To the Editor:
Up until Ronald Reagan was elected Governor, public education through college was free for any citizen of California. One could call it socialist education, an entitlement program that benefited anyone wishing to become better educated. As the “Question Authority” and Free Speech movements and the anti-Viet Nam war protests grew on college campuses, the Conservative sentiment became “education is not for the masses” and must be relegated to a select few, easily manageable and fully buying into the status quo and America’s self-image, and the push has been to render higher education increasingly more expensive and privatized. What better way to ensure compliant behavior is there than to have everyone indebted to the financial industries? There is a lot of braggadocio about the “freedoms” inherent in capitalism, but being constantly indentured, be it to a bank or, for that matter, to “must-have” telecommunication services, does not seem much like true freedom. The great irony is that the emphasis on the monetary value of education, in reality, only cheapens its true value, both to an individual and to society at large. Call it socialism, if you must, but like healthcare and retirement planning, education should not be placed so heavily under the thumb of for-profit institutions.