A Simple Syllogism

Says the Washington Post:

“Characterizing any appeal to the coherence or distinctiveness of Western civilization as evidence of white nationalist sympathies.”

Any appeal to Western civ is white nationalist.
Christian Classical Education promotes Western civilization.
Therefore, CCE is white nationalist.

CCE needs to wake up to the world around it.


Multiversity Breakup

This sort of thing is why identity politics is on the rise. It is a microcosm of how multicultural and diverse societies break up into isolated identity groupings, a sort of self-segregation. There is nothing new or abnormal about it. What is unique is that the university is fragmenting into a diversity. Perhaps they will be called multiversities, each isolated from the other with big walls and gates and signs and guards.

Mann’s Success Was His Failure

Mann’s efforts on behalf of the common schools bore spectacular success, if we consider the long-term goals (and even the immediate goals) he was attempting to promote. His countrymen heeded his exhortations after all. ‘I’hey built a system of common schools attended by all classes of society. They rejected the European model, which provided a liberal education for the children of privilege and vocational training for the masses. They abolished child labor and made school attendance compulsory, as Mann had urged. They enforced a strict separation between church and state, protecting the schools from sectarian influences. They recognized the need for professional training of teachers, and they set up a system of normal schools to bring about this result. They followed Mann’s advice to provide instruction not only in academic subjects but in the “laws of health,” vocal music, and other character-forming disciplines (VI:61, 66). They even followed his advice to staff the schools largely with women, sharing his belief that women were more likely than men to govern their pupils by the gentle art of persuasion. They honored Mann himself, even during his lifetime, as the founding father of their schools. If Mann was a prophet in some respects, he was hardly a prophet without honor in his own country. He succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of most reformers, yet the result was the same as if he had failed.

It amazes me how much our modern education – even those classical schools which say they are not modern – model Mann’s common school program. Even our goals are the same; the salvation of the human and his society, as well as the moving away from vocational training toward a life-of-the-mind for everyone, regardless of whether the person actually is inclined or disposed to live that sort of life. No, everyone must be made to leave the workforce for an enlightened life, which few actually attain. We do, however, accomplish an incidental goal which is to keep people from learning skills, entering a career and making a living, and contributing to society.

Here is our puzzle, then: Why did the success of Mann’s program leave us with the social and political disasters he predicted, with uncanny accuracy, in the event of his failure? To put the question this way suggests that there was something inherently deficient in Mann’s educational vision, that his program contained some fatal flaw in its very conception. The flaw did not lie in Mann’s enthusiasm for “social control” or his halfhearted humanitarianism. The history of reform—with its high sense of mission, its devotion to progress and improvement, its enthusiasm for economic growth and equal opportunity, its humanitarianism, its love of peace and its hatred of war, its confidence in the welfare state, and, above all, its zeal for education is the history of liberalism, not conservatism, and if the reform movement gave us a society that bears little resemblance to what was promised, we have to ask not whether the reform movement was insufficiently liberal and humanitarian but whether liberal humanitarianism provides the best recipe for a democratic society.

This sort of equalitarian humanism is, indeed, not fit for society of any type. Humanist education levels society, breaks the chain of parent-child vocations, and places children on a sea of mass choices from which they are told to choose. Confused, they stare around until their mid-twenties when necessity forces their hand into whatever is nearest, at which point they begin learning a skill and working. Exceptions do not make the rule, which was the norm for ages past.

Like Defenders

Hard Right guys speaking about Western Civ and Christendom in the same ways CCE speaks about them, except with more force:

Men of The West seeks to clarify the issues of the day and build a community of like minded men who worship Jesus Christ. To unify them across Christendom to steel them against the barbarians who are either at the gates, or already inside them. We will celebrate, defend, and expand Western Civilization and the values and traditions that created it.

There is no substitute for victory.

We are the Hard Right.

Why have not these two defenders of Western Civ and Christendom linked arms?

