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  • Salim Mokaddem

School failure and success in political domination

Is there an isomorphism of structure and practical actions in the discourse on the virtues of tutoring? Does positive discrimination have effects of inclusion or symbolic legitimization of failure? Is there a historical logic of failure and success at school for children from colonial immigration?


The language of schooling is reversible in that of colonization.

It is legitimate to wonder about the current school dropout linked to this misnamed “educational continuity”. Indeed, more discontinuous and differentiated in its effects, modalities, ends and causes than the fashionable expressions say, such as this bloated and grotesque "learning society", school continuity via digital technology and distance learning have revived questions of the digital divide and real inequalities in access to the cognitive Internet. The social and school map says a lot about the logics of exclusion and inclusion produced and promoted by the School. It is still relevant, without leftist ideological tension, to question the role that the republican institution of education has been made to play in terms of maintaining social shame, conflicts of loyalty, and feelings of illegitimacy of access to positive social class promotion. Dropping out of school is in fact overdetermined by social position and cannot be thought of without the logics of identity confinement and community assignment with which the school affirms its political role in order to better repress the reality of its way of being and act in daily pedagogical, institutional and discursive practices.


Talking about secularism, for example, instead of listening to the words of children traumatized by confinement, is a strategy, to date obsolete, of repressing these political and historical questions.


It has been more than 60 years since Frantz Fanon, Kateb Yacine, and, later, Abdelmalek Sayad, sounded the alarm in this regard: the University, the academic world, in the broad sense, have never makes their self-criticism of the facts of active participation in the Nazi Collaboration and of the acquiescence to racist logics of hierarchization of cultures and civilizations - on the contrary to the business world recaptured in its time by the Gaullist policy of the myth of "liberated France by so-called "free" France, while leading the rest of the colonial wars in Asia and Africa. This explains the colonialist-type logics and violent attitudes aimed at target populations at the heart of our universities and our education system. Let us cite a few effects of these biased practices: school ghettoization, selection by access to housing, logic of glass ceilings; denial of research funding for “racialized” categories of people; harassment and cabals to put certain people in tragic difficulties, etc. All these deleterious effects have affected the quality of (non-)recruitment and research themes. When will there be a rigorous historian's article on all these professors who went through the colonial war, Pétainism, Active Collaboration, and who remained in post until the end of their "brilliant" career? When will an archaeological work, in the sense of Foucault, on these colonial professors, reassigned to the University, the French high schools and colleges, and who have never denied their racism and their fascist vision of history that they have been able to practice at leisure in all areas of their professional practice?


I find it quite surprising that the Zep, Rep, and Rep+ always have the effect of reproducing exclusions from educational pathways and legitimizing these exclusions on the pretext of positive discrimination. Similarly, the policies of cities producing de facto suburbs and sensitive areas, by playing on a sectorization of social misery and the confinement of populations from colonized worlds in an era of residential assignment (ghettoization), express these determinations of war continued up to and including in non-military and police sectors: school, work, professional career, access to housing, credit, etc.


All this is well known and already written by thoughtful sociologists, philosophers and even psychoanalysts (not followers of the sect of the golden calf of the new church of the significant saint of epistemological psittacism).


Let us therefore propose that our governments be composed, in equal parts, of representatives of the real components of civil society. Money and educational background do not rigorously determine political and ethical qualities. We bet that at least the logics of equity and democratic geometry will better measure the access to freedom of peoples than the logics of reproduction of the accumulation of capital and the paths taken in suspicious schools (Ena, Ens, and other breeding grounds and reception basins for the heirs of the colony).


It is always crucial to choose our masters carefully: because those of the day will undoubtedly be the producers of those of tomorrow.

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