Celia Green.com
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Monthly Column, June 2002

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Oppression breeds violence: the German school shooting

'Germany seeks reasons for school shooting'
(Headline in Financial Times, 4 May 2002)

You don't have to look far, do you? The 19-year old gunman had been refused permission by the school to take the exam which would qualify him to go to university.

An oppressive society breeds violence; an oppressive educational system breeds violent pupils. In this country, shoppers are terrorised by gangs of ever-younger children who regard going home for tea as an opportunity to express themselves with a bit of creative mugging.

But the socially-approved solution to oppression is further oppression. Blame parents for not forcing their children to attend the state schools where they are being turned into criminals by boredom and frustration. Force parents to spend their time at parenting classes. Encourage teachers to 'monitor' the oddities of behaviour of their pupils and classify them as potential criminals at ever earlier ages - as if they were not keen enough on that already, especially if the pupils have IQs higher than their own.

The Germans are making noises about the 'pressures' placed on vulnerable pupils by being allowed to do something like take an exam! If there is a possibility of getting a high grade, how worrying for them that they might fail to get it! Some German authority expresses concern at pupils who 'turn in poor performances' - well, why not let them take the exam again until they do well enough, free to prepare without the interference of a supervisory school or university?

But of course modern society would prefer to take this an excuse for stopping exams altogether, so there will be nothing left in the educational system except being exposed to the ministrations of teachers in a group environment and no qualifications that can be obtained except a report at the end. This report, unconstrained by anything so bloodlessly objective as an exam result, will express your teacher's opinions and interpretations of your success or otherwise in jumping over the pointless hurdles in the obstacle race which the school or university has set up to prevent the clever, conscientious and ambitious from being successful and getting above themselves.

I would propose (although no-one else is likely to) an exam system completely decoupled from compulsory systems of preparation and the permission of supervisory enemies. This would be a pathway of opportunity leading to freedom from oppression, similar to that which existed before the Welfare State. But that is the last thing that an egalitarian society wants. The greatest good of the greatest number can best be achieved by ensuring that nobody can get anything worth having. Then nobody will have to suffer the pangs of envy; they will happily tolerate having nothing worth having themselves.

The consequences of oppression provide an excuse for more oppression. Modern society leaps at the idea of more gun control so that there is no risk of bourgeois individualists defending themselves. An efficient black market will soon arise to meet the needs of demoralised criminals who want to express their contempt for old-fashioned 'Boy Scout morality'.

Celia Green 2002




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