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General principle

The School of Thought is a place for learning in concert meaningful and necessary things.

There, you can posit beliefs and develop means to act accordingly. Engagement with conscious reflection, for which confidence comes from experimentation, facilitates socially dynamic initiatives that inspire collective and cultural processes.

questioning »» understanding »» problem

*——-«——–«———«——–«———«*

>>>>>>>>>>>Response>>>>>>>>>>>

.

The search for truth is endless, possible, and necessary.

Knowledge is constructive, even when destructive.

Learning is emancipatory and conducive to becoming.

None of this is operative or sufficiently socially dynamic unless done in concert.

No existing institution facilitates this.

.

How the school works: community of exchange

. ……………… Allure>> expressing

Participation «……………………………» remaking via making /enacting 4 becoming

. ………………..Desire>> learning

* The school’s political economy: Value in exchange = value in use = values of desire

Just as learning is done independently in concert, so does the school aim to function autonomously through the efforts of its members working together in solidarity with other experiments to dissolve the perversely anxious and competitive dominating economy that so ubiquitously structures repression and thus  various trends of concomitant oppressions that we are all too suspicious of.

As such, people are seen as having both desire and allure to be explored for their own sake and in relation to that of others’, rather than in a codependent relationship to the market or any other oppressive system in our society.

Desire

+

Allure

Desire is a greatly contested concept, though basically it is the particular expression of one’s physical, intellectual, and moral needs.

Schooling is premised on the good of education for young people. It is made synonymous with education because it is said to prepare citizens-to-be for a better chance in a cut-throat economy, where they will have no choice, it is decided, but to compete for a piece of the pie. It achieves this by placing students in competition, simulating their fate, and measuring their chances by throwing information at them to see who would make the most of it. But schooling insufficiently responds to students’ desires, which, if truthfully explored, may have nothing to do with what a gloomy interpretation of the world has to offer. We are never consulted on our desires, much less encouraged to act on them in their own terms, unless they intimate wants that echo what is on offer.

Learning must be organised around students’ desires. “Research” is itself only one part of learning, it digs up in order to make sense. But there remains before research the matter of the subject: what to research and why. This is where desire comes in. And after research there is the problem of interpretation and meaning, which practically bare on means and ways of living: what to do about what is known. But what to do depends on what you’re made of, your “allure”.

Allure is what regular schooling, when deemed “successful”, shapes and molds into something valuable in the economy or the state. It’s what you’re made of. It is the corollary to desire: the desirable; what you can offer, what you really do, what you’re about. It is the kernel of your desire, that from which your desire stems, that without which you could not desire your desirable worthy desire, that which makes your desire a need you cannot hide, that which exemplifies the you that you deny in the worse of times and assert fully only when you realise you’ve got nothing and everything to lose – something valuable first and foremost to you. It is what you would be praised for in an ideal world. It is the nature of your individuality and affinity; what about you that is valuable to you, practically.

Whatever congruence there may be between your allure and the capitalist process, the latter has a tendency to structure the former, thereby engaging processes that do not “desire” you for who you are, and which are thus themselves undesirable. For the desirable to remain desired by the self, and for the self to thus be desired, one’s values need to be appreciated in their own right.

The principle behind a desirable desire-allure economy, where we stand now, is this: that knowing each other is a foundation for knowing the world. It is about figuring the how-to of learning-together.

People are already severely schooled in a colonial information system of spectacles projected through grade school, university, work, government, media, the city, internet, etc. Many refuse to part with learning even though it is hardly ever offered to them for its own sake or theirs. They have to make-do with a variety of deceptive artifacts what they can. These are the people we seek at the School of Thought for Subjective Learning and Contextual Practice.

Whereas the value of knowledge in dominant institutions at best resides in their problematising taken-for-granteds (givens), the issue at the School of Thought is to actualise questionment. It is not only a place for students open to ideas, but beyond this for addressing recurrent questions from the self. The questions to begin with are understood as stemming from obstinate convolutions in subjectivity and ontological construction, and thus not only in a project of rearranging pre-fabricated constructs. It implies a relationship to learning founded on consent, interpretation, appropriation, and play. Its activities are to be situated from lived contexts and must deal with ongoing participation in social formation, with becoming and creation.

Background

Education in our society is disciplinary and progressively alienating. Students from primary school to college graduate from formal, clear-cut discipline only to be isolated from each other as they gain what they are led to believe is freedom. In this way, freed from homework, you realise there is no one left to play with. Retreating to schoolwork you come up with reasons for doing what you do rather than seek answers to the questions you could never ask. One achieves freedom of thought in these institutions through resistance and unsolicited rough play. There is no graduation.

Students who seek knowledge often arrive to their wits’ end in schools that offer little more of worth than degrees. In response to this, they might question ideas propounded in class about the well-foundedness of prevailing social structures. They are critics. There are those who confront complacent administration. Activists. Others give up their registered status. Autodidacts. They may turn to symbols and expression in order to mend their wounds and try to do everything in places that don’t exist. Artists. These are all good and necessary strategies. But it is tiresome and lonely work. You’re always trying to make an effort, but, sometimes at least, you wish the world would work with you. Those you resist against don’t seem to understand that in order to lead you must dance, that it is the dance that leads, that power is merely a formality.

