Category: Death by Education

Schooling vs. Intellectual Development: Two Factors

The number one requirement for any serious intellectual growth is time alone — a lot of it. The thoughtful young person, full of the self-doubt of ignorance and always worried about disapproval and rejection, needs the freedom to stretch out and wander without fear of continually running into walls of social stigma and ridicule. School seeks to occupy this young person’s days with...

Today’s Lesson

A student who has been reading a lot lately informs me of her latest book, a popular American novel called Wonder, “about a boy with a birth defect on his face. He goes to school, where some children are mean to him.” This story, she explains, reminds her of a cruel trick she played on another girl as a child, and of the...

Reflections: Courage, Lyricism, Self-Knowledge

It’s all relative.— I have never felt particularly brave in my life. Nor do I believe I have ever acted with any special degree of courage even in an isolated moment. On the contrary, I have often been disappointed at what I have regarded as a deficiency in this area. These days, however, judging myself relative to what I see around me, I...

Echoes: The Grassroots vs. The Prairie Fire

Fascist demagoguery proclaiming itself the only bulwark against communism. Communist thuggery declaring itself the only bulwark against fascist demagoguery. America 2021. Germany 1930. Everyone who warned of these echoes for decades — and was mocked out of both polite society and the ivory tower for so warning — appears to have been fully vindicated. The question is, why would any American have expected...

Drugs and the Ruling Class

The sense of urgency governments are exuding today over the universal push to vaccinate everyone against COVID-19 is palpable — as is the reason for the sense of urgency. If the world were allowed to emerge from the pandemic without universal vaccination having been achieved first, the people who advised restraint, moderation, and the necessity of reaching herd immunity from the outset would...

And Then You Woke Up

I just read the following headline from the Associated Press: “Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism.’” And Dr. Fauci’s self-serving deference to the latest trends in neo-Marxist race politics is worth discussing because…? A couple of days back, I read of an adjunct instructor in literature at St. John’s University in New York who uttered “the n-word” during an online lecture...

The Easiest Answer in the World (Which Almost Everyone Avoids)

President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki, asked during an official White House propaganda session to address Senator Tom Cotton’s concerns about U.S. colleges being used to “indoctrinate” students, replied smugly — I did not hear her voice, but how else can a progressive sound when defending totalitarianism? — with the following: “Well, without much detail on where he thinks our youth are...

“…after the end of painting”

Some readers familiar with my background and professional biography might wonder how I ended up in this unorthodox, fringe-dwelling sort of university teaching career in South Korea, rather than having pursued the more traditional and “prestigious” academic path typically prized by those who spend their early adulthoods on the educational path I followed. Here, in a nutshell — and I choose that idiom...

“Left-wing Indoctrination”

Washington Post headline at the moment of this writing: “Trump alleges ‘left-wing indoctrination’ in schools.” My first reaction: “Gee, what a revelation.” My second: “Does the Washington Post really expect its readers to find Trump’s claim wild and outrageous?”  My third: “Yes they do, and their expectation will prove true. The indoctrinated rarely know they are indoctrinated — and what is more, they...

Education Reform Now! (Or Not)

This morning, I received an e-mail from a regular reader noting that this might be a boom time for my Case Against Public Education, given that there is a lot of “chatter” these days about “the dangers of public education.”  My immediate reply: The “dangers of public education” chatter is just that — chatter. Nothing will happen, no one will change. Everyone is...