The working class and the state apparatuses in the UK and Venezuela: implications for education

Abstract

In the Introduction to this paper, following French Marxist Louis Althusser, I briefly examine the roles of the Repressive State Apparatuses (RSAs), and the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) in forging consensus to capitalist norms and values. The paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, I discuss the role of what I have described as the Governmental/Political RSA/ISA in the UK in promoting neo-liberal global capitalism and imperialism and forestalling social revolutionary change. In the first part I also make a few observations on the special role of the UK Monarchy. Next I consider to what extent the Educational ISA is the dominant ISA. In the final section of Part 1, I address Althusser’s concept of the interpellation of subjects. In the second part of the paper, as a contrast to the
political and economic ‘consensus’ which has been engineered in the UK, I look at current developments in Venezuela – at social democracy in action, and socialism in embryo. I also pose the question: is there a need to amend Althusser’s RSA/ISA thesis in the light of these developments. In the third part of the paper, I make some suggestions as to how three important strands in the UK National Curriculum might be used to break ‘the last taboo’, how they might facilitate the creation of spaces for discussions in schools of the alternative to global neo-liberal capitalism – world socialism.

Cole, M. (2009) The working class and the state apparatuses in the UK and Venezuela: implications for education. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 1(2). Available at: http://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=462 [Accessed 19 Sep, 2017].