“In large states, public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in a large kitchen, the cooking is usually bad.”
The common faith of government today lies in the power of state funding through taxation. The reasoning goes that if the state can mobilize vast amounts of resources for things such as wars, highway infrastructure and space exploration, why even leave anything for the private sector to do? If the state can fund a large military, why can it not alleviate poverty or educate the poor? Private service X is only for the rich, but by the mighty power of public institution X, the poor too can have a chance at life. Never has a greater lie ever been told than this.
Convert people and never lose an argument
Libertarians often get caught up in internet debates which test both their knowledge and their rhetoric. An unfortunate truth is that the task of proving liberty is volumetrically larger than that of defend the state – you have to show in-depth knowledge on why all the different government interventions have to be stripped away, while the opponent can wave a magic wand and claim that government will solve a problem. The libertarian, then, has to be well-versed in economics, history, and philosophy, while the opposition can say that we just need to “elect the right people into power.” I’d like to let you in on a public secret: The Socratic Method.
Let’s think of a school as an economy. Just as entrepreneurs and consumers must navigate an economy strangled by regulations and central economic policy, so too must teachers and pupils navigate their educational world strangled by regulations and central education policy. As Thomas DiLorenzo points out in How Capitalism Saved America:
“Human being[s] (are) unique in a thousand different ways–in motivation, intelligence, interests, physical attributes and abilities, preferences, goals, skill levels, age, formal and informal education, worldly experiences, family history and culture, psychology, and much more.”
This means the billions of people making up society are all unique individuals, acting out of self-interest. Economics, as a subset of praxeology, is the study of how humans act, and how the interaction of all these individual actions comprise an economy. Promoters of central economic planning purport that not only is it possible to plan for all these interactions, the government is best at doing so.
Changing our educational paradigm.
“School is boring.”
The problem of education today lies in its control by the State. The State conceived education in the late 18th and early 19th century; primarily in the economic times of the industrial revolution, and the intellectual mindset of the Enlightenment. The current paradigm was meant for a different age. Because of the State’s monopoly on education, it is the only entity that can provide a conformist education system that we see today. The problem, however, is that we need to go exactly in the opposite direction: diversity.
The justification for this is simple. Consider a school. A typical school contains work schedules, compartmentalization of different subjects, and a chain of authority. A factory would be described in the same way. It is a linearized system. We are “manufacturing” children by batches (age groups), and teaching them the same things. Why is this? Why are we as a society, forcing organic, nonlinearized people, into a linearized and conformist system?