Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sweden, Coming Soon to a Country Near You

Anyone interested in realistic projections of where the U.S. is heading need only look to Europe, in this case Sweden. The government there is proposing to outlaw homeschooling on the grounds that
"…the education in school should be comprehensive and objective and thereby designed so that all pupils can participate, regardless of what religious or philosophical reasons the pupil or his or her care-takers may have."
As a result, they argue (in a giant non-sequitur): "[T]here is no need for the law to offer the possibility of homeschooling because of religious or philosophical reasons in the family."

Observe the subtle, unstated premise: your convictions are not objective, but those of the State educators necessarily are. No argument beyond pointing it out should be needed to show how false and pernicious that idea is. But that view is particularly ironic given how opposed all Dewey's descendants are, in principle, to objectivity. (It's contrary to the most basic principle of Pragmatism that there are no eternal, 'transcendent' truths.)

The various States have long forced parents to jump through hoops to remove their children from the clutches of the Progressive Comprachicos. Yet, homeschooling in America has still been on the rise (and hence under attack) for years. If current social trends continue here, expect something like this legislation to be introduced at the Federal level within the next 10 years, sooner if ObamaCare is enacted.


Ted Amadeus said...

"There are no eternal transcendent truths" sounds an awful lot like the "enLIEtened" crap that's been moved for the last four decades by not merely public schools, but colleges, government and media, that "all truth is subjective and relative".
Once people (are forced to) accept that lie, the next step down is "the end justifies the means"; the unwritten law by which all tyrants rule.

Ken said...

My answer is what it usually is these days:

Outlaw homeschooling? Ye maun try.

Jeff Perren said...

Well connected, Ted; Pragmatism is indeed, at bottom, a subjectivist philosophy (though "eternal and transcendent" and "objective" are not synonymous).

However, not to go Clintonesque on you, I guess whether that view is inherently part of an Enlightenment sentiment depends on what you mean by that designation.

Certainly there were subjectivist philosophies generated during the 17th and 18th centuries, the period of The Enlightenment. (Berkeley and Hume come to mind.) But whether "Enlightenment philosophy" is essentially subjectivist is a different, and more complex, question.

You'd be hard pressed to make the charge stick, whatever their errors (which were sometimes considerable) in the case of Locke or Kant, for example. At a less fundamental level, say Jefferson and Madison, the charge is pretty obviously not true.

I'd argue that the essential of the Enlightenment mentality is a willingness to rely on individual reason, rather than revealed dogma as espoused a Church authority.

Ted Amadeus said...

For me, it goes well beyond "Church" dogma to political ideologies, the modern, so-called "education" establishment, and any other form of collectivism pushing itself as the one and only source one need consult.
As corrupt and bought-off by government as "education" is today, you might well be surprised how what is palmed off as "Enlightenment philosophy" differs from what you are used to.
Goebbels would be so proud!

Ken said...

Ted Amadeus makes a good point in his January 4 comment. Our elder son is home-schooled, but we use a public-school (online) curriculum. The fifth-grade history course is US History Before 1865. We just finished colonial history and are wrapping up the Constitution now.

Apart from the (very) generous helping of white guilt we get from author Joy Hakim, she presented Locke and Rousseau as more or less coequal in the formation of American political thought in the Founding Era. Hakim accomplishes this feat of legerdemain by saying as little as possible about Locke, and next to nothing about Rousseau, leaving the less-informed student and learning coach (parent) to assume the Founders' approach to government is made of equal portions of Locke and Rousseau.