You’re trying to push on a rope

What does the following sentence mean?
“you’re trying to push on a rope”


Unless the phrase has its own specific meaning that I’m not aware of, I think it has to do with the fact that a rope has no structure that allows you to successfully push it. That is, it can only be pulled. I would imagine that since she is not yet interested in learning about economics or the free market system, any studying she does will be inefficient (like pushing on a rope) and any subsequent knowledge will not ‘stick’ very well.

I see. It seems to be a funny metaphor.

Thanks Peter.