socialism and education
theory and reality
with reviews by Utopianist authors Heinlein, Wells, Morris
|Socialism and education - theory and reality is one of a number of documents analysing dysfunctional social, or group, behaviour in modern society. This document will show exactly how Socialists destroy education. With reviews by Utopianist authors Heinlein, Wells, Morris.|
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Politics is about power, it is not about economics
summarising this document
The religion of Socialism dematerialises everything.
At least this religion could well be termed the opium of the people.
There is plenty of evidence that 'self-esteem' does not lead to improved performance, but strangely enough, hard work does correlate well with performance.
The establishment are not going to find themselves lacking, let alone guilty. They are 'professionals'. Teachers find it much easier to praise than to criticise children who are making errors. While the violent suppression in schools of the past brings its own damage, intemperate praise becomes a dependency drug and encourages people to go on repeating their past errors. Emotional moderation is a sane route.
It is difficult to teach such emotional moderation in modern confused and alienated societies. Here is a suggested starting point, The Heart of parenting by John Gottman. Other useful background reading can be found at abelard's's recommended reading list.
Socialism (sometimes termed 'wishful-thinking') is a truly dreadful disease!
A smartly-educated young person told me how, as part of their school's extracurricular activities they did 'good works' in a neighbouring poorer borough. One such was taking a coach-load of grubby youngsters to Whipsnade Zoo. On the journey, there came the following interaction:
The young person concerned was much taken aback.
Children do not learn about society out of books of theory, they learn by interacting with a wide range of people. They do not learn by being impressed with pretences that everyone will be nice and friendly and honest. They do not learn by tales of Father Christmas, or tales of talking rats and well-dressed mice.
Most people lie, and many will bully and steal. Children themselves will be liable to hit out. If children are taught nonsense and to believe in some emotional utopia, they will become victims of their delusions and other people's opportunism. The young need to be raised to realism as well as idealism. That is not learned from books on geological theory, or even where milk comes from, nor is it learnt without real practice in the real world.
The removal of religious control and culture has left a grave vacuum at the centre of modern education. That vacuum is not replaced by the dishonest and evasive nonsense that is socialism.
This linked article is some treacle worth wading through.
Both Keynes and Douglas were trying to increase production through the money illusion, that is through playing on psychological weaknesses.
J. M. Keynes's idea was putting money into circulation, into the hands of the masses, to increase their purchasing power, by means of the banks and government. With greater practical sense than Douglas, Keynes proposed using the power of governments and the supervising expertise of banks, while government used (and uses) redistribution and social engineering incentives.
C.H. Douglas promoted a form of citizen's wage, that he called "social credits", wanting to make money available directly. This is likely to produce inflation rather than production, and is a method known to Bernanke and Friedman as helicopter money. Douglas's method, despite all the justifications, becomes a source of inflation, whereas Keynes (when not being satirical) seeks to match the new money with government-produced wealth such as, for instance, houses.
It is vital to understand the difference between politics and economics (accounting). As you will see, Keynes is trying to maintain government control, whereas Douglas is trying to put the control into the hands of citizens using a rather clumsy method.
Politics is about power it can be used as aggrandisement, madness, or to produce a more civilised society.
As you will notice, Keynes is not naive, but just far more sophisticated as an economist.
In the modern world, banks, like tax collectors, are agents of government. In the era of Douglas and Keynes, banks had far more independence.
The real (legitimate) owners of increases in money are the producers of goods - governments (and/or banks in earlier regimes) usurp that role (at great profit).
Socialists think rigidly. They follow rules and are good at passing exams. Ed Balls has a fair theoretical understanding of Keynes's theories, but is far more inclined to use it to centralise State power. On the other hand, David Cameron's tutor said Cameron was clearly the best student he had ever come across. Cameron clearly understood the meaning of the theory, rather just than being limited to ticking boxes and giving conventional parrot responses.
