Wednesday, October 14, 2015

We Need Free College Because Liberal Robots Won't Build Themselves, You Know

Speaking of how to wreck a child, reader NoMo left a comment that "Life should begin in a world of love and boundaries. It should end in freedom and certainty. Moving a child from one to the other is parenting."

This implies that to ruin the child, all you have to do is start them on a diet of tension and ambiguity, to ensure that it ends in confusion and compulsion.

Along those lines, Esolen writes (speaking of education) that "There are only two reasons why one would study a thing that is not of ultimate concern or that does not bring delight that carries us out of ourselves, as experiences of love and beauty do.

"One is that it is useful, a means to a farther end. The other is that we have no choice. We are compelled to do it. And since the experience of love or of beauty is by its nature impossible to compel, any justification for the compulsion must rest on utilitarian grounds."

Or in other words, if you're going to compel a child to learn something unpleasant, you'd better have a damn good excuse. I know that when I was a child, no excuse was forthcoming. Rather, it was all compulsion tied to some hypothetical utility. It wasn't so much that the knowledge per se was useful, but that somehow it would turn me into a useful human being.

I can only thank God it that the project failed, and that I remain as useless today as the day I was born!

Which I mean quite literally, because a human being has no end beyond himself, so he is the last word in uselessness. A human being is not "for" any other purpose except to be more fully human -- which is where God enters the picture, because to deny God is to mutilate man, as occurred in all those atheistic paradises such as the USSR, Nazi Germany, Mao's China, etc. Note that the damage continues down the generations, because it's difficult to give what you never received, or what was violently stolen from you.

So, when education becomes a utilitarian hammer, children are the passive nails. "They are treated as advance troops in remaking the human material known as their parents" (ibid.). Note that there is no question of being "made in the image and likeness of the living God," but merely being "pawns in a sociopolitical game..."

Between innings of the baseball game I caught a few moments of last night's debate and overheard our socialist candidates going on about "free" college, as if there could exist such a thing, instead of merely shunting the cost to third parties.

But more to the point, no Democrat would favor such a thing if there were some danger of college producing human beings instead of properly indoctrinated antihuman socialist robots. Indeed, if all colleges were like, say, Hillsdale, they would deny all federal funding (which is precisely what they have done in the case of Hillsdale, since it refuses to discriminate on the basis of race).

The bottom line is that Democrats will help you get an education so long as the education makes you useful to Democrats. Otherwise you are a menace to society.

Going back to NoMo's maxim, remember that the goal is Freedom and Certitude, as opposed to license and compulsion, or dogma and relativism, or doubt and force, etc. Esolen writes of how children are "rewarded according to how well they adapt themselves to the Teaching Machine, whose judgments are at once lax (for the Machine does not actually teach a great lot) and severe (for the judgments enter the Book of Life, with implications for college and employment...)."

The other day I was chatting with the pharmacy tech -- when you have diabetes you're on a first name basis with your pharmacist -- and she asked how the boy was doing in school (the new semester had just begun).

I said something to the effect that I really didn't care, and that I'm still trying to unlearn what I didn't simply forget about my primary education. I said that we were much more concerned with him being a good person than successfully adapting to the Machine. Although she was surprised to hear my good-natured rant, I could tell from the delighted look in her eyes that she knew exactly what I was talking about. In contrast, a couple other techs overheard the conversation, and I could tell from their faces that they disapproved. You know the look -- the liberal stink eye, like Michelle Obama's permanent expression.

The Machine "is not for teaching children, but for socializing them" (ibid.). Now, "socializing" is a completely relative term. I surely want my child socialized, the question being into what?

"Socializing, writes Esolen, "does not mean that the Teaching Machine imparts the difficult virtues of courage, temperance, prudence, and justice, much less family-building and family-protecting virtues as manliness, womanliness, and chastity. Those virtues set a people free. But we do not want to a free people. Free people are not predictable. We want a managed people" (emphasis mine).

Emphasis NoMo too, because this again goes to the freedom/certitude vector of development. Instead of genuine freedom, which can only flow from those rock-solid virtues, children get predictable robots who know all about recycling, tobacco, and homosexual contributions to History.

If you've ever wondered how liberals Get That Way, it must be rooted in their subservience to the Teaching Machine, where one learns "how to make insipid cliches pass for thought, how to be 'subversive' in trivial and uniform ways, how to think 'outside the box' of tradition and wisdom and into the stainless steel cage of the politically correct..." (ibid.).

Yes, it sounds bad, but

No Matter How Bad You Think It Is

"It's worse."

Because "Chasing after truth is to a child's mind what good food and fresh air and exercise are to a child's body."

And we are all children. The alternative is to be a square and uniform brick in the leftist wall. You know, like Roger Waters.

