FFF: The Perils and Pitfalls of Political Paternalism

The Perils and Pitfalls of Political Paternalism was written by Professor Richard Ebeling at the Future of Freedom Foundation about the dangers and costs of nanny statism.

Across the spectrum of differing political views, whether “progressive,” “nationalist,” “populist,” or “conservative,” there is a common presumption in all of their policy positions and programs. That common dominator is the premise that government is to be the guiding hand in directing and remaking society in some chosen form, to which and within which all in that society are to be confined and made to conform.

The “progressives” herald a new dawn of democratic egalitarianism based on the identity politics of race, gender, and “social class.” The nationalists hark back to a restoration of national identity in which the state defines and determines a nation’s historic qualities and characteristics, for the protection and preservation of which government regulations and restrictions are to be employed.

“Populists” demand a redistribution of governmental power and favoritism more into the hands of those who they say have been taken advantage of in the existing “establishment” system of things. And American conservatives, who once declared at least a rhetorical allegiance to the country’s founding limited government principles, seem to want nothing more than retaining or regaining political power, and are willing to be as regulatory and redistributive in their practical policy decisions as the progressives they rail against.

Lost in this ideological and political policy warfare among them for the governmental reins of plunder and privilege is the idea and ideal of classical, or limited government, liberalism, with its defense of individual liberty, free market economics, civil liberties under an impartial rule of law, and an ethics of non-interventionism at home and abroad.

In the face of these competing, yet philosophically complementary, demands for retention and expansion of “Big Brother” over even more of our lives in a growing number of directions, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of the premises behind and the realities of the political paternalism that they jointly represent.

First and foremost, the guiding idea behind political paternalism is that the individual cannot be trusted to be a free and responsible human being. Those who wish to socially engineer our lives consider us too ignorant, too irresponsible, and too narrow in our own personal planning horizons to intelligently and reasonably take care of our own health care, our own retirement, our own family’s education, or our own spending and consumption choices…

All of these factors, and others that could be listed, show the perils of political paternalism and power-lusting. The interventionist-welfare state has been and will continue to lead us down a dangerous new “road to serfdom” in which our lives are more and more controlled, managed, and manipulated by those in political power who claim the right to dictate how we are to live and work.

It encapsulates an evil immorality in which political force continues to claim the authority to deny us our individual rights to life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. The interventionist-welfare state has been creating a new feudalism with political and special interest elites who serve as the “lords” who rule over and ruin the rest of us, the modern serfs who are expected to toil for their benefit under strangling regulations, burdensome taxes, and intrusive social controls in the name of political correctness and identity politics now and in the future.

All of us who prefer to be free men in a free society with a free market need to do all in our intellectual power to stop and reverse this reactionary counterrevolution against the ideal of human liberty. Otherwise, our civilization may be heading for a terrible collapse that will leave nothing but tyranny and poverty for too many for generations to come.

Click here to read the entire article at FFF.org.

FFF: The Ongoing Destruction of the Minds of Children

From Gary Barnett at The Future of Freedom Foundation comes this brief piece on the intentional failures of the public school system. Everyone should read John Taylor Gatto’s Underground History of American Education for a better understanding of how the system was created and why. As President Woodrow Wilson said in a speech, “We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”

There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from the parents the funds to pay for the procedure.
— Isabel Paterson

Compulsory schooling is a travesty. To call it education is absurd. Real education is lifelong learning as an individual, while compulsory public schooling is the indoctrination of children as a collective exercise to bring all down to the lowest level. Prisons called schools are simply the forced means to stifle individual brilliance while promoting sameness and monotony. The result of this brainwashing is meant to teach children to obey orders, and to be satisfied spending their lives in a virtual cage of ignorance, to never become entrepreneurs and dissenters.
With the recent death of the great John Taylor Gatto, the loss of a giant is evident. He was not only a pioneer in real education, but he discovered the true nature and genius that exists in so many children. The controllers who use the government school system as a way to dumb down the masses fully understand this potential genius. They are very fearful of it. So fearful in fact, that more than 100 years ago, they designed a mandatory school system as a way to control the common people. By training them to be good citizens and members of a collective society instead of individuals, the few could continue to control the many.
The experiment called compulsory schooling, now referred to as “public education,” began in Massachusetts in 1852, and became widespread just after the turn of the twentieth century. By 1910 the majority of children were in public schools. Since that time “education” as administered by the state has been a horrible failure, if learning was the desired end. But learning and knowledge were never the goals of forced schooling; training the young to honor authority, discipline, and nationalism were the true goals sought. In that regard, public schooling has been completely successful. These institutions became the vehicle used to teach children to be managed instead of managing themselves. They have produced a soft society consumed by doubt and incompetence, and one that can function only as a mass.
In order to change this dynamic, a real education is necessary, but so long as parents continue to shirk their responsibility by allowing unknown state employees to raise and train their children, things can only get worse.
John Gatto knew that teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic could be accomplished in as few as 100 hours. The improvement of those skills would be self-taught at the appropriate time and place, as self-taught persons are far more advanced than those subject to and dependent on mass schooling. Any real study of most kids educated at home will expose this truth.
As I see it, it is up to parents to save their own children. That will not be an easy task, as most parents are products of the same state-schooling system that exists today, and were taught long ago not to rock the boat or question authority. Everything should be questioned, and everything should be scrutinized. Questioning authority is the bane of the state apparatus, which is the reason compulsory schooling was implemented in the first place. It continues unabated as the dominant training discipline of this country’s young.
Take a look around and you may be shocked. How many have lost their imagination? How many seek counseling? How many feel inadequate and consider suicide? How many do you know who manage their lives by taking prescription drugs? How many are bored, emotionally wrecked, and afraid? Most of those people, a very large portion of the population, can no longer function as individuals. Such behavior should be expected, as the product turned out by the mandatory government school system has little ability to think and act without guidance. That is a direct result of being a prisoner of state-sponsored indoctrination centers from infancy to adulthood. That is why public schooling is anathema to free-thinking, self-reliant, and responsible individuals.
Mass schooling guarantees a weak and compliant population, one that has lost the ability to think critically. It is an all-consuming addiction to mediocrity, and an escape from excellence. No society can continue to be free and prosper under such conditions. Why, as John Gatto asked, are we turning our kids over to total strangers who can mold their minds with state propaganda for twelve years? It is time for parents to take back their children, and rescue them from a life of dependency.
This article was originally published in The Future of Freedom Foundation’s March 2019 issue of Future of Freedom.