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Further Comments on Public Education

August 16, 2010

A blog commenter wrote:

“I think I disagree with this. I think Plato’s concefpt of public education particularly in elementary is a really nice way to preserve a society – that is kung matutupad ng maayos… As for your opinion regarding “The Seeds of Evil: How Communism Infiltrates Public Universities?” I don’t think communism is bad per se, naging masama na lang siguro because of propaganda, anyway, everything is a matter of propaganda, marketing, advertising, however, you may want to call it – mind conditioning lang… I’m from PUP, though, radical kung sa radical ang tingin ng iba, outrsiders will not really understand… you have to take something in context to real get the essence of it… the problem with the news is that they take something out of context and sensationalize it, kaya ganun… tuition fee increase is not the issue but the percentage of the increase, plus hindi man lang na explain kasi why it was for… But in the age of propaganda, it’s not about the point, it’s how you get the point across…”

Here’s my reply:

In fact both Plato and Aristotle were in favor of vesting the function of education with the state. It was one of the minor errors of Aristotle, but he “corrected” himself thousands of years later through his Epistemology when the United States, through its Founding Fathers, established a Constitution that was founded on Aristotelian philosophy. Between Aristotle and Plato, I’d pick Aristotle. Plato was a mystic; Aristotle was pro-reason. Aristotle was the first intellectual on earth.

The irony is, Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum were private, although the latter was open to the public and offered free of charge. Yes, the philosophical father of America was Aristotle. America’s Constitution rejected the idea of people’s “right to education” for the founding fathers believed that that would lead to the use of force against the citizens through the power of taxation. But more than a hundred years after the founding of America, the education “rightists” led by an American education reformer named Horace Mann established public education system in America as we know it today. We later on adopted this Horacean mentality in 1899 when our forefathers adopted our very first Constitution, which provided that “[p]ublic education shall be free and obligatory in all schools of the nation.”

But before the establishment of public education system in America, schools were private and children were taught through private tutorial and home schooling. That was the time America rose from a British colony to the greatest country on earth. You should know that America was built by its first industrialists, namely, Andrew Carnegie (who was a working student from age 12), James J. Hill (who was offered a free tuition in a private school but had to drop out after his father died), Edward H. Harriman (who quit school at age 14 to take a job as an errand boy on Wall Street in New York City), Cornelius Vanderbilt (who began working on his father’s ferry in New York harbor as a boy and quit school at the age of 11), and John D. Rockefeller (who started working as an assistant bookkeeper at age 16).

This shows that the greatest country on earth reached its status not because of imperialism as most socialists and liberals claim, but because of its great industrialists who built America’s free-enterprise before and during the 18th century. The irony here is that the ideological fathers of public education system and statism- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels- were both born to aristocrat and wealthy family. Also, Horace Mann, the father of public education in America, was born to a rich and well-known family, he graduated valedictorian of his class in 1819, and he was a highly educated man. Yet these highly educated intellectual ‘elites’ were nothing compared to the highly superior mentality and reality-based wisdom of men like Carnegie, Hill, Harriman, Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt who earned their way out of poverty in order to become the economic pillars and the best representatives of America’s free-market enterprise.

Now, now, now… Please don’t ever tell me the video below only applies to America. If you’re really a thinking being, you’d understand that the principles behind public education or private education, for that matter, apply everywhere. Those who kept on telling me that what I’m talking about applies only in the US or in the West are so stupid because they didn’t know what they’re talking about. So what’s good for the Philippines then? Socialism? I have commenters who told me that Ayn Rand’s views cannot be implemented in the Philippine setting. But these ideas are not simply Ayn Rand’s views. These are universal principles that can work in any social or geographical setting so long as the people understand the ‘real’ concept of reason. Of course, these ideas are banned from collectivist societies like Iran (because of their anti-man religion), Cuba (because of their anti-individualist ideology), and North Korea (because it’s a dictatorship). My critics should understand that before Ferdinand Magellan discovered our group of Islands, the Philippines as we know it today had no political, social and geographical identity yet. There were only ethnic and tribal groups prior to the more than 300 years occupation of Spain. But during Spain’s occupation, our society was firmly grounded in religion, specifically Catholicism. So what really applies to the Philippine setting then? Religion? Ethnic traditions? I say that we need a system grounded in reality, and the only system that could work in our country is free-market capitalism.

Suggested Readings:

Note of the History on American Free Enterprise

What They Won’t Tell You About Capitalism

The Truth About the “Robber Barons”

Bring Back the Robber Barons

10 Comments leave one →
  1. lou permalink
    August 18, 2010 3:38

    (thanks sa reply)

    actually, America’s concept of education is geared towards socialism, kaya nga nabuo ang concept ng UNESCO… the concept of “pragmatic” education is geared towards it… gaya na rin ng nangyayari sa Pilipinas… State education is not the topic to be debated on, but the purpose behind it – should we have a state education that preserves the status quo or one that is radical and is geared towards social change?

