Child Labor and Education Systems

Following up on last week’s post on children and GDP, here’s a good post from The View from Hell about children and production: “Children, Education, and Status.” It supports the claim (that I hold) that people are having less children because of education, despite the government practically begging people to procreate via financial and social benefits, in order to continue the pyramid scheme of capitalist production: infinite growth, no matter the limits of reality.

From the post:

In summary, children used to be:

  • hard working and helpful, especially at the work of raising a large family;
  • self-sufficient at an early age;
  • submissive to adults;
  • the only path to adult status

Education, specifically Western education promoting democratic values, interferes with children’s work and their parents’ expectations for their work. It makes them more dependent on their parents, and makes them less likely to be servile and submissive to parents. And education itself provides an alternate means of achieving adult status other than having children. In the presence of these conditions, the demand for children is apparently low.

In other words, children used to be the producers of labor, and now, because of education systems, they become the consumers of labor: the next generation of recently graduated young professionals, who want—no, need—the latest gadget made by the subsequent generation of kids, toiling away in overseas factories.

So wait, actually, rethinking this: education turns one generation of kids in one part of the world from labor to consumer, while simultaneously producing the need for more child labor from a different generation elsewhere, completing the circle of the original intent of schools: to turn independent, playful people into both the manufacturers of and the occupants of cubicles.

But if education is contributing to a decreasing birthrate, it can’t be all that bad?




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