Tyrants have always wanted to control the minds of their subjects, which is why the schools are so important for the future of liberty. Once the state gets its claws on the schools, it imposes texts and curricula that enhance its power and advance its ideology. The advocates of statism understand this well, and they are willing to fight violently to maintain and extend their control.
The Europeans are a tempo ahead of us in this very nasty business, but our guys are doing their best to catch up. A recent story deals with American injustice working in tandem with German authorities to thwart a German family’s efforts to educate their own children.
The Romeike family, Christian evangelicals, wanted to homeschool their children, but the German authorities wouldn’t permit it. So the Romeikes came to America (Tennessee, to be precise), where there’s lots of homeschooling, and where a federal judge granted them asylum. The Germans didn’t like that, and the Obama/Holder Justice Department ordered the extradition of the family back to Germany, where, in another recent case, German police dragged off four children from their homeschooling parents. The Justice Department ordered the extradition of the Romeikes on the basis that “banning homeschooling teaches tolerance of diverse views.”
You couldn’t ask for a better example of Orwellian doublespeak. The German state isn’t interested in “diverse views” at all; it went to great effort to compel the Romeikes to deliver their children to the official teachers of the officially approved version of the truth. That version is political correctness written in long words with most of the verbs coming at the end.
The Europeans are steadily advancing toward maximum indoctrination of their youngsters, perhaps inspired by the old dictum, for which the Jesuits are usually credited, “give me a child at the age of seven and I will give you the man.” The most dramatic example comes from France, where the Socialist government is explicitly imposing a new state religion on the country’s schools.
“The French Revolution is not over” is both the title of a new book by Vincent Peillon, the education minister, and the mission statement for that country’s latest experiment with totalitarian democracy, the doctrine of the Terror during the 18th-century revolution. According to Peillon, it’s not enough to simply transform France “materially”; the time has come to remake the French people morally and spiritually. Therefore “we must invent a Republican religion,” and he’s got one: “secularism (laicite’).”
Peillon explains in the video accompanying his book that the values of the past (especially religious ones) have to be guillotined, to be replaced by a new secular ethical code. The schools are the instrument of choice (the new secular ethics will be required study in French schools as of 2015). He calls for “a transubstantiation that works within and for the school, the new church with its new ministers, its new liturgy and its new tablets of law.”