03 September 2013

Private schooling: bad. Sacrificing generations: good

In most areas of the world, schools have opened. Children of all ages and sizes and descriptions have returned to their classrooms, public and private. Homeschool families have resumed full activities (some never stopped for the summer!). So, to welcome them all back to school we read a negative article about you selfish louts who do not send your children to the public (government) schools.

The piece starts with this quote:
You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.”
I’m not making this up! Neither is this a shock statement to get the readers’ attention. This is what the author of this piece (Allison Benedikt) believes.  

There are a few things to notice here. No, I will NOT attempt a full-scale analysis. I will leave that to the reader. Just a few quick hits.

First, it was published in Slate (http://www.slate.com/). Slate is more than slightly left of center in it’s political and cultural biases. Anti-capitalist and anti-American rhetoric is not hard to find in its pages. They are so politically correct and up-to-date that they recently announced (August 8, 2013) that they will no longer refer to the NFL team in Washington as the Redskins. It’s a racist slur, they claim.  

Next, the piece in question (about bad people and private schools) is called a “Manifesto.” That makes alarm bells go off in my head. Manifesto? As in Communist Manifesto? Like the Humanist Manifesto? Like the UnaBomber's Manifesto? OK, it’s true that not all manifestoes are inherently evil. The Declaration of Independence, in fact, is a manifesto. But, the association with the “bad” ones is hard for me to dismiss. And a manifesto is an assertion of rightness. To publish a manifesto is to say, “I’m right; you’re wrong.” Benedikt is not only not right. She honestly doesn’t have a clue. We haven't even looked at any of the content of the manifesto, yet. We’ll take a quick peek now.

Third, this Allison Benedikt is a socialist/marxist/communist. Please read this quote.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)

It will take generations to fix this problem, Benedikt asserts. In the meantime we (probably meaning “you”) should send the children anyway; sacrifice them for the common good. Now, where have I read that before? Oh, right, throughout Marxist literature, that’s where. Rich people will always “game the system.” Class envy, anyone? I wonder whose definition she’s using for “rich.”

Here’s just one quote (from a National Socialist source):
But the Nazis defended their policies, and the country did not rebel; it accepted the Nazi argument. Selfish individuals may be unhappy, the Nazis said, but what we have established in Germany is the ideal system, socialism. In its Nazi usage this term is not restricted to a theory of economics; it is to be understood in a fundamental sense. "Socialism" for the Nazis denotes the principle of collectivism as such and its corollary, statism-in every field of human action, including but not limited to economics.
"To be a socialist," says Goebbels, "is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole."
By this definition, the Nazis practiced what they preached. They practiced it at home and then abroad. No one can claim that they did not sacrifice enough individuals. (The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff 1982).
The Soviets, the Chinese Communists and hordes of other folks tried this experiment, as well. Generations sacrificed. Not much positive has arisen.

I can’t even imagine what words of wisdom Benedikt might have for those so arrogant and unpatriotic as to homeschool. Suffice it to say that no positive answers (for anything) reside here. 

NOTE: For a totally different view, emphasizing parental responsibility, one might read here.

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