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Abolitionism

December 24th, 2008 by Chuck · 3 Comments · Culture

When people use the word “abolition” by itself, it generally calls to mind the movement to abolish slavery.  In modern America there are so many government institutions worthy of being abolished, that none of them generate the passion that a single goal can achieve.  We spread ourselves too thin.  By focusing on one goal at a time, more can be achieved.  The question then is in what order to attack the many wrongs of modern government?

My view is that public education is the most important factor in the spread of statism in America today.  Public education teaches the virtues of statism, altruism, multiculturalism/egalitarianism, environmentalism and mob-rule democracy, while denigrating Western Civilization, capitalism, individual rights and selfishness.  Those are just some of the practical objections to public education.  Morally, it is simply another form of the redistribution of wealth, i.e., theft on a grand scale. 

Why do so many people support the welfare state?  It’s all they’ve ever heard of, in their public education.  Capitalism is, indeed, an “unknown ideal” to graduates of public schools.  In short, if we are to start a political trend toward a more capitalist society, I think public education is the first institution that has to go.  It should be the focus of a new abolitionist movement. 

While the main focus of the attack should be on the injustice of the redistribution of wealth inherent in public education, the practical aspects also have to be addressed.  In that regard, someone on the ObjectivismOnline Forum linked to an article from a few years ago, which described in practical terms the advantages of private education over public education, specifically for the less well to do, who are normally considered the principal beneficiaries of public education.  This article demonstrates the contrary.

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Burgess Laughlin

    I agree that making education rational is very important in radically changing our culture. I would suggest, howver, that each individual needs to decide for himself which target he will choose for his activism (if any).

    I would further suggest that for some individuals the best–most productive, effective, and enjoyable–form of philosophical, intellectual, or political activism is in-line activism.

    That means being a long-term activist–if one chooses to be one at all–in a field that is already a passionate individual interest. Presumably, for anyone who has chosen a central purpose in life, that might be his beloved work or other highest value.

    In case the links don’t work:

    http://aristotleadventure.blogspot.com/2008/05/what-is-central-purpose-in-life.html

    http://aristotleadventure.blogspot.com/2008/08/in-line-vs-off-line-activism.html

  • Myrhaf

    Abolitionism is good word. In its original meaning and in Chuck’s meaning it implies a moral stand upon which there can be no compromise. Abolitionists don’t want to reform the Department of Energy, they want it abolished. Abolitionists don’t want to reform the Environmental Protection Agency, they want it abolished. There is no middle ground for the abolitionist. Pragmatists would call this “extremism.”

    Abolitionism describes the radical for capitalism’s aim for the welfare state.

    Is public education the place to start? Hard to say. I can just imagine the welfare statists weeping, “the children! The children! Those selfish, mean-spirited people want to destroy the children!” Politicians on the right would drop this cause like a hot potato. It might be too early yet to realistically consider abolishing any program.

  • Richard

    As someone who not long ago was a victim of government education, I completely agree. If free market education creates a better product, then the result would be a more rational populous. In effect, I would think, it would effect all other areas of life from health, to science, to academic philosophy.

    Honestly, there is so much wrong with government education I could fill volumes with my experiences in school. As one brief example I remember a mandatory high school assembly where a team of weight lifters came to perform their act for everyone. It entailed social commentary in the form of breaking bricks in half in the name of God (I’m not kidding). Destroying a brick using pseudo-martial arts with the word “drugs” written on it was apparently supposed to motivate us to… not do drugs. It was so surreal I could hardly believe what I was seeing. To top it all off my history teacher proudly kept half of one of the bricks and even had them sign it. Absolutely none of which helped anyone become better educated to deal with the world.