The Conservative Case for School as Police State
The strongest proof that mankind is the plaything of Necessity may be the seemingly endless parade of blinkered idiocy or willful blindness with which civilization is currently herding itself into a pen of its own making. One particularly maddening manifestation of this idiocy is the insistence of American “conservatives” that the solution to a State-manufactured catastrophe, school shootings, is more omnipresent State power.
A sad example of this phenomenon may be found in an article by Daniel Sobieski at American Thinker, “Schoolkids Deserve a Rock Star Level of Security,” in which he argues (I use the term loosely) that schools should in effect be turned into heavily-armed, single-entrance fortresses, in order to prevent “a killer in a trench coat” from being “allowed to enter and roam the school for an extended period.” (Yes, we can’t have students wearing long coats wandering freely through their schools, now can we?) Every time I hear so-called conservatives demanding armed guards next to every school entrance, drones over every school, police cameras at every intersection, and so on, in the name of “security,” I realize that the liberty fight has been lost. The conservatives do not even understand what the issues are, or were.
And the moment anyone, whether a gun-grabbing leftist or a Trump-is-god rightist, starts defending a public policy idea by reference to what “schoolkids deserve” — oh, hearts and flowers! — I know I am in the realm of special pleading for oppression of one sort or another. The progressive version of this is the “let the children decide” fantasy of universal gun confiscation. The conservative version is to recreate an Old West fantasy world of shootouts where Shane always wins.
Carefully ignored throughout all such spit-ball-throwing “debates” about the solutions to school shootings — both sides claiming their solution is “the only real answer” — is the one issue no knee-jerk status quo defender will ever touch, namely the only real “only real answer” to the growing trend (and a trend is what it is) of mass public school killings: stop sending children to public schools.
Public school is the setting of these catastrophes not merely because it is a “soft target,” since: (1) that would only explain the killings perpetrated by random lunatics with no connection to the schools being attacked, whereas in fact most school shootings are perpetrated by students or former students of the victimized schools, and (2) it would do nothing to explain why these shootings were almost unheard of back when schools and other public spaces were much softer targets than they are now. In fact, school itself — what it is, what it does, and how what it does affects the souls of students — is at the core of this societal volcano. Reason dictates, then, that the issue is not primarily about the availability of guns — whether there ought to be more of them or fewer of them — but rather about what is happening at school.
My dear friend Tony Bauer in Minnesota cuts to the chase in a recent e-mail about the current state of American society:
I was interested in your take and your advice, especially since it (largely) revolves around the dung heap we call Public Education here in the former USA.
Several things have sparked these thoughts. Among them, the leftist cries of “Misogyny” and the Pink Pussie Hat movement, all of which is being preached from K- college in America. Manhood is being destroyed in this onslaught of feminazism.
“Men are no longer needed in the androgynous world!”
“There ARE no ‘men and women’ any longer, only Persons or Its!”
Of course, no mention is made anywhere of this misandry occurring before our eyes. Even the pundits swallow as Gospel the misogyny B.S.
Most recently, however, in light of yet another school shooting today in Texas (and the one in Illinois yesterday) we once again have to suffer as the virtue signals are rolled out, calling for yet even tougher Gun Laws, registrations, and grabbing efforts from the Left.
But, alas, even from the so-called conservatives, like Texas Gov. Abbott, and the looped recording called Sean Hannity, we once again hear calls for “stricter school safety measures.” Armed officers in schools, like retired cops or ex-special forces personnel, etc. Of course they want more availability of mental health options and precautions (even though no one listens to the ones we have already heard).
What this all leads me to believe is that we should be looking for clues within public education itself for the answers to, “Why do the kids continue to gun one another down?”
Exactly right. At the heart of this problem of school shootings becoming the coolest form of non-conformist rebellion is the question, “Why does an entire civilization send its children to be raised by the State, rather than taking care of them at home, or through other private means?” The collectivizing impulse built into government schooling, and its tendency toward extreme sameness of attitudes and extreme vacuity of moral aims, is a recipe for aimless young “outcasts” with no meaning in life other than their hatred of a “system” that has let them down, or rather pushed them down.
Artificially create the conditions for a growing underclass of the excluded and mocked; teach that underclass that life has no inherent value and we are all just relativized atoms bumping into one another; and guess what? — you have created a ready-made assassin cohort, primed to carry out missions of their own devising, since no one is interested in providing them with anything actually significant to do with their amoral ambitions.
