Re: Freedom and the Occupy Movement

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Bill, your musings are absolutely, positively right on-point. This statement from your post is particularly accurate:

Since the Progressive Era of 100 years ago, virtually ALL education, both government and private, has undertaken to destroy the idea of all the aspects of liberty and especially the fundamental point that the State is oppressive and needs to be restrained.

I recently attended a fascinating talk by a professor back at my alma mater. The key premise of her talk fits very comfortably into one of the undercurrents of your post: Public schooling was created to control information exchange. The industrial-education complex—another term she used—was developed and deployed to create citizenry who were happy installing bumpers all day, not independent thinkers who longed of making their own decisions and running their own businesses. Making one’s own decisions (and dealing with the consequences) is part-and-parcel with private property ownership, personal responsibility, and other buzz words that we associate with liberty.

Much, if not all, of what we associate with compulsory public education, dating back to its roots between 1852–1918, including everything from multiple-choice tests to punch clocks to required courses to sitting in rows, was developed with the goals of removing habitual independent thinking from the citizenry. OWS is simply an example of what happens when a beast of burden gets a stone in the wrong place, but has no idea what do to about it. Sure, asking the person who saddled you up to remove it—or add some padding to the saddle—will probably make you feel better, but in the aftermath, you’ll still be pulling his cart, and eating his hay.

1:16 pm on October 26, 2011