The Schools Will Burn

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The esteemable William Briggs comments on a teacher who was fired for failing to use male pronouns to address a girl whose parents had decided she was a boy.  Many parents protested, and the principal involved said she could appreciate their feelings, but that the offending teacher would remain fired. 

Dr. Briggs, who himself, despite sterling credentials and years of experience,  is no longer employed as a professor due to his failure to comply, points out that this is just one incident among many. The few remaining teachers and academics at all levels who see through the nonsense have learned to keep their heads down and pay lip service to gender theory and, by extension, all critical theory, which is explicitly the weaponized academic aspect of Marxism. If they want to keep their jobs, that is. 

We are at a very interesting juncture in history, in exactly that sense in which we pray God to spare us from interesting times. Two forces are arrayed in diametric and mortal conflict: the force of those sharing a largely inchoate love for simple, personal things: family, friends, the quiet enjoyment of what can most rightly be called theirs, versus the force of destruction, a force that above all hates those things.

In both parties, a large number, perhaps even a huge majority, are not yet aware of, let alone completely clear on, what they believe, what is at stake and how the battle will be fought and won. Thus, those whose actions and statements support destruction scoff at this characterisation. I, too, they may well say, have friends and family I love. In fact, I’m saving the planet for them, saving the government for them. For them, I want every person on the planet to be free to come to America without any hindrance or judgement of their motives – because these things are essential to any world my family and friends want to live in, or would want to live in were they more enlightened.  

Similarly, I suppose the major characteristic of the vast majority of people opposed to these positions is annoyance. What is with all this wild stuff that keeps coming down? I mean, geez, sure, let women have access to all the professions and opportunities men have, leave gay people alone, protect blacks and immigrants against poor treatment, and so on – but doesn’t this train ever stop? Do we really need to pretend boys are girls and visa versa? Do we really have to pretend that two guys are as much a married couple as any married mom and dad? Do women really not have to put up any evidence or proof to destroy a man’s life with accusations of rape or even accusations he was a cad once? Where does it stop? 

This vagueness plays strongly into the hands of the forces of destruction. Where a focused, strong response is required, a tepid sense of annoyance is all that’s offered. Thus, the schools will burn. They should burn, but through having all public funding removed yesterday, K through PhD. and all compulsory education laws revoked. You think you’re going to get the indoctrination stopped any other way? You think people addicted to lying are going to respond to persuasion? Polite pressure?

No. Two things would happen if all state and federal funding and compulsion were removed from education. The make-work aspect would end. People would figure out alternatives, like people did for centuries before Fichte. If the schools were burned down in this manner – and I’m not real hopeful here – the teachers who can really teach anything people might actually want their kids to learn will end up with teaching jobs. High-end Vo-Tech like law and business degrees will find a level the market will support, and some people will make a living teaching those things. And all the more traditional jobs training, from welding school to beauticians, will employ teachers as they have done. Those unable to find work weren’t really providing any value before. 

But what about those kids whose parents won’t force them to get educated? We’d fail them! We’d leave them behind!

Guess what? We’re failing them now. They are left behind now. Even with the billions spent on education, even with the full power of the state’s enforcement arm behind forcing kids into schools, a huge (and consistently understated) percentage, well over 50%, of kids in ‘underperforming’ schools drop out anyway. Got that? The full strength of the law and billions of dollars, and huge numbers of kids fail under the terms set by schools themselves! 

The people who support compulsory state run schools and the gamut of state ‘free’ services do not really desire the supposed outcomes of these programs. Stop and consider this again: the people in favor of compulsory state benefit programs do not in fact desire the outcomes promised by those programs. That’s not what attracts them and fires their enthusiasm. They lie to themselves, or let others lie to them. The tell-tale signs: these are the people undeterred by repeated failures (how’s that war on poverty coming? Any day now, right?). Further, these are the people who will brook no discussion of how things are supposed to work when they get their way. As Alinsky puts it:

RULE 12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”

In other words, do not allow the lack of a constructive alternative to derail your attack. The attack is the important thing. Committed progressives will not name that toward which we are assumed to be progressing in any but vague, ultimately meaningless phrases. Fairness. Equality. Democracy. When pressed, they retreat into some variety of ad hominem. What are you, some sort of nut who doesn’t want equality and fairness? Are you opposed to the will of the people?  

Recall, for an example still fresh in many minds: Obamacare. Critics pointed out two critical and obvious flaws: That there were no mechanisms in the law to control costs in a meaningful way, and that layering on new requirements effectively destroys many existing plans. The first objection means that, under Obamacare, healthcare costs should be expected to  continue to rise, most likely faster (after a brief pause for digestion) than they would have otherwise, as a massive new set of rules and the bureaucracy to enforce them  must also be paid for. If you extensively redefine what is an acceptable healthcare plan, it’s only because you don’t like the way current healthcare plans are set up. It’s only because you *want* to make those old plans illegal. You want to make them go away. 

