Monday, March 03, 2008

Would you sacrifice your children for the public good?

I've long understood that there are two prevailing world views that are at the center of peoples' political philosophies: individualism and collectivism.

For the most part, conservatives tend to see things in individualist terms, while liberals are collectivist. No one, of course, is a purist. Rock ribbed conservatives understand that there is a role for a collectively funded government, and the most lily-livered liberal realizes that there are some things better left to private enterprise.

But it's a useful dichotomy, because it holds true.

The problem with the collectivist world view is that most people reject it, because they rightly see that it essentially enslaves people. Just how much are you supposed to give up for the public good? Who defines "public good," anyway? Most people understand that every tyranny in history was basically founded on this world view.

But occasionally you run across someone who is such a collectivist that he thinks you should sacrifice your own children for the benefit of the public good. We have one right here in Portland.

Terry Olsen, a former school teacher who blogs on education issues, is one such collectivist. He actually wrote the following on his blog the other day:

I don't think one can run for public office on a pro-public school platform after enrolling one's child in a private (or charter) school. Even to consider public school alternatives is, quite frankly, hypocritical.

I feel strongly about this. To divert human capital --namely good students with strong parental support-- from public schools is to undermine the ability of those schools to succeed. I completely reject the notion that the first responsibility of nominally public school-supporting parents is to consider the welfare of their own children while ignoring the well-being of others.

I cannot say, as others have, that their urge to seek out "better" options for their kids alone is either understandable or forgivable. To do so would be to acknowledge that the individual, or private, good trumps the common good. I don't believe it.

I find it hard to believe that someone would write this down. I know a lot of Democrats basically agree with it, but to actually write it down?

In this guy's world view, parents should sacrifice their children on the altar of serving others. If your school is dangerous and fails to teach your kid a thing? Tough luck - you have to keep your kid there because the other kids need your stablizing presence.

He completely rejects the notion that the first responsibility of parents is to consider the welfare of their own children? WOW!

Have you ever seen a more incredibly naked expression of collectivism?

In his view, your kids are "human capital," to be deployed by the ruling elite according to its objectives (the "common good, which they get to define, and which always somehow ends up benefiting the ruling elites.)

He says it is "unforgiveable" to send your kids to a non-public school. Presumably that would mean he would support using the coercive powers of government to prevent you from doing so. Coercion is the first and last tool of collectivists. Because people don't willingly sacrifice their interests to that of the collective, they must be forced.

It is scary indeed. Almost as scary as realizing that this man taught kids for a quarter century or so.


Anonymous said...

Of course, a high percentage of public school teachers disagree with Comrade Olson's sentiments, as they send their children to private schools in overwhelming numbers.

I also note that his rubric only applies to those who are at least "nominally public-school supporting parents" and "good students with strong parental support." Apparently he'd just as soon the poor students with weak parental support go elsewhere.

Now, what was the part about hypocrisy?

Oregon Reality said...

The way to fight this Marxist mental disorder is to work hard and elect conservatives to local school boards.

One way to do this would be to locate and root out current school board members who share this moonbat philosophy. Even moderate Democrats, who send their kids to private schools, by the way, would reject this collectivist hocus pocus.

Anonymous said...

The teacher colleges are the spawning grounds for this mutant strain of toxic philosophy. All the teachers have to sit through it, and it is an effective screening method to make sure that large percentages of the teaching corps are collectivist egalitarian Marxists to the core who care far more about moral relativism than they do about teaching math.

The schools will be cesspools of collectivism until there are no more colleges of education. Which will never happen.

I wish this guy was unique. He is all too common.

Anthony A said...

Funny.. I am going to school to teach math at OSU.

All Ed majors at OSU, including grad students, are required to take a series of "education core" classes. There is one core class that I have completed that came to mind after reading this; TCE 216: PURPOSE, STRUCTURE, AND FUNCTION OF EDUCATION IN A DEMOCRACY.

The general theme of the class is education inequality in the United States with a heavy emphasis on the ills of individualism and classism that is present our educational system.

The instructor is also an admitted socialist; and he is the only person who teaches the class. I encourage you to take a look for yourself in the OSU catalog.

Rob Kremer said...

I think most normal people would be shocked at what is taught in the colleges of education. The scholarly standards are so low, and the politicization of the curricula so complete, that they are little more than teacher indoctrination centers.

For the most part, the colleges act as ideological screens. Those willing to suffer through the year of BS are generally the kind of people who already have the collectivist world view or are easily convinced to go along.

And the result is folks like our blogger here, who proudly proclaim how unforgivable it is to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness.

Scary indeed. Good luck suffering through those classes.

Anonymous said...

"We shall force them to be free." - Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778)

Collectivist News blog

Anonymous said...

"The way to fight this Marxist mental disorder is to work hard and elect conservatives to local school boards."

Good luck.

As somebody who has served on a school board, that is easier said than done.

They are filled with liberals, moderates and RINOs. Very few conservatives. If you are a conservative, you really have little room to make a difference. Union contracts are locked in favior of the teachers (both the good and the bad teachers). If you want to take a hard stance during contract renewals, you better have a solid majority on your Board, with income streams that the locals can't touch (local businessmen and women who can be boycotted should think twice and jeopardizing their income).

Even fairly conservative folks will buy the canard that more money will fix the school problems, and therefore push for local options and higher taxes without any accountability. The other conservatives are generally asleep at the switch (apathetic), leaving the spoils to the liberals/RINOs.

Not to point fingers, but as an example to make, did the poster of the above comment (if he/she is a conservative) ever run for a school board? ... or run the campaign of a conservative running for school board? If so, then congratulations!! Good for you!!! My experience trying to get other like minded conservatives to run for school board, or even financially support those of us running, was not very successful.

As I said, Good Luck.

Terry said...

To clarify, my remarks about sending one's children to private schools were directed to self-declared advocates of public education.

Those who don't believe in public schools have every right to send their kids elsewhere, just as they have every right to disagree with my notion of the common good.

Anonymous said...

To clarify your tripe.
Your idea of who is an advocate of public education is pure political hackery.
It is far more supporting of public education to want an end to your union assault on our public education system.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Terry and his union brethren (and sistren - *snort*) will have to exploit their "human capital" even more to support the OEA's vendettas now.

Anonymous said...

From my observation the majority of Oregon's public school districts offer a "common school" public education with all students treated alike. There is adherence to a "social contract" with all stakeholders cooperating.

In larger districts such as PPS, affluent parents are catered to with "special focus" and "magnet" schools offered as a way to retain the support of the affluent class.

It is the "iron triangle" among affluent parents, school employees and Democrat Politicians in the larger districts that needs to be exposed and disempowered.