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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.43 no.3 Porto Alegre jul./set. 2018  Epub 09-Abr-2018 

Other Themes

Dysfunctional Curriculum: creating the battles against capitalism

Steferson Zanoni RoseiroI 

Sandra Kretli da SilvaI 

IUniversidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória/ES - Brasil


Starting on the premise of a functional Capitalism that is not afraid of rejecting its own ideas to reassure itself as an overcoding machine, this essay points to the curricular practices in the production of pauses based on a philosophy of error. If, in a functional regime, it is expected from school an endless curricular functionalism, betting on school and on its curricular exercises may produce some kind of voids on the functionalism sense. It was an interventional research based on the networks conversations performed with teachers in public school of Vitória/ES. As results, teachers show moments of rupture with the functional regime while they inquire how to proceed and, thus, they create, in immanence, dysfunctional curricula.

Keywords: Curriculum; Capitalism; Philosophy of Error; Functional Regime


Partindo da premissa de um capitalismo funcional que não teme rejeitar suas próprias afirmações para garantir-se máquina sobrecodificante, esse texto objetiva apontar para práticas curriculares na produção de pausas embasadas em uma filosofia do erro. Se, no regime funcional, é cobrado da escola que os currículos funcionem sem parar, aposta-se na escola e nos exercícios curriculares como lugares de produção de vazio do sentido funcionante. Metodologicamente, tratou-se de uma pesquisa interventiva a partir de redes de conversações e foi realizada em escolas públicas no município de Vitória/ES. Como resultados, apresentam-se momentos de ruptura do regime no qual professoras e professores colocam-se a indagar como prosseguir e, assim, criam, na imanência, currículos disfuncionais.

Palavras-chave: Currículos; Capitalismo; Filosofia do Erro; Regime Funcional

[…] the small, the poor, and the precarious

do not keep regretting,

but they create new weapons (Maurizio Lazzarato).

Prelude to the Philosophy of Error

We do not have weapons with which we want to fight; then we invent them. And we invent them a lot; we invent then in conspiratorial plots because they have conspired for us for a long time; we invent them to last little, not to succeed; we invent them to be shoddy, ephemeral, cunning, because, in a way, everything works magnificently in the artifice of regulation of the great machinery of capital. No matter how we look, the monetary flows and servile times make symbiosis with life - and, from life, it is often the great machine of neoliberal capitalism that is left for us.

We fight, therefore, for certain dysfunctionalism.

And we bring this fight straight to the school fields, to the front of the curricula. It is necessary to produce certain curricular dysfunctionalism, to make in a certain way the curricula err in the logic of incessant functioning.

If there is a machine investing against the immanence with such strong force and with such functional capacity, we are interested in the errors, mistakes, tremors, the art of the weak (Certeau, 2002), the events, (Lazzarato, 2006) and the shoddy. Everything that disturbs, interrupts, and pauses the machinations attract us. We like it when the mistake itself is taken seriously. The error by the act of erring; the error as a system message: INTERNAL ERROR!, as the machines shout before simple command operations. But above all, we hope that it is not any mistake.

We know very well that the great capital machine constantly errs and corrects itself, modifies and adapts, to make the error, a correct thing. We know that the error has fallen into the glory of modernity by a succession of errors and successes, in which every error is a binary pair of correctness and, therefore, if one errs, it would only be necessary to reverse it in order to correct. In curricular error-and-success, it is only necessary to uncheck the options until checking the right one in the highly acclaimed large-scale assessments. In the game of errors and successes, the capital machine is an expert.

It is not, therefore, about the error of Freudian act or the eternal binary numbers of machine operations, but yet, the political and extremely affective error. After all, they charge “[...] all of us the insertion and the ability to keep the capitalist machine running” (Oneto, 2011). The least we can do is to aim at creating pockets, voids, and possible oxygenation movements. To produce a maximum of voids and pauses, black holes as of Deleuze-Guattarian philosophy (Deleuze; Guattari, 2011), that is, to produce the black hole as a place where everything is possible, in which forces are drawn to converge, to meet each other. If “[…] capitalism is fundamentally immoral and […] capable of replacing its moral codes and “good habits” by others that make it move ahead” (Oneto, 2014, p. 135), we only need to respond to the proper functioning with a little daily conspiracies. “[...] Yes, making the thoughts a daily conspiracy”, as Peter Pál Pelbart (2016) cries out.

