Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Raising the steaks

Reading the latest topic of the 9cast Carnival, I was caught in a quandary. This topic is : "U.S Education system: State, Federal or Parental control?". Unfortunately, I am an anarchist who is also against parenting, so I can't choose any of these ! And I'm not American either, so I don't particularly care what the American education system is like (although according to John Stossel, it's pretty bad compared to other developed countries).

So I'm going to have to look at this from a slightly different angle, and that is the role that the education system plays in the maintenance of government and statist belief systems.

Parts of the government, like parts of any other collectivist system, serve three main utilitarian roles : to make the system seem useful and necessary, to provide another area where government can use its power and create more social warfare, and to divert the flow of resources and the values of private individuals into supporting the apparatus of government.

Public education, and the educational system in general, is no exception to this rule :

1. It makes government seem useful and necessary - when government coercion is in fact the least efficient and useful method there is.
2. It creates another area - what to teach our children - where government creates social warfare (as the continuing saga of "Intelligent Design" continues to demonstrate).
3. It indoctrinates the children in whatever statist ideology is prevalent at the time. There is, of course, no interest in teaching children vital topics like basic economics or critical thinking when they can be indoctrinated through a patriotic rehashing of history, religious classes, or utilitarian bullshit.

Like all government systems, public education also discriminates against the masses. Private schooling has been shown to be better for the poor (in countries like India, Brazil and Argentina), and charter schools have also been shown as a superior alternative.

Finally, the educational system gives children their first taste of social warfare. I am writing this as elections are looming in Canada, and students' unions are putting out ads on television demanding more public money for schools (from who ? and how ? blank). This ad is of course paid for by various unsavory unions and organizations which would benefit from a stronger public education system. Teenagers protest without thinking and feel like they are being good little citizens, a nice echo to their later years when they will protest without thinking and feel like they are being good little citizens.

What about homeschooling ? It is difficult to argue with the empirical evidence of its greater efficacy, as well as the fact that parents will devote more time to their own children than teachers would. However, it is also a wonderful opportunity for fanatic parents to brainwash their children in their belief system and surround them with it, which they do in droves. So homeschooling is extremely dangerous for the social fabric, and is probably not worth the added efficacy.


Roy W. Wright said...

Social fabric?! Aren't you an individualist?

Francois Tremblay said...

Yes... I am an individualist. I also fail to grasp the substance of your questions. Am I prohibited by law from saying "social fabric"?

Adi said...

With individual parents, at least they get a chance. Public school is a pure steamroller.