|Education is discipline, and debt is consumerism. We learn |
to consume and live by our debts.
Photo credit: beware of images
Maybe you've noticed the picture of Noam Chomsky accompanying a quote from an unidentified source that has been making the rounds on Facebook and a number of websites. I've tried to find where the quote came from, and the best I can tell is that it was from an article in the Ottawa Citizen that no longer has a working link from back in 2011. I've also found links back to the Chomsky Quotes Tumblr, but was unable to find the exact source there either. Regardless of exactly where the quote came from, or even if Chomsky said or wrote it, the message is still compelling, and fits well with the emerging movement to alleviate student debt on a national level.
The meme-ing quote reads:
Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people ina system of debt they can't afford the time to think. Tuition Fee increases are a disciplinary technique, and by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the disciplinarian culture. This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.In my mind, the quote is a little all over the place, and could probably use some context (hence my curiosity about where it came from). Still, I think it captures the attention for linking debt, discipline, and mindless consumerism. Again, being unsure about the context of the quote, I hesitate to offer much critique, other than to criticize those who continue to share it without including a source. At least the quote is attributed, but without the source, it retains little of its original value. What remains worth some further comment are those three primary concepts: debt, discipline, and consumerism.