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The Most Important Issue Objectivists Should Focus On....

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Education.   Specifically the elimination of Public schooling, and the promotion of Rational Private Schooling, Homeschooling, and the Voucher Program.   

 

      Aside from the students who learn & retain little practical knowledge from public school,  experience failed classrooms, bad test scores and delinquent behavior... modern education even in the best of schools and under the best of circumstances, works to usurp the student's capabilities for independent thought and destroys their ability to think, understand, and integrate knowledge that students require to function properly as Teens and Adults.  

 

     Fighting for reason in a society that breeds mindless zombies from cradle to College Diploma via public or progressive education is already an uphill battle.  This is one of the biggest roots of the problem in our society today. The purpose of Education is supposed to be the communication of knowledge and the training in methods of thinking in order to transition a child into a fully functioning independent adult, however this is the opposite of what is taking place in schools.

So long as the destruction of the minds of students continues on a national level- We LOSE.

 

 

Marketing wise, Education of one's children is one of the most profoundly selfish issues every parent in the country will ever experience. Parents buy book after book, research schools, participate in programs, etc...   From the poorest to richest household, parents will give one of their kidney's if it means their child will have a good education, but WHAT is considered a good education, and WHAT is important to my child is still very much a matter of confusion for the families of this country.  This is a market that is constantly begging for information and pleading for a solution...

 

And how big and important is this market?

 Family households with children make up nearly 50% of this country! Nearly 50%!
 

If your goal is to promote REASON, then this can not be overlooked.
 

  • Education is the reason for the existence of a mass level Anti-conceptual mentality.
  • Education is responsible for rampant delinquent behavior, apathy & loss of rational goals and interests.
  • Education is the reason subjectivism has ran carte blanche through our society.
  • Education is why "Johnny can't think."


As for the market of ideas...

  • Parents very much selfishly care about their children's education.
  • Parents know SOMEthing is wrong, but don't understand what or why.
  • Parents are open minded and constantly are seeking to understand.
  • They make up a huge % of the population.
  • The homeschooling movement is already booming in this country as a revolt against public education.


And maybe most importantly, parents WILL take action when they KNOW what best for their children. This is a actionable consequence. Educating parents CAN have a measurable effect that helps us all.   

Which may mean, putting their kids in Montessori or homeschooling, and or fighting for the Voucher program in their state.  Further if parents understand the reasons why public and progressive education is bad and rational education is good, they will automatically be introduced to objectivist ideas.


 

Edited by LandonWalsh
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Public education is little more than government funded daycare.  A place for parents to store children during the day.  Granted, the taxes taken from them don't allow for much option.

 

The whole K-12 education structure in our society should be scrapped. 

Edited by New Buddha
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If your goal is to promote REASON, then this can not be overlooked.

 

  • Education is the reason for the existence of a mass level Anti-conceptual mentality.
  • Education is responsible for rampant delinquent behavior, apathy & loss of rational goals and interests.
  • Education is the reason subjectivism has ran carte blanche through our society.
  • Education is why "Johnny can't think."

 

 

 

Interesting. Ayn Rand said these things were because of philosophy. Anyhow...

 

Sending all kids to private schools (which have a far-higher propensity to be religious schools for instance) will make things worse, not better.

 

You want to give a bunch of anti-conceptual dumb-dumb parents the ability to think up anything they imagine sounds like "school" and send their kids there. Many of them will inevitably send their kids to far-worse than we have now, and the lack of the diversity of the ideological gene pool is likely to make things a lot worse. All the kids in Utah will go to Mormon schools. That would be worse than what we have now.

 

Depressing, I know, but what you're talking about won't work...

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Depressing, I know, but what you're talking about won't work...

Fundamentally, I disagree. Much of what you've said is true; parochial schools predominately offer the only other option for private education in most communities. I personally know of several households where the children are, or have been, home-schooled. Every one of them has taken that option because of their Christian convictions and disgust of the current public school system. From statistics gleaned from the internet, there are over a million children being home-schooled. I have no way of knowing if religion is the primary motive of the parents, but I don't really think it matters. And for a fact, I have not encountered any adults who have had the home-schooling experience as a primary education. Some of those children are adults today, but I have fallen out of touch with the families since then.

Crow, I share your concern that parochial, or home-schooling of the sort I mentioned, will result in confused, mystical, or at worst, illiterate and/or tribal societies. Yet, the possibility exists for private schools that promote a proper education, and allow the child to think independently and rationally. Not being a professional educator, I wouldn't know where to begin, and at the risk of sounding vague, I believe it is possible.

