Public Schooling Is Slavery
Public Schooling is Slavery
A public school is not a place of education. Children do learn things there, develop passions, make friends, and many other positive things, but all of these are in spite of the institution, not a cause thereof. Teachers usually come into the profession with pure intentions, but they find out quickly how restricted they are. They contend with state-mandated curricula, text books, standardized testing, rigid scheduling and progress deadlines. Having invested so much time and money in their education and licensing process, many teachers stay in the system, despite having little if any faith therein.
Children are another matter. Public schools are run like high security prisons. The ring of a bell conditions children to respond reflexively to commands. They are told when and where they must be, what they must be doing, and with whom they are permitted to associate with. They are told when to eat, when to go outside, and require permission to use their natural bodily functions, issuing passes to be checked by hall monitors or roving teachers and administrators in the hallways. The hallways are the open ocean, where a shark could be lurking around any corner. Some children will act out in defiance of this environment, and are often medicated into submission. Others will float through year by year and try not to be noticed. Patterns learned in these 12 years of institutionalization can persist into adulthood, shaping people’s social network, career path, and romantic life. Local communities rally around their local schools, making it a central force in the community at large.
Success is determined by how well you can memorize and regurgitate facts to achieve a high numerical score on a test. The various test scores and graded material are averaged and translated to one of many letter grades A-F (but no E). These letter grades are then assigned a number on a spectrum, all of which are averaged in to your „GPA“ which has a great determining factor in college admissions. The other pillar of achievement is the SAT or the ACT tests. These tests are mysterious and political, and claim to test students for intellectual competency suitable for higher education.
Babies do not learn to walk and talk by enrolling in classes or taking tests. They do it by observing others and going through a process of experiential strength and coordination building. It is because the child wants to walk that they learn to walk. Adults seek knowledge to achieve goals and aspirations, and children are no different. We learn what we need to learn, based on our individual circumstances. After all, learning arose before education. Murray Rothbard in „Anatomy of the State“ described the market as „anterior“ to the state. It can not arise to steal wealth from people until wealth has first been created. One can not steal something that has yet to come into existence. So in this same vein, learning is anterior to education. The educational system could never have arisen without a pre-existing practice of education that no state or formal organization mandated. It would be absurd to say that books were invented before language, but with the case of public education, we are to believe that without a structure built to create education, that it could never arise.
The public schooling system is designed to create unoffensive, cooperative, mild-mannered, law obiding citizens. It extolls the value of being „reasonable“ and middle of the road. Averageness is upheld as above-average, and students who cooperate especially well get „citizenship awards“ and other meaningless titles. One is taught that fitting in is better than standing out, and good leadership is displaying how a good citizen behaves, so that others may emulate it. The way that communist social theories tend to strive toward a perfect state of equality and equilibrium, so does schooling strive toward making the perfect student body. The perfect student body is like the perfect society in that it does nothing but cooperate for the common good and perpetuates the myth that the system is beneficial. The spontaneous impulses of individual students is to be dulled in favor of sitting still and listening. Most of this behavioral modification is to give the adults in the room a sense of accomplishment for themselves. The teacher sees a room full of docile children doing as they are told without question or fuss, and thus the other adults, perhaps having not achieved such harmonious control, may view them with admiration for being such a „great teacher“. It is possible for a teacher to achieve this kind of stability without oppressive measures, but the structures and demands of public schooling make this unlikely, except in the case of particularly talented teachers whose creativity and brilliance is able to work despite the forces seeking to stifle it.
There is never a discussion in a public school classroom challenging the concept of public schooling. The word „public“ is used to refer to a program or system that is funded by the „public“ monopoly known as „government“ via taxation. A detailed analysis of the definition of government is a topic for another essay, but to make things clear, the government is a group of individuals who have secured and maintained a monopoly of the use of force in a given territory, and who enforces laws and regulations on other individuals without consent. So we are talking about an education system that is owned and managed by a small group of people who call themselves „government“, and implemented upon the youth by mostly well-intentioned teachers who get sucked into the machine.
