The emphasis of my earlier article, “Prussian ‘Public’ Schools,” dealt with the corruption of public schools by Cultural Marxism and Postmodernism. This article deals with the much more fundamental issue of nature of what is called education, more particularly, what is called, “public school,” education.
[NOTE: The images are your public school educators. Right click on image and select, “View image,” or “Open image in new tab,” to see full size.]
The Necessity Of Knowledge
It is not possible to over-emphasize the importance of knowledge. It is, for human beings, a necessity of life, just as food and water are for all organisms. Human life is not possible without knowledge, because knowledge is an absolute necessity to all human achievement, and success. A life without knowledge is useless and joyless.
Unfortunately, the nature of learning has been appropriated and perverted by academics and professional educators. Learning does not mean, “getting educated”—in today’s society, “learning,” and, “education,” are contradictions.
Some History Of Compulsory Education
“By the 1840s, a few public schools had popped up around the country in the communities that could afford them. However, that smattering of schools wasn’t good enough for education crusaders Horace Mann of Massachusetts and Henry Barnard of Connecticut. They began calling for free, compulsory school for every child in the nation.
“Massachusetts passed the first compulsory school laws in 1852. New York followed the next year, and by 1918, all American children were required to attend at least elementary school.”
The Big Lie—How It Got Put Over
The big lie that put over the idea of compulsory education is the same lie on which all collectivist and statist views are based—the view that the ultimate purpose of all things is something other than individual human beings. In the case of education, the purpose is presented as necessary to the future of an orderly American society, prosperity, and progress.
America, before the 1800s was a nation of individualists who resisted all forms of intrusion in their lives by any authority. They would not have tolerated anyone telling they had to surrender their children to the state, much less to being forced to turn them over to someone else several days each week. They would have called it what it is, kidnapping by means of extortion (the threat of government force). That’s why it is correctly called, “compulsory,” education.
But human beings are helplessly” Gullible,” and by the 1900s, because the blessings of learning and progress and a society of free individuals was obvious, bemused by the promises of, “free education,” for everyone, the utopian visions of progress and solution to all problems beclouded their minds. Though the idea of compulsory education was at first resisted, the prediction of the “father of modern education,” Johann Gottlieb Fichte, in his, “Address to the German Nation in 1808,” came true:
“Resistance to the full-scale institution of government compulsory schooling will only last for one generation. The first generation affected will accept it as a natural part of growing up.”
Public School Failure?
The biggest part of the big lie was that without public education the nation’s population would become ignorant and incapable of functioning in a modern civilization.
The literacy rate in 1776 was, “80% of men and 50% of women in New England. “In 1800 … only four in a thousand Americans were unable to read and write legibly.” Before 1840, “the literacy rate in Massachusetts was 98 percent, and in neighboring Connecticut, 99.8 percent.”
The product of compulsory education since 1852 in America today is a population that is, “4% nonliterate, 14% below basic literacy levels, and 34% with only ‘basic’ literacy” (meaning they can barely manage to read and write). “1 out of every 6 adults in the U.S. lack basic reading skills—that means 36 million people can’t read a job application, understand basic written instructions, or read the Internet.”
The point of these statistics is not to point out the failure of public education, which is already obvious, but to emphasize the fact, education does not require any kind of state or society to provide it. Before there was any such system in the United States, most Americans were fully capable of educating themselves. They still are today, if they chose to learn, but the desire to learn has been almost obliterated by modern public school education.
All that children are taught in government schools today they would be better off never, “learning,” because it is not knowledge—it is ideology, anti-knowledge, and superstition. Everything is aimed at making it impossible for children to think for themselves and to use their minds to learn those things which will be of real value in all their future choices and work.
For anyone interested in learning what is actually being taught and promoted in public schools there are endless resources. Start with my own article, “Prussian ‘Public’ Schools, and it’s references.” Learn how, “good-sounding” but, “bad ideas,” like, “critical thinking,” are actually post-modernist tools for destroying the ability to think. Read Ayn Rand’s, “The Comprachicos” which describes how government education systematically destroys young minds.
The Right Way To Do The Wrong Thing
Every politician, public policy maker, educational authority, and journalist proclaims the failure of American public education in books, broadcasts and articles and knows exactly how to fix it. Every day articles like: ‘18 Reasons the U.S. Education System is Failing,” “The 10 Education Issues Everybody Should Be Talking About,” “10 Major Challenges Facing Public Schools,” “Our School Problem and Its Solutions,” “Public Education Reform,” “The Problem With Government Schools,” and “Solutions for America: Education Reform,” appear, describing all that is wrong with public schools and what must be done to fix them. [There is no need to read any of these articles. There is not one new idea in any of them.]