We gradually learn that the daily conspiracies are not interested in making it last, in gaining statute or clauses of truth. They are conspiracies and they, very soon, evaporate; they are called conspiracy theories and they disappear. However, it doesn’t matter very much. They are much more interested in just producing short pauses in capitalistic arrangements, such as, perhaps, an unexpected pause for some coffee.

Thus we think the curricula.

It does not mean that some curricula are disconnected with the contexts and the assumptions with which we want to fight. We live a machine-capitalistic arrangement and the curricula only exist within this mega-machine. However, at the same time that they produce relations of governance, the curricula also exist underneath totalitarian politics that produce it.

As Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2016, p. 99) remind us: “[...] paradoxical as it may seem, resistance is prior to power”.

This way, we make our bets, our (re) existences.

If it is life itself that produces ineffectiveness in the capitalist machinery, it is in it that we can interconnect ourselves to compose new types of militancy, to target the capital machine of rips, collapses, processes of inventions, pockets and black holes. We are not naive; yes we know the existence of a curricularized life that in no way contributes to breaking with what is already established. However, we bet on the small paused conspiracies, of heavy and open slowness to unexpected continuations. We bet on the “arts of making and living” of students and teachers (Kretli, 2012). We bet on that teacher who, claiming to be too serious, finds in the throat the existence of a laugh; on that boy who asks, wailing, why so many equals; we bet on that teacher who, skeptical, seems to speak of functionalities and of the poor little ones.

It is our goal to make the curriculum arrangements conspire in the ceaseless working of the capitalist machine. And if, in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, it is interesting to ask about the functioning, we propose to question the problems of the incessant functioning of the curricular mega-machine and what causes and promotes the dysfunction. So, taking these two authors and Maurizio Lazzarato as privileged theoretical intercessors, we met with some teachers of the municipal public schools of Vitória / ES and put it at stake: after all, what do the mega-machine capital want in its articulation with the curricula?

The Imperative of the Functional Regime or of Importance of Shoddy, Ephemeral Ideas...

In 1984, Guattari argued that the crisis that affects the West since the 1970s was more than an economic or political crisis; it was a crisis of subjectivity. Lazaratto (2014, p. 14) suggests that, in order to understand Guattari’s assertion, how countries such as Germany and Japan have reconstructed themselves after the war by reconstructing the capital of subjectivity, that is, capital in the form of knowledge, collective intelligence, will to survive. And he compares: “[...] Capitalism launches (subjective) models, just as the auto industry launches a new line of cars”. We thus, shall problematize what subjective models the capital mega-machine tries to produce through the curricula.

In this logic, it would be impossible to separate economic, political, and social processes from the processes of subjectification that occur within them. These are always crises of the “neoliberal governmentality order” (Lazzarato, 2014, p. 15). Thus, with neoliberal deterritorialization, no new production of subjectivity has emerged. The neoliberal man becomes an entrepreneur and, for this reason, proposes nothing more than to continue to propose, to ensure, in this way, that he continues moving within the parameters in force. Each of us requires new forms of employability and, therefore, dependency, heteronomy.

Lazzarato, as well as the Invisible Committee (2016, p. 111), say that between the sphere of production and life, there is no longer any difference and that, in fact, the sphere of production “[…] is no longer a sphere, but the web of the world and all its relations”. Thus life is produced in the capitalist functionalism in two remarkable ways: on the one hand, the body is dominated by social subjection, and on the other, the (biosocial) species takes part in the machinic servitude.

