“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Vladimir Lenin once said. And he went even further: “Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.” There is no question about the enormous influence of contemporary mass education, and how it can be used as a tool of indoctrination and propaganda.
Every dictator and tyrant demands a compliant and submissive populace, and what better way to achieve this than to capture young people in the schools, and turn them into mindless zombies of the state. Leading the subservient masses to follow sheeplike the whims of the rulers is the way to enslave a nation and establish a dictatorship.
One has to wonder just how much of this is occurring in the free West. How much of modern education has simply become a tool of the secular humanists to bring entire generations into a docile compliance? Given that more and more recent elections in the West are resulting in more and more Big Government and less and less freedom and democracy, it seems that these classroom tactics are paying off.
Several recent incisive articles of this very topic have appeared recently, and are worth drawing your attention to. For example, Chris Banescu wrote an important piece entitled “We Lost America in the Classroom, Before We Lost Her in the Voting Booth”.
Reflecting on how America could re-elect a failed and utterly incompetent president, he states, “It is America’s public education system that is largely to blame. Besides the reality that America has turned away from God and has progressively embraced immorality, our corrupt educational machine has been working overtime to insure the decline and radicalization of our republic.
“The socialist teachers’ unions now dominate all aspects of public education and have transformed our schools and universities into virtual leftist indoctrination centers for America’s children and college students. In the last several decades the leftist influence in public education has expanded unimpeded and mostly unchallenged….
“The Marxist intellectual elites achieved their goal many years ago. Socialists and communists teachers now have full control of our public education system. With guaranteed lifetime employment, taxpayer-funded and government guaranteed salaries and benefits, and with the full backing and protection of their powerful unions and compliant politicians, the left has successfully indoctrinated multiple generations of American students into rejecting America’s founding principles and adopting and embracing a leftist world-view.
“Millions of these students have now become voters who are loyal and unquestioning supporters of Obama and passionate believers in his leftist ideology. They will not be swayed by appeals to Constitutional principles or pro-liberty and pro-free enterprise arguments, no matter how logical, truthful, and well reasoned they are.”
Timothy C. Daughtry, in “Why We Lost the Republic,” provides us with more such thoughts on this: “Surely an educated and informed electorate would recognize and reject liberal bias in the media and would never allow our government to be turned into little more than a vending machine that dispenses favors in return for votes. Educated and informed voters would see through the hollow, sweet rhetoric of the left to the tyrannical core just beneath the surface. And there is the painful answer to how so many citizens of a republic just voted to become subjects of a government.
“Conservatives have long bemoaned liberal dominance in education from the universities on down, but we haven’t done anything about it. Marxist intellectuals realized decades ago that the eventual victory of socialism would be assured if leftists dominated the educational system and used their influence to push a leftist worldview. The power of their ‘long march’ through the cultural institutions was that it was not necessary for students to consciously convert to socialist thinking; generation after generation would simply be gradually immersed in the assumptions and dogmas of the left.
“Now, after years of patient effort, the teachers’ unions have turned America’s schools into a wholly owned subsidiary of the political left. Conservatives have complained when reports surfaced about students being taught to sing hymns of praise to Obama, or when conservative students were harassed in class, or when examples of blatant liberal bias in textbooks came to light, but somehow we allowed ourselves to write off public schools as a lost cause.”
Michael Bauman also reflects on the recent US election, and the role that education has played in it: “The American voter is not capable of sustained rational analysis, and doesn’t care to be. That’s not the lure that draws them. That’s not the bait that brings them to the hook. Only a few get reeled into the electoral boat by rational analysis and a recitation of accumulated historical precedent.
“The rest feed on other things. They are not convinced so much as they are bought. To win an election, you must promise them what they want and give them a short slogan in which to wrap it. That slogan doesn’t have to be true, just superficially plausible. Any half-true truism will do. Deeper than that you must not go.”
He continues, “Politics is not the lofty enterprise some think it is. It’s dirtier and more crass than that. America is not a nation of unbiased intellectuals seeking for truth, and it doesn’t want to be. It’s a nation of self-absorbed sinners who crave little more than personal peace and affluence. They want what they want when they want it. Then, after you give it to them, they want to be left alone to do as they wish, not as they ought.
“If you don’t know that about American voters, you won’t win elections. If you don’t know enough to appeal to human sloth and craven self-regard, you don’t know politics because you don’t know people.
“Do not forget that America voters were educated in American public schools, where the Gospel of John is banned and Heather has Two Mommies is required; where sincerity, not achievement, is the measure of success; and where you get trophies just for trying. Then, after twelve years of this self-indulgent, brain-numbing, soul destroying, secularist propaganda, they go on to state-funded (and therefore state-controlled) universities, where the government decides the guidelines by which students are enrolled, teachers are hired, and classes are taught, universities from which they get advanced degrees in leftist group think and learn falsely to believe they are intellectuals who follows the evidence wherever it leads rather than lemmings marching resolutely to destruction.
“Those are the voters to whom you must appeal or else you will lose. Your political fate rests with them. Most of them don’t want to hear your arguments. They want a Coke in one hand and a candy bar in the other. Whoever gives them the goodies first and best wins. This is what the political application of the Christian doctrine of human depravity looks like. Don’t forget it.”
Yes quite so. So there are at least two major concerns at play here. If you worry greatly about losing the free West, then you must do something about the education system. And if you worry greatly about losing your own children, then you must also do something about the education system.
As Mark Steyn put it in After America, “For four decades America watched as politically correct fatuities swallowed the entire educational system, while conservatives deluded themselves that it was just a phase, something kids had to put up with as the price for getting a better job a couple years down the road. The idea that two generations could be soaked in this corrosive bilge and it would have no broader impact, that it could be contained within the precincts of academe, was always foolish.”
Or as Dr. D. James Kennedy said, “Don’t send an eight-year-old out to take on a forty-year-old humanist. I have never seen any people more unhappy than fathers or mothers who have come to me and said, ‘Where did we go wrong? We gave him everything, and now he’s turned his back completely on everything we believe.’ Yes, they gave him everything but a Christian education.”
The culture wars are greatly aided and abetted by the education wars. Right now most Western school systems are well and truly in bed with secular leftist ideology and radical social engineering activism. What it will take to turn things around remains to be seen. But turning things around is the order of the day.
A version of this column originally appeared in www.billmuehlenberg.com.