The word „education“ is an empty vessel into which anyone of any ideology can pour their hopes and dreams for the next generation. It is usually spoken about in vague platitudes, and inevitably attached to requests for more and more money, despite having shown no progress or efficacy in the previous round of funding. Anything involving children is always framed in a way to shame those who may not agree as being against the children in some way. Politicians routinely hold our emotions hostage by emphasizing the effect that the lack of such-and-such legislation would do to “our children”. Even the use of the word „our“ is to signify that children belong to all of society. It is a way of placing blame on everyone for the problems of children they have no connection to. Every new piece of education legislation is a knight swooping in to save the vulnerable children. After all, can’t you make a small sacrifice to your freedom and wealth to help a child? What are you, a monster?
It is the ultimate trump card to emotionally blackmail people into accepting more and more control over their lives out of guilt and the sense of duty. These people would like children to grow up with a respect, reverence, and innate acceptance of their citizenship. They feel children should be raised to see the coercive actions of the state, which would under any normal circumstances between private individuals be considered acts of criminality, as acts of compassion and love. The only way to do this is to have almost unlimited access to the child’s mind, especially during working hours when mom and dad are not there to counteract it. This is a prime environment to erode a child’s loyalty away from their families and toward the state. This is the core goal of the “education” system. It is a tool of the state to perpetuate love and acceptance of the state, which in turn secures the primacy and dominance thereof.
As a disclaimer, I will say that The United States is an exception in the world, in that it does allow parents to opt-out of the public schooling system to a degree. The various left wing movements in the United States have been working feverishly to eliminate homeschooling, but has been unsuccessful in doing so. Great credit should be given to the people who have built the homeschooling community to a point where it is a force that can not be easily disposed of. Despite this, it is possible that the most misguided generation in recent memory, the millennials, will vote to outlaw such freedom in favor of a nationalized curriculum mandatory for all. This would be a tragedy, and most likely lead to many families refusing to comply. Families who sought to opt-out of the government mandated schooling program have been jailed in other countries, and a sizable portion of the American population would have such rules imposed on their neighbors here, if they could. This is why speaking out about this issue to both children and adults is essential to counteracting that sick faction of control freaks.
Public education existed before the Department of Education, but it was administered at a state and local level. Before any government interference at any level, education was provided in small communities, or as part of the family upbringing. Some children never went to an official school at all. This was in keeping with the culture of independence that was fostered among the colonists. This spirit of self-reliance led to the revolutionary war, which was a promising development, but ultimately led to a far more powerful and intrusive system of governance than anything George III could have implemented. As Lysander Spooner explained so well, the constitution has no legal legitimacy or authority over any human being alive today, and had quite possibly no legitimacy at any point in the past either. It was asserted on the public by a small group of men already in power, and was never the result of a voluntary agreement or contract between anyone. Attendance at either public school or an alternative school program is mandatory, lest the parent be prosecuted for truancy. Even students opting out must prove to the state that certain hoops are jumped through. There is an allowance for those who want alternatives, but the state remains firmly committed to the assertion that they have the ultimate say in what privileges students have, and their generosity can be revoked at any time. This is not freedom as it is advertised to be.
It is safe to say that no organization, public or private, makes a business of undermining its own legitimacy. The government will never allow skepticism of the government to be part of the educational process. In fact, they will require daily ceremonies in which one must publicly and vocally proclaim allegiance to said government. Before sport games, we will all be encouraged to literally sing its praises. This is, in behavior and ideology, indistinguishable from a cult, yet is deemed as virtuous behavior. Non-compliance in these rituals will be frowned upon and possibly punished. When growing up in the public school system, these rituals are presented to us as standard routines that are not necessarily exciting, but necessary to public life. Kids do not really like doing it, and teachers probably don’t either, but to stand with one’s hand on one’s heart in radiant awe of a flag, reciting the magic words, triggers a sense of collective acceptance in people. When we are under the illusion of being a part of the glorious collective, many people feel satisfied and content. It is more valuable to be accepted than to question the motives of the group doing the accepting.
This is well communicated to children from an early age, before school is even a part of their lives. Parents rarely directly tell their children that non-compliance with a police officer will likely lead to execution, but one can see the fear in children’s eyes when mom gets pulled over by a cop. Children look to mom and dad for security, as a kind of familial head-of-state, where the buck stops in terms of authority. But when seeing mom and dad subject to an even higher authority they cower and submit to, security is eroded. I remember being terrified of police officers my entire upbringing. When they pull you over, they are detaining you, and there is an unspoken understanding that one is not “free to go”. Mix with this the dishonest behavior of police officers, masquerading as service providers and/or agents of rights protection while violating human rights as a matter of routine protocol. In order to rationalize this, we must suspend our belief in universal ethics. We must acquiesce to the notion that some individuals can assert a legitimate authority over other individuals with the use of force. This use of force is rarely overt, but wrapped in a soft marketing that poses the aggressors (police) as a caring figure who is doing this for your own good. The violence of police is justified in the same way parents justify spanking. Subduing the outward display of a behavior through violent action is branded as a solution.
