The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner—A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door & Downfall:
The Case Against Boeing

Feb 28, 2022

Book: A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School, by Schneider and Berkshire, 2020

This book clearly lays out the multi-faceted attacks on public education, teachers, and their unions. Chapter by chapter it shows how billionaires like Betsy DeVos, David Koch, and Rupert Murdoch, to name a few, have for decades systematically attacked public schools, by privatization, deregulation, right-to-work, and standardization, seeking the taxpayer funds for their own corporations while starving the schools. These attacks have resulted in larger class sizes, more online learning, less qualified teachers, less music, art, and recess, and more students dropping out.

Film: Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, streaming on Netflix, 2022

This documentary shows how Boeing changed over the decades, to a company that more and more made decisions to squeeze out as much profit as they could, at all costs, resulting in the two crashes of the 737 Max that killed 346 people. The film says this race for ever increasing profit started with a merger in 1997, but the changes depicted in the film, the speedup and the decrease in quality control, are the same that we see in auto, health care, etc., and started way back in the 1970s and 1980s. The film does not even mention the huge shift to outsourcing (52% either to nonunion domestic plants or to cheaper foreign manufacturers, as of 1995). The film does interview many disgusted workers in the Boeing plants. There are also interviews of relatives and spouses of the people that died in crashes, and it explains how in cutting costs, Boeing made decisions that killed hundreds. Decisions that, with government complicity, would have killed even more if the uproar had not grounded the 737 Max.