With our current technologies, it may be more possible than ever before. Imagine the world if it were successful, then imagine the world if it is not even tried.  

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Interesting. Ayn Rand said these things were because of philosophy. Anyhow...

 

Sending all kids to private schools (which have a far-higher propensity to be religious schools for instance) will make things worse, not better.

 

You want to give a bunch of anti-conceptual dumb-dumb parents the ability to think up anything they imagine sounds like "school" and send their kids there. Many of them will inevitably send their kids to far-worse than we have now, and the lack of the diversity of the ideological gene pool is likely to make things a lot worse. All the kids in Utah will go to Mormon schools. That would be worse than what we have now.

 

Depressing, I know, but what you're talking about won't work...

Well for starters, children will get indoctrinated with religion regardless of what school they go to.    The big difference with public schools, is that not only are they being dumbed down but they are also indoctrinated by the state in public schools.

Further, I said the promotion of:  Rational Private Schooling, Homeschooling, and the Voucher Program.   

 Unless responsible and well-meaning parents are armed with the philosophical knowledge to be able to choose a rational educational method for their children i.e., a type of educational method that will fully prepare their children for successful adult life then it is quite likely that the results will be just as disappointing for them as for those parents who have left their children’s education in the hands of the state.

 

There are plenty of Rational private schools out there...     Thanks to Rand, and Leonard Peikoff's "Teaching Johnny to Think: A Philosophy of Education Based on the Principles of Ayn Rand's Objectivism"  I did the research on the Montessori school my daughter will be going to.

 

The academia-jet set coalition is attempting to tame the American character by the deliberate breeding of helplessness and resignation—in those incubators of lethargy known as “Progressive” schools, which are dedicated to the task of crippling a child’s mind by arresting his cognitive development. (See “The Comprachicos” in my book The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.) It appears, however, that the “progressive” rich will be the first victims of their own social theories: it is the children of the well-to-do who emerge from expensive nursery schools and colleges as hippies, and destroy the remnants of their paralyzed brains by means of drugs.

The middle class has created an antidote which is perhaps the most hopeful movement of recent years: the spontaneous, unorganized, grass-roots revival of the Montessori system of education—a system aimed at the development of a child’s cognitive, i.e., rational, faculty. - Ayn Rand 

“Don’t Let It Go,”

Philosophy: Who Needs It, 214

 

For me A PROPER RATIONAL Education would resemble:

Montessori education in Primary school.

Cognitive education in Middleschool, and

Cognitive, autodidact and specialization education for highschool.

A good video on the connections of Objectivist philosophy and Montessori education can be found here:  

10349897_10152524635380020_1013989818750

 

Edited by LandonWalsh
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Since we're talking about our own guesses as to what will happen in the future, has it occurred to anybody to look at, I don't know, evidence?

 

Everything I've seen (too lazy to look it up right now) show charters and vouchers drastically increasing the number of government-financed religious schools.

 

I'm not getting the connection between changing school's curriculum and whatnot and changing their financing structure. Schools aren't the way they are because the government pays for them. That has nothing to do with it...

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You want to give a bunch of anti-conceptual dumb-dumb parents the ability to think up anything they imagine sounds like "school" and send their kids there. Many of them will inevitably send their kids to far-worse than we have now, and the lack of the diversity of the ideological gene pool is likely to make things a lot worse. All the kids in Utah will go to Mormon schools. That would be worse than what we have now.

 

If I try to essentialize your position I get the following: People should not be able to make choices for themselves and their kids because they'll choose things that are irrational. Is that a correct interpretation?

 

 

Schools aren't the way they are because the government pays for them. That has nothing to do with it...

 

The fact that schools are severed from market forces at the root is a fundamental cause of the poor state of public education.

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Since we're talking about our own guesses as to what will happen in the future, has it occurred to anybody to look at, I don't know, evidence?

 

Everything I've seen (too lazy to look it up right now) show charters and vouchers drastically increasing the number of government-financed religious schools.

 

I'm not getting the connection between changing school's curriculum and whatnot and changing their financing structure. Schools aren't the way they are because the government pays for them. That has nothing to do with it...

 

I've always thought Vouchers were a good idea, because it could give parents choice and break up the government monopoly...  Which it may do.
However, it has been years since I've re-examined the issue under different perspective and I found that Yaron makes a good point here:

 


Yaron is spot on with his examination...  Maybe it is not the best solution.   Now im not sure if there could be a more politically achievable transitional voucher that didn't come with all the problems discussed, and this could be debated till the cows come home but it is not really the point of me posting this.


So lets keep on point with the real issue and mark out/replace: "the promotion of Rational Private Schooling, Rational  Homeschooling, and the Voucher Program getting government out of education." 


