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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

An educator responds...

By Steve Brenneis
Ars Mens Mentis

...to my post on replacing the public schools. Most of the response is simply education blob boilerplate. He actually responded over at The Bully Pulpit but since the entry originated here, this is where I'll post my rebuttals (feel free to re-post at the BP, Andy):

Mr. Crawford begins with some of the most basic education lobby agit-prop...


Anonymous David R. Crawford said...

This is simply not true. The most obvious evidence for that is the United States itself. Laying aside for the moment that universal education doesn't exist here now, this country spent most of its existence without universal, or even near-universal education, and it can be easily argued that democracy thrived and was likely in better shape during the epoch in which much of the nation was uneducated. But beyond that, every actual democracy that has existed since the Greeks has consisted of a largely illiterate and certainly uneducated populace.

How do we expect to have an engaged populace that is "illiterate and uneducated?" When the voters are uneducated, they can't make intelligent choices. Yes, democracy has existed since the Greeks, but it has by no means been perfect (nor universal). We will not perfect it, but it seems reasonable that we would try to improve upon it.

Now if Mr.Crawford had said, "Universal indoctrination is a fundamental requirement for a collectivist state," I would have agreed wholeheartedly.

Again, indoctrination is a function of a disengaged electorate that is neither paying attention, nor participating in their government. It is the responsibility of citizens to participate in government. When the institutions of government fail, we must look at ourselves for the reasons why. Too often Americans have left government to the "they"s (someone else) and we find ourselves in the mess we are in.

It is not in the best interest of the state to educate people in the limits of its power. In fact, government and the bureaucracy thrive on the ignorance of the masses. This is exactly why government-run education is a flawed concept and doomed to its own destruction. The only entity that can effectively educate the proletariat on how it can and should limit government's power is necessarily one that exists entirely outside the government.

It is the premise here that the state is some draconian entity that works in opposition to the interest of the people which is flawed. I suggest a rereading of the constitution.

Thursday, May 22, 2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Steve Brenneis said...

Over here

Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:28:00 PM  

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