Education is far too important to be left in the hands of the State. And the education that government schools are providing is not the education that children need. It is no education at all, outside of learning a lot of facts and hearing a lot of words.
Fascists well knew that the molding of the Individual by the State through “education” was the sure way to inculcate their vile anti-Individualist, anti-Classical Liberal propaganda. (And remember that all propaganda is a lie, and thus, all propagandists are Liars.) Every modern government, even the so-called Liberal Democracies of the West, dragoons its children into attending government schools, although thankfully the home-schooling movement has offered some alternative to this coercion. The fact that test scores for home schooled children tend to be consistently higher than government-schooled children, especially when you consider that the teachers in home schools are amateurs compared to the “professional” credentialed teachers in government schools, clearly shows that home schooling is better than government schooling, despite its amateurism.
Government schools immediately instill a bureaucratic regimen into small children’s lives. The child, who has heretofore been obedient to its parents, is suddenly forced to be obedient to the teacher and whatever the teacher tells it to do. Thus schools teach children to obey, to conform, and not to question. It also teaches them a new fear, the fear of the punishment they will receive if they fail to obey, be it a tongue-lashing in front of the class or the ridicule of their classmates. Imagine the strength and moxie of a child, who refused to say the pledge of allegiance on religious grounds, despite the ridicule of their teachers and administrators.
It is interesting to note that both Right and Left have loudly declaimed against government schools. One of the favorite attacks against Free Schoolers is that they are “Right-wing extremists”. At the same time, the middle of the road Democrats and Republicans call those Leftists who try to set up their own schools outside the system as “anarchists and nihilists”. The fact that Paul Goodman and Herbert Read, both leftwing critics of government schools, wanted to abolish them seems to be overlooked by these Liberal Democrats who attack those opposed to dragooning children into these brainwashing camps during the most impressionable years of their lives.
Government schools are also a vast financial subsidy to the major corporations who benefit from them. The local property tax payer is forced at gunpoint to teach the reading and math skills that will benefit the corporate employer. Professor Rothbard points out that soon after America became heavily engaged in Latin American commerce, government schools began to teach Spanish as part of there regular curriculum. There is no reason that Corporations should not pay the cost of Government schools, since it is they who benefit most from the technical skills they drum into children.
Another great injustice of government schools is that local property tax payers are the ones who must pay, whether they have children in government schools or not, or whether they have children or not. Obviously such an egregious injustice can not be brought up in public by politicians, for it would show what a corrupt, looting system are property taxes used for government schools.
It is also interesting to note the opposition to the Draft and the general fustian against all forms of involuntary servidtude coming from the very same Leftists who think that they have the Right to dragoon small children into these government schools all day. Could there be a clearer example of involuntary servitude than this travesty of Justice?
In Oregon, the movement for compulsory government schools dates back to November 7, 1922 when the Ku Klux Klan-supported measure was enacted that required all children to attend these prison camps. Fortunately, the Supreme Court overturned that horrendous measure, but almost a century later the Leftists attack anyone who speaks against government schools as some kind of reactionary, instead of a fighter for the Freedom of children not to have the best years of their lives ruined and molded by the Collectivists — the Leftists who support that Klan measure of almost a century ago. Now who are the real Reactionaries?
It is obvious that for the Myth of the State to continue, it must brainwash each rising generation in a belief that the State is some kind of holy institution, without which society would immediately descend into chaos. Yet the American Indians, and the Anglo-Saxons, and the Irish all had societies that functioned without government, though with law. But maybe they were merely more intelligent than modern brainwashed America.
Abolishing government schools would also open up the Educational industry to Free-Market competition. Instead of the State setting standards hoops through which any prospective teacher must dance, each individual school could set its own standards for qualifications in order to teach. Someone who has been fixing autos for forty years would no longer have to spend two years getting a teaching credential in order to be “qualified” to teach what he’s been doing for decades. Could there be a clearer example of government trying to exclude people with employable talents from the freedom to exercise them and sell them on the open market? With the privatization of schools would come a huge variety of institutions, based on the tastes and desires of the parents and children. If a child had no interest in mathematics, but a great interest in music, he could be sent to a school that would cater to those interests. Atheistic and religious schools could teach children according to the desires of their parents. Tutoring would again become a valued profession, instead of being virtually non-existent, for few poor people would hire a tutor if they think the government schools are doing an adequate job.
It should also be blazingly obvious that the elimination of government schools would precipitate a mini-boom in local economic activity as property owners in a fixed area would suddenly have much extra cash to spend that would have been paid in for the upkeep of the government school.
Also, it is very clear in the age of the internet that if government supplied every child with a dedicated internet connection that was linked to instructive lectures by top-ranked teachers, as voted on by the public, and e-book depository websites like archive.org and gutenberg.org, then that child would have virtually the same access to information as it currently has, but without the huge expenditure of maintaining and heating huge buildings every day, the inconvenience and costs of busing, janitorial and cafeteria services, and the huge number of parasitic school-suppliers who have a guaranteed profit thanks to the money mulcted out of a coerced public. Dialogues between children and teachers could be visible to all over chatrooms, and there would be virtually no difference to current so-called education in government schools. But such a simple, money-saving idea would throw tens of thousands of government-school employees out of work, so there is that huge vested-interest of opposition to overcome.
Additionally, what government school teacher is going to speak critically of the State, or speak out for the abolition of government schools? Only a very brave one.
Also, one of the gravest problems with modern government schools is their perverting of the children’s thinking processes with computers. I was interested to read recently that Steve Jobs, the late computer tycoon, would not let his children have an ipad or use a computer. He must have seen very clearly that computers make the mind mechanical, because it must constantly follow a step-by-step process, and repeat ad infinitum a series of thoughts. Such constant repetition conditions the mind, and it is truly tragic to see Neo-Fascists like Congressman DeFazio, Governor Kitzhaber, and many other Democratic Party Liberals pushing this technology to prepare children for employment by the major corporations. They are the corporations handmaidens, disgusting in their vernility. They are willing to destroy the creativity of children’s brains in order to guarantee the flow of tax dollars that will pay for their immorally-high pensions. Computers should not be used in government schools. The skills necessary to use a computer can be learned at any time in a few days of intensive study. The conventional schools are bad enough in their conditioning of children’s brains; a child’s creativity should not be ruined by exposing those impressionable brains to the curse of mechanical thinking. Truly, here we can see the face of creeping Fascism, courtesy of the Democrats and Republicans.
Moreover, are the really important fields of knowledge necessary for survival in modern America being taught in schools? What are the areas which are axiomatic for the individual to be knowledgeable in? I’d say those areas encompass physiology and anatomy, nutrition, auto mechanics, the laws of the land, English vocabulary, grammar, and composition, American history, and financial education, this last being intentionally avoided so as to produce another generation of gullible, financially-ignorant, consumers. (Because children are cooped up every day for hours in these prisons, they should have some sort of physical exercise as part of the daily regimen. Swedish calisthenics and yoga would both be excellent activities, and can be practiced in a confined space.) Since America is first and foremost a society obsessed with money, despite its words, why is not financial education one of the main topics of schooling? Why does the government keep children ignorant in this area which will come to dominate their lives once they leave the safe cocoon of the government school? The answer is obvious.
No, government schools are a curse, and a key component of every modern totalitarian movement, be it Fascist or Communist.
Let’s abolish government schools!
Paul Grad, former Libertarian nominee for Oregon Governor