You might have heard about an MSNBC promo last week featuring host Melissa Harris-Perry pushing the concept of “collective” responsibility for our children. She was bemoaning that our society
has always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of “These are our children.” So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that “kids belong to their parents’” or “kids belong to their families”, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.
According to her, once we adopt this collective mindset, we will then be willing to devote more resources to educating our children. Which is liberal-speak for paying higher taxes and paying teachers more.
Then a few days later, I heard Rich Lowry on Fox News commenting on Harris-Perry’s remarks. Lowry was quick to criticize the comments in a National Review commentary. While I am in agreement with Lowry, I was disappointed to hear him on Fox News accepting part of the liberal premise that public education is necessary and that the community does have a “responsibility” to provide children with an education. I’m frequently frustrated that “conservatives” regularly accept the liberal premise in public policy debates.
I want to thank Harris-Perry and MSNBC for having the courage to so blatantly express their “collectivist” or shall we dare to say, “Marxist”, ideology. In that, they show more courage of conviction than I ever see on television. We should also thank her for highlighting and framing the issue. She raised a key question highlighting the basic difference between socialism/ communism and individual liberty/ free enterprise.
She is correct that the issue which we as a society must decide is whether we should promote and endorse individual responsibility or collective responsibility. Lately, Democrats have chosen the collective and, therefore, big government and the welfare state. Republicans somewhat sheepishly attempt to choose both and leave voters confused.
It is indicative of what our public education system has been teaching for the past several decades that so many believe in the concept of collective responsibility. The success of the liberal indoctrination is also manifested in the now widespread acceptance of the concept of collective property versus private property. The concept of collective property fuels the idea of confiscatory taxation in the name of fairness.
I think the more cogent argument would maintain that the state has an interest in promoting families and education, but the responsibility lies solely with parents. Public education is failed socialism. More money for teachers won’t solve the problem. Schools have continued to fail our children in spite of the fact that we have continued to throw ever increasing funding at public education.
Under Carter we established a huge federal bureaucracy, the Department of Education, to “solve” our failing education system. Public education is controlled by the teachers union. Their main concern is teacher power and security. The unions use the Democrat party to achieve their objectives. In exchange, the Democrats require that public schools indoctrinate students to be the next generation of Democrat voters. The daily news is replete with stories of public schools indoctrinating students in liberal philosophy.