If, on the one hand, the social subjection assigns an identity, a gender, a body, a profession, a nationality, a standardized formality of behavior - that is, if it produces individuated subjects, its consciousness, and representation - machinic servitude dismounts the individuated subject, acting below and beyond the body.

Therefore, it is in the concept of servitude and the time of servitude - which has become uninterrupted in society - that we find functionality as operative concept. In order to ensure its functioning, servitude produces the machine-man device “[...] in which men and machines are merely recurrent and interchangeable parts of production, communication, consumption process, and etc., which exceeds them” (Lazzarato, 2014, p. 29).

We as (individual) bodies, become by subjection, technical machines that feed the great capitalist machine. In short, the capital machine tries to produce what feeds it in order to guarantee its existence beyond the limits of time. The big point is that, in servitude, we are not the only bodies to integrate the mega-machine; “[...] nonhumans contribute as much as humans to the definition, framework, and conditions of action” (Lazzarato, 2014, p. 32).

In this context, both man and machine constitute interchangeable gears of a productive structure that mutually interact. The machineries invade our daily lives, shape and contemplate our ways of being and being in the world, that is, our ways of speaking, listening, seeing, writing, feeling and producing social capital. Machinery and machinic arrangements are everywhere. The subjectivities that capitalism produces, therefore, are made to feed the machines.

The Invisible Committee (2016, p. 99) jokes, frighteningly, that there are no faces, no image of the founders on the euro notes; there is no longer the centrality of power. There is on each note, the impersonal architecture of connection, of functioning: bridges, aqueducts, and arches. Or, “[...] impersonal architectures whose center is the emptiness”. Long ago, we were taken to perpetuate, to continue connecting, to establish bridges among the machinic arrangements of servitude.

In the context of the production of subjectivities and highly machinic subjectivations, we would be, under a pessimistic perspective, trying to stop the machinery, to shout, everywhere, for Revolution (!) (With capital R and followed by exclamation). We would be tempted to break with servitude and end the games of power, to break power, and to preface a highly disparate era in which we now live. As we well know, these cries are made audible in many places and by many voices.

However, paradoxically, it might be necessary to ensure that the Revolution (!) is not achieved.

Capitalism is, in its own way, highly immoral and does not fear breaking a whole series of flows and codes of its own to ensure its empire (Oneto, 2014). In Brazil, we experienced this overcoding arrangements well when, in protest against the FIFA World Cup 2014, it was sent via social networks an invitation to go to the streets to take control of it and to do - as expected - a (supposed) “Revolution!”. It did not take long and the invitation got an anthem sung by Falcão (better known as O Rappa) and immediately the music seemed ideal and appropriate for the ideals of the movements against the Cup. Regarding the Revolution (!) everything seemed to go perfectly as it should! However, the music soon took up space in the Fiat5 brand’s automotive advertising. The streets, that have always been a place of demonstrations and (attempts of) revolutions (Carvalho; Roseiro, 2015), were eventually captured in their entire political potential and rearranged to the most elementary of capitalistic machinic functions: consumption and entertainment. Since the images of demonstrations and violence against the population were replaced by images of parties, smiles and cars, the invitation Comes to demonstration became a commercial slogan. Or, as Lazzarato (2011, p. 74) reminds us, the social “[…] gives the possibility to the economic interests to exist”.

Tragically, we think: “To our taste or disgust, capitalism is […] profoundly capable of replacing its moral codes and ‘good habits’ by others that make it go forward in social and desire production” (Oneto, 2014, p. 135).

That is why, at all times, Capitalism not only allows but also prompts revolutions to be announced to everywhere. Regarding this overcoding mega-machine it is desirable to be able to feed on everything that is produced. Feeding on the will to live and on our strength as singularities. As stated: the capital gives us all the tools with which we may want to work and thus, it guarantees everything we may need to continue to exist. Its immorality is, in truth, highly functional. Everything will fit for the assurance of its arrangements. The workings are assured, in more Foucaultian terms, by an intricate network of strategies without subjects (Foucault, 2014).

