The View From 1776

Education for Slavery

Aristotle spoke of people who, by their natures, are slaves.  American educators are doing their best to make slavery part of their students’ natures.

Ironically, Jean Jacques Rousseau, a liberal-progressive of the 1789 French Revolutionary era, spoke of freeing men from the chains of social custom and morality, forged, in his view, by Judeo-Christianity.  Yet it is today’s liberal-progressive educators who have assumed the role of blacksmith to hammer anew the chains of ignorance and slavery onto our children.

When the British North American colonists fought for their independence in 1776 and when they wrote the Constitution in 1787, equality meant equal economic opportunity, unfettered by government, to improve their lives and to pass along the fruit of their labors to their children and grandchildren. 

The focus was upon political and economic freedom.  Today the focus is upon imagined and undeserved rights to enjoy the fruits of others’ labors. 

Those rights exist only to the extent that government arbitrarily confiscates the property and freedoms of others and redistributes them in the name of social justice.  In short, rights, as opposed to liberties, cannot exist outside government that is to some degree tyrannical.

Today’s doctrine - liberal-progressive-socialism - is what Hilaire Belloc called The Servile State.  Today’s educational focus is what Friedrich Hayek called The Road to Serfdom.

Jane S. Shaw, Executive Vice President at the J.W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, North Carolina, alerted me to an article titled Ignoring the Ideological Elephant in the Room.

It describes one aspect of the process by which today’s college professors, the bomb-throwing student radicals of the late 1960s and early 70s and their acolytes and progeny, fasten the chains of political and philosophical ignorance upon callow youth.

It also highlights the mischief arising from the ahistorical view that college education is little more than preparation for a high-paying job.  Unthinking voters are led to believe that the essential need in education is spending more money, without regard for the purposes to which the spending is put.

Key quotations from the article:

The state university system recently invested considerable time and money in the UNC Tomorrow Commission to see how North Carolina