With bureaucrats having greater and greater control over, under and through education, literacy lessens at an alarming rapidity. Literacy is never the concern for bureaucrats. What the French have called alphabetisme is the target, the goal, the all embracing directive of, in, or from any program beholding to State funding. Bureaucrats never imagine that they need literacy; a particular dexterity with the alphabet is all that is necessary, and for the most part, they may even be correct in this hypothetical assumption. Most of what we teach, in the ESOL program I have been teaching in for the better part of the last decade, is no more than this; yet it does serve a great need in the day-to-day living in New York City our non-native speaking students endure.
However, in the ways we educate our students in our Public Schools and in our colleges, particularly our community colleges, the state mandates serve the state and not the people by undermining democratic initiative and channeling students into being bureaucratically correct. We have actually made education less democratic by removing virtually all individual program initiatives from our curriculum, and by deferring to state mandates rather than a higher election of pedagogy that does not enfeeble, does not dis-ennable students by hampering them with semi-literacy or a reading and writing that is no more than alphabetic manipulation.
When a society defers completely to state mandates in education, that society can no longer call itself democratic, but bureaucratic, and when bureaucratic in the way super states like the United States have become, we could call it totalitarian. America has become a Totalitarian Capitalist State whose only function is to increase the wealth of the wealthy making Power more powerful as it lessens the number of those in power and making the monied certainly grotesquely more monied as the percentage of the country’s wealth increases for a lower and lower per centage of the population. Only France right before Les Jacobins or Russia just before the rise of the Bolsheviks can claim to be more grotesquely unbalanced.