Western Culture and CCE

Once it was the ‘revolt of the masses’ that was held to threaten social order in the civilizing traditions of Western culture. Today is the elites, however–those who control the international flow of money and information, preside over a philanthropic foundations and institutions of higher learning, manage the instruments of cultural production and thus senators for the debate–to have lost faith in the values, or what remains of them, of the West. For many people the very term Western civilization now calls to mine an organized system of domination to enforce conformity to bourgeois values and to keep the victims of patriarchal oppression–Women, children, homosexuals, people of color–in a permanent state of subjection. — Lasch, The Revolt Of The Elite
This is why I do not think classical Christian education will go on for long unmolested by SJWs.
I don’t know when and where or how it will come, but it is bound to; especially as CCE gains prominence and influence – and begins to challenge the SJW converged institutions long-established to control culture. They are bound to infiltrate accidentally or on purpose, and then the fights will begin.
And when it does come, CCE had better be ready for it.

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.”

Is Socialism The Best Way To Organize Schools?

Taken from The Problem with Socialism, by Thomas DiLorenzo:

Imagine that the grocery industry was organized in the following way: every residence is assigned by the government to the nearest neighborhood grocery store where it must purchase its groceries. There are heavy penalties for anyone caught shopping at an alternative grocery store. All groceries are paid for with an annual lump-sum tax collected by the local government. Anyone can then walk into her assigned grocery store and pick up whatever she wants, and local governments boast about their “free public groceries.

It is possible to shop elsewhere, but one must then pay twice—once with the grocery tax, and then a second time by paying cash for the alternative groceries. Consequently, only the more affluent can afford to have any real freedom of choice.

All employees of the grocery stores are paid the same according to whichever seniority group they belong to. More seniority means higher pay, but everyone with the same seniority level is paid the same. If there are too many checkout clerks and not enough butchers, the public employees’ grocers union prohibits paying butchers more to alleviate the butcher shortage; it also opposes merit pay. That would be un-egalitarian.

It is almost impossible “to fire a grocery store employee for any reason except criminality. Depending on the city, most grocery employees received job tenure after three years.

Grocery store employees who are grossly incompetent and negligent are routinely promoted up and out, since they can’t be fired, and given jobs at the central grocery administrative offices: hence the saying, “those who can stack shelves, do; those who can’t become central grocery administrators.” Because they are “public servants” they are granted lavish taxpayer-funded pensions—far more lavish than anything most private sector taxpayers have—and liberal vacation time, and the salaries for administrators are far higher than they would merit in a private business.

If the grocery stores are so badly run that food rots on the shelves and their spending exceeds their budgets, or if the grocery workers go on strike, the grocery tax is simply increased, because every politician wants to be in favor of “free groceries;” no one wants to be an “enemy of the poor and the hungry,” and certainly no one wants the grocery stores to close down, even temporarily, because of the stores’ virtual monopoly.

I once presented this scenario to a class of under graduate economics students and asked them whether a grocery system like this would be very efficient at holding down food costs and providing good food products. Of course they laughed. And when I asked if the system sounded familiar, a twenty-year-old college junior blurted out “Communism!” After a few moments of silence another student said “public schools!” They were both right.

Government-run public schools suffer the same problems as any other socialist enterprise. A private school has to compete for students. If a private school fails to serve the needs and expectations of its customers (parents), it loses money, it loses market share, and it could eventually go out of business. A government-run school enjoys a virtual monopoly, especially among the poor, who can’t afford a private school; and as with all monopolies, the convenience of administrators and employees comes before the needs of the customers, because the customers will always be there. They have no choice.

As with all government enterprises, the incentives are perverse: the worse the job they do in teaching children, the more money that is typically given to the public schools, because everyone wants to “improve” education, even if there is rarely, if ever, any evidence that the additional money is helping students to learn more rather than simply paying failing teachers and administrators more and providing the schools with more facilities or programs of dubious educational value. Imagine if corporations behaved in this way—raising prices—in response to consumers walking away in droves because of their tasteless food, dangerous automobiles, shoddy clothing, or whatever. It sounds absurd, yet that is the modus operandi of all public schools everywhere.

Affluent areas have better public schools than poor areas not because the former have more tax money than the latter, but because affluent parents can afford to send their children to private schools. That mere threat of competition forces public schools in affluent areas to do better, despite the education bureaucracy. As with so many socialistic schemes, the public school near-monopoly on education hurts the poor most of all.

