The National Union of Students is campaigning against the government's plan to triple university tuition fees as a way of making universities "competitive". If the campaign is determined enough you may be able to extract a few concessions. But even if you are successful in this the educational system will continue to function in basically the same way.
Education at present is primarily a means of training a labour force for the organisation of profit production in capitalist society. The dominating influence of exams and the increasingly commercial orientation of colleges and universities are expressions of this.
Education should be a social amenity for the development of an individual's talents – this it can never be under capitalism.
You need to look beyond the present campaign which, after all, is a campaign to try to stop things getting worse not to try to improve things. Instead of running fast to stay on the same spot campaigners now have to run fast so as not to slip back so much.
So how do we get off the treadmill ?
We Won't Get Fooled Again
Some people are advocating punishing the LibDems for the betrayal of their written election pledges. That's understandable but those who voted for them because of this will have learned by experience that all capitalist politicians are the same – not necessarily because they are dishonest careerists, but because they have to run the profit system where profits always have to come first. It's just that the LibDems thought they could get away with making wild promises because they never expected to be in government. Ignore them. They're just a waste of time like the Tories and the Labour Party.
In any event changing governments changes nothing. Reformist policies have failed abysmally.
The NUS have the right idea. Sort of.
Kick'em in the Ballot Box
We can demonstrate until we are blue in the face, but as long as the government keeps a firm hand on the state (the police and army), they will get their way in the end. So targeting Lib-Dem politicians and threatening them with electoral defeat is the surest way of putting on pressure.
But the question is, who will take their seats if they are ousted? Almost certainly another candidate that stands for cuts and austerity. Lib-Dems, Conservatives, Labour are all simply factions of the Capitalist Party, the party that supports a system that needs poverty and unemployment simply to exist. So we'll all be back on the streets protesting again.
Leaders Get Lost.
We need to get organised to use elections to not simply change personnel within the Capitalist Party, but to rid ourselves of the system that demands these cuts. If we stand together, we can drive away the owners of the world whose interests have created this crisis. We can abolish poverty and unemployment.
Free Access - It Ours for the Taking.
If we organise for common democratic control of the resources of the world, then not only education need be free, but food, clothing and housing. We can be free. We can get rid of lying leaders, and run our own communities in our own interests.
This can only be achieved by the conscious action of the majority of the working class – and that includes most students. The only way forward is a revolutionary change to a completely different society.
* World-wide common ownership of resources – not minority class ownership.
* Production to meet human need – not for private profit,
* Free access to goods and services – not the rationing of a monetary system,
* A free democratically run non-authoritarian non-compulsory educational system giving equal opportunity to all.
We urge you to join us in the fight to establish World Socialism.