Coping mechanisms with respect to college aside, however which way we go about it learning does not hold up unless anchored in “doing something” with others, be it about international relations, gender, mathematics, or literature. It is only when one accepts this that the weight placed upon opinion dissipates. No longer stifled by it, we can put our ideas in our pockets and roam around, come into contact with a variety of people, and question the reasons for which we hold on so steadfast to views that filter out what we are and what we could be. The excess weight that regular schooling and media give to what we think about things we have no control over serves to validate policy – an exclusive tool that only a few can easily manipulate – rather than politics – which all can engage in by way of what they do. Politics is an infinite possibility of projects that rests on mutual recognition rather than the limited good will of albeit well-meaning and certainly skilled authority.

Encouraging experimentation in learning

Did the student not choose to subject themselves to school? Certainly, if they wanted what is reasonable to want when one wants to be comprehensible to others for whom incoherence is no longer conceivable. It is a reasonable compromise for a nerd to go to school. But does it have to be the case that students who stick it out become knowledge workers? Is it a design that some know and accept this from the get-go, or at least figure it out along the way, while others detour it, develop parallel lives or make their own alone or with others within these constraints? And what of those that get out understanding sooner or later that knowledge was not for them? One needs little hindsight to recognize that who’s who in this scheme is to some extent pre-ordained and at all levels underpinned by a negation of the self or something of the sort.

Learning is not endless in an accumulative sense, but rather in a meaningful sense. There is as many of one thing as there are things in which it is. Every event and its elements has to be multiplied by contexts in which it is made sense of to see how many ways of seeing there are. Moreover, there is the matter of relevance. How ought something to be seen, and what should be the focus of our attention, why, and where do we fit in – all are questions to answer as diligently as those subject to authenticity. Truth is a compound of which we desire both shelter and privilege, and from which one must escape before it imprisons.

The situation of the school: beyond critique and in concert.

Asking for too much is a valuable thing, but worthless if it amounts to little more than critique, which is potentially unnecessary and certainly insufficient. To suggest that the impossible is possible, or, in other words, to inspire, is to instill either fear or freedom, anxiety or confidence. Freedom and power are a factor of agency. The constitution of the self, what an entity is made of, is the substance of form, the determinant of agency, of freedom to act in the making of context. It has to be made by the person, for the person as person, but not as self. It is to be able to say that one is and can, and immediately render the enabling force therein to flow to others. Unliberated power yields fire, shocks and makes the entire world tremble. It cannot be controlled without spreading sustained hardship. And in case of failure there is nothing more to do than let it evaporate in a flash, retaining a modest memory for the next shot at working this touch of infinity into a process. To harness is to hoard pure good in a world of bewilderment. Power must be shared in its entirety.

The art of the school: current practices

Learning is meant to convey the potential for expression without constraint in a given context. It is an artform of a particular kind. Thus the School of Thought as a practice is not about schooling or even education per se. Whatever you may be about, be it study or otherwise, you ought to be able to engage in it for its own sake, in solidarity with others’ own struggles, in a common effort.

If one does not hold as steadfast on to artform as to integrity, it is cooptation, rather than mere corruption, which qualifies constraining freedom. Schooling, for instance, is cooptative because it allows you to “better” express yourself at the cost (though it holds that it is to the benefit) of your intimacy with other students who have had different experiences though similar feelings. Your demand for an equal say vis-a-vis class authority in claims to truth is ceded to, but somehow you find yourself isolated from those with whom you had commiserated with, themselves left to fight their own struggle from their own socio-cultural, familial, sexual, identitarian, temperamental, and class priority perspective.

Expression without unconscious constraint means to remove isolation by valorising “manner of selves”. Study is but one location for this necessary political project. Thus intervention on one’s part, ought not to take place in any specific “othered” context, where another from which one is isolated struggles. Rather, “intervention” ought to occur in a context for “pre-production” or “pre-reproduction” production.

……………………………….allure/desire >> projects………………………………..
_________________________________________________
thinking things through >> figuring things out >> working things out

It’s about how we actualise our attitudes. You don’t always need others to do your own thing, but you need others to have something to do, to give substance, sense, meaning, and measure to your project. You need material, you need to feel like you’re part of something in movement, to feel like you’re not alone, to make sense of why you do what you do in the time in which you live. One can chose to be only as much as consciousness of being permits. One is only master of one’s self, slave in revolt.

A message from the principal

I ask for everything all at once so that I might leave it to those who walk across my consciousness, resting periodically along the shores of my thoughts, to peer into my soul. I have to bring to life what I have imagined, however lost in a vast plain of mystery it may seem, however corrosive, corrupted, or otherwise frightening it might be. I need to feel as though what I sense can be acted out, formed but also felt, as whatever relevant embodiment, constrained of course, sorrowfully perhaps, or simply shaped, inevitably, but still shadowing forms that I dream up, because I suspect certain things are possible that I have never been able to imagine.

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