The Power of State Indoctrination
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Conservatives just don’t get it. They complain about Common Core, saying that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in education.
Fair enough. No problem with that position.
But the problem with conservatives is that while they want to get the federal government out of education, they steadfastly want state and local governments to continue “educating” children. Conservatives fail to see that indoctrination comes not just with federal control over education but also with state and local control over education. Maybe their inability to see that is because of the public schooling they received.
Government officials have two primary aims with respect to educational indoctrination of children. They involve:
1.The role of government in a free society.
2.The nature of freedom.
Over the twelve years of a government-approved education, state employees inculcate into the mind of every child that the role of government is to take care of people with a welfare state and to keep them safe with a warfare state.
The indoctrination is subtle but effective. By the time children graduate high school, they have no doubts that as Americans they are living in a free society.
Equally important, most every public school graduate is convinced that such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, and FDIC are part and parcel of a free society.
It makes sense, right? Americans are a free people. A free people have a welfare state. Freedom and a welfare state go together.
That mindset is carried into adulthood and oftentimes stays with a person until the day he dies.
The indoctrination goes even deeper though. Children are made to believe that the welfare state is essential to their survival and well-being. Most people honestly believe that without a welfare state, people would die in the streets from starvation or inadequate healthcare. Indeed, many Americans are absolutely convinced that without a government schooling system, most everyone in society would be illiterate or ignorant.
This type of mindset doesn’t come into existence on its own. It is the result of indoctrination.
It’s no different with the warfare state. From the first grade, children are ingrained with the idea that the world is an unsafe place and that it’s the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that are keeping them safe. By the time the kid reaches the sixth grade, he is already inculcated with the notion that he should be thanking the troops for their service. By the time he reaches graduation day, the indoctrination is complete — he is totally convinced that a free and functioning society necessarily entails a governmental structure with a giant permanent military establishment, a CIA, and a NSA, along with the perversions, crises, chaos, and wars that come with them.
This is why welfare-warfare statists are so befuddled over libertarians. When they see libertarians fighting to dismantle, not reform, the welfare-state and warfare-state apparatuses that have been grafted onto America’s original government structure, statists just don’t get it. Since statists are convinced that such apparatuses are essential to their freedom and well-being, they can’t understand why libertarians would want to dismantle them.
The difference is that libertarians have broken free of the indoctrination they received in the government school system. That’s what makes us different from non-libertarians. We have come to understand that the mandatory charity that comes with the welfare state contradicts the principles of free will and freedom of choice. We have come to understand that the warfare state is a totalitarian apparatus that makes us unfree and less safe. We have come to understand that a genuine education is impossible when children are subjected to schooling run by government officials at any level.
The fascinating part of all this is that most believers in America’s welfare-warfare state way of life have no idea their statist mindsets are the result of state indoctrination, and they fiercely oppose any suggestion that they are the victims of state indoctrination. They just continue proudly standing at civil meeting as adults where they recite the Pledge of Allegiance (which was written by a socialist) and at sporting events where they sing “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.”
It’s a real testament to the power of government schooling. What better success than to produce generations of people who have been indoctrinated but who don’t realize they’ve been indoctrinated? The words of the great German thinker Johann Goethe come to mind: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”