Literacy is Communism (Literally)


While it would be temping for me to make a Polish joke about Mr. Kozlowski, and would be covered under the “you can make ethnic slurs about your own ethnic group exemption,” Polish jokes have their origins in Nazi propaganda and should never be used for any reason. Besides, Mr. Kozlowski, who’s a professor of Mathematics at the University of Warsaw, a dual British Polish citizen, and a self-proclaimed “Zionist” is just saying the quiet part out loud. He’s suggesting that the American ruling class, which is getting increasingly worried that they can no longer control the working class through the lie of upward mobility and the meritocracy, use the old Eastern European method of controlling the peasants. Keep them illiterate and ignorant.

Andrzej Kozlowski is no fan of Bernie Sanders, who he repeatedly compares to a disease. He decided to add his unwanted two cents to the discourse around the Democratic Party primaries when the corporate media started to red bait Sanders over his praise for Fidel Castro’s literacy program. Under Castro, Cubans, who are mostly black or mixed race, became the most literate people in Latin America. Even accounting for how some of the figures are probably Cuban government propaganda, it’s still an impressive achievement. Of course, Bernie Sanders is not suggesting that the United States move in the authoritarian direction of the Castro years. I doubt the American ruling class would have much trouble with “communist authoritarianism only capitalist” anyway. After all, they outsourced American manufacturing to China. What scares them is Sanders’s plan to reduce spending on the military industrial complex and funnel the money into healthcare and education, to institute a system of Medicare for all and debt forgiveness for student loans.

In the 1960s, the American public university system, that grew out of the Morrill Act, signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, and the GI Bill, became the base for the last mass democratic uprising. By 1970, the anti-war movement, which had started at elite schools like the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, had “trickled down” to working class institutions like Kent State. The ruling class, terrified by what Samuel Huntington would later call “the crisis of democracy” — “crisis” meaning “too much” — moved to reign in access to higher education. My generation, the Boomer X generation born between 1960 and 1968, were the first to feel the pinch. Mostly it was cultural. Fraternities became cool again. Politically apathy and cynicism was encouraged. Careerism was the order of the day. Brett Kavenaugh, the most perfect representative of the Boomer X generation, currently sits on the Supreme Court. In the 1990s and the 2000s, encouraged by the wide availability of student loans, private college raised tuition rates. Public colleges, deciding it was easier to place the burden on the students rather than raise taxes, quickly followed. By 2008 and the great recession, an entire generation, saddled with massive student debt, couldn’t even think about going to protests. The brief anti-capitalist explosion during Occupy Wall Street was largely organized by recent college graduates who had nothing to lose. Even if they had wanted to pay off their student loans, there were no jobs anyway.

Andrzej Kozlowski’s traditional Catholic fascism is hilariously out of date. Salazar’s Portugal, Franco Spain, De Valera’s Ireland, and the Quebec of Maurice Duplessis aren’t coming back. But that doesn’t mean the American ruling class isn’t thinking about how they’re going to keep the peasants ignorant and brainwashed. Free Polish vodka would be nice, but my guess is that our lords and masters are much too cheap to get us drunk. What’s more, even Americans are a bit too smart for someone who says the quiet part out loud. Upper-middle-class Americans love their “good” (all white) schools. The black and Hispanic neoliberal elites can’t give up the illusion of the meritocracy, the idea that as long as you get good grades you might get that house in the suburbs and those “good” schools for your own kids. Jews and Asians aren’t going to keep their kids ignorant just because a few of them might become Bernie Bros. What the American ruling class needs is a way to keep the peasants down while still maintaining the illusion that the system is liberal and democratic.

Enter Amy Klobuchar. I’m not of course comparing her to Mr. Kozlowski, even though she is the only East European in the race,  but she has been consistent in her arguments that the last thing we all need is more higher education. What we need, she maintains, are more plumbers.

The other issue is we don’t have enough personnel. And so that’s where we get to this education plan.. And I don’t want agree with some of my colleagues here about putting hard-earned taxpayer money into rich kids going to college. What I think we need to do instead is look at what our needs are in our economy.

We’re going to have a million openings for home health care workers, particularly in rural areas, that we don’t know how to fill. We’re going to have over 100,000 openings for nursing assistants. We’re not going to have a shortage of sports marketing degrees. We’re going to have a shortage of plumbers and nurses.

8 thoughts on “Literacy is Communism (Literally)

  1. Bawb Cawx

    Somebody’s shortage is somebody else’s forced labor, without benefits, health care, etc. The Precariate is working hard filling shortages that don’t pay a living wage – particularly low-level heath care workers who are just diaper-changers and bathers.

