You can’t pursue any kind of inquiry without a relatively clear framework that’s directing your search and helping you choose what’s significant and what isn’t… If you don’t have some sort of a framework for what matters—always, of course, with the proviso that you’re willing to question it if it seems to be going in the wrong direction.
You have to know how to evaluate, interpret, and understand…And cultivating that capacity to seek what’s significant, always willing to question whether you’re on the right track—that’s what education is going to be about, whether it’s using computers and the Internet, or pencil and paper, or books.
Passing tests doesn’t begin to compare with searching and inquiring and pursuing topics that engage us and excite us. That’s far more significant than passing tests and, in fact, if that’s the kind of educational career you’re given the opportunity to pursue, you will remember what you discovered.
"Take Canada and the United States, very similar societies. Canada has a functioning national healthcare system. The United States is alone in the industrial world in that it doesn’t. Part of the reason for that is the difference in the ways the unions acted. If you go back to the initiation of the healthcare system in Canada came from the labor unions. Except, what they fought for is healthcare for everyone. The American unions fought for healthcare for themselves… The unions were willing to just trust management. Since we’re all in it together, you guys will take care of us. Well, you can see what happened. Management decides, "Sorry, game’s over." They ended up with nothing…
"…[That’s] part of the reason why there’s such a constant effort to try to malign and undermine social security. For example, a lot of young people think that it’s unfair that they have to pay for elderly people… Social security takes money from working people and gives it to elderly people. Now, any civilized society would say that’s very fair. They were working, they took care of you when you were young, why shouldn’t you take care of them when they’re old? This sense of immoralism is really driven into people.
"In fact, a lot of young people think they’ll never get social security because they’re drowned in propaganda about how the system’s collapsing but it’s as healthy as it ever is… There’s a constant effort to privatize it, get rid of it, and I think part of the reason is that social security is residue of that sense of community that was alive in the 30s. You really should take care of each other. Form the CIO, that’s for everybody, not just me. Labor slogans are: Solidarity, not: I Gotta Get What I Want. Social security fortifies it. It relies on it, and also fortifies it. From the point of view of the class warriors in the business world, that’s dangerous. You really want people to be atomized. If they’re atomized, they’re controlled. You can’t control people by force anymore, but you can get them to focus on nothing but maxing out five credit cards, okay you got them under control. They don’t talk to anybody. They have no ideas. They don’t think you can do anything. If you want to talk about American exceptionalism, that’s what it is."
"It’s always good idea to start by asking about the facts. Whenever you hear something said very confidently the first thing that should come to mind is, Wait a minute, is that true?"
"They feel themselves to be very free - and indeed they are - as long as they conform."
"Well, that’s the effect of good propaganda: getting people not to think in terms of their own interests, let alone the interest of communities and the class they’re part of."
"I don’t understand how people can talk about “free trade” with a straight face. Apart from the transparent violations of free trade built into the World Trade Organization rules-monopolistic pricing guarantees that go far beyond anything in economic history, for example-what does it mean for political entities that rely crucially on the dynamic state sector for economic development (like the US) to enter into “free trade agreements”?"
"Short-term considerations of profit and power quite often tend to overwhelm longer-term considerations of security and welfare, even for your own children."