Let us think about this concept related to the field of curricula: we know that, as Maria de Fátima Cósio (2014) states, the curricula refers to a nation project, an arrangement (or strategy) focusing on life in order to produce it under such and what possibilities. The curricula outline general lines that will concern not just one life, but also a whole society. At the same time, as Alice Casimiro Lopes (2015) elicits, they guarantee this nation project by a set of fictions that pretend there are no disputes around the project itself. And, nationalized, they would have to offer “[...] only the attempt to control the imponderable on which depends not the success of education, but the hegemony of the neoliberal imaginary that he is part of” (Macedo, 2014, p. 1553). There would be no alternatives or quarrels on what is expected from life! This is how a political curriculum project makes to look like.

In doing so, curricula do nothing but work.

If we take the concept of curriculum as a device - that is, as a heterogeneous set of cultural artifacts (notebooks, pens, wallets, pictures, books, students, teachers, learning, content, holidays, notes, Enem, failure, lessons, passions, disagreements...) - anything that, in any way, produces relations with the school function is curricular. Or, as Carvalho (2009) proposes, everything that increases or decreases the action, or, the power of acting on the school field, says of curricula.

Because it is a heterogeneous element that contains speeches and interconnects with other elements, the curricula also become great machines and, therefore, they work. Each heterogeneous element acts as a fundamental part of the curricular machinery and therefore, even if one of these elements is, at some point, inoperative, this does not guarantee the non-functioning of the curricular device. Even in the absence of a teacher (the pedagogue helps the class, the coordinator, the secretary...) or under the impossibility of using these or those materials (how many schools do not have boards? How many children sit on the floor? How many schools do not have a Science lab? Computer lab?), it will not prevent the school from keeping curricula working. There is a whole set of other arrangements working for this functionality: as we all know, it is mandatory a minimum of four hours of effective pedagogical work with the students; there is the pedagogue who could pass through the door; there are the families of the children who may have been familiar with that condition; there is the threat of wage-cutting; there is the teacher’s ethical sense that tells her to continue with the class etc.

In the face of this global strategy, there are all sorts of support mechanisms capable of reinventing, modifying, and adjusting itself to perpetuate the functioning.

That is our concern with functionality. As Buchanan (2014, p. 66) points out, Deleuze and Guattari insist in “[...] instead of asking what something means, ask how something works” or, as the authors put it, […] it is absolutely (in) vain to analyze a theme [...] if one does not ask what is its importance in the work, that is, exactly it works” (Deleuze; Guattari, 2014, p. 85). Thus, we propose to intensify the issue of functionality so that it can get a prominent place. The epigraph that marks the beginning of this text announces, on its optimistic side, the possibility of the invention of weapons and, in its continuity it already informs the very end of the weapons we have invented.

Lazzarato (2011, p. 63, emphasis added) puts the double in saying that “[...] the small, the poor and the precarious do not regret, but they invent new weapons, the ones that are necessary to combat the flexible and depersonalized capitalism in its own territory”.

And its own territory, as we see, is that of immoral discontinuity, or rather, it is the imperative functional regime. The capital - and therefore the curricula - must function indiscriminately.

Certainly, the classroom contexts are much more complex. The functional regime, this constant, incessant, and strategic arrangement that guarantees the perpetuation and feeding of the capitalist machinery, not only puts us before infinite processes of permanence but also, causes us to suffer these processes. Before one of its greatest strategies in the field of education, for example, we can scarcely do something: after all, who, in their right mind, dare to deny the importance of school education?6 Who can speak against the right to education? Today there is a very strong tendency to defend schooling, although it does not agree with many of its conceptions at all.

“The school must exist!”7 The teacher says when we ask about the school’s function. “It must exist,” repeat the colleagues and then they immediately begin to speak of authors of the field of education that justify this thought. In no circumstances we say the opposite; yes, we protect the school. However, we cannot avoid a biased look at it. After all, how heavy are the gears of what makes them work! The functional regime guarantees its functioning not only by documentation but, and especially, by seducing society to be helpful.

