Michael Tavoliero: Socialism has destroyed our education system
By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO
As parents, we all share a common, but surprisingly dominant and emotional feeling. This is one of our most important imperatives. Throughout centuries of civilization, every parent’s goal was a singular commitment to ensuring that their children had better opportunities for their future than themselves. When this happened, the result was not just a better life, but a better society.
In 1931 Albert Jay Nock, “The Theory of Education in the United States”, in his lectures to students at the University of Virginia, said: “This feeling, I say, served as a spirit invigorating, not enlightening spirit. His interventions have led us to the construction, in no way deliberate but quite haphazard, of a theory of education which can be broken down into three basic ideas or principles. The first idea was that of equality; the second, that of democracy; and the third idea was that the only great assurance of good public order and honest government lay in a literate population.
Nock went on, “I need not remind you of Mr. Jefferson’s passionate faith in this third idea, and his insistence upon it in season and out of season. It was in its time a speculative idea, which gathered a fairly broad consensus among thoughtful people, but which the subsequent test of practice has rather tended to explode. These three ideas are fundamental to our theory of education today, just as they were in Mr. Jefferson’s day. They remain unchanged, and even, as I have said, unexamined; they are taken as axiomatic, and the whole mechanism of our system, our whole pedagogical practice from primary school to university, is built on them.
What happened to Thomas Jefferson’s American theory of education which produced in the 19and and early 20and centuries some of our greatest minds?
Nock saw in 1931 that socialism had arrived.
In the new decades of the 20and Century socialism became the government manipulated the arbitrary division and redistribution of the nation’s wealth and industry among the American people through fiscal doctrine. This tax doctrine (income and heritage) has transformed the behavioral fabric of our population by slow marinade. It offered no options, opt-outs or constraints. Over time, this has further instilled ignorance and misinformation regarding our constitutional republic. This produced an overwhelming popular misunderstanding that resulted in self-serving government largesse, especially in the area of government education.
Examination of the first principle, equality, in our government education system has metamorphosed from the University of Virginia founder’s adherence to the basis of performance to an artificial mechanism where every student receives a trophy.
What about the second principle, democracy? Our education system is democratic. The definition of democracy has changed.
As with the current corruption of the philosophically sound doctrine of equality, Nock saw the transformation of the definition of democracy as “something even stranger and more interesting, a perversion upon a perversion”.
Today, public policy to regulate and influence behavior is essential for governments. Instead of the bottom-up goal of our constitutional republic beginning with individual rights through a process of local government leading to better freedoms, the government invented top-down restrictions on all aspects of public life. Governments use several tools such as legislation, sanctions, regulations, taxes and subsidies to change and alter public behavior.
Government policy should mean the actual allocation of resources presented by projects and programs designed to respond to real problems and challenges requiring government action for their solution, instead of the knee-jerk reactions to projected and unproven problems and challenges that we see our government, local, state and federal, acting with blind imminence and our captive participation.
The birth of our nation was founded on the right to individual expression in politics. At the heart of this 18and The political theory of the century was that those who vote govern. Voting was seen as the best way to actualize this right of individual expression. Through voting, democracy becomes the result of the counting of the ballots. This democratically determines power and control over the political apparatus. Democracy was about political status.
However, we live in a constitutional republic. Over time and the confusion of terms, our behavior has changed to accept the fact that everyone voted democratically, so we live in a democracy.
Moreover, because of this confusion of terms, democracy today has moved from a purely political convention to an economy of collective control. Our current perception of democracy shows how the management and administration of government properties affects public behavior.
This is not the democracy of political outcome. Like the common areas of a condominium and the cost of running them, it has become the goal of today’s democracy. A bond issue to build a new government school or a candidate for government office to better control the ideological intent is seen as our obligation, instead of our nation’s original goal of lesser government and our obligation to preserve this limited government for our future generations. The democracy of the economy is now the objective of the result of the counting of the ballots, and not the democracy of politics. With a perversion of the golden rule, those who have the gold rule.
The opposite of republicanism is monarchy, but monarchy is not the opposite of democracy. The opposite of democracy is absolutism, that is to say tyranny. Tyranny can control a republican regime like any other. Because everyone voted, our constitutional republic is now called a democracy. We see this as normal. The proof of this confusion is a social predicate of modern times.
Thus, democracy is not a matter of extending the ballot. It is not about the right of the citizen to express himself in politics. This is no longer the political philosophy of the eighteenth century envisaged or desired.
Democracy today is not a political status. It is the economic adjustment of government ownership by dissolving the channeled distribution of property into a collective political class, the elected and unelected bureaucracy, using fiscal and regulatory restrictions on the nation’s voters. This collective political class is compelled by the foundations of the new definition of democracy not to take responsibility or accountability for ownership, but only to produce outrages and crises in order to maintain the center of the power of government. Socialism eschews individual responsibility and accountability, which is the foundation of freedom, and promotes increases and controls using top-down government economic policy.
If elected heads of government cannot be held accountable for their actions beyond the electoral process and the policies created, then they avoid any consequences to the outcome. In time, their lack of results is forgotten, leading to general disorientation and planned confusion.
Has Alaska forgotten the discoveries of Alaska 2000?
Crises cause resentment and indignation as well as fear and discontent. Democracy today is transformative in its intention to include resentment and outrage. Yesterday’s democracy is neither remembered nor practiced. Those who devoted their lives to understanding the human quagmire of civilized conceptions are now forgotten or ignored.
The present result and as Nock noted in 1931, “As the popular idea of equality postulates that in the realm of the mind everyone can enjoy whatever everyone can enjoy, so the popular idea of democracy postulates that there will be nothing worth profiting for everyone to profit from and not everyone to be able to profit from; and a contrary opinion is immediately exposed to all the evils of a stubborn, unintelligent resentment , invincibly suspicious.
Looking at our own state’s constitution, how would Alaska’s constitutional delegates have reacted to the founder of American educational theory?
Michael Tavoliero is an Eagle River realtor, active in the Alaska Republican Party, and former president of Eaglexit. The third part of this series will be published shortly.