Reading at an advanced stage of literacy is not a requirement for political participation in America, but then bread and circuses is not new to the American state and governments have supported innumerable variations on representative government without the masses either literate or participating. The people are taught to read through many of the organs of the state, thereby insuring a level of advanced under eduction at an inflated value. Inflation permeates everything in our lives as soon as we tell ourselves we have to learn to live with economic inflation. Economics hits home too hard not to affect the things we do and the ideas we think day in and day out.
Public education as we have it in New York City is an example of this kind of inflation, but then an inflation that is contingent with the overproduction we have in education where all are special, any can be talented, and semi-literacy meets the demands of a society that produces little of what it consumes, underpays and enforces wage slavery around the world to feed its greed, its tape-worm driven gluttony. Is there any reason for anyone anywhere in any business or industry to get the annual bonuses that investment bankers on Wall Street get; is there any reason for the CEO of ABC to get 72 million a year? Readers need not apply. Notice, though, that it is Public education. The public are always the people in service of the state. When functioning as a public, which the people must do sometimes, they are not functioning as the people. These are two distinct and categorically separate political entities. They are often mutually exclusive in their functions.
Yes, office cubicles resemble more the cells in a beehive than they do anything else; perfunctory level jobs for life for perfunctory performing drones, all of them increasingly more and more underpaid as top-level executives have become the new oligarchy in America. Our lifestyle is our hemlock, if any one of us should be brave enough to stand Socratically against our media sophists and the oligarchy of CEOs countrywide. But then we don’t read anymore, and our knowledge of classical antiquity has evaporated, so any allusion to the terrible forty of Athens or the death of Socrates passes as does a ghost.