The Alienation of Marxmensip (Reply to /u/KulakRevolt)

What We Don't Teach

You have a piece of equipment that, no matter what you think of it, is the core of power and political relations (not to mention bushcraft) in the modern era

Let's look at the American Civil War for a bit. Why did the Union win the American Civil War? Untrained Northerners were inferior in rifle skills and bushcraft --- the NRA was actually founded by Northern veterans who were dismayed by the inferior marksmanship of the typical Northern recruit. In the end, none of that mattered; the brute power of the Northern industrial economy overwhelmed the South in a war of attrition. And even though you can't win a war without infantry, you can't win a conventional war with just infantry. Wikipedia cites a claim (which I find plausible, but would like to investigate further) that the majority of combat deaths in the World Wars were caused by artillery. The doctrine of combined arms relies on the ability of an advanced industrial economy to produce the force multipliers (artillery, armor, close air support) that truly make the difference in modern warfare.

Intermediate First Aid, Camping Skills, Land Navigation (basic Topo map reading), radio use, Cold-Calling, Basic Watercraft operating, advanced Outlook skills, Using basic Excel, and yes firearms safety

The implication of this is that most of these skills are just not important --- not to individuals, and not to a society. The Boy Scouts basically just LARP the Boer War. (Yes, we still need infantrymen who can shoot, but we need fewer of them than ever and I don't see much evidence that we can't teach it to 18-year-old recruits from scratch. Anecdotally, infantry volunteers who grew up without guns do just fine in boot camp --- they have less to unlearn.)

As I understand it, this is one of the referents of the Marxist concept of alienation of labor: under conditions of modernity, the optimal way to grow food or build furniture or win wars is going to be something weird and inhuman. We just have to suck it up. And sure, we can use some of the surplus to go LARP in the woods on weekends. But just because it feels like survival doesn't make it so.

Anyway, yeah, as long as the building trades remain poorly automated we should probably teach more shop classes.