To submit to the state, the police, or the public schooling system requires a mentality of inevitability, of passive acceptance that the status quo is metaphysically ordained. For, if the system is done away with, one is then required to think about why it was ever there in the first place. Just as questioning the existence of god can destroy the fragile framework of faith in a religious individual, questioning the state can lead to some very unwanted thoughts being thought by those who have been conditioned to be thoughtless. If the system is repealed by popular demand, and the subsequent emergence of educational solutions is successful, then the society as a whole is faced with a kind of trauma. On the other side, they will know what they have been deprived of for so many generations. When a person is in an abusive relationship, it is hard to see the forest for the trees. Abused spouses tend to rationalize and justify the situation, downplaying its severity and effect. When a person is able to leave such a relationship, it becomes clear how bad the situation really was. The reaction to this realization can manifest as anger, resentment, depression, and grief. It is hard to say what kind of emotional consequences would develop on a societal level from this, but I doubt the state is willing to roll the dice on that.
The same kind of “inevitability” was used as a way to perpetuate chattel slavery. Black people were seen as needing the white man to manage them, for they would be aimless and destructive savages without the structure and stability provided by the master-slave relationship. Ironically, everyone under the jurisdiction of a state has a kind of master-slave relationship as well, albeit not nearly as obvious or oppressive as chattel slavery. In both cases, it is a cycle of abuse passed down from generation to generation. When such systems as slavery are so ingrained in the experience of being a human, it is hard for the majority of people to conceive of a world without it, and thus it is easier to find reasons why it is not only acceptable, but necessary.
Public schooling is a system of child slavery. No, children are not picking cotton in the fields or whipped (anymore), but it is no less a shackle on the soul of their humanity. It strips them of their ability to be who they are and develop naturally. It forces them into strange social situations and forced relationships that bear no resemblance to how the real world works. It stresses memorization and compliance as markers for academic success. It ascribes numbers and letters to a child’s identity, exterminating independent thought, and making certain topics forbidden to consider, lest they be seen as „defiant“. This is why the word “anarchism” will never be uttered in a classroom, unless to be used as a scarecrow. It is of great import for state institutions to dissuade anyone from considering what a world may look like without them. It is shaping the minds of young people to distrust their instincts and to defer to the wanton dictates of officials in power. Compliance over creativity. Submission over spontaneity.
The state will always teach your children to love it over you. It will teach them that they are the ultimate determiner of right and wrong, not the moral or religious values you teach in the home. The state will weave fairytales about historical events and people that paint their organization as the true saviors of mankind. They even refer to the small group of men who created this monstrosity as the „founding fathers“. It positions us as children of the nation as religion positions us as children of god. We are to worship the state in its glory and wisdom as a worldly god.They will turn your child’s mind into a political virus designed to spread false realities and mythology to others.
Every slaveowner in past centuries knew they were dominating another human being with violence and intimidation, and extracting their labor and productivity without consent. But they did it anyway, because of the powerful mythology that placed the white man as a natural superior and thus entitled to such authority. Teachers know that they are shackled into indoctrinating children in the religion of the state. It may not be at the forefront of their minds, but the teacher licensing process ensures that they are properly re-educated to value this contradiction as a necessary evil, at the very least.
The public schooling system teaches that you are to see your subservience, and your children’s subservience, as necessary to the existence of civilization. Your children are to pledge allegiance to the collective, its flags, and its propaganda. You are to gleefully send your child to be taught this toxic religion, just as you were taught. The state invests this time and energy to build a psychological wall of defense around itself, embedding its virus in the next generation as early as possible. You are to live your life knowing that it is better to be a slave than to be subject to the untold and unthinkable horrors of anarchy or truancy. Freedom is to be met with suspicion and derision, claiming those that espouse it are “selfish” and “heartless”.
You are to place your progeny on the conveyor belt, just as you were, and never question whether you should be for sale.