Skip to comments.Pope Pius XI blasts "monopoly schooling" and "sex-education" (1929)
Posted on 11/02/2001 4:47:45 AM PST by Aquinasfan
click here to read article
I have selected portions that I thought would be of greatest interest to all Freepers, but the entire encyclical is worthwhile. It's a gem.
It kind of surprised me as to how little things have changed. The problems have only changed by degree.
The pope's allusion to the Soviet school system of 1929 could pretty much describe American government schools today.
A universal and compulsory system of instruction has for its first and main effect uniformity. It produces to a pattern. It fills the millions of a nation (at the age when the mind is being fixed) with one set of ideas to the exclusion of others. No mere limited freedom of choice in textbooks and teachers can prevent this effect, when the whole system is subject to State regulation, supervision, examination and test. Indeed, it can be verified by experience that there is sometimes even more diversity of result in a centralized system of education than in one where local authorities and various religious bodies have power of selecting books and instructors. Thus in France it is a frequent complaint, on the part of those with a passion for national unity, that the elementary school does not provide it, while in England, where the system is theoretically far less rigid, no one can or does complain of stray differences in its results, for there are little or no differences apparent. It is not the particular form of the system, it is its universal character which is of this effect. On reflection we see that it must be so. A body of national teachers will come into being and will be informed with a corporate spirit. They will be trained all in much the same fashion to the same fixed "standards" and with the same ends in view. They will teach under the shadow of a vast bureaucracy and to ends set them by an army of inspectors, examiners and departmental officials.Belloc goes into detail about the injustice of forcing families to subject their children to state education. Also, check out The Dewey Legend in American Education
You have, therefore, here one essential condition of the "Modern Mind"; its lack of diversity; its mechanical deadness. This, when it is achieved, reacts in turn upon the elementary school, and each, the agent and the object, the school and the scholar, increases the sterility of the other. Uniformity acquired by the second makes easier the action of the first, and both conform to a common fixedness.
Indirectly but more strongly still this mechanical uniformity tends to exclusion of ideas. That which is not taught at all to a child, or is taught as something subsidiary, falls out of his consciousness or is diminished therein. For the most part what is not emphasized is not believed to exist. Often, from its unfamiliarity, that which is a stranger to education in childhood, is thought incredible by the grown man.
-Hilaire Belloc, Survivals and New Arrivals
When I read this I feel physically ill. You know why? Not just because it's true, but because many people I know and love dearly are still laboring under the "false consciousness" imparted to them in their years in government detention centers, and they show no signs of awakening.
I will check out your link.
Some other great education reads are:
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto
NEA: Trojan Horse in Education by Sam Blumenfeld
Blumenfeld in particular describes in detail how government schools were designed to bring about the effect described by Belloc above.
David C. Osborne
"Thou didst create us, O Lord, for Thyself, ...
And not for the State.
The libertartian position is that state has no role in education, since the purpose of the state is protection of individual rights and not pursuit of public good. Parents and adult students are capable do decide for themselves what education to get in pursuit of their private good. The libertarian slogan is "separation of school and state", consistent with that philosophy.
These are two older threads on the evil of public education.
Wouldn't the act of abstaining from an active role in the education of children be considered a "public good" by libertarians? Or at least a "good"?
Should the State prescribe minimal guidelines for education? If not, then how could the State secure the "individual rights" of the child who is deprived of an education (or worse)?
The radical feminist connection with state socialism is demonstrated in two ways:(1) the use of state power to extinguish the natural right of the father, and (2) giving the state priority over the family and warding the father's place of honor in the family to the state while guarding the absolute rights of the mother, with regard to reproduction, but also subordinating her right to guide the education of any children she may choose to bear to the authority of the state.
Yes, and generally, as the libertarian government protects the private good, many a public good would ba a side effect of that. We can generalize from this that the libertarian worldview, despite the peculiarities of its analytical method, does not produce anything radically different from the classic view on what good government is.
Should the State prescribe minimal guidelines for education?
The test is whether, if given a time machine, the grown up child could reasonably sue his parents for not educating him. For example, if a child hasn't been taught to read and write, the parent, absent some improbable excuse, would be judged to have neglected the child and deprived him of an opportunity that otherwise would have been clearly his. On the other hand, if a child hasn't been given piano lessons, the lawsuit would fail because it is not clear that having received the lessons the child would have made a Horowitz.
So here's the rub: the government may see public good in producing star pianists. If you think it is far fetched, recall the Soviet Union with its Olympic athletes and ballet dancers. Thus a government would be tempted to go beyond the simple test of individual harm and impose educational standards that would not have been reasonable for a grown up child to retrospectively demand. Should that happen, the rights of the parents would be violated by the government, with secondary loss accruing to the child.
We conclude that the government may impose minimalist educational standards; but allowing the government to do so would be bad public policy, given the government's appetite for growth beyond its legitimate perimeter.
They requested use of their parish gym. Religious/non profit groups do not have to pay to use the parish facilities. This church informed the Catholic homeschoolers they would have to pay to use facilities. When they replied that they were a loose knit Catholic group, this was the reply:
Fr. contacted me and asked me to meet with him to discuss some issues related to the homeschool group's request to be sponsored by the church. I told him that I could not speak for the group but would be willing to contact you all to discuss any issues.
Our request was discussed at the staff meeting and several questions were raised which Father would like us to answer so that he "can present [our] case." I have listed the questions below.
The Questions (without editorial comment on my part):
1. What do you propose to do for the parish?
2. Who will finance you?
3. Who is in charge (person, committee)?
4. Who do you represent?
5. What are the requirements to belong to the group?
6. What do you expect from the parish?
7. Every parish sponsored organization accepts the authority of the bishop and his appointed pastor. Is that acceptable for the group?
This seems subtle persecution to me, but I'm a veteran of the ongoing wars in my diocese here between the bishop and his liberal clique and the orthodox laypeople.
Is this available online???
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