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How I Learned to Love the State ^ | 11/07/2011 | Justin Hayes

Posted on 11/09/2011 7:38:59 AM PST by Vintage Freeper

While we were students of the state education apparatus, how many of us had to write research papers where we were asked to "change the world"?

I'm sure we can all remember a writing prompt similar to this: "If I could change one thing about the world, it would be …" or "How I can make the world a better place."

Often, these writing prompts were given to us when we were not even old enough to think about abstract concepts like war and politics.

Were these assignments teaching us to think critically? In some cases, this is possible. For the most part, however, these paper topics taught us to do one thing: become central planners. It taught us that complex social problems could conceivably be solved by one person (or a few bureaucrats) in a room developing public policy for the entire nation.

If we just give $1,000 to every poor person, we won't have any more poverty, we thought. The teacher never asked, "From where would this money come?" It did not matter because at least we were thinking about other people. We were thinking about the needy. We were thinking about "solutions" and being "proactive."

I think we could save the environment if we could get everyone to plant one tree, we concluded. The teacher never asked, "How would you get everyone to do this? Would it be through force or persuasion?" It did not matter. We were beginning to realize the importance that policy makers play in shaping our world.

We were not asked to look at the many unintended consequences that would arise from these novel ideas. Where would we get $1,000 for every poor person? By what standard do we judge poor? How do we ensure that $1,000 would be spent to bring the person out of poverty?

Of course, it was never asked whether it was moral to steal money from some to give to others. It did not matter. We were just pretending to be the state; there's no harm in that.

No idea was a bad idea. These teachers were taught to respect the diversity of ideas. Their creed dictates that all ideas have different values and none are necessarily better than the others.

But how can we expect children to experience proper cognitive development when we cannot tell them the difference between right and wrong for fear of offending their sensibilities?

What if a child were to propose a society (loosely) based on the principle of nonaggression. What if a child were to ask the teacher, "Why do we have a government in the first place?"

This would certainly go against the teacher's love of central planning. The answer to this child's question would be simplified into one word: chaos. For most teachers, an anarchic society is and can be nothing but chaos and destruction. After this, the child would not think about it again for years, if ever.

Why would the teacher not be open to this idea? Why would the teacher argue against this child's proposal? The idea would be rejected for the same reason that a news channel owned by a light bulb company would likely never have a special report about its defective light bulbs. Most government school teachers will certainly not entertain the idea that the government is immoral.

Government schools are essentially propaganda machines for the government, but there is no propaganda minister or a top-down curriculum from the Department of Education that promotes this propaganda.

Public schools, by their very nature, are designed to promote government. They teach children to accept that government is exempt from the ethical code that prevents someone from stealing their neighbor's belongings; without government theft, the schools would not exist.

They teach children that the biggest problems of the day can only be solved by central planners. Through these exercises, children learn that humans are so simplistic that one policy can solve a major problem with thousands of variables.

It teaches kids that everything happens in a vacuum. The idea that every man is a unique, free-thinking individual who faces unique choices is replaced with the view that all men are part of a herd, which can be easily manipulated and coerced.

When they ask children to think about what they would change in the world, they are really asking, What would you coerce others to do?

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: brainwashing; coercion; highereducation; mises; propaganda; publicschools; rousseau; state; statism; thestate
Middle-aged or older Americans can remember Pravda, the Soviet Union's chief public propaganda organ. These same Americans generally recognize that all evil governments in history have engaged in similar forms of successful propaganda. All politicians stay in power because enough people are satisfied, or at least alternatively, not too many are too dissatisfied.

Most of these people recognize that the United States has been the most successful country in the history of the world. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that the US had been the most successful because it has been the best country in terms of almost everything, freedom, science, culture, education and anything else about which anybody cares to think. But one!

Almost nobody thinks the US government has been the most successful purveyor of propaganda in the history of the world. Compare Hitler's youth corps to our public schools. Compare our media to Pravda. Compare C(omplete)BS and Dan Rather to Soviet television. Compare Harvard's, Yale's, and almost every other institution of higher learning's source of funding with State education in the Soviet Union. I would be willing to wager our government has out spent the Soviet Union by 100 to 1.

The United States government has been operating the largest, one of oldest continuously operating state propaganda empires in all of human history. Americans are not just brain-dead; they are brain-washed to the point of being brain-dead.

This is not the time to give up or give in. There is hope.

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

1 posted on 11/09/2011 7:39:02 AM PST by Vintage Freeper
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To: Vintage Freeper

I am seeing this with my kid’s High School education now - especially courses like history, “global studies,” and even English

there is a definite “narrative” and kids are expected to regurgitate it. Their grade seems to be more on how cleverly you re-state the expected narrative, rather than how well they write - especially if the idea is unexpected or disliked ideas.

Academics can be so petty, because there is so little at stake.

2 posted on 11/09/2011 7:52:49 AM PST by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: Vintage Freeper

I remember when I was in school especially in Public Schools, I know many teachers always used the “society” buzzword to really mean the gov’t view. What I remember, they were not tolerant of different views or views that especially disagreed with them.

When I went to private school, different view. They encouraged thinking on your own and encouraged various views. The school was a Jesuit H.S.

3 posted on 11/09/2011 8:11:58 AM PST by CORedneck
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To: PGR88

Same here. My daughter just graduated from high school last year and I can’t count the number of times she butted heads with teachers and students about global warming, Che Gueverra (don’t know or care if I spelled that right), Conservatism and on and on. It seemed like there was something every week. Fortunately, this small-town school is still very open to religion (dare is say this?).
She’s in a nearby university now, which, fortunately, seems to be a much better environment and is loving it. Even her political science professor seems to be conservative in his thinking.

4 posted on 11/09/2011 8:16:15 AM PST by texas_mrs (Heartless Conservative & Native Texan (Honky's for Herman!))
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To: PGR88

Yesterday, my son came home with this story from his High School Literature class. The topic of discussion was Hamlet, and each student was asked to provide his/her “interpretation” of either an event or character in the play. The instructor (I refuse to call her a teacher) stated that if the student couldn’t cite a source for their interpretation then it was “just made up,” to which my son replied “This whole course is just made up . . . . it’s FICTION.” Pissed off the instructor, but I got a good laugh out of it.

5 posted on 11/09/2011 8:17:37 AM PST by Jim Hill
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To: Vintage Freeper
The emphasis public schools place on self-esteem is one of the more insidious tools of indoctrination. Teachers praise right-thinking and ignore or scorn wrong-thinking. It goes further than that. Little Johnny is told he is so smart because he understands things most adults, such as his parents, do not. Tell this to little Johnny enough times and you have a self-esteem junkie eager to please the source of praise. Little Johnny may be brain dead, but his ego is alive, well and eager for its next feeding.
6 posted on 11/09/2011 8:19:15 AM PST by trubolotta
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To: Vintage Freeper

Those wacky libertarians. Carrying the idea of limited government to a foolish extreme. Thanks SOOOO much for helping the cause of freedom.


7 posted on 11/09/2011 8:21:22 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: texas_mrs
Che Gueverra (don’t know or care if I spelled that right)

You misspelled it.

The correct spelling is MURDEROUS COMMIE PIG.

Che was a coward who died groveling.

8 posted on 11/09/2011 9:44:15 AM PST by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: Retired Greyhound
Che was a coward who died groveling.

Even Fidel got tired of his crap.

9 posted on 11/09/2011 9:45:41 AM PST by dfwgator (I stand with Herman Cain.)
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