I just had an exchange with a so-called “progressive” today who wrote some nasty things in a blog about me and the Free State Project.
I responded to the regressive (the true nature of “progressives”), and…I admit it…I went on a rant.
Felt good. Here’s what the regressive said; and then what I said in response:
Tim: The problem with your “alternative views” of education is that they all involve going against the larger community’s interest, which of course is the problem with the entire Free State ideology. Our public school system is by and large very poorly run and has in fact served to indoctrinate young fragile minds with propaganda that supports the survival of the corporate-capitalist system we have today. I say, the capitalist-corporate system we have today that is slowly and increasingly more rapidly destroying our planet and has been killing us for centuries since it started in earnest with mercantilism.
I really have no interest in reading Murray Rothbard, I’m familiar with his writings which like all libertine points of view always distills down to the simple formulae: “I can do whatever I want with my money and property and if you don’t have any too bad for you.”
I’m sorry but that just doesn’t build lasting community on any level, nor does it foster human happiness, peace and all that other stuff that everyone wants so badly but can’t seem to get — because mostly around here we’re taught that being a selfish pig and leaving the social care taking to someone else works. It doesn’t.
I responded as follows:
Well, without descending to reciprocal name-calling to describe the actual state of “progressives” and their ideology (e.g. “regressives are selfish-pigs”), suppose I grant your premise that government public schools are poorly run, and that they do tend to indoctrinate rather than teach people to think effectively (a result of progressivist control that is even more pronounced in universities than in primary and secondary education; think of the lack of diversity of thought, and the presence of “speech codes” and the such that are routinely implemented in those venues). If it is true that government schools have failed as badly as you say they have, then shouldn’t we agree that they should be reformed in favor of a decentralized system of education under the primary control of parents, such as that advocated by Prof. Glenn Reynolds in his book, “The K-12 Implosion”?
Otherwise, it is notable that you accuse me and other Free State Project participants of “going against the larger community’s interest.” But that’s really the basic question, isn’t it: People of the Free State Project, as well as a healthy percentage of the population of New Hampshire, assert that our way is better, and that it serves the community’s interests better. “Progressivism,” which is a form of creeping statism—including the “progressive” control of government schools—is what has been “more rapidly destroying our planet and has been killing us for centuries,” not any outmoded and long-abandoned practice of “mercantilism.” In fact, the way of individual freedom and market enterprise is demonstrably far superior to that of regressives (or so-called “progressives”); we’re willing to match our policy prescriptions and the historical record against any form of statism—including “progressivism”—at any time. The problem is that Democrat “progressives” subsist upon lies to win elections, i.e. by name-calling and smear tactics against those who disagree with them and their policies. After all, “progressives” cannot hope to match the historic success of capitalism and freedom, which even Karl Marx recognized and remarked upon in The Communist Manifesto.
Our way—the alternative to so-called “progressivism”—is the way of the original vision of the Founding Fathers, as laid out in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; our way is the way of limited government and individual freedom, from which all prosperity flows. Unfortunately, that form of government seems to be in the process of being abandoned. Still, it is a rare gift compared to the continuous story of kings, pharaohs, monarchs, dictators, commissars, and other statist potentates that have stifled human freedom, creativity, and ingenuity since the dawn of humanity. After all, feudalism, landed hereditary aristocracies, “the divine right of kings” and their associated class systems were ALL destroyed by market capitalism. Those systems of statism were replaced by various forms of collectivist statism, including fascism, communism, Nazism, “social democracy,” welfare statism, and other forms of socialism which enslave in the name of “the collective good.” To name only a partial list, from Lenin, to Stalin, to Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, to Mao Zedong, to Pol Pot, to Fidel Castro, to Hugo Chavez, and others, they have marched through the 20th century (and some into the 21st century), sowing death, destruction, and misery wherever and whenever they were able to seize power. Collectivist statists have much to answer for. I wish it were otherwise, because statism—including coercive socialism (is there any other kind?)—has been a plague and a cancer upon humanity since the dawn of human history. Would that it were not so.