  2. lou permalink
    August 18, 2010 3:38

    As for free market capitalism, I don’t think the system will work here. Look at our farmers, SME’s, namamatay silang lahat dahil dun…

    noon, maraming sari-sari store, pumasok ang 711 at ministop at kumonti ang mga maliit na tindahan… noon, maraming maliit na sinehan, pumasok ang SM cinemas at unti unti silang nawala… noon, madaming magagandang tagalog movies at pinasok tayo ng hollywood, di ba halos nawala na rin sila…

    free market capitalism breeds consumerism, and consumerism destroys our very concept of the self… we see everything as consumables, even people… kaya nga uso ang contractualization sa mga manggagawa ngayon…

    • August 19, 2010 3:38

      What do is the system that we should adopt for our country? Socialism and tribalism? Study economics and the proper concept of capitalism and you’d find out the answer. It’s either capitalism or socialism. I have tackled all those issues here…
      I have written numerous articles against public education so I don’t see any need to restate my arguments here.
      As for your sari-sari store, the advent of convenience stores (e.g., 7-11 and Mini Stop) led to the creation of more jobs and more taxpayers that subsidize your public education. I bet that most of these sari-sari storeowners didn’t pay their own taxes because unlike the owners of 7/11 and Mini Stop, they’re no big deal to our tax bureaucrats. So you want sari-sari stores instead of malls that continue to create thousands and thousands of jobs and competition in the country?
      Did you ever go to a mall? If you did then you might have seen a score of people employed by mall owners and business establishment owners. But I think it’s not the jobs created and the taxes paid that subsidize your education which you noticed, but the greedy, selfish capitalists who happened to have the money to put up investment in the country.
      What I’m talking about is called “destructive innovation.” Before the advent of computers and the Internet technology, we had typewriters and electric typewriters. But these old, defunct products had to go with the creation of computers and the Internet.
      The advent of big malls and convenience stores led to the destruction of many sari-sari stores which you (perhaps) try to revive, but this created hundreds of thousands of jobs, which translated to more taxpayers that subsidize your public education, led to a higher level competition and more affordable prices of commodities, innovation, investment, and more progressive Philippines. If you want sari-sari stores, you can have them in North Korea where education is free and fully guaranteed by the dictatorial regime of Kim Jong Il. In North Korea there are no malls and convenience stores. Capitalists and businessmen won’t survive in that slave pen and only government bureaucrats and military men get rich.
      Your understanding of consumerism is very problematic. It exposes your very, very poor understanding of economics and capitalism. Consumerism is defined as a “a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods or services in ever greater amounts.” This is a liberal/leftist concept and I strongly disagree with it. Every individual living in a free society has the freedom to choose.
      As for your contempt for Hollywood movies, you have the freedom to choose between a Filipino movie or a foreign film. But you don’t have the right to ask the government to restrict the entry of Hollywood movies in the Philippines. There’s something you missed here. The restriction of Hollywood movies in the country won’t lead to quality Filipino movies. Most Filipinos watch Hollywood movies because of their quality. Without competition Filipino filmmakers wouldn’t be compelled to produce quality movies. Let the incompetent Filipino filmmakers die if they failed to perform their jobs better.
      Try to look at the Korean filmmakers. They didn’t improve the quality of their film products just because the Korean government restricted the entry of Hollywood movies into South Korea. Instead, Korean filmmakers improved their products in order to better compete with Hollywood films which they successfully did. Now Korean films and TV series dominate Asia’s film market and continue to invade many countries in Europe and the Americas. That’s how innovative works and products are done in a free-market economy. If you want public education, let the “greedy” capitalists invest in the Philippines because they create jobs and innovations that would help you pay for your subsidized tuition. Your sari-sari stores and underground businesses can’t subsidize your expensive public education (since tuition at UP is above P100,000 by today’s standards. )
      Study economics and know how capitalism works!

      • R.T. Lopez permalink
        August 19, 2010 3:38

        This explains the idiocy of our public school students. I’m so disgusted by their ignorance and arrogance. I’m a business owner and I’m worried of the kind of students we graduate with our tax money. As a businessman, I speak in behalf of mall owners and tell these stupid public students: HOW DARE YOU!!!

  3. lou permalink
    August 19, 2010 3:38

    i think you’re the one who missed the point… it’s no use arguing with you since your premises are off… petitio principii… the debate is not on the issue of which is better… you need to clarify your educational goals… I believe Hegel was right to assume that the main goal of education is to create a social idea – a social spirit… kaya may public education because of that… i’m not saying we need to have a strict public education only policy… as for your concept of commercialism, you see it in a very superficial manner… please read Renato Constantino’s The Miseducation of the Filipinos…

    As for you, R.T. Lopez – you are the one stupid and idiotic… HOW DARE YOU AS WELL! there’s no use in saying more, your opinion is as distorted as your logic… you didn’t even understand what the argument was about… anyway, I AM PROUD TO SAY, I DON’T THINK AS NARROW AS YOU BECAUSE I GRADUATED FROM A PUBLIC SCHOOL!

    • anti-public education permalink
      August 19, 2010 3:38

      What an idiot! Did you even finish high school?

  4. March 14, 2011 3:38

    Having a good issue for students. There are so many techniques to learn. We can easily learn through them.


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