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Compulsory Education:  A Dialogue

Public Education is the means by which a society reproduces itself and resists change. 

 It is no wonder every State arrogates to itself the power to oversee and influence the education of its citizens.  Compulsory education is the premiere means by which change for the better (for the citizens) can be nipped in the bud, and thereby imbue to the benefit of the State.  It is those individuals in charge of the state, and who wish to maintain absolute dominance, that the educational system is inevitably designed to protect.  Compulsory education is mind-control par excellence.  In Western so-called “democracies” it is a subtle part of the system that few intellectuals -- let alone the masses -- can or are willing to see (the latter being, effectively, willful ignorance), and therefore no remedy is thought by the so-called intellectual elite to be needed.   

Thus begins a dialogue between Janus and Judith  

Janus:  Training in lesser flexibility (which contributes to an automatic acquiescence to authority) starts in the family, but it is finished and sealed by the State-supervised compulsory education system.  The takeover of young minds is so complete that even Article 26 of the United Nations casts it in stone:  Education is a right (okay); elementary education is to be free (yes); but to be compulsory?  Surely, the third term of the list is out of place.  I am speechless when I think that nobody ever challenges such a sequence.  

Judith:  Janus, would you consider that what needs to be compulsory is not a State-supervised education system, but a State-supervised minimum education standard?  By this, I mean, that the State is strictly LIMITED to administering tests to ensure that all “young minds” are acquainted with certain fundamentals -- such as reading, writing, mathematics, basic understandings of human rights and the constitution, and so forth.  The idea is to ensure that education is not withheld by parents or groups to some minimum basis, but at the same time, to place the actual educational process itself -- along with all the other materials deemed appropriate by the student’s parents and community -- in the hands (control) of the parents and community.           

I’m reminded that one out of three females are sexually abused at least once before their 18th birthday (and males, one in seven!), and that in most cases, the abuse derives from close family members (as opposed to State-supervised bureaucrats).  Thus, without a means to ensure that children are at least aware that it is not appropriate for Daddy or Aunt Joan to batter, sexually abuse, or otherwise enslave them, some minimum is needed.  More importantly is the critical necessity for children to be aware of their constitutional guarantees, to (as John Adams noted) “understand the nature of coin, currency and circulation”, to recognize their increasing rights and responsibilities as individuals moving in the direction of self-reliance, and to understand the essential need for critical thinking in all of their educational possibilities.  By having a minimum standard for such things, it is hoped that one can avoid everything from fathers using their young daughters as sex-slaves to religions censoring everything that might conceivably be contrary to their narrow views, to political hacks providing a very one-sided version of reality.  And so forth.           

While I would readily admit that parents, and secondarily the community, will normally have the best interests of the children at heart (certainly more than some State-supervised educational systems), the fact remains that there are a lot of parents out there who do not have their children’s best interests at heart, OR they are so warped in their psychotic views that their children are not going to know the truth that will set them free.  Thus it is essential that the larger community ensure that everyone has access to the truth, and that furthermore, the parents and local communities control the educational process to the extent to educating to the State-supervised standard, and additionally educating to their own higher standards!           

For example, the State-supervised test standard might include “comparative religion or philosophy”, while the parental/community curriculum could be expanded to emphasize a particular religion.  The key is that neither the State nor the parents/local community can limit the student's access to knowledge.  

Janus:  Why do children have to wait till  further education (by no means free) to learn philosophy, psychology,  sociology, economics, politics, where critical thinking would be developed?  We all know that as soon as children acquire Language their mind is crawling with questions relating to the most profound mysteries of existence. And whatever happened to the idea that we are here to re-member what we already know -- bring the stuff out -- “educe” it (i.e. to draw it forth”)?  

Judith:  I agree that children should not have to wait.  Nor miss out of the opportunity all together (as probably a majority of people have done, and with no expectation that they will ever learn philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics, politics, and critical thinking).  This could be part of the State-supervised standard, so that the rest of us don’t have to contend with all those people who don’t have a clue.  But again, let the parents and local communities do the educating.  Just keep the latter honest by having minimum standards.           

As an aside, I recently reviewed the Texas Constitution 2000 (an unofficial attempt by a group of independent thinkers, and which is currently being finalized).  I attempted to make the above point to one of the drafters of the Texas document, but was told that they would defend the parent’s right to control their child’s education (without any State-imposed controls whatsoever) to their last breath.  From my viewpoint, I would object to such a biased and unworkable condition on the same basis.  IMNHO (“In My Never Humble Opinion” <g>) the Texas Constitution 2000 draft would produce a large portion of its future citizenry who wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to what was written in the Texas Constitution 2000 in the first place!           

The interesting (and fun) part arises when we all begin to decide what are to be the “State-supervised” minimum standards!!  

Janus:  My daughter did not display the traditional “Terrible Twos”.  What I realized was happening was at that particular stage, her mind was discovering it existed and was separate from mine.  The mind asserted itself by wanting to touch the stove, for instance.  I allowed her to do this and to discover for herself that the stove was hot.  (This is not really dangerous as the reflex pulls the hand away before damage is done.)  What would have been damaging to her mind would have been to grab her hand and yell at her to DON’T TOUCH THE STOVE!  This I could not bring myself to do.           

At age 9 she is a wonderful generalist in her learning (her father’s daughter) and in the words of her Aunt ... “Keeps Her Own Council”.  The influence of her rising hormonal tides (yes, at age 9) is now starting to cause her emotional self to explore emotional  knowledge.  This can be difficult on me, but I’m committed to let her explore that realm even though she may touch the stove.           

If you do/learn/study nothing else in this life, at least pro-create as you will find yourself in a laboratory with many mirrors that you may have to bend down to look into for the value they reflect.  

Judith:  I find it curious that communists, religious fundamentalists, and other very-control-oriented groups have invariably adopted the strategy that the best idea (i.e. the highest priority) is to educate children in such a way that within a generation (say 15 years), they will have a group of fanatic, true believers that will do anything but exercise critical thinking, discriminate between conflicting ideas, and so forth.  They will thus avoid touching the stove, not because of its inadvisability, but because of a traumatic order.           

If, for example, one indoctrinates children into believing that “Father Knows Best”, that all Vaccines are good for you, that the “authorities” really know what they’re doing, and will always do things with your best interests in mind...  Then there’s no hope for freedom.  Just keep in mind that freedom includes the right to fail, to get burned by the stove.           

I would go so far as to say that all the “world problems/solutions” derive from a stupid populace, one who has no chance for freedom because they don’t know the truth, or even suspect that they don’t know it.  There is, in fact, no effort being made to continually question everything, including one’s old opinions and Paradigms.  Even if one solved a world problem -- e.g. outlawed vaccinations -- within a couple of generations, the same problem would rear its head again, and because the children’s education was such a low priority, they would not know the history of why the people did away with it before.  

Janus:  A new generation is really the teacher of the one that brings it into being. This is the reverse of what actually happens now.  No wonder  “civilizations” inevitably and irretrievably go downhill.           

Judith:  I would agree Education is the highest priority.  But it has to be an education that does not limit either the ability to think critically or the access to information, knowledge, wisdom, and concepts -- many of which are totally and completely, barn carpeting!  Let the Reader Beware, but don’t limit what can be read!


Education         The Public School Nightmare

Or forward to:

Seventh Generation Education         The Tao of Teaching


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