The subject here is that out of all the political "issues" to tackle, Reason and Freedom in education is the most important because of both the destruction public schools have caused to children's(and later adults) minds and the Marketability of a Rational Education option to parents. Edited by LandonWalsh
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If I try to essentialize your position I get the following: People should not be able to make choices for themselves and their kids because they'll choose things that are irrational. Is that a correct interpretation?

 

 

 

The fact that schools are severed from market forces at the root is a fundamental cause of the poor state of public education.

 

That's not a correct characterization, no. I don't recall ever imagining "people should not be able to make choices for themselves".

 

HOWEVER, there's a tricky distinction here at work: you have the right to choose that which you rightfully may. In other words, you don't get to "choose" to have my car, or to have the government buy you a free car, or a free private school in this case.

 

As for the financing structure being the "root cause" of schools being in the state they are in, well, I guess we'll agree to disagree. Ayn Rand, again, talked about philosophy guiding things like this...

 

Defacto, in the here-and-now country we live in, vouchers are about religious schools being paid for by the government. That's because of the philosophy prevailing in our culture, which needs to change in order for that to change.

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So lets keep on point with the real issue and mark out "The original point was:"the promotion of Rational Private Schooling, Rational  Homeschooling, and the Voucher Program getting government out of education." 

 

 

Totally. Changing the way education is done, from the purely technical perspective, is fully supportable. Private schools can and must lead this, but they must be truly private schools, not Fascist schools where the government gives private companies money as long as they do what the government tells them to do.

 

I've also made the case elsewhere, btw, that vouchers/charters are harmful to the cause of private schools since they can (and absolutely are right now) destroying private schools.

 

If the charter/voucher movement had a slogan, it would be, "The First Hit is Free". Once the industry switches over to a government-financed model, it will forever be entwined with government regulation under the universal, "my house, my rules" principle...

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The prevailing philosophy and public financing of education are symbiotic, or reciprocal in nature.

 

The point Gary North makes is regarding the "gatekeepers" (if not in the referenced article, it arises in other articles he has written) being circumvented via an internet solution for the transmission of mathematical knowledge by an individual that can present the subject in a clear, concise method without being "certified" by the "gatekeepers".

 

Dr. North has availed this point with regard to new authors and musicians desiring to make their works available. As Guttenberg was to the printing press, the internet is to mass dissemination of ideas. The internet makes any and all ideas available, leading to an information overload, without the means of discriminating between good and bad information. This may just be an opportunity for evaluating by objective means, the 'wheat from the chaff'; to categorize the 'value added content' from the 'non-value added content' to those who are interested in such matters.

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There are many reason why American education is bad, but the main ones are 

1. that it's government run;

2. that US government run education is ESPECIALLY poorly structured, even when compared to other western countries;

 

Just the fact that it's government run, meaning there's no competition, leads to terrible results. Sure, a lot of parents would have a bad time evaluating their childrens' curriculum rationally, but at the same time they would have very little trouble evaluating the results a particular school or chain of schools accomplishes. The vast majority of Americans will send their children to private schools which produce high test scores, get graduates into top universities, and, ultimately, successful professionals. That's the criteria by which people would select schools, not by how religious a particular school is.

 

What's worst, American schools don't even do the slightly sensible move most European systems have, which is allowing students on a similar level and with common interests to be grouped together, to give them the best shot at progressing and remaining engaged (and providing them with incentives at every level, to get into the class or school of their choosing). They just randomly throw together good and bad students, students interested in art, science, math, computers, biology, etc., based on what school district they're in, all in the name of the dumbest concept one can come up with: forced diversity.

 

 


Interesting. Ayn Rand said these things were because of philosophy. Anyhow...
 
Sending all kids to private schools (which have a far-higher propensity to be religious schools for instance) will make things worse, not better.
 
You want to give a bunch of anti-conceptual dumb-dumb parents the ability to think up anything they imagine sounds like "school" and send their kids there. Many of them will inevitably send their kids to far-worse than we have now, and the lack of the diversity of the ideological gene pool is likely to make things a lot worse. All the kids in Utah will go to Mormon schools. That would be worse than what we have now.
 
Depressing, I know, but what you're talking about won't work...

 
That's nonsense, most Americans would judge schools by performance not religious beliefs, but let's say for a second that it's true. Even if it is true, how is the fact that YOU would get to send your own children to a school of your choosing, not to a school of the government's choosing, not the most important thing for you? How doesn't that, in and of itself, make it good, and entirely worth it, no matter where others send their children?
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That's nonsense, most Americans would judge schools by performance not religious beliefs, but let's say for a second that it's true. Even if it is true, how is the fact that YOU would get to send your own children to a school of your choosing, not to a school of the government's choosing, not the most important thing for you? How doesn't that, in and of itself, make it good, and entirely worth it, no matter where others send their children?

