Written by Øystein Iversen
The author of this text discusses postmodernism’s influence on the modern school system from primary school to high school. One learns that there are no right or wrong answers. One must argue for and against everything. Finding the truth is often laid to the side in favor of working with words and arguments. This does not serve students or the proletariat. The bourgeoisie does not want the truth to be revealed for youth.
I have chosen to write about primary through secondary school, as this is where a large portion of the people are socialized by the bourgeoisie. Postmodernism also has a massive influence in higher education, but in this case, it plays a somewhat different role.
Postmodernism is a bourgeois philosophy that rejects the idea that there exists an objective reality. It places a lot of focus on language as the most important part of reality. It holds that there is no right or wrong answer. Postmodernism stands in open contradiction with Marxism, which is based on materialism, and in turn builds its foundation on our objective world.
It can be mentioned that postmodernism has less of an influence in the natural sciences. Naturally, the school will use clear, one-sided blueprints in mathematics and the natural sciences. In the social sciences, KRLE [transl note: Christianity, religion, life perspectives and ethics], and Norwegian studies on the other hand, postmodernist methods dominate. Both in curriculum and – to a larger degree – in the actual teaching.
Communists know that there are correct answers in political and ethical questions as well. Just as the correct answers in mathematics and the natural sciences lead to good results, the same applies in political questions. If people take a clear standpoint for their class, for revolution, and for communism, it is a good thing, and it is something that the enemy fears. Postmodernism’s thesis that “there exists no one truth” disarms proletarian youth and has the dampening of the class struggle as its task.
It is also important to mention that postmodernism is just one of several tools that the bourgeoisie has in using schools to their advantage. In many cases, one can find pure propaganda in schools. For instance, known myths about communism are repeated over and over, and the Norwegian “democratic” state is praised. And one learns more and more about “extremism” and other bourgeois ideas.
“Discursive texts” or “discursive articles” are text forms that play a big role in the school system. If one opts for source critique, but has a critical view of the school as a source, one quickly has a problem… If one investigates the concept, one finds that almost all sources that mention or describe this text form is connected to schools and Norwegian studies. It is not a text form in academia. It is not a text form that is used in the media. Nor is it used in the working world. In a “discursive text”, one is expected to write arguments both for and against a chosen (or assigned) topic and discuss the two sides. If one has too many arguments for one side of the issue, then according to the school system, one has not completed the task correctly. In practice, students must write things they do not agree with in order to pass. Sometimes, it may be necessary to not only write things one disagrees with, but to outright write lies. This serves neither science nor students. Arguments, not the truth, are central. Reality does not come complete with an equal number of arguments for and against it.
Source criticism is a powerful tool. It is a priceless tool for the study of for instance history, where it makes possible the use of written historical sources, despite the fact that almost everyone who has written history prior has done so according to their own agendas. Source criticism is a concept that is pulled into the gutter by the school system. It has gone from being a tool that uses critical thinking to evaluate sources, to a system that mechanically considers any and all sources to be more or less reliable. Certain types of sources from the system itself have been securely hammered by the system as “reliable”. The police, the state, the school, and so on are sources that are accepted without question. Bourgeois media and bourgeois academia is also considered to be highly reliable. Because postmodernism rejects the notion that there is such a thing as a correct answer, it therefore also rejects concepts about class standpoints. As a consequence, one of the most important factors in evaluating the reliability of sources has been ignored. The bourgeois state and media are considered reliable and “neutral”, while proletarian media and standpoints are seen as “too political” and therefore incapable of being neutral. This distorted variation of supposed source criticism has also seeped into bourgeois media. And therefore, one sees that, for instance, the police’s claims are often accepted and parroted by the media without question.
We often hear in school that one person’s liberator is another’s terrorist. And as always, that there are no correct answers. This is an insult to those who offer their lives in the struggle against fascism, in the struggle for national liberation, and in the peoples’ war for communism. The difference between these and imperialist and fascist terrorists does not depend on the viewpoint one considers. It is a class struggle, where there are two sides, and we know which side is correct.
Postmodernism in schools is not a problem that can be reformed away under capitalism, but can only be resolved through revolution. If schools in capitalism opt to claim that there are indeed correct answers, then they will never give them. Under capitalism, the choice is between a (liberal) postmodernist school or a fascist school that will in larger degrees than today force bourgeois ideas on students.
The school’s postmodernism is not as neutral as it proudly declares itself to be. Because to say that there is no correct answer is a lie. And this lie serves only the class that has power. It is a lie designed so that the youth become workers and go their entire lives having their life sucked out of them by the bourgeoisie without rebelling against the rotten system we are living in. Youth: take the standpoint of the proletariat and the standpoint for revolution and communism!
Text from Siraj on Postmodernism
Norwegian Language Curriculum
Social Studies Curriculum
Curriculum for KRLE