"A human group transforms itself into a crowd when it suddenly responds to a suggestion rather than to reasoning, to an image rather than to an idea, to an affirmation rather than to proof, to the repetition of a phrase rather than to arguments, to prestige rather than to competence." ~ Jean-Francois Revel
Escaping the School Monopoly in Detroit and Everywhere Else
Like most people, I was forced to attend miserable government monopoly schools – in my case, in the Warren Consolidated School district north of Detroit, where I graduated from Cousino High School. During that 13-year prison sentence, I encountered a handful of decent teachers—a tiny fraction of the total. The rest were merely putting in their time as I was in a temporary-release prison system.
Detroit Goes Belly-Up – Yes!
Later, before I discovered the freedom philosophy, but after I had completed my master’s degree in medieval studies at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies and at the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, I became one of these teachers for a short period of time in the Detroit Public Schools. I left after 2 years. Today I am pleased that the city of Detroit is bankrupt, and I sincerely hope that its public schools will disappear along with the fetid teachers’ union and the rest of the criminal enterprise that constitutes public schooling and city government. Let’s hope it spreads to other cities — and it will. Karen de Koster has a wonderful blog on the anarcho re-invention of Detroit, called Detroit: From Rust to Riches.
Detroit has an exciting future without the parasites of government. While I was a teacher there, I saw many dozens of examples of bullying by teachers and students, the imposition of mindless textbooks, clueless textbook committees that evaluated future textbooks using evaluation criteria that had nothing to do with the subject matter but everything to do with the currently approved political winds emanating from the rump end of some bureaucrat, examples of gross ignorance among the teaching staff, and amazing levels of waste in the lunch program and other “safety net” programs. It was embarrassing to witness and even more embarrassing to be part of – even without the perceptions I now have.
Ron Paul’s Program
Here is John Stossel’s interview with Ron Paul, who has launched a homeschooling curriculum. His is merely one version of homeschooling, and even though his curriculum does not embody the full-blown concept of un-schooling, where students are entirely self-directed and progress according to their own (naturally branching-out) interests, he has attempted to provide one vector to escape from the indoctrination mechanism of government monopoly schools. I find it interesting that government propagandists have been so successful at isolating homeschoolers and un-schoolers with smears of “anti-social” and “unbalanced” – all as children are searched, gunned down, recruited into gangs, bullied, robbed, smothered in useless homework, and numbed by mindless teachers with toilet-paper degrees in “education” -- as if that process is some form of “positive” socialization. The propaganda is beginning to fray, and even students in the wealthiest school districts are beginning to see the holes in the underwear of public schools. As we used to say in the 1980a, “When you think of public schools, think of public toilets.”
The Real Roots of Mass Literacy: Johann Gutenberg’s Printing Press
If you are interested in the roots of literacy, it has nothing to do with government schools and a lot to do with the increased availability of cheap reading material made possible by Johann Gutenberg when he launched the IP-free concept of printing with moveable type in the years 1454 and 1455. Thus he fathered not only a revolution in literacy and private learning, but religious revolutions, the scientific revolution, and perhaps the revolution of freedom in thinking and the philosophy of individualism as people could easily parse text in front of their own eyes more cheaply than ever before. You may want to read about this in one of my very old STR articles, Johann Gutenberg Genuine Inventor and Benefactor of Mankind. Now, with the Internet, Gutenberg’s revolution has been given an exponential boost, and everyone has a printing press! And STR is one of them!