Chesterton’s Schoolhouse

Peeps in my Twitter feed sometimes talk about homeschooling their future offspring. I get it, public schools are awful – the kids are bullies, the teachers incompetent, and the curriculum is hogwash bathed in whatever leftist ideology happens to be in vogue. Public schools turn children into brainwashed drones.

But then… I remember a time when people used to be voluntarily indoctrinated en masse. Back when it was normal to put on your Sunday clothes and sit on a bench while receiving sermons in fictional stories. It seems like there was some value to having everyone congregate once a week, act polite to those of different economic backgrounds, maybe even feign an interest in others’ lives.

If nothing else, religion created a common fear of some paranormal force. That’s nothing to laugh at — the Roman banks began in temples consecrated to the ancient gods. Shared truths keep a community together, even if they’re not founded in fact. Buuuut these particular truths were oppressive to alternative lifestyles, and now they’re all but dead.

Another oppressive institution that no longer exists: Conscription. People used to be acutely aware of every war because they or their kids or the neighbors’ kids could all get drafted for service. Now that we’ve moved to an all-volunteer military force, the country is blissfully unaware that we’re fighting ongoing wars in seven different countries. I mean, the kids from Appalachia and flyover states are fighting those wars, and probably they know a thing or two about Libya and Yemen. The rest of us stay home and focus on more important things like Equality.

Nixon ended the draft in 1973 to get the hippies to stop protesting Vietnam. It worked, but… maybe it was better to have the entire population aware of ongoing warfare?

Another thing: I lived in Los Angeles during the 1992 riots, when the city basically turned into a warzone. It was too much for LAPD, so the cops moved to strategic containment and let the inner city have at it.

That’s when the Rooftop Koreans appeared. They were recent immigrants in South Central LA, left high and dry to defend their shops and homes.

The Roof Koreans didn’t just hop onto buildings on a whim. South Korea has mandatory military service along with annual training for young adult males. Given proximity to North Korea, they take military preparedness quite seriously. When all hell broke loose, these ex-Armed Forces guys knew how to grab their guns, face the front line, and coordinate a defense.

That’s a valuable life skill! Second Amendment advocates insist that the right to bear arms will protect against government tyranny, but 90% of the country doesn’t even know what to do with one of these things. We’re still trying to figure out how to get the chainsaw attachment to go on the assault rifle. Which end up? The rooftops will be sparsely populated, is what I’m trying to say.

Public schools suck, but maybe there are some overlooked skills that can only be provided by a public school education. I just did a search and found a list of things that kids learn in kindergarten. The first two are “Share everything” and “Play fair”. There are valid societal reasons why it might be good to have children brainwashed with these ideas, yet these are things that will definitely be lost in a homeschool based on Ayn Randian Objectivism.

Maybe I’m out of the loop and the exodus already happened, and anyone who still attends public school is like the last person in a coal mining town. In the future, everyone will live in their own community of One.

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