So, we got two bald-faced lies: first, that Obamacare would make healthcare cheaper in the long run, and second, that if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. 

The important point is not that these statements have proven to be lies, and were known to be lies when they were uttered. It’s not even that some people may have believed them. It’s that proponents of the bill didn’t care in the slightest. In their minds, the details of how it was supposed to work, and even the little detail of if it could work at all, just didn’t matter. They were not looking for a concrete mechanism to improve healthcare. They were looking for the Promised Land. They were voting to hasten the coming of the holy millennium of peace and justice. It was the abstract idea embodied the the bill’s *title* that carried the weight, that embodied all hopes and desires: Affordable Health Care. Pointing out the problems with the mechanisms enacted by the actual legislation merely marks one for future culling. 

This is the pattern. How many times do we hear that Socialism has not failed, it just have never been tried. This is only true if one assumes there are options to the leaders who have already tried to put it into practice, people not at all like the power-crazed amoral zealots (and those are the better class of socialist!) who are all we’ve ever seen, for mysterious reasons. No, all socialism needs to succeed is a limitless supply of genius saintly bureaucrats, incorruptible politicians and the deaths of the millions who dare oppose or criticize it (or can be plausibly imagined to possible criticize it in the future, or who are simply in the way). With the exception of Antifa level crazies, socialists are a little hazy on that last requirement. But killing millions is a requirement. In fact, it’s a major attraction. 

The striking thing, one that has impressed itself on me more and more recently, is that supporters of utopian fantasy – communists, socialists, progressives, along with anarchists and self-identified liberals – are simply not interested in real-world outcomes. No amount of failure will ever impress them. (1) Insisting on pointing out the failures, or, worse, pointing out how based on everything we know that a particular course of action, say, Obamacare, is doomed, merely labels us as reactionary fuddy-duddies, stupid (that one always cracks me up!) and, in any event, one to be reeducated or worse once power has been seized people vote in the right leaders. 

So, we burn the schools, or they do. What they will do, following Freire, is dispense with the fiction that the schools are anything else beside indoctrination centers and reeducation camps, after, of course, burning down all alternatives. The hatred the left evinces toward homeschoolers and, indeed, anyone who chooses any other way than public schooling is truly frightening. Or do you think the Bern supports college for everyone out of the (what would be the incredibly stupid, even for him) belief that college education creates good jobs for every grad? I’d bet a lot, without even checking, that, in addition to his popularity among college kids, his support among teachers unions and ‘educators’ was very, very high.  In fact, the former is a result of the latter. The logic is compelling: compulsory state schooling is good! Only bad, evil, stupid people disagree. We will destroy their schools and plans for their own good! (And destroy them, themselves, if they make a fuss.)  

My only hope, and it’s not one I’m proud of, is that the left’s program of eating each other progresses fast and far enough to cause a collapse before they set match to kindling.

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The point of all the above: the enemy does not have a plan. Or rather, watching the world burn IS the plan. I was continually amazed at the resistance and petulant anger with which met any questioning along the lines of ‘how is that supposed to work, exactly?’ until I realized, as expressed here, that this lack of interest in real-world outcomes is a feature, really the key feature, and not a bug. Gramsci points out that you have to destroy the ‘hegemony’ – essentially, what normal people love about the world, but framed as, somehow, the mechanisms of oppression (2) –  in order to bring about the glorious people’s revolution. Their enemy is nothing other than happiness. Their enemy is Truth. 

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

23 thoughts on “The Schools Will Burn”

    1. Oh, man. The dude has extreme recency bias – shows extreme interest in the particulars of what’s happening now, while being typically dismissive of stuff that happened in the past.

      1. I haven’t read the book, so the book may perhaps be as bad as all that. It seems plausible to me that the book has the typical modern issue of looming back 2 decades instead of the real origins of education.

      2. Education realist dismisses all concerns of people who perhaps think having the state in charge of education is a question. He starts from the Assumption – true, if understood correctly – that everybody wants education, and that Americans have always wanted education, to mean that no one ever had any questions about having the state in charge of education until they screwed it up 20 to 50 years ago. He gets lost in the minutia of studies and polls, and only has a vague appreciation of the problems with studies and polls. For example, he objects to some pew polls because of errors in the selection methodology, but does not recognize the fundamental skew and mindless scientific pretensions of Pew polls in general.

        In my car. More later.

  1. All right, so a pertinent story:

    It is very hard to fathom the corruption in all levels of society. I am looking for a job in the corporate world…sort of kind of. I’ll explain.

    I have been told to delete my Twitter entirely. Why? Do I post controversial things?

