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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5585/education-free-and-compulsory/

Education: Free and Compulsory

September 8, 2006 by

Murray Rothbard’s wonderful book on education: “Since each person is a unique individual, it is clear that the best type of formal instruction is that type which is suited to his own particular individuality. Each child has different intelligence, aptitudes, and interests. Therefore, the best choice of pace, timing, variety, and manner, and of the courses of instruction will differ widely from one child to another. One child is best suited, in interests and ability, for an intensive course in arithmetic three times a week, followed six months later by a similar course in reading; another may require a brief period of several courses; a third may need a lengthy period of instruction in reading, etc. Given the formal, systematic courses of instruction, there is an infinite variety of pace and combination which may be most suitable for each particular child.” FULL ARTICLE


Black Bloke September 9, 2006 at 3:20 pm

I bought this book some time ago in a book store in Manhattan. It was a treasure. I recommend it to everyone who thinks about education and the future of Western Civilization.

Alex Peak September 10, 2006 at 6:20 pm

I just got finished listening to For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, which mises.org has provided as an online audio-book. I hope more audio-books are provided online in the future, I found the resource most useful.

Alex Peak

BK Marcus September 11, 2006 at 1:11 am

Alex Peak, someone told me a few days ago they’d like to have an audiobook version of Education: Free & Compulsory.

Meanwhile, we do have a new audiobook podcast, which began on Friday: What Has Government Done to Our Money?

A new chapter will go up each Friday for 8 weeks. And more to come …

(Are there any other LvMI books you’d like to see available in audio?)

Peter September 11, 2006 at 8:53 am

Well, FWIW, I’d like to see Speaking of Liberty completed: the first four chapters have been there for four or five months, and then nothing…

Wyatt Reed September 11, 2006 at 6:22 pm

Hey everyone, I was viewing a blog over on a skeptic/scientific website and they have a lively debate going about public schools verses private schols. Actually it seemed like one libertarian verses everyone else. Anyways the libertarian looks like he is getting overwhelmed and needs a lot of help. These are smart scientific types who pride themselves on having good reasoning ability. I really, really, really think an austrian economist needs to go over there and set the record straight. The website is http://www.theskepticsguide.org. Just go to the general discussion blog and click on the ‘John Stossel Stupid in America’ string. Or go directly to the blog at http://www.skepchick.org/skepticsguide/viewtopic.php?t=362&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15
He needs help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MO September 15, 2006 at 7:16 pm

Yes, the three Rs are important, but must acquired with interest and meaning. Inert ideas will crush the will to thrive intellectually. Alfred North Whitehead had a few choice words about how we currently study math but gave no clear direction how to learn math meaningfully no the other two Rs.

Brian McCandliss September 15, 2006 at 9:26 pm

Mr. Rothbard writes that “Some Americans pride themselves that their educational system can never be tyrannical, because it is not federally, but state, controlled.This makes very little difference, however. Not only does this still mean the government, whether state or Federal, but also the educationists, through national associations and journals, are almost completely coordinated. In actuality, therefore, the school systems are nationally and centrally controlled, and formal Federal control would only be the crowning step in the drive for national conformity and control.”
Actually here Mr. Rothbard is silent regarding a vital link– along with the timing of the move to complete “compulsorization” of schools: the American Civil War, by which state sovereignty was rendered null and void.
Though he calls the Confederate defense a “just war” in terms of it being a defensive act against imperialist aggression, Mr. Rothbard frequently omits from correlating the Union victory in mass-erosions of individual liberty by government.
Indeed, the mass-spread of compulsory education from Massachussets in 1850, to all states by 1895, not only correlates perfectly with the Civil War, but also follows it causatively as well via the resulting nationalization of state-politics. Following this nationalist coup, states simply became to the federal government– as Madison warned in Federalist No. 39 and elsewhere– as cities to state governments, i.e. subordinately ruled by absolute dictate. As such, the centralization was not simply that of national asociations and journals, but rather supreme sentiments at the federal level of government– which was the main thrust of Reconstruction, i.e. to impose the federal influence throughout the states, letting them “know who’s boss–” and which spread throughout the states as the ambitious power-hungry pundits began rapidly to make their presence felt.
Indeed, prior to the Civil War, Jeffersonian influences of freedom and resistance to statist influence and coercion, remained sufficiently strong to resist such compulsion; however afterward, “Reconstruction” was simply a euphemism for statism– which even began prior to the war, but was in fact the key influence in originally spurring secession in protest against ever-increasing federal encroachments upon state sovereignty.
The key theme in “levelling” philosophy, is indoctrination vs. actualization, i.e. the objective seems egalitarian via preventing individuals from taking advantage of one another, simplistically by preventing their developing an advantage (or narcissistically believing that such indoctrination optimizes any actualization, which it likewise claims to be equal and identical in all individuals).
This is in opposition to each individual fulfilling his innate potential through education– which, as the term implies, works to “educe,” or “draw out” one’s potential, rather than indoctrinate or “program” external knowledge by force– while likewise educating similar development of individual ethics, vs. state-indoctrinated dogma of arbitrarily-prescribed values. Indeed, nothing can be more ironic than forcing children out of their homes at gunpoint, to pledge allegiance to the American republic under the credo of “liberty and justice for all;” obviously, such abduction and coercion is anything but “free” or “just.”
In short, the objective was not liberty and justice, but tyranny and obedience– or at least, benevolent dictatorship, in following the aristocratic principle that some were fit to rule others. Or as Rothbard states:
…leading Puritan minister and ruler the Rev. William Hubbard declared that “it is found by experience … that the greatest part of mankind are but as tools and instruments for others to work by, rather than any proper agents to effect anything of themselves.” They are always sheep requiring a shepherd. The magistrates are the governing force, the “head” of society. The Rev. John Davenport advised the electors to choose good rulers, because it was imperative for them to submit to the ruler’s authority.
Such is the essence of statism, i.e. the elite claim to supreme ruling intellect–which self-fulillingly claims the “Emperor’s Robe” principle, i.e. attributing all dissent to ignorance. As such, educationalism is simply rationalized tyranny– and is indeed a contradiction, for the practice espoused is not education but indoctrination.

Curt Howland October 2, 2006 at 1:43 pm

Finally finished reading the “weekend read”.


Thank you.

David September 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I invite you to see an outstanding school: The Sudbury Valley School.


At Sudbury Valley School, students from preschool through high school age explore the world freely, at their own pace and in their own unique ways. They learn to think for themselves, and learn to use Information Age tools to unearth the knowledge they need from multiple sources. They develop the ability to make clear logical arguments, and deal with complex ethical issues. Through self-initiated activities, they pick up the basics; as they direct their lives, they take responsibility for outcomes, set priorities, allocate resources, and work with others in a vibrant community.

Trust and respect are the keys to the school’s success. Students enjoy total intellectual freedom, and unfettered interaction with other students and adults. Through being responsible for themselves and for the school’s operation, they gain the internal resources needed to lead effective lives.

Sudbury Valley School was founded in 1968. Located in an old stone mansion and a converted barn on the mid-nineteenth century Bowditch estate, the ten acre campus adjoins extensive conservation lands.

free math worksheets July 18, 2010 at 10:52 am

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