More money for poor schools is not the answer. Per-student spending in U.S public schools was more than two-and-a-half times higher in 2013 than it was in 1970, in inflation-adjusted dollars ($4,060 compared to $10,700).1 Real, inflation-adjusted spending increased substantially in every state and the District of Columbia (which spent $17,953 per student in 2013).2 During that time, national reading scores remained flat and the graduation rate increased by only a miniscule percentage. The black student graduation rate lags behind the white public school student graduation rate by about twenty percentage points (59.1 percent to 80.6 percent in one recent year), which is not surprising when you consider that black students are far less likely to attend public schools that have to compete with nearby private schools. A Cato Institute study found that after a near tripling of per-student spending on public schools in real, inflation-adjusted dollars, and a more than doubling of public school employees over forty years, student achievement in both math and verbal skills actually declined.

One would be hard pressed to find any private enterprise that had declining production, performance, or sales after massive infusions of capital (outside of government-subsidized businesses like Solyndra). Would anyone expect a restaurant that doubled its staff to serve fewer dinners? Would a grocery store chain that built more stores sell fewer groceries? Would UPS deliver fewer packages if it hired a thousand more drivers? Only in monopolistic, socialistic enterprises like the public schools does one find the absurdity of paying far more for the service and getting nothing in return.

No more than half of all the increased taxpayer funding for public schools ends up in the classroom (teachers’ salaries, instructional materials, and so on). The rest is eaten up by layers and layers of bureaucracy, not to mention all the capital spending on buildings and facilities. Private schools have to spend their money efficiently, because they operate for profit. Public schools actually have incentives to spend more—to show off their shiny new buildings or to set spending ever higher to justify even more budget increases—but no incentive to spend efficiently; efficient spending, after all, would mean fewer bureaucrats, fewer bureaucratic regulations, and pay based on performance.

Government-run schools are increasingly weighed down by bureaucratic mandates imposed by government at all levels, including the federal government, which is becoming an ever larger source of taxpayer funding of government schools. In many states there is so much detailed regulation of the local schools that teachers are given orders regarding how many minutes per day they must teach history, math, and other subjects.

The government-run schools in the socialist regimes of the twentieth century were indoctrination academies that taught obedience to the state. Plank ten of the ten-point agenda in The Communist Manifesto called for “Free education for all children in public schools.” The twenty-five-point program of the Nazi Party similarly demanded that “The conception of the State Idea . . . must be taught in the schools from the very beginning.” Government-run schools in democratic countries, being in the hands of politicians and government bureaucrats, inevitably become propaganda factories. Murray Rothbard showed in his book Education, Free and Compulsory, that the founding fathers of the public school movement in America were themselves ideological egalitarians and statists. Mandates like Common Core, supported by the federal Department of Education, or state mandates like California’s Fair Education Act (popularly known as the “gay history bill”), are imposed in the name of “standards” or “fairness,” but in fact they are often shackles on how and what teachers can teach and students can think. They can do this because schooling is compulsory, because many parents consider that they don’t have a choice of schools, and every mandate strips parents of control of their schools, putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats. Among the virtues of a free market in education would be not just competition on price and performance, but competition for best suiting the needs and interests of parents and students; as the customers, they would be in charge. Schools would be in the business of best serving parents and their children or going bust.

Private schools, or homeschoolers, are not beyond the reach of state of course, as they have to meet “certification” requirements or testing requirements and so forth, but at least they stand as reminders to the state that children belong to their parents, not the government.
Public schools, on the other hand, because they are run by the government, are incubators of political correctness and inculcate statist assumptions, including the idea that it is normal for the state to have a near-monopoly on education. Rothbard went so far as to say that government-run education produces “a race of passive sheep-like followers of the state” and teaches “the doctrine of state supremacy.”

The never-ending quest for uniformity, common cores, and “equality” destroys independent thought, almost by definition. As H. L. Mencken once wrote, “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”

Excerpt From: Thomas DiLorenzo. “The Problem with Socialism.”

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