Michelle Malkin nails it with this comment about Progressive education:
Lost in all the chanting for change is the core commitment to impart actual knowledge. For progressives in the Age of Obama, setting high academic standards is secondary to the self-improvement of the "whole child" and "service" to the cause of social justice."What Ms. Malkin doesn't mention — there really was no need to in the column — is that what concerns her is straight out of John Dewey's work.
It's no accident that Dewey was one of the major inventors of both Progressive education and modern liberal Fascism. He was one of the triad that invented Pragmatism. (He called his version Instrumentalism.) He was also a social democrat and a proponent of doing away with classical education. All of these are intricately linked.
Pragmatism essentially teaches that there are no eternal truths, because there are no objective natural laws. Everything is in Heraclitean flux, forever shifting. All we can do is arrive at a social consensus of what is true.
That view prepares the field for the educational agenda that Dewey advocated, one in which it would no longer consist of memorizing "dry facts" and performing boring cogitation with them. Instead, not just the child's mind but the "whole child" would be taught, chiefly by "socializing" him. I.e. what counts is not objective reality and what it requires of us to create values, but whatever others think is true and worthwhile.
The political consequences are all around us. Every single disastrous policy of Obama and the leaders of Congress is informed by the doctrines of Progressivism, virtually unchanged in the hundred years since Dewey laid them down and Wilson adopted them. (There is one exception: Wilson was much more interested in military victory, albeit for the wrong reasons.)
That's why, every time one is tempted to be puzzled by Obama's actions — whether because of his willingness to commit political suicide to push Fascist health care reform or his blatant groveling to Middle Eastern despots — one only has to remember this: Progressives are the consistent practitioners of what the Left has been preaching for three generations: social subjectivism, collectivism, and statism.
Time to run them all out of all forms of public life — education, media, and politics. It's necessary for the same reasons that no one who advocates Italian Fascism ala Mussolini should hold a public position of influence. To wit, that Progressivism - Fascism Lite - leads to Fascism Heavy.
What I'm suggesting is the complete De-Shintoizing not just of American politics, but American culture. After the end of WWII, the final series of battles against Japan took place, with the removal of the influence of State Shinto from Japanese public life. Individuals could do as they like, but no State sponsorship of the philosophy that led to Pearl Harbor and the Rape of Nanking was allowed to operate in the government, the newspapers, or the public schools.
A similar program is need to restore the American Republic today. And, it's necessary to complete it before they become literally indistinguishable from their intellectual ancestors, before the mask of Smiley Face Fascism is removed and becomes the original.