 

 

"Performance" as measured according to... what exactly?

 

Like I said, there's real, hard, obvious data here: vouchers go to religious schools. Look it up. This doesn't come as a surprise to anybody who actually lives in the actual, "real" world where most people are... religious...

 

Giving people choice as to what sort of school they send their children to will not change their religion and/or philosophical beliefs. If only it were so easy.

 

Oh, and as for me, I already send my kids to private school, so I just assume not a) force my schools to get fucked up by the government when they have no choice but to take their money; and/or B) pay for other people's private school.

 

So no, I don't find the whole voucher/charter thing very interesting at all...

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Vouchers only work if it is a step towards total privitization.  Other wise, the only thing your doing is replacing government run schools with government approved svchools, which in the long run we see how that has worked with college.  The only way to make it work in the long run is total privitization which means the government does not approve schools to be in a protected cartel that people still are forced to pay to support. 

 

Charter Schools are the same thing.  In fact, I read a report (don't remember where) that tied a decline in attendence to real private schools due to having to compete with Charter Schools. 

 

If it was a step in a healthy retreat from forced education, religion is natural in this case since it is the most domanant alternative in the Country.  I don't like it but it is what it is.  If given the choice I'd likely prefer deprograming my kid of mysticism from a decent school versus teaching someone to think due to rampant skeptism in public ed.  

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Exactly. And to expand my maybe-too-cryptic point above ("our house our rules"), it's simply unrealistic to imagine that any government-financed institution will remain free for very long. Voters won't put up with their money going someplace they don't like, and the politicians will come in and make a career out of it, and so forth. Private schools that start taking vouchers will be defacto government schools within a decade or sooner. Vouchers are just a way to slowly-but-surely turn private schools into government-run schools (and Charters are just a way to instantly turn private schools into a public schools).

 

I dread the day my fellow parents greedily accept a discount on their school tuition in exchange for their long-term freedom. They will have sold their future for a trifle.

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Exactly. And to expand my maybe-too-cryptic point above ("our house our rules"), it's simply unrealistic to imagine that any government-financed institution will remain free for very long. Voters won't put up with their money going someplace they don't like, and the politicians will come in and make a career out of it, and so forth. Private schools that start taking vouchers will be defacto government schools within a decade or sooner. Vouchers are just a way to slowly-but-surely turn private schools into government-run schools (and Charters are just a way to instantly turn private schools into a public schools).

 

I dread the day my fellow parents greedily accept a discount on their school tuition in exchange for their long-term freedom. They will have sold their future for a trifle.

Zing!   Yeah, this is what I realized the moment I watched Yaron's video.     Vouchers sound nice.    But you could not put a more destructive gun to the head of private schools and also your long term goals.  

Edited by LandonWalsh
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I dread the day my fellow parents greedily accept a discount on their school tuition in exchange for their long-term freedom. They will have sold their future for a trifle.

Great. So your argument is "Let's not give them that option, in the name of the common good as you see it. Let's just keep their kids in government run schools. For the sake of the future."
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Gun? Private schools' participation in voucher programs is entirely optional.

 

If somebody creates--as they are, right now, all across the country--a competing charter/voucher school right next to a private school, often with many of the same families, the same curriculum, etc... then no, it's not optional. One business gets free money from the government, the other one doesn't. There's no way it can compete.

 

Well, okay, I suppose your participation in business is entirely optional. Private schools will enjoy the right to either go out of business or merge with the State...

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Great. So your argument is "Let's not give them that option, in the name of the common good as you see it. Let's just keep their kids in government run schools. For the sake of the future."

 

 

Vouchers/charters = government-run schools.  What are you talking about?

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  • 1 year later...

Bradley Thompson wrote two articles for The Objective Standard.

In the order they appear in the e-book

The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of Our Time

Education in a Free Society

In the Introduction to the e-book, a thumbnail sketch of two communities where "surprisingly large numbers of poor parents are sending their children to unregistered, unregulated private schools despite the existence of “free” government schools."

Why? It is captured nicely in this excerpt:

One parent summed up the difference between these shantytown private schools and the government schools with a succinct analogy: “If you go to a market and are offered free fruit and vegetables, they will be rotten. If you want fresh fruit and vegetables, you have to pay for them.”

These two articles add to the case of why "[e]ducation is too important to be left to politicians." — Winston Churchill

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