The “Education” Racket

In the newest issue of Chronicles (Sept. 2007), there’s a great article by Thomas Fleming, “Counting People and People Who Count,” on the educational racket. Many of the ills, he maintains, were popularized by John Dewey.

“John Dewey and his students developed the argument to include a soft social-science indoctrination that would liberate American kids from the shackles of race, ethnicity, nationality, region, class, wealth, religion, taste, and anything else their poor benighted parents valued. By the late 1960s, the attack was extended to sex and gender, species and phylum.”

The pragmatists were some of forerunners in deracinating Western man from his ancestral pride and traditions. The New Left only later hastens a project already underway.

Fleming later discusses a more aristocratic approach to education:

“In the Middle Ages, Western Europeans, whatever language they spoke at home, had to study Latin, and a 17th-century Englishman had to make a stab at Greek, speak at least a traveler’s French, and, if he wish to set up for a literary gentleman, make shift to read the language of Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso.”

For an American gentleman of Anglo/European descent, it is vital that he have a thorough understanding of Western Civilization. Because not only is it valuable in itself, but it is his ancestral tradition.

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6 thoughts on “The “Education” Racket

  1. Filmer

    I think “Pragmatism” was a poor designation for this philosophical school because it is so easily confused with the general meaning of pragmatism. In the political arena often demonstrated by the pragmatist/purist divide. But I guess we have to live with it.

    But pure philosophy is not my specialty, and often gives me a headache. Dewey style pragmatism is often associated with moral relativism and the left. But the recent article at Taki Mag argued a link between Kirk and the pragmatists. I think I get the point. For conservatives often real world results are more important that abstract philosophical moralizing. But is the Kirk (conservative)/pragmatist link justified?

  2. Bede Post author

    Mind you, Dewey was a radical leftist who was very anti-tradition and wanted to remake society.

    I don’t think the Kirk / pragmatist link is at all justified. I think it’s sloppy thinking.

  3. Andrew T.

    There is moral pragmatism and practical pragmatism.

    Moral pragmatism is the (often imposed) ambiguity promoted by the left and the collective ivory tower. I’m also not at all impressed with how many libertarians try portray things subjectively, maybe because some of them are scared that if any principal is ever proven completely right or wrong it would be another thing the government would have to outlaw.

    Practical pragmatism is found everywhere but prominent in the political arena. Conservatives tend to be the practically pragmatic ones rather than endlessly ambitious.

  4. Filmer

    Bede, don’t you think there is a hint of pragmatism in The Morality of Everyday Life. Some have charged – I know Auster has – that it is morally relativistic. In the ethical arena it is an example of casuistry, as opposed to Kantian moral certainty. But I am not sure how that relates to the philosophy of “Pragmatism” as initiated by Peirce.

  5. Bede Post author

    Fleming falls back upon a sort of soft-historicism / relativism as did Burke. God and His truths may be universal, but on earth mores and character building have never been.

    If you completely erase any sense of history or regional / tribal relativity, as the neocons have done, you end up with a type of universal globalism, which is exactly what the original Right opposed.

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