The Mathematics Enthusiast






This article undertakes an ideological critique of mathematics education from a capitalist perspective. By replacing ‘society’ with ‘education’ and ‘the figure of the Jew’ with ‘mathematics’ in quotations from philosopher Slavoj Žižek, we characterize mathematics as the symptom of educational ideology. From such substitutions, we get statements like: Education does not exist and Mathematics is its symptom. In order to explore the kernel of truth in these statements, we introduce two concepts: identity-quilted-speech, to specify the so-called certainty of twentieth century mathematics (M20), and qualified-labor-power, to characterize the commodity that results from school production. Through the development of these concepts, we show how M20 actualizes Kant’s radical ethics. We indicate the need to consider the mathematics classroom from the sociological perspective of jouissance. We present three instances of the inescapable production of meaning imposed on us by what we call the juggernaut of capitalist society. This inescapable production leaves us no apparent alternative but to either become a devotee of Capital or to follow the path of the Great Refusal: a re-signification of terrorism. Against this dead-end alternative, we suggest ways of decelerating the juggernaut, trying to curb it from within our classrooms.

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