Virtue liberates; vice enslaves. A passion for genuine beauty liberates; to submit to the ugly, the drab, the slipshod, and the squalid is to give up the noble journey.... A passion for goodness -- not niceness, not political etiquette -- liberates; to submit to the venal, the self-indulgent, the wanton, the mendacious, is to agree to be bound by lies. --Esolen

15 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

I said that we were much more concerned with him being a good person than successfully adapting to the Machine. Although she was surprised to hear my good-natured rant, I could tell from the delighted look in her eyes that she knew exactly what I was talking about.

Yes. I honestly don't care so much what grades my kids will get in school. I already know they are smart enough. Whether they go to college or forge their own paths as adults, unless we seriously fail to teach them the real lessons they need for adulthood, they will do fine. The question of what kind of people they will be, that is infinitely more important.

10/14/2015 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

I only ever gave my kids spelling tests and vocabulary tests. I quizzed their math facts. The two eldest never took a standardized test until they went to the local community college for placement. Neither has a typical "college degree", though they excelled at their chosen schools. They are both well adjusted and well employed, doing much better than most of their peers. They have maintained their faith and do their own thing. I constantly beg people to get their kids out of school. It is poison.

10/14/2015 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"...Although she was surprised to hear my good-natured rant, I could tell from the delighted look in her eyes that she knew exactly what I was talking about. In contrast, a couple other techs overheard the conversation, and I could tell from their faces that they disapproved. You know the look -- the liberal stink eye, like Michelle Obama's permanent expression."

I've got a fairly long spread of years between our first child in school, and last (graduating 10 yrs ago, 5yrs ago, and 1.5 yrs to go), and I've given various teachers and administrators my version of that nonchalant rant over the years, and there's been a marked increase in the ratio of stink eye to delighted expressions. I haven't even bothered meeting her teachers this year, I know what I've got to emphasize, defuse or uninstall and there's no point in making her time more difficult by making her teachers aware of what I think of what they do.

But I've also noticed that I've got to give our daughter a version of the rant, fairly often - the degree to which they install their machine based malware into our kids heads, primarily with testing, is appalling.

10/14/2015 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Educational malware. That's a good way of putting it.

10/14/2015 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"...Indeed, if all colleges were like, say, Hillsdale, they would deny all federal funding (which is precisely what they have done in the case of Hillsdale, since it refuses to discriminate on the basis of race)."

Typical ironical twist, Hillsdale is one of those colleges that makes a fair amount of their material and lectures free, online. They've got several extended lecture series on subjects such as Great Books, The Western Tradition, Constituiton, and others (Churchill is the latest that just started), for free. To be sure, they'd appreciate a donation, but it's optional, unlike the leftist sort of 'choice' that comes add taxation or death.

10/14/2015 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Too bad we don't get little software updates that warn us about those viruses.

10/14/2015 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Virtue liberates; vice enslaves. A passion for genuine beauty liberates; to submit to the ugly, the drab, the slipshod, and the squalid is to give up the noble journey.... A passion for goodness -- not niceness, not political etiquette -- liberates; to submit to the venal, the self-indulgent, the wanton, the mendacious, is to agree to be bound by lies. --Esolen"

That's a keeper.

10/14/2015 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. intellectual software updates, I guess that's what the conservative blogosphere is for. Of course, that's why certain factions would love to shut down the conservative blogosphere, either by fiat or by mob rule.

10/14/2015 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Yep, for the first time in history, the actual people, rather than their virtual misrepresentatives, are able to get together and do their own data checking and virus scans.

The machineheads in charge no likee.

10/14/2015 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

... emphasis on can get to their own data and do their own checking - whether or not the people will do so, is the same old new question.

10/14/2015 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I can only thank God it that the project failed, and that I remain as useless today as the day I was born!

Amen!

10/14/2015 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Never fear though, the machine has a plan to save themselves from us:

"...He explained, “To have a Supreme Court Justice say to me it’s over, they’ve got the votes, which means time is limited,” he added, noting that a day was coming when simply operating an independent website could be outlawed. That will end [it] for me – fine – I’ve had a hell of a run,” said Drudge, adding that web users were being pushed into the cyber ‘ghettos’ of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”..."

Daily Caller

10/14/2015 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

They should let us talk, like a rattler giving his warning.

10/14/2015 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Or in other words, if you're going to compel a child to learn something unpleasant, you'd better have a damn good excuse. I know that when I was a child, no excuse was forthcoming. Rather, it was all compulsion tied to some hypothetical utility. It wasn't so much that the knowledge per se was useful, but that somehow it would turn me into a useful human being."

This is a very good point, I think. I'm trying to think of what unpleasant things a parent would need to teach their children, but there is nothing I can think of except irt safety sometimes.

10/15/2015 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

In France, anyone who passes the " bac" which has been considerably dummed down, can enter a " free " university... courtesy of high taxes.
Trouble is, uni degrees are considered pretty much worthless.. so the richer students work hard and pass special exams to get into the " grandes ecoles" and other specialized schools, where teaching is good.
Another example of socialist policies actually aggravating inequality.

10/18/2015 05:53:00 AM  

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