Conditions of Production

Political Economy

Coercive Ideology

When “ideology” comes to term with the society, the process of implementation is often ambiguous and unclear. For instance, many wonder about the origin of ideology, such as who and what determines the boundaries and guidelines of a particular ideology. The concept of human beings having free will seems incomprehensible as Louis Althusser’s “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus” lays down the foundations of production, such as how production is being maintained and refined in the society. In one explanation, Althusser claims that one mechanism where ideology is installed is through cultural institutions, which generates the illusional reality that people have a sense of options and free will cooperation. As technology becomes more and more dominant in the society, mass media had taken the grand opportunity to take a platform that provides major exposures to the public. Thus, ideologies are spread through media as a way of enforcing submission, especially in the field of education and labor; more so, the features of ideology is portrayed through exploitations and subordinations related to production — a repressed state where people cooperate with the imminent belief that they are given the choice to make their own decisions.

Students Study

Althusser makes a distinctive example through allowing the readers to paint an image of children going to see. When children go to school, the educational system works to teach techniques and knowledges, but also learns the various norms of the society. Children learn how to behave well, such as understanding the norms and deviances of the society. Therefore, Althusser concludes that through such instances of submission through education, “To put this more scientifically, I shall say that the reproduction of labour power requires … a reproduction of its submission to the rules of the established order, i.e. a reproduction of submission to the ruling ideology for the workers…” (133). In other words, this phrase determines a repressed state, where ideologies are taught beginning with school children. Children learn at a very young age that there are established rules and orders, and this type of manipulation to obtain the ideology also pertains to placing these school children as the working class, rather than elevating to the ruling class.

Critical Thinking

Since education is a topic, the criticisms that exist in the educational institution have been focused on the negative consequences of simply teaching school children basic knowledge and the norms, generating a generation of robots and like-minded human beings. The Guardian’s “In an Age of Robots, Schools are Teaching Our Children to Be Redundant” by George Monbiot criticizes the educational system as being suppressive, as it destroys the future of the young generations by being fed with ideologies. Minbiot states that education should be teaching students abut critical thinking, socialization, and collaboration. Yet, these are the very elements that factories and companies destroy. Minbiot states that “As far as relevance and utility are concerned, we might as well train children to operate a spinning jenny. Our school teach skills that are no only redundant but counter-productive. Our children suffer this life-defying, dehumanizing system for nothing”. Precisely, to teach school children redundant materials is not generating autonomy, but a school of robots that submit to an established order.

News Media

Whereas school children are limited in what is directly and indirectly taught to them, learning about the ideologies of how to fit in the world like every other individual, the labor market also shows the suppression through production. The worldview, or the society’s ideology, is shaped by propaganda, where America’s news media outlets are influenced by the market and political force, such as the State that enforces the submission. Walter Laferber’s “Whose News?” published by The New York Times examines the corporate community and the government, which Laferber argues that “have systemically misled Americans about the stance and morality of our foreign policies”. In turn, the statement shows that the forces of the economic political conditions is what generates the ideologies that Americans begin to learn and be exposed to the moment they face the institutions in the society, such as through education. The social order is secretly enforced continuously, such as John C. Oliga’s Power, Ideology, and Control that shows that the means of production stems from the ability for the employers to exploit, isolate, and manipulate the labor class in forming the ideologies and establishing a set of norms, with “monopolistic restriction, regulation, and restraint” . Therefore, ideology is established through production.

Starting with children being enforced in school and learning about the ideologies of how to appropriately behave and act in the society, in the field of labor, also shows that subordination enforces ideology through the means of submission and exploitation. The conditions of production has dictated the ideologies installed in the society; and reproducing such conditions has never been easier through the channels such as education.

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