Compare and Contrast: Education Today… and Education In the New Socialist Republic of Tomorrow

Bringing Forward Generations of Critical Thinkers Who Pursue—and Find—the Truth

The U.S. today rages with debate over what is true—and whether truth even exists. On COVID, global warming, the evolution of life, the history of Black people in this country, and many other issues, there is a whole half of society which insists on a set of “alternative facts”—that is, lies—to refute and ignore well-established truths that have been scientifically established. They have their own school systems that teach these lies, their own media that echo and reinforce them, and they are now passing laws in the states they control to enforce these lies in the public schools and universities (see "The Fight Against the White Supremacist Whitewash and Fascist Suppression of Historical Truth," Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). They are previewing the kind of society they will enforce should they succeed in their goal of fundamentally taking over society.

Ranged against them are liberals and some who call themselves radical who all too often these days may “follow the science” on some of these questions, but then insist that truth itself is “relative”—that is, there is no real way to definitively prove that one theory is basically true, another is utterly false, and while yet a third may be partially true.

The question is: can a society actually bring forward generations that are able to think critically and ascertain what is true and what is false?  And the answer is, very definitively and truly(!) YES.

Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

 

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, shows how that would actually happen—on the basis of a revolutionary seizure of power by millions, led by a communist vanguard.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic addresses education starting on page 31 and goes into four very substantial points on this. (Compare this to the U.S. Constitution, which says… nothing about education.) This section begins with the basic point that all education will be public and compulsory and will give people not only the skills they need but will also provide a “grounding in the natural and social sciences, as well as art and culture and other spheres, and in the ability to work with ideas in general...” Advanced education will be at public expense. This education will be done in a way that aims to overcome the antagonism between mental and manual work, “which is deeply rooted in the development of societies marked by oppressive and exploitative relations and which is itself a potential source of such relations...”

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic  also discusses the need for students to “learn deeply about the reality of, and the basis for, the oppression of whole peoples, and the domination and oppression of women, in [what will be] the former imperialist USA and throughout the world”—for the purpose of overcoming those relations of oppression. And, as an expression of the same fundamental commitment to eliminate all such oppression by the society as a whole, all education will be conducted in Spanish and English and in areas in which there are other languages which significant numbers of people have as their first language, there will be a similar commitment.

So all these subsections (1 through 3) of the section on education are very foundational and should definitely be read. But here we want to focus, again, on what the new educational system will do to bring forward students who can seek out and ascertain the truth, and move to change society on the basis of what is true. This is developed in point 4, and because this is such a fundamental and burning question, we’re going to reprint the entire opening paragraph of this subsection.

4. The educational system in the New Socialist Republic in North America must enable people to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, and in this way to continually learn about the world and be better able to contribute to changing it in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity. To this end, in the study of human society and its historical development, and in the social as well as the natural sciences in general, the pursuit of the truth, through the accumulation of facts and empirical evidence and the synthesis of this through logical reasoning and rational discourse, including the testing of ideas against reality, shall be the objective and standard. Scientific and other theories which have met these criteria and have been clearly confirmed and validated through the scientific method (such as evolution, which is one of the most soundly confirmed and well established facts in all of science) shall be presented as what they are–true and valid understanding of reality–and shall serve as a foundation from which to proceed in further learning about and changing the world, while at the same time the ongoing application of the scientific method shall be fostered and supported in order to continue learning more about the dynamics of processes such as evolution and the natural-material world in general. The dialectical materialist understanding that all of reality consists of matter in motion, of various kinds, and nothing else, and the application of this understanding and approach to all spheres of natural and social science shall be the foundation and “solid core” of education. At the same time, as an application of “elasticity on the basis of a solid core,” there shall be provision for other, opposing viewpoints to be presented, including by ardent advocates of those viewpoints, as a part of the overall curriculum and general education. In this regard, too, the orientation of pursuing the truth and the determination of whether something does or does not correspond to objective reality as the standard and criterion of truth, should be applied, while at the same time encouraging an atmosphere in which new and unconventional ideas are not suffocated or suppressed but instead are seriously engaged, with a recognition of the fact that it has been the case throughout history, and will remain the case in the future, that truth is often “in the hands of a minority” and that this applies in particular to newly discovered understanding of reality.

Think about it. And since this article is focused on people being trained to be able to discover the truth of things, read this part again:

In this regard, too, the orientation of pursuing the truth and the determination of whether something does or does not correspond to objective reality as the standard and criterion of truth, should be applied, while at the same time encouraging an atmosphere in which new and unconventional ideas are not suffocated or suppressed but instead are seriously engaged, with a recognition of the fact that it has been the case throughout history, and will remain the case in the future, that truth is often “in the hands of a minority” and that this applies in particular to newly discovered understanding of reality.      

Subsection 4 goes on to discuss the policy and orientation for education in the realm of art and culture and the need to “foster an atmosphere that promotes and stimulates imagination, creativity and a wide diversity of artistic and other creations, and a healthy wrangling of over ideas and viewpoints.”

And it goes on to conclude the section with the following:

While there must be a definite foundation and “solid core” in the educational system, as discussed above; and while the Revolutionary Communist Party will actively and vigorously promote its viewpoint and program throughout society; there should at the same time be available not only to students but to the broader population a rich storehouse of political and philosophical, scientific, historical, artistic and other works, expressing and reflecting a diversity of viewpoints. This is an important, indeed indispensable part of enabling students, and the people broadly, to be stimulated, sustained and enriched intellectually and culturally and to pursue the truth wherever it leads with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, and in this way to continually learn about the world and be better able to contribute to changing it in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity.

So, again, think about it. Wouldn’t that be a society worth living in? And wouldn’t it be well worth it—and crucial, given the burning question posed by a society awash in religious ignorance and relativist agnosticism at a time when the truth has never been more crucial to our survival—to fight with all your heart to bring that new world into being?

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