Most of this cohort will just waste their lives away on computer games and dead-end jobs. A few may find their way into materially successful lives as socially-sanctioned manipulators of one sort or another. And the rest will be ticking time bombs, just waiting for one rejection from a girl, one mocking laugh from a cool crowd, or one teacher’s criticism of their attitude, to self-detonate.
Given that this crisis is unmistakably connected to the progressive public education model itself, and that the progressive political and educational establishments are busy carefully avoiding this fact as the body count grows, one can hardly be faulted for contemplating the hardest and most politically uncomfortable question: Do these people actually want this bloodshed, as a means to furthering their agenda?
As my friend muses:
I suspect it is the Frankfurt School style of destruction of our society by the left. After all, the left, like the (ahem…) Palestinian terrorists, and radical Islamists in general — I believe the left is absolutely without hesitation in sacrificing their own youth in order to achieve The Goal.
And we all know what that goal is, and what a barrier to it the USA has been. I cannot help but to suspect that these shootings will continue, ad nauseum, until the Second Amendment has been scrapped and scraped from history on our path to a One World Order.
In short, then, the first question is: Do the progressives who have manufactured this disaster know what they have done? Some of them certainly do — the Frankfurt School types my friend mentions, among others.
Then comes the Rubicon-crossing question: Does this mean the progressive theorists actually desire the carnage?
Well, most of them probably would not literally have tried to make such crimes happen, but, given that they know well enough what role the school system plays in the catastrophe, they are certainly in the position to make a conscious choice going forward: Continue to foster and defend the system that conditions this catastrophe, or admit the failure and try another model. Faced with that choice, the progressives have repeatedly chosen the status quo, which includes blaming guns or the NRA for events that cannot reasonably be blamed either on inanimate objects or milquetoast establishment lobby groups.
To state what should be obvious, the Bill Ayers or George Soros types would have no problem with a few mass killings, if these would be useful tools of “social change,” as with the anti-gun movement of the moment. They might even like to prod this development along a bit. However, beyond that tiny faction of true neo-Marxist subversives — whose significance and influence cannot be discounted — I think most of what we are seeing is the product of a lot of convenient, willful blindness, rather than overt bloodlust.
The true solution to school shootings, at every level, is as simple as it is utterly impossible today: get the bulk of the citizenry out of government schooling. No chance whatsoever of this happening, at least anytime in the foreseeable future. If you told parents today that there was a fifty percent chance their own children’s school would be hit with a mass shooting this month, I doubt ten percent of those parents would stop sending the kids to school. In fact, look at all the schools that have been attacked recently. What percentage of those parents have actually taken their kids out? I don’t know the numbers, but I’d guess less than five percent. We, as a civilization, are simply too inured and indoctrinated to the supposedly noble idea of universal compulsory schooling to see the entire herd of rabid elephants stampeding through our room.
So I think we should avoid the temptation to overstate the extent of the truly diabolical side of the progressive mind — it absolutely exists, but overstating its significance has the effect of letting a lot of ordinary “well-intentioned” people off the hook for their complicity in this civilizational rot.
Lunatic fringe neo-Marxist subversives aside, I still have to put most of the blame on the non-crazy private citizens who continue to choose a twisted notion of convenience over the well-being, rational development, and even physical and psychological safety of their own children. I always think it is wisest to err on the side of assuming the least malicious motives in one’s opponents, by which I mean the least malicious motives that might still explain their real actions and choices, which is why I cannot deny that there are some progressive movers and shakers who really would hope for school bloodshed, just as they hope to instigate racial violence and university riots in other contexts.
I merely would not assume that all the decision-makers and theorists have the same overt nastiness in their hearts. The covert kind of nastiness — excusing the inexcusable for example, or ignoring the evidence of common sense for the sake of protecting a comforting illusion — is more pervasive, and in truth equally necessary to the triumph of evil.
As my friend Tony Bauer, who used to be co-host of the most intelligent talk radio program on the air (which explains why it is no longer on the air), has pointed out in a follow-up e-mail:
I can’t even count the number of “good teachers” who would call The Speakeasy show while we were on commercial break so they did not have to be on the air. These “good teachers” all feared they would be recognized and then ostracized by their peers (other ‘good’ people, for sure) for speaking out against public education in any manner, shape or form.
Most of the problem, in other words, is not deliberate evil, but the weakness of plain old human stupidity in the face of a few subversive men’s evil intentions.
To reiterate the easy and obvious answer: Do anything within your power to get any child within your sphere of influence out of the grip of public school now.
For more on all of this, I remind the gentle reader of my book, The Case Against Public Education, the subtitle of which is not to be forgotten: How Government Schooling has Dismantled Modernity and Prepared Us for Tyranny.