School. The one thing teenagers dread the most. For eight hours of the day, 180 days of the year, we are confined within the steel bars of these indoctrination centers, forced to learn a pre-approved curriculum with very little variations allowed. The parallels between the American public school system and oppressive totalitarian regimes are both uncanny and worrisome.
The school administration established the puppet government that is known as ASB (Associated Student Body), to give the populous of the school the illusion that they have a say on the affairs of the regime. The regime stages so-called free elections, which are more popularity contests than they are actual elections. The electorate does not know the position of the candidates, nor knows what they are going to do different than the previous puppet government. The elections are anything but close; for the most part, there is one or two candidates per position and it often comes down to whoever has the most money and/or party influence (popularity). Nothing the ASB puppet government does is law unless approved by the higher ups, including our Dear Leader (often called the “principal”) and his council (the vice and assistant principals).
Freedom of both speech and the press is heavily restricted. The school newspaper, much like the state media, is heavily monitored and anything written must first be approved by an instructor and the regime reserves full rights to not publish anything that is deemed “offensive” or “inappropriate”, both of which often arbitrarily defined. The regime also reserves the right of prior restraint to prevent any unfavorable material to be produced in the newspaper.
The regime also forces its members to adhere to a certain dress and conduct code. When a party member does not fall in line with the dress and/or conduct code of the regime, the regime will send its form of the secret police, called security, to neutralize you as a threat and force you to change into more party-appropriate clothing.
Despite the fact that both technology and social media are seeping into every facet of life and society, the regime frowns upon the use of cellphones during instruction time. These primitive and barbarian restrictions are clearly an anachronism in a society in which is increasingly becoming more and more technological savvy. Instead of encouraging proper use of technology and social media in the indoctrination rooms (often referred to as classrooms), they outright ban them. This is an indication that the regime does not want its party members to have contact with the outside world or to the virtually endless well of knowledge that is the internet.
Our Dear Leader and his council often stage what are referred to as “rallies”, which are very similar to military parades and political rallies that totalitarian governments (such as North Korea and Nazi Germany) stage to flex their military and political might. During these rallies, everyone is required to attend and many are also encouraged to wear the party color (purple in the case of Ernest Righetti High School) in order to be fully assimilated into the culture. Many times, the reasons for these rallies are before a big sporting event, such as the football (American) match between our dear Ernest Righetti Warriors and our mortal enemies from across the street, the St. Joseph Knights. In a sense, it is very much like preparing the students to go to war with an opposing nation.
Why do we hate them so much? No one really knows, it’s just something we are indoctrinated to believe from the time we first set foot into the confines of the oppressive land we call school. We just know that they embody everything that we are against. This is much like the propaganda that many totalitarian governments have spread to pit one their society against another, or against a minority group, simply because we do not share the same beliefs that we do. This can be seen in the treatment of the Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, crippled, mentally retarded, and anyone else deemed inferior by the Nazis and also the Red Scare that gripped the United States for the better part of the 20th century. The denizens of Nazi Germany did not know why they hated these minority groups other than what their government told them.
This blind, unreasonable hatred is a result of indoctrination that comes as a result of the course work we take. We are taught things that don’t interest us and when we ask why are we learning this, we are met with a scowl and a simple answer of “because”. The instructors do not ask or allow student input on what they are doing. The “teachers” give us very strict guidelines which we must follow in order to succeed; if we do not fully follow these guidelines, we are destined to fail. Curiosity and individuality is frowned upon; if you do not conform to the norms of the party, such as wearing the right clothes or having “Warrior Pride” (which is akin to extreme Nationalism), you are ostracized and become a pariah. Asking too many questions gets you labeled as “weird”, “annoying”, and/or “nerd” by party members. Collaboration, often labeled as “cheating”, is seen as devil work and is often met with the worst possible punishment, expulsion from the party.
Just like in a totalitarian government, the American public school system is divided into castes, with Freshmen being at the bottom of the social pyramid and Seniors being at the apogee. The higher caste, naturally, has more rights than the lower. For example, Seniors are permitted to escape the confines of the prison during lunch if they have the right documentation. Seniors are also allowed to attend prom, which is very similar to the soma-induced orgy-porgies present in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
The American public school system has joined the ranks of nations such as North Korea, Cuba, and Belarus as being an arbiter of oppression and indoctrination. Party members enter big-eyed, curious, and full of curiosity and ambitions but leave an empty shell of their former selves, ready to participate in a society in which we work, buy, consume, and die.