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
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