I read a very well articulated article from American Vision this morning titled The Socialization of Education. They made some very good points, none of which I could improve on and so my blog this morning is not going to address how socialist ideology has been creeping into government schools over the years.
Something else occurred to me when I read this article, something I have been wondering about. The section quotes Allan Bloom which follows:
Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being. This intention is more or less explicit, more or less a result of reflection; but even the neutral subjects, like reading and writing and arithmetic, take their place in a vision of the educated person. In some nations the goal was the pious person, in others the warlike, in others the industrious. Always important is the political regime, which needs citizens who are in accord with its fundamental principle. Aristocracies want gentlemen, oligarchies men who respect and pursue money, and democracies lovers of equality. Democratic education, whether it admits it or not, wants and needs to produce men and women who have the tastes, knowledge, and character supportive of a democratic regime. Over the history of our republic, there have obviously been changes of opinion as to what kind of man is best for our regime… This education has evolved in the last half-century from the education of democratic man to the education of the democratic personality.
The palpable difference between these two can easily be found in the changed understanding of what it means to be an American. The old view was that, by recognizing and accepting man’s natural rights, men found a fundamental basis of unity and sameness. Class, race, religion, national origin or culture all disappear or become dim when bathed in the light of natural rights, which give men common interests and make them truly brothers. The immigrant had to put behind him the claims of the Old World in favor of a new and easily acquired education. This did not necessarily mean abandoning old daily habits or religions, but it did mean subordinating them to new principles. There was a tendency, if not a necessity, to homogenize nature itself.
The recent education of openness has rejected all that. It pays no attention to natural rights or the historical origins of our regime, which are now thought to have been essentially flawed and regressive. It is progressive and forward-looking. It does not demand fundamental agreement or the abandonment of old or new beliefs in favor of the natural ones. It is open to all kinds of men, all kinds of life-styles, all ideologies. There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything. But when there are no shared goals or vision of the public good, is the social contract any longer possible?
It is the last paragraph the caught my attention in particular. Again, it says, “It is progressive and forward-looking. It does not demand fundamental agreement or the abandonment of old or new beliefs in favor of the natural ones. It is open to all kinds of men, all kinds of life-styles, all ideologies.”
I found it interesting when Eric Holder seemed unable to say the words, “Radical Islam” a short while ago. I realize now that he was simply being a strict adherent to his ideology. To quote Bloom again, “There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything.” Holder has to be open to everything and so do his cohorts in the Obama administration and those entrenched in the government school system from Kindergarten to PhDs in the University level.
I think this Progressive/Liberal/Socialist/Marxist (whatever term you like…it’s a democracy so you choose) ideology will eventually run headlong into an ideology that is not so accommodating to it. In the United States we’re used to accommodating many ideologies, some more so than others. It think one such ideology is Radical Islam; the very word Holder is unable to utter. If this happens and it seems inevitable to me, what will the response of the Progressives be?
Psychology and history attest to what usually happens when a person with a weak disposition encounters a bully. If you can’t run from the bully you attempt to join him in his efforts. This is the classic response depicted so well in the movie Christmas story. Who can forget the ugly bully in that movie and his diminutive toady who egged him on in his bullying. I think that may have to be the response of the Progressives when Radical Islam makes its aggressive move for power in the U.S.
That is why I’m glad I live in a crater.