The UK government has banned schools from using materials produced by anti-capitalist groups in England. In a cleverly disguised way, it has linked anti-capitalism resources with the promotion of racism and anti-Semitic language, as well as to the opposition to free speech.
But, by banning schools from using resources from anti-capitalist groups, the government is restricting our right to free speech with the refusal to encourage open discussions on what capitalism actually means.
Whether you are anti-capitalist or not, it can’t be disputed that capitalism unfairly benefits some whilst oppressing others. The government shouldn’t take away our rights to challenge the systems that shape our lives.
Former shadow chancellor John McDowell said, “this drift towards extreme Conservative authoritarianism is gaining pace and should worry anyone who believes that democracy requires freedom of speech and an educated populace.” This definitely shows that banning the use of resources from anti-capitalist groups is a form of censorship, as it prevents discussions in the classroom where students are free to express their opinions.
It would also block teachers from teaching a huge portion of our history, and our politics, leaving no room other than to talk about Conservatism in Britain. McDowell also mentioned, “On this basis it will be illegal to refer to large tracts of British history and politics including the history of British socialism, the Labour Party and trade unionism, all of which have at different times advocated the abolition of capitalism.”
The promotion of capitalism clearly benefits the Conservative government; it will preserve our current systems and prevent any scrutiny
We have to question the motives that have driven the government to decide to enforce this. They mentioned that it was to prevent the promotion of the abolition of democracy and the end to free and fair elections. Aside from this, the promotion of capitalism clearly benefits the Conservative government; it will preserve our current systems and prevent any scrutiny.
Will enforcing capitalist views in schools prevent young people from becoming more left wing? This is unlikely, since there is such a vast amount of resources across the internet and social media. Accessibility to information is pretty easy. This law just pushes our society towards an Orwellian era, which is very undemocratic in itself; therefore highlighting the irony and hypocrisy of the government.
This law could be seen as a subtle step towards an extreme right-wing authoritarian shift in British politics and government
Are they trying to create a totalitarian state where no one can oppose the government? This seems extreme, but then again, banning the use of anti-capitalist materials in schools could definitely be classed as extreme. This law could be seen as a subtle step towards an extreme right-wing authoritarian shift in British politics and government.
This legislation has come at a time when capitalism is facing criticism on its part in upholding systemic racism, the growing gap between the rich and poor, and whether it can withstand the risks of the pandemic and climate change. In preventing the teaching of different political systems, we face censorship when it is now more important than ever to hear voices from minority groups.
This also links with the government’s response to the petition that pushed for Britain’s colonial past to be taught in the UK’s curriculum; “we do not believe there is a need to take this action as the option to teach this topic exists.”
Clearly, this shows the government’s desperation to preserve their power within the status-quo. The more the government frantically tries to censor and shape our political views, the more likely that young people will feel the need to rebel and push for change.
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