T.V or papers if you can get it, but simply postering every where is a good one. In fact if you have a regular event then create a regular poster run with either shared responsibility, rotation, or even make it paid (from donations or some form of enterprise). If you want to organise in your own area then it couldnt be simpler. Organise a documentary showing round your house, or in a community centre, and depending on how many people you want, stick a poster up in the local post office/music store/co-op, etc, or in local community centres and schools and show the documentary and have chat with whoever wants to stick around. You might get some interesting results.

You can also join specific issue groups who do a lot of good work across the spectrum. For instance Justic for Colombia.

SWP, Indymedia, create your own. People and Planet. Amnesty International. Greens. Specific Interest Groups (JFC, Solidarity Groups).

What you can also do to improve the situation if you dont fancy hardcore organising is getting on Student teacher boards, and local council boards. Shape and change Syllabuses. Change your community.

via 1 Education by Thomas Barlow (Thomas) on Myspace.

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