The sick irony is that the federal government has been “going after the kids” ever since it was first allowed to put its nose in the tent of education. This has been going on for decades. Now the smelly, drooling beast occupies virtually the whole tent, in the form of Ayn Rand’s Comprachicos, the lobotomizing, teacher-college trained “conditioners” who take orders from the feds and politicized school boards on what constitutes “teaching.” “Teaching,” to them, is basically the skilled inculcation of passivity in students of all ages as a precondition to following orders without question and voluntary servitude without expectation of reward or recognition -- to serve the state, the collective, the environment, whatever the local party chief, ward-heeler, or galeiter says is the “good.”
“The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life -- by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, I.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past -- and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.”*
On modern education, she noted:
“The academia-jet set coalition is attempting to tame the American character by the deliberate breeding of helplessness and resignation -- in those incubators of lethargy known as ‘Progressive’ schools, which are dedicated to the task of crippling a child’s mind by arresting his cognitive development.”**
Last week, President Barack Obama went after the kids with his “I Pledge” video, which featured a number of Hollywood and other familiar faces “pledging” to adhere to a number of collectivist causes, including not using plastic water bottles, plastic bags, getting rid of fuel-inefficient cars in favor of hybrids, of offering one’s smiles and service to complete strangers, etc. and ad nauseam, ending with Demi Moore and her partner saying, “I pledge to be a servant of our President and all mankind.”
The video then becomes an expanding mosaic or montage of all the stars speaking at once (“because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek” -- which could have been the oath of allegiance to the collective “We” in Rand’s novel, Anthem), and then the montage fades into the off-color poster of Obama, flanked by the Capitol and the White House, looking like a lonely leader. Like a Big Brother, who just wants your understanding and cooperation. And service. No questions asked. Or tolerated.
Obama says you don’t have time to think. Just to act. Just as he has.
A very slick piece of propaganda. Hitler would have envied it. There were no Nazi Party chiefs telling the populace or the children what they should think or do. No Heinrich Himmler or Joseph Goebbels lecturing them from on high on their duty to the state, to the Party, to the nation. Just a parade of popular Hollywood and music video faces speaking very sincerely about their willingness to “serve our President.”
No, too many American adults will not listen to Obama and his pick of the Communist Party about what is best for them. So, they go after the helpless victims of government-mandated indoctrination. Employ famous pop culture faces to deliver the message. Then require every public school in the country to broadcast it, as an overture to Obama’s address to school children on September 8th.
But, they have not counted on volition. They have underestimated the American character. They did not count on parents “opting out” of allowing their children to be subjected to the video and the speech. On school boards and principals warily offering parents and students the chance to say “No, thanks, we‘re thinking beings, and this is an insult to our intelligence.”
Obama’s attempt to ram socialism down the throats of Americans through his and Congress’s health care bill has faltered because there are enough thinking individuals left in this country who are speaking out against him and his entire agenda. Those Americans are a reality they thought they could bypass. But that detour has almost led them to race right off the end of an unfinished bridge.
Desperation drives despots to win over children. To seduce them with pop culture eye-candy or appeals to emotion. Or to enslave them. More on this contemptible appeal to American school children after September 8th.
*”The Comprachicos,” in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, p. 231.
**”Don’t Let It Go,” in Philosophy: Who Needs It, p. 261.