The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What ‘Education’ Teaches

Posted on | July 1, 2015 | 118 Comments

My stance as a critic of public education began while I was in fifth grade at Lithia Springs (Ga.) Elementary School, but it was not until our eldest daughter spent a year in kindergarten that I realized that the system is inimical to liberty. Your local public schools are destroying America, and are ultimately a greater threat to our nation’s survival than ISIS.

The first lesson of school is, your parents are idiots.

See, this is why we need school: If parents were smart enough to teach their own children how to read and write, there would be no need for this massive government bureaucracy to provide education to our youth. Silly parents! How dare you think yourselves competent to educate your own child! Education is only possible when conducted by a government-trained expert and provided in a government-controlled classroom under the direction of government-certified bureaucrats.

The second lesson of school is, your parents are wrong.

This was not really a problem so much when I was in school four or five decades ago, when our parents and our teachers shared similar or identical religious, moral and political beliefs. Adult authority in that time and place spoke in a single voice that was patriotic, Christian and dedicated to basic values like hard work and honesty.

One might discern, in the values of my parents’ generation — raised in small towns or on farms, survivors of the Great Depression and victors of World War II — a sort of philosophical fusion between Stoicism and Calvinism. Children were expected to learn how to endure hard times and disappointment without complaint. Our parents despised the “spoiled” child who was weak, prone to self-pity and whining, because he had not been properly disciplined. Our teachers all came from similar backgrounds and shared these basic beliefs, and thus were not disposed to indulge misbehavior or to grade us leniently. Corporal punishment was the norm, and the unruly student did not dare question the authority of the teacher to administer such punishment.

The moral consensus of the American Century — a set of values shared by parents and school officials — has since evaporated, and has been replaced by multiculturalism and other “progressive” ideas, which are based on the assumption (ubiquitous in the modern education profession) that parents are all ignorant bigots, so that the duty of the school is to enlighten children with sophisticated beliefs.

Because parents are stupid (unqualified to teach their children anything) and wrong (deficient in sophisticated values), the school’s core purpose — the fundamental mission of the system — is to undermine parental authority and destroy the basis of respect between parent and child.

Once you understand this about modern education, a lot of phenomena that are otherwise inexplicable begin to make sense. For example, why is it that we have gone from a system where public education began with first grade to a system in which schools now have kindergarten and pre-K programs? Once upon a time — and not ancient history, but when I was in school — the government education bureaucracy didn’t begin “educating” children until they were 6 years old. Now, the government takes control of children at age 4, and yet there has been no discernible scholastic benefit from this expansion of bureaucratic authority. Second-graders today are certainly no more competent at spelling and arithmetic than were second-graders in 1966, despite the fact that today’s second-grader is typically in his fourth year of public education.

Gotta get ’em early, you see?

The process of undermining parental authority must begin as soon as children are potty-trained, for how else shall they learn the complete omnipotence of government, to which everything is owed and to which nothing can be denied? Your parents are incompetent idiots whose values are wrong — the sooner the child learns this, the better.

Schools nowadays are very bad at teaching facts, but very good at teaching attitudes, especially those attitudes the enable and empower the continual expansion of government power. An uncritical reverence toward certain intellectual abstractions — “Democracy!” “Equality!” “Progress!” — is drummed into the child’s head in lesson after lesson. One often encounters college-educated young people whose minds are full of hopeless confusion, so that when attempting to engage them in political discussion, we find they spew forth a mishmash of phrases cobbled together from the preamble to Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the poetry of Emma Lazarus, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the Pledge of Allegiance and perhaps a few lines from various patriotic songs. To this jumbled mass of phrases, the young fool is ferociously devoted with what can only be described as a religious zealotry. A single four-word phrase from the preamble to the Constitution — “a more perfect Union” — seems to have been deliberately misrepesented to these young fools. No one has taught them that the Framers were merely describing their purpose to replace the imperfect Union (between the states) as governed by the wartime improvisation of the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they have been taught that this phrase is a sort of mystical commandment to future generations, who must continual strive to make a heaven-on-earth perfection of the government. Well, then, what sort of “perfection” do you suppose they had in mind?

“Democracy!” “Equality!” “Progress!”

When you are dealing with college-educated fools who seemingly cannot even comprehend plain English (e.g., “Congress shall make no law”) you frequently find that they have smuggled into the debate certain premises that they have never had any reason to examine objectively. A negative view of the past — a place full of slavery, greed, war, sexism and other oppressions — is so pervasive in modern education that the young fool can’t seem to understand why, in his enthusiasm for Democracy, he is embracing ideas that predate the birth of Christ by at least three centuries. Being devoted to this ancient idea with a nostalgic reverence, how then does he justify his enthusiasm for Progress? And how is it, we may ask the young fools, that despite all the Democracy and Progress of the past century, the United States is in some respects now farther from actual Equality than it was when Lyndon Johnson was president?

Our schools do not teach facts about history, political science and economics, but rather teach attitudes about these things. The attitudes they teach are the attitudes approved by the Board of Education, whose members owe their offices to contributions and endorsements from the teachers unions, which in turn are a key constituency of the Democrat Party. In most school districts, at least 75% of the teachers and administrators are Democrats, and in the colleges of education, quite nearly 100% of the professors are Democrats. Could anyone therefore be the least bit surprise that in 2012, Obama won 60% of voters under 30?

“Democracy!” “Equality!” “Progress!”

