Freedom in Education Versus Right to Education
Has public education achieved its goal? In truth, public “free” education has achieved its goal perfectly — it has turned a potential free-thinking child that will fight for freedom, into a adult incapable of abstract reasoning, that demands to be enslaved by the state. In fact, public education has done such a good job at this, that most people cannot imagine a society where public education does not exist.
I strongly oppose the invalid concept of “right to education” because it contradicts metaphysical reality, the Law of Identity, and the Law of Causality. It is true that this so mediocre a species of right is guaranteed by our Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as some young fervent, passionate apologists of slavery try to point out. There is no such a right as the right to education. The so absurd “right to education” means state-funded education, which means the productive members of our society must contribute something to serve those who have less in life. This sounds good, but this mediocre trend is what is pushing this country toward complete collectivism and disaster. There is only freedom in education, which is anchored on reality.
I wrote in my earlier blog the following statement:
Yes, I’m for the complete abolition of the University of the Philippines and all state schools, colleges, and universities (SUC). However I don’t believe that privatization of all public SCUs is the first reform. I truly understand why most of my very passionate critics continue to insist that education is a right. It is very clear: they are ignorant of the proper, real concept of rights. They think they have a right to everything or anything. Perhaps they think that rights is like a bumper sticker or a humanitarian slogan that anyone can use for his/her own benefit. Or perhaps they think that this abstraction- “rights”- is divorced from reality. Yes, it’s the Law of Identity which they ignore or try to negate.
Rights are positive, indispensable conditions to man’s existence. They primarily pertain to a right of action, not a right to something. For instance, property rights pertain to a right to action. Property rights guarantee that you own the title to your property, and that you are entitled to its fruits or any other benefits that might accrue from the use of such a property. I don’t think this is difficult to understand.
Education, like all others, is a commodity. Like health care or a light bulb, education is a product that people might need or might not need. It is subject to the law of supply and demand. The so absurd phrases “right to education”, “right to accessible education or “right to quality education” are just some of the most disgusting perversion of the concept of rights. They are a by-product of the nineteenth century rise of socialism or collectivism that infected the whole of Europe and the United States.
Doesn’t capitalism oppose “free” education?
Capitalism supports freedom in education as opposed to the tax funded “free” education run by the state. Under capitalism, the indoctrination of the young by the officials of the state is illegal. Under capitalism, education, like food, computers, and medicine, is taken on as a private profit making enterprise, not because education is unimportant, but because it is so important (like all private enterprise this leaves room for private charity, but this is a secondary issue).
How is ‘free’ education funded under capitalism?
The only “free” education under capitalism is provided by private individuals, i.e., parents paying for their child’s education, i.e., individuals acting as a group, e.g., church groups and non-religious groups.
What is the price of a ‘free’ state-funded education?
The price of a “free” public education is freedom. The collectivist (Nazi, communist, socialist) notion that there is such a thing as a “free” education is a monstrous myth — anything of value must be paid for. The state per say produces nothing, all state funds are forcibly taken from others through taxes, etc. When one recommends the “state funding of education to preserve freedom“, one is asking that the freedom of one’s fellow citizens be abridged, that their wealth be looted by public officials, all for the alleged purpose of protecting freedom. This is a contradiction in terms: freedom of action under a system of rights, is never preserved by the violation of those rights. That is, no matter how good the alleged ends, evil means are never justified.
What do collectivists really mean by “free education”?
What the advocates of “free” education espouse is not leaving individuals free to pay for their own education, or free to pay for the education of another, or free to decide on the content of that education. Rather, they advocate the robbing of one man to pay the for the unearned benefit (in this case the “schooling”) of another. The proper name for such a program is not “free” education, but is legalized theft. This is what those who advocate “free” state supported education actually endorse.
The key issue here is whether one is forced to pay for education of oneself (or others) voluntarily of one’s own free-will — as with private education; or, if one is forced to pay for the education of oneself (or others) at the point of a gun (to see this gun appear, simply volunteer to refuse to take part in “voluntary” taxation).
Government is an agent of force; force and mind are opposites; to impose the will of public officials upon its citizens, is to render its citizens slaves. Contrary to the collectivist doctrines espoused throughout American colleges, the mind of a child — or an adult — does not belong to the state: each man is an end to himself. It is said that children learn by example, is there any doubt to what kind of example “public-free” schooling is teaching?
What kinds of ideas are taught by state-controlled (and funded) education?
