Training Of The Servile Mind
“And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only the lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the fear of adversaries who have the laws on their side and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proved by the event.” – Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527), The Prince, Chapter 4
The Machiavelli quote describes very well the perilous terrain a reformer has to navigate in this story of Newark’s mayoral contenders.
Firstly, the accomplices in the tyranny who are already well off will oppose the reformer. All these rent-seekers, these “favor traders”, those privileged insiders, will oppose and work to undermine any reforms. Andrew Coulson* in graph after graph shows how exponentially increasing taxpayer funded expenditures does not improve flat-lined education outcomes. The public education industry is an arrogant self-perpetuating malignancy that continues — unchecked — to escalate and drain public funds with little improvement to the mission intended. A predatory, parasite class has arisen on the backs of children.
Secondly, those who do stand to gain from reform will still be intimidated and fearful of backlash from those in power. Even if a reformer is voted in, there is the anxiety that disruptions, sabotage, turmoil will occur. It would not be “smooth sailing”. Would reforms occur to help the intended students in their lifetimes?
Thirdly, the mystique of government is so well inculcated into the populace — yes, by public schools — that there is need for proofs and guarantees that new models will work. The training of the servile, compliant mass in a democracy is well accomplished by the monopoly public school regime. The reformer in this Newark story will have to show proven models that work. Yes, the model of mayoral control of education is one such that is working in a number of places.
Two models of successful education, unfortunately, will not apply in this instance. I refer to home education that would be inappropriate for a mayor to promote (just as long as it’s not disallowed). And the model of low-cost private schools which are gaining so much traction in poor countries would not be in the mayoral candidate’s repertoire, at least not in this round. Research the topic — low cost private schools — and see videos. Here is one https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Tooley+video+low+cost+private+schools
And, for those accomplices who will work hard to retain their self-serving powers to destabilize opportunities for good education for all, here is a quote from a book, written in response (also in the 16th C) to the Machiavelli declarations:
“Let us therefore learn while there is yet time, let us learn to do good . . . I truly believe that I am right, since there is nothing so contrary to a generous and loving God as tyranny — I believe He has reserved, in a separate spot in Hell, some very special punishment for tyrants and their accomplices.” – Etienne de la Boetie (1530 – 1563), The Politics of Obedience.
* State Education Trends, CATO, 2014, http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/state-education-trends#/AZ as discussed in SQE post March 19, 2014, How much more money, O Lord?http://www.societyforqualityeducation.org/index.php/blog/read/how-much-more-money-o-lord
[posted on SQE 25 March 2014 on topic — Change is Hard]