Google+ Followers

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Education / Intelligence / School / Worldview / Teaching

There are some key turning points in history that are obvious.  The rise of Alexander the Great, the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolutions and World War I are some of the bigger ones.  However, some of the turning points are less "loud".

Turning Point #1
As I read the writers of the Old Right, it seems that the changing of the original debate of 'laissez faire' is quietly, a key turning point.  The original laissez faire debate was between entrepreneurs and private citizens vs. The State.  "the phrase stems from a meeting in about 1680 between the powerful French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen led by a certain M. Le Gendre. When the eager mercantilist minister asked how the French state could be of service to the merchants and help promote their commerce, Le Gendre replied simply "Laissez-nous faire" ("Leave us be", lit. "Let us do")."  Notice how the battle, the debate, was between producers and government.  The irony is rich as the State wanted to "help" business, and French businessmen declined help from the State.  This argument was subtly changed with the advent of Marxism, which then switched the debate (in a clumsy and plagiarized manner) from the original meaning to the 'workers vs. the big businessmen'.  Marxism / Socialism has not only caused the deaths of millions of people, but it has also  thrown much of the developing world into permanent backwater status.  Like many of our narratives today, it is a false one as Crony Corporate Capitalism is at fault for our economic problems, yet the "free market" is blamed.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

This narrative is part of the crux of this post.  In school, we learn, either directly or through connotation, that the free market is bad, and capitalism is all about greed and horrid speculation.  The State is good, benevolent and healing.  Public school is the vehicle for which this narrative is framed.  How did this happen?  How did the libertarian experiment that was these United States adopt such a twisted tale?

Turning Point #2
Well, it adopted the Prussian School system.  The Prussian army was defeated by Napoleon III.  One of the reasons for this loss was that the Prussian soldiers were thinking for themselves, and didn't blindly follow orders.  A system was needed to change a freethinking and strong people into an order-obeying monolith.  In comes the advent of "schule".  The Power Elite in these United States saw the benefits to them via this collectivist system.  America at the time was a freewheeling, gold standard having, entrepreneurial place, especially if you were a white male.  This was not to be tolerated.  If a regular citizen was smarter, more determined, and harder working, he could outdo your business and make you have to compete for clientele.  This caused prices to go down (as they do in a free market), and the gold holding Americans, who understood economics and were exceedingly literate, were able to flourish as their saved capital (gold, land, business) grew in value.  To snuff out this fierce, rugged individualism, an education system had to be created under false pretense.  The idea, in theory, was to 'educate the masses'.  The irony is that the masses didn't need to be educated, and rejected schooling for decades.  It took about 60 years, but the collectivist school was eventually rammed into place and now we promote obeisance to the state and worship false gods.  Erich Maria Ramarque, in his classic "All Quiet on the Western Front" tells us that the First World War was caused by the tricks of schoolmasters, and the famous Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that the Second World War was the inevitable product of good schooling.  The following video does a wonderful job at looking at the advent of Organized Public School.  Interestingly enough, it mentions that almost totally fraudulent Horace Mann came back from Prussia lauding the School System there, but neglects to mention that school was out of session during his time there.  An individualist crushing institution based on whole cloth.

Recommended reading: The Underground History of American Education.
"Tolstoy's Writings On Education" - Ernest J. Simmons

No comments: