Of Cars and Children

Machen’s Senate Testimony Against The Proposed Department Of Education (1926)

“I think that when it comes to the training of human beings, you have to be a great deal more careful than you do in other spheres about preservation of the right of individual liberty and the principle of individual responsibility; and I think we ought to be plain about this—that unless we preserve the principles of liberty in this department there is no use in trying to preserve them anywhere else. If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”

“I do not believe that we ought to adopt this principle of standardization in education, which is writ so large in this bill; because standardization, it seems to me, destroys the personal character of human life. The aim in the making of Ford cars is to make every one just as much like every other one as possible; but the aim in education is to make human beings just as much unlike one another as possible.”

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