The View From 1776
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Response To A Critique Of Education Reform
A thoughtful reader, with whom I usually disagree, commented in response to Reform Education If The Constitution Is To Survive:
Thomas, I find it interesting that you hold up pre-Christian Greek theories of education as a model for inculcating religious teaching into the schools to save us from the clutches of the evil liberals. The Greeks did not espouse Christian ideals, because, of course, they predated the Christian era. One could turn your argument around and ask why the Greeks did OK without Christianity if religious teaching in the schools is so necessary to hold on to our culture.
Yes, the age of Plato and Aristotle pre-dated Christianity. But it was contemporaneous with the age of the Old Testament prophets. Both Plato, et al, and the prophets envisioned the same new ordering principle for society: the individual human soul opened to God and individually responsible for his actions.
It was this ordering principle, universally taken for granted in our nation’s founding era, the ordering principle that underlay our unwritten constitution, of which John Adams said, “We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion. Our constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, to the Officers of the First Brigade, Third Division, Massachusetts Militia, October 11, 1798.
Liberal-progressivism is a severely retrograde movement, reverting to the pre-Greek, pre-prophetic era of the Pharaohs of Egypt and the oriental despots of the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian empires. In those societies the individual counted for nothing. All flowed from the ruler, usually worshipped as divine, and, in all cases, the only conduit between the gods and the masses. While all of them had legal codes and rules of societal conduct, those rules were whatever the sovereign political state saw fit to impose.
This is an accurate description of the essential nature of a liberal-progressive-socialistic political state in which the relentless thrust is to reduce all citizens to dependence upon the collectivized welfare state. The liberal-progressive-socialistic state tends inherently toward tyranny, as in Lenin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s National Socialist Germany.