I think you have that deal, right? If I am here in front of the boys, I am working; I have to watch over other’s children, I have responsibility. I have to work, to keep the firewood on fire ... So you can not be so cheerful, so happy and so without rules because at some point it will be worse...

However, it is not strange that we are those teachers who take work home, who correct tests, who look at activities (the ones that were done and the ones that were not done!) and who take into account a wide context of learning in the school. We have long been advocating the complexity of educational relationships and, at the same time, we endorse the whole functional regime of the curricular machinery. We know very well the schools, the classrooms, our children, our directors, the families we deal with and, for this reason, we are able not only to continue the work but also to justify many faults that devastate us. We know that in some school contexts we can not take children to walk on the streets during a simple fieldwork, as to produce a historical map of the region, because in our classroom there are children from two different factions, and a walk would put them in dangerous situations; we know that in some schools all teachers leave on Fridays at 5:00 p.m. at the latest, because, after that, the school area becomes a bullet-shooting area; we know that in that school where we work, the children will study until they find a place with the boys; we know that in our classroom, one quarter is already on the way to a doctor’s office to be effectively doped with all kinds of medication.

Still, we work. The “[…] crisis does not mean collapse, and the contradictions of capital, the more serious they may be, never imply their end in themselves” (Hardt; Negri, 2016, p. 174). We deal with these children, with these families, with these schools, with these streets, with these ties. After all, there is the whole scheme of functionality and somehow we still believe in school as a possibility of caring for the world.

This is the object for our introduction: we do not have weapons with which we want to fight, but we invent them and, above all, we invent them to be shoddy and to last as little as possible, because, before the imperative functional regime, everything that functions in excess will soon be captured, normalized, acceptable, everything will be soon part of the machinic capitalistic arrangements, everything will be soon unquestioned until the next change, until the next overcoding. Perhaps that is why something must not last long, to disturb this regime. Perhaps it is precisely in this direction that a teacher sets out to speak, not about something that has worked out, but about something that, somehow, has faced an abrupt stop:

Kids always get us out of the place, right? And I’m not just talking physically, no ... Some days ago I was in the classroom looking at the book, a boy came from the playground to go to the restroom. He left and then he called me. “Come here, teacher, come here, teacher I asked what it was, but he insisted, ‘Come on, hurry up!’ I went with him and he showed me a warning message on the wall, above the toilet he had used. ‘What is written here, teacher?’ It was a task done by another schoolteacher, in which the children had made drawings and a message about saving water and things like that. I stopped and read with him: ‘Do not keep flushing the toilet’. Then he nodded and went to another booth and called me. ‘And this one?’ He took me to all of them asking the same question. And then he asked ‘But look, why are they all the same?’ And when he asked me this, I did not know what to answer.

“But, look, why are they all the same?” Asks the child, and the teacher, well positioned on the functional machine, feels the sudden blow of his question. In all the rite of the functional regime, it could be his task; it could be the functionality he produced. At that moment he was free from such guilt, however, the words lacked and he did not know what to say to the child. The tongue stutters.

Curiously, the child did not even care about his question, because his thoughts deludes and drifts away. He probably ran back to the playground, and by the end of the day he would have forgotten any remembrance of that moment.

Not the teacher. The question marks him, and us, as well.

We do not have weapons with which we want to fight, but we invent them all the time in the relation with the other, in the care of the world. That’s the big question. This is what the child seems to tell us at the moment: he asks about a simple warning message in the restroom and, as the teacher explains at another time, there were other warnings (“Different!” Says the teacher) scattered throughout the rest of the school, talking about wasting water on faucets, drinking fountains and etc.; however, at that moment, the child does not care about the warning itself, but rather the repetition itself, the fragility with which the work is done to guarantee functionality.

The child asks, “But look, why are they all the same?” And immediately we are affected by the question. Some of the gears stop spinning momentarily. And this is what interests us.