    No. I avoid it. But:

    Every now and then in the middle of a longer convo I may slip in a comment that defies the current year narrative, meaning some crazy SJW in HR will not decide to hire me.

    As I was told, if you want a job in the corporate world, you have two options: Principles or job. If you’re a conservative, you have to lie. Have to. There are no exceptions in large companies, none. Clap for diversity day or you’re fired, period.

    I avoid talking about my private life so will not specify the person telling me this, but he is a conservative who makes six digits at Polo Ralph Lauren, and he flat out told me that if I want to get out of a crappy retail job, I need to sacrifice my principles.

    Hold on, I’m getting there, I promise.

    I can’t do it. I couldn’t do it. So against all advice and common sense, I’m not doing it. I’m going online for a Biblical and Educational Studies degree at Liberty University. This qualifies me to teach in Christian schools and Christian schools only, where I WILL make peanuts. Everyone is telling me not to do it. But I don’t see any way out of it, not if I want to call myself a Christian.

    I’m not trying to make myself out a martyr here, truly. I simply don’t have the willpower to hold onto these 2 contradictory ideas. I sympathize greatly with the people who feel they have to do it. That sucks. Right now I work on Sundays. That sucks too.

    In the meantime Twitter is down. Gotta fund that online school, after all.

    Back to your point. Sorry for the autobiography.

    I was originally an education major (English; insert Avenue Q song here). I dropped out because I believe in none of it. It’s all crap. Every single person in that major and all of my teachers really and truly and honest to God meant well, meant so well, and I quit. I observed at a bottom 30 school in the country. Rapes in the basement shooting out the back door. Guess what? My teacher wasn’t bad! None of the teachers we observed with were bad!

    *What does that tell you?*


    And if I wanted a job in the public school system, guess what? I’d have to lie. Every day. All the time. Just like the corporate world. Shut down that Twitter account too. So all I can do is look for Christian and certain select – because believe me, I know their issues too – Catholic schools, and try to get in there making pennies on the dollar.

    I only use this blog because I don’t use my name. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to find, of course. I just don’t want t to be the first thing up on Google.

    Alas, it may all be pointless anyway. I did publish Vox Day, after all.

    The moral of this little novel:

    Get woke OR go broke.

    1. Very rough. My sympathies. I’m old, and spent the last 21 years working for a Mormon dude whose own political views were anathema to probably all but a couple people in the company. If any of the other people had run it, I’d probably have been fired a long time ago.

      So, on the one hand, yikes, I’m looking for a job now, and the SJW heads would explode if they surfed the web for me. I didn’t know it was so bad. On the other, having worked at a gigantic corporation – one of the subsidiaries of Textron – down to a being the 8th guy at my last job. I’ll say this: in my experience, more opportunity and less hassles the smaller the company.

      So I’ll need to go small or go home. Never really understood the appeal of big companies for employees. Sure, they often pay more and have better benefits – but that’s because they have to, or the good people would go work someplace else.

      1. It’s all rather interesting. The boomer position is that I’m making a mistake, and I think people see an element here of me accepting poverty to try and accomplish my dream.

        But that isn’t really what’s going on here. This is about going where I believe God wants me. It certainly isn’t my dream, but those are overrated anyway.

      2. I really don’t know what I’ll do when I get my degree… (after ten years of passing every class but failing at accomplishing any actual credentials–thanks, chronic health problems.)

        I work at a big box store, and I hate the need to do the whole “conform to our insanity” ridiculousness… but I honestly don’t even know if there are any other options, based on where I live. I live in one of the Crazy Zones in the Pacific Northwest… I don’t think even the Christians around here are very much improved over everyone else, and the schools are mostly impossible.

        I don’t want to make a lot of money. I just want to be able to make enough to support my family… and I don’t know how that’ll be possible, once my mother passes away and we cannot rent from her anymore. Rents are impossible, homelessness is high, house prices are through the roof (thanks, Californians), and thanks to my health problems I can’t drive. Let’s just ignore the fact that I despise Marxism and liberalism, and can’t make obeisance to the right gods to get in well with the elites I went to high school with…

      3. Oh, we plan on moving as soon as my mother is in her grave–we’d go sooner, but I’m an only child, and there would be no one to take care of her if we left now. But where? Everywhere seems pretty awful. We are considering Texas, but even there it is under threat from the Californian exodus and the major cities. I just struggle not to give up hope of anything better.

      4. Basically anywhere is better than CA. Remember, you are simply looking for a place with an opportunity to be a Christian, nothing more. Where I live is very leftist, but there are Christian schools that still preach the Gospel, and that’s what I’m focusing on.

        Nothing is ideal, of course.

      5. I really do want to emphasize I am no martyr here. People doing what I have to I greatly sympathize with, and in different circumstances it could easily be me. No judgment here.

