I want to read Watchmen again

February 25, 2007

With the conclusion of Watchmen, I was less than excited with having to read from the big book again.  And being posed with the question “What, then, is the reproduction of the conditions of production?” did not make the transition any easier. 

Althusser puts much focus on the schools and how they serve as a means of reproduction.  On page 1485 he asks “What do children learn in school?” and answers it with “they learn ‘know-how’.  Althusser feels that the schools are a mode in which the ruling ideology passes on its ideals to a younger generation, so that those ideologies will continue to live on.  He also believes school to be the dominant ideological State apparatus.  He writes of school, “it takes children from every class at infant-school age, and then for years, the years in which the child is most ‘vulnerable’, squeezed between the family State apparatus and the educational State apparatus, it drums into them, whether it uses new or old methods, a certain amount of ‘know-how’ wrapped in the ruling ideology.”  He feels the only thing children are learning in school is nothing that will be of any use to them, but will instead just teach them how to be followers of the state.   


I also understood his point about wages and how they too help in the reproduction of labour-power. (Page 1484)  A person will work in order to collect wages so that they will be able to purchase things they want and need.  And in order to be able to keep being able to buy those things that person must return to work so that they may obtain more wages.

On page 1488 I like the 4 step process in how to overcome the repressive state apparatus.  Although step 4 looks like it may take a little work.  Also, I found the metaphor of the building to explain infrastructure and superstructure to be helpful.


5 Responses to “I want to read Watchmen again”

  1. hey Ryan. First of all, I definitely agree, I miss watchmen! Its so much more fun when you have colorful pictures to look at, argh. As I read through our classes blogs, I noticed a lot of people talking about the wages section, as you and I both did. I thought this part was definitely one of the easiest to understand. People are required to work in order to gain the moeny and wages they need to live and survive. Isn’t there some saying that says “money makes the world go around”? something like that. All in all, it definitely works when relating to Althusser.

  2. joei5 said

    Hey Ryan. You and I both covered a lot of the same topics. I want to read Watchmen again as well! But as far as the wages section goes, everything you said was true. If a person wants to be able to have clothes on their back and food on the table, they have to continue getting up and going to work everyday. Also, the State apparatus. Lost me a little, but for the most part it seems as though he just talks about how students go to school basically to learn and reinforce ethics. I liked the last sentence of your state apparatus paragraph, “He feels the only thing children are learning in school is nothing that will be of any use to them, but will instead just teach them how to be followers of the state.” I disagree with that, do you?

  3. brett glasser said

    Again like the other bloggers I agree with the fact that we should do Watchmen again. I learned more in that unit than all the other readings combined. Yet this new guys view on schools was kinda interesting. But the point that I tried to bring up was how his text alone is part of this process he looks down on. We are reading it in a school setting than it is just another tool to enforce our ethics and moral values. Just another brick in the wall…

  4. annieeinna said

    Hey Ryan. Good post, well done. I really think that the work for wages thing I understood the most. I mean, that is pretty much what I do. I work, to pay for things or buy things, than return to repreat the process to repeat the processes. I do kind of understand his idea of state though. Not that I am 100% in favor of every decion the school systems make, but I do believe that the states set the standards to help the students survice within the states, and I don’t think that is such a bad thing.

  5. […] of both the RSA and ISA are necessary for the ruling class to maintain power. (1491) Ryan explains in his blog how the family and the educational system work together to do exactly this. He […]

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