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A little thread on tories, exams, and universities: everyone is upset at the manifest unfairness with which teenagers have been treated in the last week. But behind what has happened is not just incompetence. Those at the centre of government have spent a decade promoting a
completely insane philosophy of education. What happened this week is its logical outgrowth. The tory vision of education is one in which in the population there is a variable distribution of "talent". They believe the only task of the education system is to work out who the most
"talented" are, and to nurture them. This is the same for Boris Johnson's idea of being a cornflake rising to the top as it is for Dominic Cummings' theories in his Odyssean Education essay (which then props up this idiotic belief with appeals to old fashioned eugenics and
Lamarckian ideas about inherited intelligence.) All of these people believe that the select few, inherently or essentially intelligent, hold decisive sway over society. They believe that they become decision makers, they cause scientific revolutions, and they create enormous
amounts of wealth. (Far from Amazon's wealth arising from enormous amounts of labour in warehouses, and monopolistic practices in the logistics sector, it is imagined that billions of pounds was simply birthed out of Jeff Bezos' head.) These people dream of a high tech geniocracy
in which the role of the education system is to rationally weed out the few from the many. They believe ultimately that the many are spongers on the decisive ideas of the few, that all those workers in Amazon warehouses spend the lives benefitting from Bezos' great idea in the
form of their wages, instead of the truth in which they are the producers of his wealth.

Alongside this bullshit theory of the world they are convinced of more practical things: the only education worthwhile is that which can be made profitable through its integration with
business. They love the life sciences, because, well people hate getting sick and dying so there is always market demand and high prices will be paid. They hate the arts and humanities, and really think that any of this education is either like a hobby or is just a breeding
ground for liberal or left ideology that would oppose their vision of a geniocracy (in which they, ironically without irony, cast themselves as the geniuses.)

It's absolutely no surprise, then, that these people are obsessed with testing. But more than this, because they believe
that "talent" is inherent or essential to individuals, they have no social theory of education at all. They think that learning - or the capacity to learn - is fundamentally atomistic: the mere unfolding of a potential. They believe that anyone who talks about the social
conditions or the social content of education is just an ideologue, interested ultimately in levelling down those individual atoms that could have excelled.

I shouldn't have to say how bonkers this all is, but it is important that people know that this is the heart of the
thinking that is going on in government. And most of it propped up by grim little gobbets from popular science books, or Michel Houellebecq, or whatever the Jordan Peterson inflected YouTube algorithms sent Dom Cummings that week. None of it has any basis in research, theory, or
practice in education. These people have neither educated anyone nor know anything about what educating people is like. They just think they are cornflakes who rose to the top.

This also explains why they lifted the cap on student numbers today. Finally their idiotic philosophy
of education started to screw up kids' lives. They realised they had to role back on it, and decided that in exchange for their U-turn, they'd destroy all the small, poor, and specialist universities. So that's what they're doing. Lots of universities, schools, and departments
will simply go under. Faculty will lose their jobs. And this was set up years ago, with the decision to attach the funding of academic jobs to students through debt-financing. It wasn't just a neoliberal scheme to invent a forever indebted class - it was designed to collapse.
Meanwhile, here's the story on all that value that was conjured out of the heads of those few "talents." We're in the middle of the biggest economic crisis anyone's ever seen. Turns out it was worth a whole lot less than everyone thought. Except right now this is hidden by the
massively inflationary practices that are causing an apparent boom in the stock markets. At least this way it won't be just the geniuses who lose: it will be everyone who has anything (a wage, savings, a mortgage) denominated in Sterling or Dollars or whatever.
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