I've recently read five Utopian novels by writers whose minds were confused with socialist dogmas.
Each of these books all tend to amount to "this is the way the world will be if only I were in charge, and everyone would be nice". Only Heinlein shows much practicality. Both H.G. Wells and William Morris were deeply enmeshed in Fabian socialism. Wells's book is the more interesting because he is more intelligent. Wells, who described himself as a fascist, and Morris both played around at the edges of eugenics without quite saying how they would get rid of their unter menschen.
All three of these authors, as with most socialist theorists, are from middle-class backgrounds. Wells had been closer to the reality of working-class poverty than both the others. Neither Wells nor Morris grasped that it was the dark satanic mills of the Victorian world that was raising the population from grinding poverty, not crazy theories born out of socialist culture.
Heinlein is the most interesting of these. His book, For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs was written in 1939 when he was 31. Believe it or not, in those far off days, Heinlein was actively working for socialist parties. Of course, Heinlein later caught on to the problems with socialism. By 1959, he would say, "I've simply changed from a soft-headed radical to a hard-headed radical, a pragmatic libertarian."
For Us, the Living was only published after Heinlein's death. He wrote it primarily as a vehicle for popularising the (unsound) ideas of Major Douglas. Douglas called his system "social credit", and many social credit parties were formed around the world, even gaining some power in Canada. He also presents Korzybski's ideas as a form of psychoanalysis. Heinlein was also interested in rocketry during its early days. Heinlein also wrote Beyond this horizon (1942) to develop further his views on Douglas. In Beyond this horizon, He refers to "social credit" in terms of "the social dividend" (see also Citizen's wage).
The book has amusing side roads. It is set in 2086 and science is struggling to reach the moon, while videos are still projected strips of film, and fast air transport is by rocket planes with ne'er a hint of jet engines.
H.G. Wells wrote A Modern Utopia in 1905, when he was 39. His book has several chapters of tedious verbiage, thus only chapters 9 and 10 are worth reading.
H.G. Wells wrote The world set free in 1914, at the age of 48. In this book, you can see the standard patterns of Wells' Utopia: essentially a huge mass of humanity is killed off, while an elitist world dictatorship comes into power.
There are amusements to be had here as well. Wells has been frequently referred to as a great futurist. In The world set free is the notion of nuclear bombs that Wells picked up from Frank Soddy (see The world made new: Frederick Soddy). But here the book is set in 1953 and beyond, where the nuclear bombs are tossed over the side of aeroplanes that seem not to have advanced since 1914, and where the co-aeronaut bites on a fuse to set the bomb [perhaps he means grenade!] working - shades of musketry on the Indian frontier or in the American Wild West. Meanwhile, air conflict is resolved by "sharp shooters" sitting in the back seat, or thereabouts. The bombs keep exploding, apparently for years, so making the hated cities unihabitable in Wells' ideal world.
Oh, and the King of England becomes the benevolent world dictator!
William Morris wrote News from nowhere in 1890, when he was 56. His book is pretty well trash. Morris, son of a stockbroker, had the socialism bug real bad. The capitalists are masters and the workers are slaves, the slaves have revolted and now everything in the garden is wonderful. In his utopia, everyone is fit and strong, most of them are young, and most of those are lightly-clad females flitting inconsequentially across a bucolic landscape. Everyone is well-fed and most seem to be noble artisans. The factories and production system have disappeared, while all the buildings Morris does not like have been torn down and replaced by vaguely beautiful structures. Where the teeming millions are housed and how they are fed seems rather to escape the author.
abelard's recommendation: trash.
All three of these male utopianists dwell rather excessively upon nubile, available females.
Of the three writers, Wells and Heinlein are well educated autodidacts, whereas an aging and embittered Morris makes more of a down-market Barbara Cartland effort.
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© abelard, 2015, 21 March
the address for this document is http://www.abelard.org/socialism/socialism_and_education.php
approx. 2390 words