From the Dysfunctional Order

But, after all, how to stop a gear in a big machinery? How to generate a pause, always brief, where the functional regime prevails furiously? Or, perhaps, how can we be stopped, interrupted? Are we opened to pauses, stops, and slow-downs in the classroom, in the midst of running, and in our permanent functioning?

As a preface to these questions, two small lines of teachers:

Sometimes I need to run away. I tell my colleagues not to look for me because I am running away, because I need to get out...

During the planning, we sit down and think a lot, ‘Oh my God’, what am I going to do with this boy? How am I going to make him want to know about it? Which task? Is he going to accomplish this task? So we’re looking forward to it. And when we enter the classroom, the boy does not want to. If you play a movie: ‘Oh, I’ve already seen it’, ‘I don’t like this movie’. And he talks, and he pulls other’s hair, and he puts his face outside to talk to the boy who is on the other side of the playground. Today a boy who was out there cleaning the playground was chatting with a boy in my classroom, which is on the second floor! Then we think, ‘What?’ We fall apart!

As soon as we hear them, another question comes into play: what is at stake in the intended pause?

There are sudden stops at schools at all times. We see them and, used to the necessity of rushing and running the school, we ignore them, or we blame them and consider them unacceptable. After all, where have you ever seen a class stop?

However, the invitations of pauses spread. As Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2016) state, the forces of resistance precede any and all attempts of control and overcoding of the capital mega machine. The slowness contrasts with the speeds of the servile machine and touch us at some times in the schools. There is too much jest in education about constructivist theories and the fateful example of the butterfly that would interrupt a class; however, it is not to this point that we are interested, and certainly we know nothing about butterflies and larvae and chrysalis.

However, it would be unthinkable to disregard the pauses in the order of the fact. There are, after all, things that we simply do not know how to react to. And they are the pauses mentioned.

Lazzarato (2006, p. 13), explaining a concept of Deleuze, states very briefly and knowingly: “[...] The event makes us see what a period of time has as intolerable, but it also gives rise to new possibilities of life”. That is, the event marks transitions, indicating the affective limits with which we can see, perceive, and relate. From this point of view, the processes of constitution of ethics and ways of life would take as a starting point, precisely, the events, and the overcoming of the affective limits in a society.

So, we are not interested in thinking of the stops as mere pauses, as a rest of everyday life. The deleuzo-guattarian conceptualization of the event is usually associated with great milestones, with historical passages with which the relations (with each other and with the world) can no longer be the same after the encounter.

Certainly, in this sense, it is easy to take, for example, the political coup suffered in Brazil in 2016 as an event; certainly the Temer policies for education not only spot a historical passage, but also implement in Brazil a policy of marked fear. It is also easy to take the accident of Teori Zavascki as an event, as indignation before the incessant and no disguised blows of the Brazilian political context.

These three clear examples definitely mark an event, provoke a change of what is appropriate or not. They pass, easily, to the order of the unacceptable. However, we cannot take the concept of the event only in the larger plan in which it is outlined. In a macropolitical way, we can only expect subjective reconversions of the order of “[…] a savage capitalism in the American way” (Deleuze, 2016, p. 247) or, given the contexts in which we live today, perhaps we should say: we fear that the subjective reconversions reach the savage capitalism of Brazilian politics. That’s the reason why the affirmation of the importance of the event in micropolitical instances, as in the body, in the contact surface. In addition, and thinking of Pelbart’s call - to make thought a daily conspiracy -, we should not, and cannot, disregard events in the order of immediate affections, in the order of everyday school affairs, of classrooms.

A school and a classroom are always marked by events, by dragged times that make us interrupt the logical rush, the functional logic: a child comes running in the classroom and sits in a chair and apologizes for being late. He barely notices his classmates or the teacher, and throws himself in his place.

I think it took about ten minutes for him to figure it out ... And hey, everyone’s been staring at him for at least half of it! Even me! It was only after I returned to my class and talk about the movie of hurricane that he noticed what was going on. ‘Oh boy! Wrong room’. And he ran off. The boys in my class still tease him, asking him when he’s coming back...