      6. I am not in California, thank goodness. I don’t know how Mr. Moore survives it. I just live next to California, in a state inundated by Californians leaving their home state.

        Not a problem, I understand. It just genuinely puzzles me what to do. My mother might be willing to leave, eventually, and that is my firm desire. I just don’t know if I can find what my family needs in someplace like Texas.

        If I get the chance to move, it’ll be chasing a hope and a prayer, because I don’t see anywhere I would call secure culturally or economically. The cultural Marxism rot is everywhere thanks to the schools. “Tear down these schools,” Reagan should have said, because they are instruments of Communist oppression every bit as much as the Berlin Wall and the Eastern Bloc were.

      7. Look closely. Again, I live in a leftist state. But there are at least five or so Christian schools within a couple hours drive from me.

        Few? Yes. But they’re there. Nobody said it would be easy!

  2. Joseph,

    Another factor to take into account are the teaching orders. Where I’m from the teachers have their own self regulating authority. As much as I’m leery, I think the govt needs to curtail some of the sweeping powers. Specifically the credential powers because the teacher orders abuse this and act like the old guilds with their entry barriers.
    My own biased view is for the teaching authority to being nothing more than a meeting place for best practices, advice and limited creditenial powers- it shouldn’t be just up to them; the schools and the neighbours should have much more say. So a person who’s a really good teacher and well respected by the parents, teachers, students and neighbours but doesn’t have the license should still get to teach.

      1. Malcom,

        Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a succint concept: fractal localism
        I really like the name. Gives us a lot on how to organize life

  3. There are no options without huge collateral damage, I don’t think. Now it is just about ending the mess without ending up in a nuclear civil war, as far as I can tell. But, hey, I’m a pessimist at heart, even if I do intellectually know Christ and His Church win in the end.

    1. I fear that the deaths of millions through abortion cries to heaven for vengeance, and that nuclear holocaust would be simple justice. All the other evils of our time, great as they are, pale by comparison. But I hope and pray for mercy.

      1. It would be, especially when you consider how many have been killed across the whole globe… And a lot of those were subsidized with laundered US taxpayer funds, funneled through cut-out agencies until the likes of China gets money for forced abortions. How is that defensible?

        I honestly don’t understand the continued patriotism some people have remaining for the United States… It is all I can do not to pray for a fast end to it, after all it has done through murder-rights (or should I say ‘rites’) activism. As it is, I pray for Christ’s Second Coming, so righteousness can finally reign again in the world.

  4. I look forward to your posts on Rules for Radicals when you get around to it. Here your interpretation of Alinsky is the opposite of what he meant. He was saying that you should always have a plan and a next step, and always be ready to articulate them. If you don’t have solutions, he says, you don’t even have issues; you just have a bad scene.

    One thing is that will make it interesting is that Alinsky was on the level when he said that he wasn’t a Marxist. He emphatically rejected any belief that “History” is moving in any direction, toward any goal, and that’s a key part of Marxism. Part of his reason for for writing Rules for Radicals was that he saw how prevalent this foolish belief in “History” was among leftists, and he saw it leading them to choose counterproductive tactics and strategies.

    The first couple of chapters of Rules for Radicals can be especially frustrating because he is disingenuous and self-contradictory and it’s not always clear when he is just slinging BS at you as he encourages you to do. But it is a worthwhile read because it outlines a set of fairly effective strategies for destroying existing institutions and taking power in a fairly free but flawed society where the rule of law is respected but not perfect. For people like me who think that that’s about the best you can hope for and something to be protected, and that the endpoint of Alinksy’s tactics is not a freer and more just society but rather a tyranny, it raises some serious questions.

    What stabilizes a free republic against Alinsky’s tactics? We can ask about the compelling rational arguments against them, what kinds of political institutions are more and less robust against them, what kinds of background commitments and assumptions among the citizens protect against them, etc. This stuff is worth thinking about, or I think so, anyway.

    1. Thanks. Just the little I’ve come across so far (haven’t started the book yet) confirms what you’ve said about the first few chapters – that you can’t tell when or if he’s sincere. One thing I read once was how he mocked a college student who was squeamish about lying, and told him that if you were not willing to do what needs to be done, you were not a true radical. This seems consistent, but also raises the very serious question: how could anyone ever tell if Alinsky were telling the truth, when he claims that the standard is to do and say whatever it takes? Thus, I don’t believe him when he says he’s not a communist – because that’s exactly what he’d say if he were one, since it doesn’t help him get what he wants. I don’t trust what he says about goals, because he will say whatever he thinks will best motivate people to do what he wants. He’s in a Kafka trap of his own design!

      But, I have not yet read him (got a couple book working first). All judgements are very tentative at this time.

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