If any government is allowed to gain financial control of education, then so it must necessarily take over the content of that education: the realm of ideas. i.e., to make sure it’s “money” is well spent. In such a situation is there any doubt that the supreme ideas to be taught are obedience and servitude to the supremacy of the “people” and its “democratic” spokesperson the state? Such is the death of a free society. For this reason it is of critical importance that the government be completely removed from education, must like it is from religion.
How do public and private schools differ?
If a parent does not approve of a private school they can remove their children and their money from it, and take both elsewhere. No such option exists in societies with public schools: whether parents send their children to a public schools or not, and whether they approve of the ideas taught in those schools or not, they must still pay for public education through compulsory taxation. This added burden often makes it impossible for many parents to even afford to send their children to private schools.
Are there any private schools in America?
In fact, in America there are no truly private schools, since government determines the standards and thus much of the content of both public and “private” schools. Today’s “private” schools, like “private” business under Hitler’s Germany, are for the most part are only private in name, but are not private in substance.
Is there a right to education?
There is no such thing as a ‘right to education’, since such a ‘right’ makes slaves of those who are physically forced to pay or teach for someone else’s so called right. For this reason alone public schooling should not be saved, or reformed, but it should be abolished — as it is a violation of individual (human) rights.
What about those who cannot afford to pay for their education?
As for those select few who cannot afford to pay for their own education they can resort to private charity, which will be greatly enlarged through the use of tax credits. School vouchers is another “mixed economy” option, depending upon how it is implemented. Also, under capitalism, since their would be no public schools, more private schools would appear, which would lead to more competition, and a decrease in the cost of an education.
Are not all private schools better because they are private?
That a school is private does not make it intellectually better than a public school — a private school can be worse then a public school. Public schools can dip their hands into the public treasury for dollars — private schools cannot. What is important is that a school actually provides a *rational* education.
Under capitalism a private school would be better; because, if it is not, it will not receive any funds; the same cannot be said of public schools, as the worse they seem to get, the more money they receive.
Having government fund schools means that government will control content. As the money taken from taxpayer’s by government is not limitless, it must be allocated somehow. It is through the allocation of funds that government controls content, i.e., “We don’t like your content, you won’t get any funding from us.”
What are some short-term solutions?
In the short-term, the political solution are tax credits for education (see Ayn Rand’s article in the VOICE OF REASON on this subject for details). This will allow people (who pay for public schools through their taxes) a tax credit which can be used to pay for the private (or public) school of their choice, or it can even be used for home schooling. Individuals, or businesses, can even use the money to pay for someone else’s education, and then receive a tax credit. More importantly, tax credits will transfer fiscal control from bureaucrats back to individuals, thus forcing public schools to compete in the market for dollars — just like private schools do.
What have been the results of public education?
Given the terrible record of public “education”, it is dubious whether any rational individual would voluntarily pay for it, if it were not “free.” Of all the government interventions into people’s lives, has any been as great a failure as the sad spectacle of public education? The drug addiction of teenagers unable to cope with reality (so they have no desire to face serious issues like this); student crime and violence (since they do not understand why it is wrong to initiate force against others, after all the government does); functional illiteracy of thousands (all the more important so they can’t read this); and most importantly the inability to think in principle (so they will not know when the principle of their rights is being violated). These are the results of inserting the power of destruction (to be applied towards brutes and criminals) to an act of production — education.
Has public education achieved its goal (the goal implied by its logic)?
In truth, public “free” education has achieved its goal perfectly — it has turned a potential free-thinking child that will fight for freedom, into a adult incapable of abstract reasoning, that demands to be enslaved by the state. In fact, public education has done such a good job at this, that most people cannot imagine a society where public education does not exist.
Where in the 19th century America, parents had to be forced with bayonets to turn their children over to be indoctrinated into the concentration camps for the young — public schools — a century later, many parents turn in their children voluntarily — and many even go so far as to demand that the state take them!
If any so called humanitarian is truly concerned about children and adults, then he will help free their minds and bodies from the ravages of the inhumane atrocities of a compulsory state “education.”
Ayn Rand’s “Tax Credits for Education” in The Voice of Reason.
Ayn Rand’s “The Comprachios” in the The New Left.
Leonard Peikoff’s “The American School: Why Johnny Can’t Think” in The Voice of Reason.
Leonard Peikoff’s “Assault from the Ivory Tower: The Professor’s War Against America” in The Voice of Reason.