There is no rest-break here, but rather pause-incomprehension, pause-rupture. “What is this body doing here?” their eyes shout. No one understands and, let’s face that it would be very interesting if the boy, in the end, attended the class and took a role in that space. Maybe he had not seen the movie-and maybe it did not matter, or maybe he could have realized (‘What movie, teacher?’), But he could undoubtedly, be an active body at that moment.

So, the pauses, the wishes to escape - “Sometimes I need to get away ... run away...” - it is said about production of the possible. Time drags where everything seems to rush, and in the drag of duration, the weapons - shoddy - are invented. Contrary to any attempt of Revolution (!), the events don’t expect great abrupt changes, but instead, they wait, creative pauses almost as innocence, simple and unpretentious pauses. The pauses know that, by the logic of the event, it is necessary that “[...] the society is able to form collective arrangements that correspond to the new subjectivity, in such a way that it wants the mutation” (Deleuze, 2016, p. 246) and therefore, much more dysfunctional is to work with small groups, with small affections.

It is how, perhaps, a teacher asks to speak, and as soon as she begins, she assures her place as a serious teacher, of few smiles, of grunts. “You have to be serious. If you can grumble a little, better. If you laugh a lot, you don’t do anything, you lose control”. However, even in her safe place as a serious teacher, as teacher-who-grumbles, she faces a slowness that she could not cope with, that her own body did not know how to react.

I’m serious and all the teachers here can attest this, so imagine the surprise of the boys yesterday when they saw me laughing? But I made my day yesterday, with a boy throwing himself on the floor, performing the scene of the goofy duck, the cat I don’t know what of Vinícius’ Noah’s Ark ... I laughed and laughed a lot. Why? Because those who want to perform are always the funny ones. I was laughing. I worked, I suffered, I called their attention all the time, let’s starts again ... what a pain. Actually, it is very boring. Then, laughing. I did not resist how funny it was. And they’re going to perform at the nursery, and because they’re ashamed I said, ‘You do not have to be ashamed, because they’re all going to be masked, so no one will know who you are’. But they love the idea. It’s kid’s music, but they’re “older” but still, they accepted and they are doing very well. I am surprised. I was feeling lighter yesterday when I left.

Thus, it is the body itself that finds the pause. Facing a bifurcation of what, in the context, marked an event, the teacher-who-grumbles becomes a teacher-who-grumbles-and-laugh, certainly a Deleuzian aesthetic character.

It is precisely in this order of school daily life that things mark the gears and the curricular arrangements. We know beforehand that

An event can be restrained, repressed, recovered, betrayed, and yet it does not cease to be something insurmountable. It is the renegades who say: it is surpassed. But the event itself, no matter how old it is, can’t be surpassed: it is the openness of the possible. It passes within individuals and society (Deleuze, 2016, p. 245).

Exactly for this reason, if there is always a concern with the operation, it is the moment when this operation is fragile that interest us. The fragility of the functional regime is shown not when something stops functioning but when the functioning is guaranteed before the small errors. There is in each of them a whole possibility of saying no to something that seems functional, to something that merely expresses the orchestrations of a machine far away from reality.

And the no is not said as a dialectical movement, as a constructor opposition. There isn’t, in this refusal, thesis-antithesis-synthesis, but only alternative, like digging a hole where the tissue seems to be flat. It is with a bunch of no that teachers and students create in schools some rips in the functional regime. A teacher points out: “I think, and I’m sure, that in this country, while public education looks on the students as poor little things’, thinking that they can’t do anything, it’s not going anywhere”. However, we do not see his statement as a criticism of students or even minority groups that become students; on the contrary, in its assertion, there is the prelude of a pause.

The teacher speaks and, in her statement, we see that she also fears the avid good functioning. We know, as Lazaratto (2014, p. 19) points out, that investigate “[…] processes of political subjectification by placing the ‘micropolitical’ (Guattari)8 and ‘microphysics’ (Foucault) dimensions of power in the foreground do not dispense ourselves with the need of reconfiguring and drawing attention to the macropolitical dimension”.

