The View From 1776
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
The Teachers’ Union Rip-Off
We get extortion, poor performance, and unconstitutional teaching of socialism as our state religion.
Liberal-progressives speak about “investing” in education. That investment has been a very poor one for the taxpayers, with no pay-off in improved education quality.
As the author of Education vs. Bureaucracy notes,
Federal spending on public education has increased 375% over the past four decades and spending per pupil has increased 128%, while reading, math, and science scores for 17-year-olds have remained stagnant, below scores in other nations that compete with us. In that period, school enrollment has increased only about 10%, but the number of teachers and administrative staff (teachers’ union members) has doubled.
Federal funding for education is a sucker’s game. Politicians are pushed into higher spending by unions that don’t hesitate to shut schools down with illegal strikes if they don’t get their way. Moreover, teachers unions are one of the top contributors to Democrat/Socialist Party election campaigns, so politicians oppose the unions at their peril. Every round of excessive pay and benefits increases augments membership in teachers’ unions and adds to their power to extort still greater, unmerited funds from taxpayers.
Most dangerous in the long run is teachers’ unions, and the liberal-progressive Federal bureaucracy dispensing educational funds, effectively inculcating socialism and its philosophy of materialism in the minds of callow students. Using Federal textbook guidelines and following teaching methodologies propounded at Columbia University’s school of education, the original fountainhead of socialist education in the United States, teachers teach that the United States was founded in greed and crimes against humanity and that one-world socialism is the path of righteousness. President Obama is a prime product of that milieu.
The American War of Independence was based philosophically upon diametrically opposed principles: the Judeo-Christian tradition of natural law, the idea of higher law of Divine origin.
The legitimization for our struggle with the British crown in 1776 was that George III had broken the natural-law compact that postulated inalienable, individual natural-law rights to life, liberty, and property. “No taxation without representation.”
In contrast, Nancy Pelosi tells us unhesitatingly that there is no constitutional limit on what Congress may impose upon us, while teachers’ unions applaud.
Jefferson’s references in the Declaration to “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” are meaningless except in the context of natural law. Ditto with regard to the Bill of Rights.
Natural law, since Aristotle, has been identified with the teleological, intelligent-design paradigm of the cosmos. Aristotle’s natural law, via Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, opened the field of European medieval law to the concept of separation of church and state into political and spiritual realms. One dealt with making people good citizens, the other with making people good humans. Both were rooted in natural law, and natural law was God-given.
This was the entire foundation of everything that we now call Western civilization, to which the teachers’ unions stand opposed.
American liberal-socialism demands that only the secular doctrine of socialism and Comte’s Positivism be taught in our schools. Because of support from our Federal courts, socialism has been established as the only scientific truth. The natural-law, spiritual-religion foundation of our nation has been dismissed as ignorance from a pre-scientific age. If that position holds, then the Declaration and the Constitution are meaningless drivel that “evolves” in Darwin’s hypothesized evolutionary fashion, subject only to random, chaotic materialistic forces.
As our first socialist Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, wrote, there is no such thing as a higher law of morality, merely whatever a particular judge thinks that the law ought to be. Holmes opined that, if secular materialism changed public opinion to the belief that we should scrap the Constitution and institute Bolshevism, then neither the Court not the Constitution should stand in the way. That contempt for tradition and precedent, for the entirety of Western civilization, has, too often since the 1920s, informed Federal judicial practice, making the Constitution into a Rorschach ink-blot. That is the philosophical position governing teachers’ union extortion.
The materialistic and secular doctrine of socialism, pushed by the ACLU (e.g., the Scopes monkey trial), liberal-progressive-socialist politicians, and the teachers’ unions, in effect decapitates Western civilization. We see this daily in denigration of subject matter produced by “dead white men” and John Dewey’s maxim that “dead” history has no place in the Progressive Education curriculum. William F. Buckley, Jr., documented it in his 1951 God and Man at Yale, and Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate have updated it in The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on Americas Campuses.
Socialism’s conceptualizers were correct in perceiving that control of education is the most effective way to destroy the spiritual essence of Western civilization and replace it with the secular and materialistic religion of socialism.