  2. Bawb Cawx

    I know a little bit about “The Fall of Rome” and the ends of Athens, and that there are no Empires still around from long ago – the lesson being that human empires, including multiple Chinese “dynasties” have always dissolved in the sands of time.
    Currently, USA views itself as a world power, its massive military able to make policy in many places around the world. Russia, too, previously seen in USA as a threat of promotion of communism globally, still regarded as a threat with Vladimir Putin’s expansionist policy very much like Trump’s “Make America Great”, as Putin tries to re-glorify Russia’s position in the world. China has had exponential growth that has propelled it into another world power. Now USA Pentagon spokespersons speak of “Great Power Competition” as these 3 large nations with their nuclear arsenals can “extort” any desired behavior from smaller “satellites” with bully policies.
    A new “colonialism” is evolving as these 3 leaders practice their geo-political gamesmanship.
    In Canada, we are in an interesting position: USA at our southern border AND perched in Alaska, which is just across the Bering Strait from Russia, Russia also being across the Arctic Ocean, with China further from our western shores. These three powers can certainly be jealous of our resources, and of course USA has been very involved in resource extraction in Canada for many years. China, with a lot of cash on hand, has bought into Canadian infrastructures, as well. Frankly, I think Canada is awash in foreign agents working on “deals” for more “investments” that become hegemonic control issues that Canada should be wary of – especially from those three “Empire-wannabes”, on which I want to comment…
    IF – we know that empires fail
    – and many pundits agree that USA is declining in reach as the Chinese move forward and Russia flits about in various countries,
    – instead of a competition between these very arrogant “empire-builders”, the rest of civilization must join together to keep the three under control.
    – First measure being: Throw USA, China and Russia OFF the UN Security Council and throw a wrench in plans for ANY empire, anywhere on this planet, where not a single human being, with enough knowledge, would EVER choose to be a “NEW” serf, slave or colonial.
    IF – that be true, then let us ALL build a whole world without divisions and suspicions. Human beings are very intelligent, our history has rewarded us with the riches of many technologies and infrastructures of existence that the ancients didn’t even dream of. Imagine “the choices” humanity has made to arrive at this material level of abundance.
    BUT – we have squandered so much in Wars, wrecking vast areas over and over again, expending vast material and killing many millions. Imagine all the choices, made by humans, that made so much mayhem, only because of some “idea” of jealousy like Cain, some suspicion of fear, some need to acquire more resources because yours have failed. Fighting is always available. Choosing NOT to fight is always available, which is the most easy, because NOT fighting means you can do something else. We have populations of over 75 million refugees running from violence. Who are the haters, the ones with the guns, the bombers, who think that force against other humans is an easy game with weapons in their hands? You can easily kill people with guns, etc. Easy Choice. But if humans are adept at choosing, why choose violence? Can we not build ethics – like NO to slaves not free, NO to Indigenous not inhuman savages, NO to women not being persons? Haven’t we done that? (Quite a bit, not entirely – but we are trying).
    Can we TRY not being killers? We made (by a huge, combined choice) the United Nations. We are trying.
    BUT – the manufacture of more and better weaponry (from field mines to nuclear missiles) only makes the “choice” of hate and war more likely, and sellers of arms want customers to buy and USE those arms, suggesting the choice of armed aggression is the ANSWER…
    BUT – that answer is wrong, just like Nazis at Nuremburg, it’s wrong. No killing is “useful”. Or “justified” – because YOU have the weapon.
    So, let’s just STOP the Empire-Building entirely – NO deals for empires consolidating “hegemony” of nuclear bombs. NO acceptance of multi-national corporate empires using “the sovereign forces” of Canada to impose industrial colonization on OUR country. The choices are obvious. IF the thirteen colonies despised the British Empire for being an empire, then why become the same villainous slavers of nuclear arms conquest of nations around the globe???

    1. John Thurloe

      Greetings fellow denizen of the Great White North. Site of WWIII. I completely concur with your many criticisms of the USA and off aggressive ’empire building’. However I see no basis for making an equivalency between the US and Russia in particular. The latter narrowly avoided complete re-colonization and the scale of military projection of power is unmatched. Russia is just circling its wagons. The only thing that restrains the US is the potential of Russia and China.

      It would be nice is another thing that acted to restrain the Elites was the mobilized force of its dissatisfied population. As in when everyone had a Yellow Vest and was organized to take measures in hand. At least, such forces are indeed assembling here and there. To stop foreign wars start one at home.

  3. John Thurloe

    Andy, Andy, Andy. Here we have a perfectly formed Imperial toad. “Dr Andrzej Kozłowski is the editor-in-chief of the biggest portal on cybersecurity and information warfare:”
    and “a security expert at the Pulaski Foundation and the Warsaw Institute for Strategic Initiatives”.
    Here’s Andy running an interview at “…in the White Paper there is a clear statement mentioning Russian actions against Ukraine as the largest threat to Slovakia, or one of the largest. Are you going support and contribute the strengthening of the NATO Eastern Flank?”

    Yes, Andy boy is a full-time, long-term Russia, Putin, Socialism hater and biggie booster of NATO, American wars, and profiting from the Yankee nickle by posing as your classic disgruntled eastern European. So, of course Andy wants to impress his paymasters by getting out there with punchy quotes about – well, anything will do really. Because whatever stupidity Andy belches for with will get due circulation the Der Angriff’s of the west.

    Probably, he just gets one of his grad students to do up the rant.

    1. srogouski Post author

      I think that’s a different Kozlowski. He looks too young.

      This is the anti-literacy Kozlowski.

      Racist old bearded uncle Kozlowksi has a full collection of neoconservative propaganda.

      Guy loves Israel but he also loves to compare our favorite Jewish leftist to a virus.

      Reading his feed reminds me of the Pro Or Not guys the Washington Post was shilling for after the election in 2016 but my guess is those guys are Ukrainian Nazis. The Washington Post never revealed their identity.

    1. srogouski Post author

      My paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Kozlowski. It’s a pretty common name. The one guy looks like he’s in his early 30s. The other guy looks much older. I suppose the US government and Likud spends a lot of money cultivating anti-Russian neocons in Poland. So there could be more than one


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