What do the Weapons we Invented Want?

We do not have weapons with which we want to fight, so we invent them. And we invent them with the other, in the spaces of contact-contagion, in the spaces of tight looks and blinking of hands. The old speech always comes back, and a teacher says it: “The curriculum is there, knocking at the door, waiting to enter…” but before entering, some teachers entertain their students, displace everything, seek other logics to receive the permanent and insistent visit.

The functional regime charges the asserted functionality in all the apparatuses with which it operates, It demands teachers to fill out electronic school reports, to meet families, to stick to their schedules and sometimes to other’s schedule, when they are absent. In Capixaba schools, the teachers were invited - gently, of course! - to make up the classes for the days they were cancelled during the police strike, and they were not even heard. Documents have arrived with the new make-up days.

Because of this madness, the teachers learn to stop. They learn to leave their fur less glossy and they go between Alice’s Rabbit and the March Hare, the hare of many breaks and interruptions.

What is built here is neither the ‘new society’ in its embryonic state, nor the organization that will finally overthrow the power to build a new one, but rather, the collective power which, through its consistency and intelligence, condemns the power to impotence, frustrating, one by one, all their maneuvers (Invisible Committee, 2016, p. 53).

We do not have weapons with which we want to fight because, somehow, the fights have already been defined since the beginning. So we do not fight, but instead, we run away from the battlefields - always momentarily. A pause, of course, but a pause, a pause as a flush of alarmed birds. A pause, filled with desire to continue, but somehow wondering where? Where?

The pause is always necessary.

We do not have weapons with which we want to fight because we do not want to, but we grope between pauses and errors. Never a long pause, never a premeditated or posthumously reused error. We have long learned with the binary codes and the succession of attempts-and-errors of modern colonizing science, not to continue. We do not have weapons, partly because we do not want to, because somehow, to continue not owning them makes us dancers in a game of which we do not know what our chances are. And because we do not know, we remain avid and active; we keep ourselves alive in logic not of functionality, but of care with the other.

A teacher speaks, sort of as a farewell, sort of as a prelude:

For me, to educate is to take care of. Caring here at school is a different care than what I have in my house with my son. But we still care for the children here and there, because care is all we need to teach, you know?

Thus, let us give care, a dysfunctional curriculum always given to the possible, and desirable of error, to the possible and desirable care with the other, to care for the world. What we invent may be called, sometimes, weapons, or fight against capitalism, but before the eye that embraces the other, we would perceive ourselves as inventors of care.


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1Commercial available at: <>.

2Obviously, this question is not entirely empty of affirmative answers, that is, there are some people that defend the end of schooling. Ivan Illich, in the 1970s, published a book entitled Deschooling Society and, despite having suffered great affronts, it was not a work without effect.

3Throughout the text, teacher statements will appear in the body of the work (in quotation marks and in italics) if they have fewer than three lines; and it will be separated from the text, without paragraphs, when they have more than three lines. For a stylistic and methodological approach, we do not work with names (fictitious or real) to explore the limits of the use of speech beyond the personal narrative.

4The statements of micropolitics however, should not be seen merely as a movement that broadens the possibility of collective action. Micropolitics is distinguished from the macropolitics by its radically different position. However, nothing prevents the micropolitics, in its radical difference with the macro, from being an even more fascist movement.

Translated from portuguese by Maria Izabel Meleipe Peixoto

Received: July 05, 2017; Accepted: September 06, 2017

Steferson Zanoni Roseiro is a schoolteacher in Childhood Education of the Municipal Education System of Cariacica/ES and Master student in Education at Federal University of Espírito Santo. E-mail:

Sandra Kretli da Silva is a professor of the Master Degree Program, and Professor of the Department of Teaching, Theories and Educational Practices at Federal University of Espírito Santo. E-mail:

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