The Panacea

A question I ask people periodically is, if they could change one thing to remedy the decline of society, what would it be? It can’t be something like going back in time to alter things or summoning extraterrestrials like Klaatu and Gort to police society. It hast to be something that is theoretically possible no matter how unlikely or unworkable.

Some of the responses are things like term limits for politicians, elimination of the income tax, ending or enhancing the drug war, voter IDs, policing the borders, mandatory prison sentences, ending lifetime appointment of judges, legalizing drugs that are presently illegal, increasing the number of police, and so on.

Think about this for a minute before you see my choice so as not to be prejudiced. Nobody has ever suggested the action that I would take. Once a condition has been around long enough to predate any living person in the society it is very hard to see that it is bad.

If you suggest that democracy, plutocracy, dictatorship, monarchy, theocracy, diabolocracy, hagiocracy, aristocracy, a republic or any other type of government is bad, you will be met with defenders and the argument that “it’s always been this way” or “what are you going to replace it with?” It’s about like asking what you’re going to replace incest with.

The principle that few people ever seem to consider is, “Is this a legitimate power of government?”

Is it legitimate for government to outlaw prostitution? There are moral and practical arguments against prostitution, but that isn’t the question. Probably all of those arguments would apply with equal force against fornication or any form of debauchery. The main argument against prostitution legalization is something like, “If we legalize prostitution there will be a lupanar on every street, families will be destroyed, young girls will be corrupted…” and on and on. Even if all of that is correct, it doesn’t mean that government can legitimately exercise power over it.

I mention this because when I argue for my societal remedy I’m always met with the “If we do this, disaster will strike” response.

If I could change one thing it would be to forbid government involvement of any kind in schooling, or as they like to call it, education. There would have to be an amendment that was so air tight that the government could never get its paws on the conveyance of thought or information. It would have to forbid any compulsion, tax support, accrediting, certification or licensing of teachers, textbook selection, courses of study, lunch or any kind of meal provision, standards, transportation, government school boards or aid to private school boards, testing, land grants, buildings, instructional materials such as videos, libraries, research grants, scholarships, aid for athletics or musical programs, student loans, ad infinitum. Government would be forbidden to have anything to do with a school or a school by any other name.

Recently, a person running for office was decrying the state of “education” and said that she was going to return control to the parents. This kind of thing is said all the time, but it is not possible to have both compulsion and parental control. As long as there is compulsion it is the one doing the compelling that is in control, not the parents or anybody else. If the “customers” of a protection racket decide they want to choose their own thugs, the type of punishment meted out and various other reforms, they might fool themselves into believing that they are in control, but they will find out otherwise when they miss a payment. If you are compelled to do anything you are not in control of that activity. If the parent gets a voucher the government is still in control. Whatever the government funds, it controls.

God endowed man with free will, but government abrogates it.

Even if there were a committee of heroic virtue and angelic intellect running the schools, as long as the government has so much as authority to stripe the parking lot it will metastasize and gain control of the entire operation.

If government was not in control, how many drag queens do you think would be invited to school? How much time would be devoted to teaching sodomy? How much time would be devoted to sex education of any kind? Would there be a controversy about someone’s pronouns? If you were a boy, would there be some question about which bathroom to use? How about if you were a girl? Would anybody pretend that you were not mentally ill if you “identified” as the opposite sex and expected others to go along with your delusion? Teaching or promoting manifest absurdities is destroying society. No society can survive where everybody lies or pretends to believe lies and goes along with them.

Diversity is supposed to be a wonderful thing, why not diversity of thought and opinion? When the purpose of the school is to produce automatons it cannot allow independent thought and analytical thinking. When everyone is taught false or incomplete information, we all end up like the dwellers in Plato’s cave who see things only in shadow. As it is, almost all of us believe things that are not true because that’s what we were taught. It’s as though we have an induced blindness and have to work to restore our sight. Government wants no citizens who see clearly.

If parents were actually in control there would be all sorts of opinions, some conventional and some revolutionary, but it would be the will of the parent prevailing, not the government. If independent thought were allowed the results would probably start to show themselves fairly soon because the parents would find out things they didn’t know in the course of teaching their children. In twenty years there would would be millions of people who had not grown up being integrated into the herd.

This would also remove the burden of paying to instruct somebody else’s children. If you think this is wrong or that you have a better panacea, don’t keep it a secret. Think about this – what the government can compel you to do, it can forbid you to do. If government can set a minimum wage it can set a maximum wage since it has authority over wages.

The schools are not the only source of error and deception; there are newspapers, movies, magazines, television shows, websites and all sorts of agencies, bureaus, companies et cetera, but if the populace can think analytically and critically the effects of these things will be blunted.

Alexis de Tocqueville probably had no idea how bad things could get when he wrote, “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.” and that was before government control was universal as it is today.

Reprinted with permission from ChrisSullivan.com.