In last week’s Militant we ran a statement by Los Angeles Socialist Workers Party candidates Dennis Richter for City Council District 12 and Laura Garza for School Board calling for solidarity with the teachers strike there.
But we introduced an error. In describing the reality of education under capitalism, the statement said that “the ruling rich are only interested in a learning system that inculcates discipline and rewards following orders.”
It should have said “obedience,” not “discipline.” It’s not a small difference. “The employing class doesn’t need for us to be disciplined. Obedience on the job, yes; discipline in life, no,” Socialist Workers Party National Secretary Jack Barnes writes in Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? “In fact, indiscipline in life puts us more in their grasp.”
Discipline is absolutely essential for working people to unite and organize effectively against the blows of the bosses and their government, and to build a mass popular movement capable of taking political power.