All the criticism of compulsory education, even by those who most despise it, consists of a litany of wrong things being taught, wrong methods of teaching being used, and objectionable results, as if those were the only things wrong with it. None of the critics of public schools object to the fact that children are compelled to attend public schools and their parents threatened with criminal charges if they do not. They would have no objection to children being forced to attend government schools so long as they taught what they would like them to learn in a way they would like them to be taught.
All the complaints about public education include the same collectivist views that are used to, “justify,” compulsory education in the first place. “In thinking about how valuable education is in cultivating the next generation of Americans …” one criticism begins. In his excellent article, “Ending Progressive Public Education,” Daren Jonescu delineates exactly what is wrong with compulsory education and asks, “Why do parents willingly (or reluctantly, for that matter) send their own children … to socialist reeducation camps? … Perhaps the remnants of real learning that are still, though dwindlingly, accessible in the public system—primarily in math and science—are enough to persuade some parents that the system is salvageable at its core.
These critics accept the lie that the purpose of education is its, value in, “cultivating the next generation of Americans,” and, that its, “core,” is some specific subject matter. But the, “core,” principle of public education is that it is compulsory, forced on those who do not choose it.
It is not possible to reform or fix a system that is founded on a principle of oppressive coercion. There is no way to make compulsory education anything other than a form of government or state indoctrination and training. No one has to be forced to use something that is of true value to them, but, no government school is meant to provide anything of value to the individual student&meash;it is all for the sake of, “society,” the, “country,” and the, “state.”
No matter what you call yourself, “Free-state Anarchist,” “Libertarian,” “Objectivists,” “Voluntariast,” “Freedom Fighter,” “Free Market Capitalist,” “Liberal,” or “Conservative,” if you support compulsory education in any form, you are an enemy of individual freedom.
Compulsion is what is wrong with all education. Any attempt to fix or reform a compulsory form of education is attempting to find a right way to do the wrong thing.
What Is Learning For?
The purpose of learning is not so there will be a nice society, not to produce productive people necessary to a prosperous economy, not so there will be peace, love, and harmony in the world. The only purpose of learning is to fulfill the requirement of every individual’s nature for knowledge in order for them live their own lives successfully.
How Is Knowledge Acquired?
One reason compulsory education was able to be put over is because most parents want their children to lean all they possibly can, because they understand the necessity and advantages of knowledge. But knowledge cannot be provided by someone else. Most parents spend time, “teaching,” their children all they can, especially when they are very young, but teaching, even the youngest of children, does not, “put knowledge into their minds.” The parent can only present knowledge in the form of words and actions, but it must be the child’s own mental activity that understands and learns what is being presented.
This is true of all learning. No one can actually teach anyone else, that is, make them have knowledge of anything. One can provide information, explanations, descriptions, and examples that can be useful to learners, but no one can actually put knowledge into anyone else’s mind. Every individual must use their own mind to remember the information, understand the explanations, comprehend the descriptions, and apply the examples to their own thinking.
Everyone who has knowledge is actually an autodidact, “self-taught,” because all learning requires the intentional effort of the learner to remember, understand, and integrate, with all his other knowledge, what is made available for him to learn.
But learnings is not easy. It is the hardest thing in the world to do, which is why so few do much learning. “Everything in life is like that. The more valuable a thing is, the more expensive it is, the more difficult it is to achieve and harder it is to acquire. The wonderful thing about knowledge is that while it is the most important and valuable thing one can ever achieve and acquire, the more knowledge one has, the easier learning becomes, and when one has learned enough it becomes one of the greatest of human pleasures and the most rewarding of all human endeavors.” What To Do About Education?
If you think, “doing something,” about education means making education better or creating a system to provide education, there is nothing that can be done about it. It would be like, “doing something,” about shoes,as if some kind of system could be put in place to make sure everyone has shoes.
Your education and the education of your children is your responsibility, and yours alone. It is not the responsibility of your neighbors, or community, or society, and certainly not the government. If you choose to learn all you can, and help your children learn all they can, you must do the work and pay the price for that learning.
The education of others and their children is not your responsibility. It is actually none of your business what others choose to do about their own learning and the learning of their own children.
Most of the world will continue to embrace some form of collective solution to almost all problems, and suffer the consequences. It is not up to you or anyone else to make others, “see the light.” Your rejection of public compulsory education for yourself and your children will not be understood by most people, but then, if you are a free individual, most people will not understand most of how you live and what you do, but you are not obligated to explain yourself to anyone.