Friday, October 17th, 2008...1:38 am

Worse than a government-controlled press

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I don’t think it would be a controversial statement to say that about 99% of Americans believe in freedom of the press, in the sense that they don’t believe that having the newspapers and other mass media controlled directly by the federal government would be a good idea.  They see the danger of having newspapers acting as overt propaganda tools for the government.  While I will be the first to criticize how much the various media organizations voluntarily shill for the federal government, it’s certainly not as bad as it would be if the government actively filtered everything that was presented on telecasts, radio broadcasts, newspapers, and the internet.  (For example, Ron Paul to the best of my knowledge, was interviewed by every cable news network during his presidential campaign and had the opportunity to present a non-statist point of view to a sizable television audience.)  To the extent to which we still enjoy freedom of the press, it is a blessing, even when viewpoints that you disagree with are presented without a rebuttal from your “side”.

Because the freedom of the press is so widely accepted by Americans, I find it amazing that out of those 99% who believe in the freedom of the press, 80% or more of them believe that the government should directly control the education of children.  If it is a danger to a free society to have adults subjected to propaganda, how much more of a danger is it to have impressionable children subjected to a government-controlled curriculum for six hours a day for a minimum of ten years?  This is exactly what is happening.  Children in the public schools are provided with textbooks that are of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, and for the bureaucrats.  The curricula are designed and supervised by educational bureaucrats (“educrats”).  In my home state of North Carolina, there are almost as many educrats in the public school systems as there are teachers, and they earn far more than the teachers. From the days of Horace Mann, the public education movement has been one of attempted social engineering.  Mann prophesied that public schools would eradicate crime (how’s that one working out) and poverty.  The government school movement has a distinctively messianic character, and like all false messiahs, it disappoints.  Although, I don’t think that public schools are failing in their actual intended purpose.

The purpose of the government school is not to produce a population that is highly literate, capable of critical thinking, or logical.  The purpose of the government school is to have each generation more supportive of an ever larger and more intrusive government.  Now, they still do let good teachers teach here and there (I’ve had several of them), but these teachers are becoming fewer and further between.  Logic and rhetoric are nowhere to be found in the average government school.  Once I started studying economics on my own, I became convinced that public schools try to make the subject as dull and brutally boring as humanly possible so that students have no desire to understand economics.  I don’t know what else you’d expect from a government institution, but with the exception of the homeschooling and Christian schooling movements, nobody seems to have a problem with the idea of public schools.

The different political parties argue about how government-controlled education should be implemented, but almost nobody argues about whether the government should be involved in education in the first place.  It is precisely because education is so important that the government should keep its grubby mitts out of the whole business.

The primary argument advanced by the guilt manipulators in favor of government education is that without it the poor would not be educated.  Well, before the public school movement there were several private, charitable Christian schools that did just that.  Rather than simply being recruiting grounds for gangs, these schools were able to educate poor immigrants into literate, productive members of society.  What is going on with the poor cannot fairly be called education, and the level of literacy seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of money that the government throws at it.  I can’t conceive of a better way to express your contempt for the poor than to compell their children to attend government schools.  Again, you see the schools achieving their intended (but not publicly stated) purpose of keeping generations of people dependent upon the government for just about everything.

I haven’t even mentioned the tax burden of this mess yet.  The government points a gun at your belly and forces you to financially support these schools whether you believe in them or not, whether they are turning out literate or illiterate people.  Who cares whether you’re devouring widows’ houses; it’s for the educra…I mean children.  In a situation where educational liberty thrived and schools were only supported by donations and tuition, the bad schools would go out of business while the good schools opened up a new branch in the next town.  As things currently stand, the bad schools get their budgets tripled for failing to educate their students.  Now tell me what incentive there is to produce reasonably informed, literate, logical people in a system like that.  When business fails, it gets smaller; when government fails, it gets bigger.

Government control of the schools is far worse than government control of the press, because within 2 or 3 generations, public schools accomplish a functional control of the press that the American people never would have otherwise consented to—or at least it would if there wasn’t a sovereign God controlling all of history for the good of his saints.  This will not succeed because the public schools are merely idols for destruction in the long run.  They cannot save any more than a block of wood can.  The educrats can moan and cut themselves with knives and lancets, but in the end there will no voice; there will be no one to answer; no one will save them.

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