This rant was inspired by a couple of encounters on Twitter today, first with a conference of feminist educators sponsored by the Gender and Education Association:

Promoting feminist scholarship and practice in gender and education internationally, nationally and locally
Providing an influential feminist voice
Promoting and problematising knowledge on gender and education
Encouraging teaching, learning, research and publication on gender and education
Providing a source of expertise and knowledge for policy makers
Creating networks to facilitate the exchange of information between our members.

In other words, these radical ideologues seek to implement an agenda based on feminist gender theory — the “social construction” of the gender binary within the heterosexual matrix — in the grade-school classroom. You get the drift.

After I’d riffed on that a while, I got a phone call from my brother Kirby and, in the course of our conversation, he brought up the Atlanta public school cheating scandal, which put a number of professional “educators” in prison.

For years, I have advocated maximum feasible non-cooperation with the government education system. Get your kids out of public schools, always vote against any referendum for new taxes to fund the system, and never vote for any school board candidate who is endorsed by the teacher’s union. Furthermore, under no circumstance should any honest, intelligent person support the system by working for the system. Better to be working as a convenience store clerk than to assist this corrupt system as a teacher, librarian, or other employee.

The myth of the Good School and the Good Teacher are essential to public support of this system. If honest, intelligent people refuse to work in the system — so that the only people employed as public school teachers are as stupid and corrupt as the criminals who operate the Atlanta public schools —  then the system will collapse under the weight of its own failures. Larry Elder once pointed out an important fact:

One study found that in Philadelphia a staggering 44 percent of public school teachers send their own kids to private schools. In Cincinnati and Chicago, 41 and 39 percent of public school teachers, respectively, pay for a private school education for their children. In Rochester, New York, it’s 38 percent. In Baltimore it’s 35 percent, San Francisco is 34 percent and New York-Northeastern New Jersey is 33 percent.

Public school teachers recognize how wretched the system is, and yet continue to work in the system. Why? Because the public schools pay teachers enough that they can afford private school tuition, because teachers are paid more than the taxpayers who actually fund the school system that employs the teachers!

Anyway, after I went off on a Twitter tirade about the wretched taxpayer-funded catastrophe of public education, one of my followers criticized me for “painting with a rather broad brush.” Well, yes — I’m an extremist in this regard. I don’t want to hear any proposals to reform public schools. I want to hear proposals to abolish public schools.

Shut them down.

Fire all the employees, sell all the buildings, buses, books and other equipment at auction to the highest bidder. Use the proceeds of this asset liquidation to create a tax-exempt public trust that will subsidize low-income parents to send their children to the private school of their choice. Relieved of the burden of funding a government school system, counties and municipalities could enact drastic tax cuts that would unleash economic growth so that the middle classes could afford private education without any subsidy. All children would be privately educated because, once the abolition of public schools becomes a matter of policy, states will pass constitutional amendments forbidding governments from providing, regulating or otherwise interfering with education.

Damn the government school system — a foul and unholy thing! Consign it to the fiery pit of Hell, from whence it emerged!

Remember, I’ve been thinking about this since the fifth grade.



  • Brett

    Not quite. This occurred in 1961, in Alabama. OK, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

    Your comment amused me in that I later learned Russian and read their history and literature. That cured me of socialism.

  • Daniel Freeman

    Two words: Big Sister. Why do those women want a monopoly on our kids?

  • Adjoran

    Yes – but the same people and groups will fight just as hard against ANY reform that lessens their monopoly grips. The point is which is the best practically achievable solution. The popularity of vouchers with parents and the public tell me if we can’t get that much out of the battle, we certainly won’t get more.

  • Adjoran

    I’m from a rural county in South Carolina. Rural teachers tend to make even less, but administrators even more than you suggest. But their regard in the community is not what you project. Maybe it was 30 years ago, not now. We look on ours like the football coach, all right – if he’s had a long run of losing seasons.

  • DeadMessenger

    I think you would really enjoy this book as much as I did. REALLY good, written by a guy who lived it. Funny, too (or, as funny as material like this can be).

  • DeadMessenger

    Yes. This technique worked a lot better than any modern technique. In my schools, we had “pods”; five classrooms with a central “work” room that was actually a “paddlin’ room”. And the victim du jour could be clearly seen through the windows by all the adjacent classrooms. VERY effective. Except, of course, for you, Sarge. 😀

  • DeadMessenger

    BWAHAHAHA! Your Mom was awesome!

  • DeadMessenger


  • DeadMessenger

    Fuck yeah. I have enough egregious stories that ought to condemn this BS skool system for all eternity. Including one about my son, second grade, had a series of grand mal seizures at the skool due to a chemical leak. Long story short, they have lots of lawyers and budget and all the time in the world. My son is now 26 and is permanently mental and physically disabled.

    Thanks public school system.

  • Prime Director

    omerta appears to be practiced in almost every profession

    Yes, every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.

  • HouseofSuffering

    You know, you can still sue him for that. You don’t have to live with the memories anymore.

    (Too dark?)

  • M. Thompson

    Not pettily vindictive like a maladjusted brat.

  • Brett

    Excellent recommendation! One may find more of Atbashian at

  • Daniel Freeman

    Worse than pawns to be indoctrinated, children are inventory to be warehoused and sorted. As Dalrock has pointed out, the current child support regime is effectively a default that parents can only opt out of as long as they both agree. As far as the State is concerned, your kids rightfully belong to it.

  • theoldsargesays

    I’m sure all of those you mentioned see themselves as heroes of the working class fighting for the good of motherland against bourgeois capitalist Zionist aggression aka Progressive Democrats.

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  • HaroldLDavis

    Next few days start your new life…theothermccain… < Find Here

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