“The 12-Year Reich – A Social History of Nazi Germany 1933-1945” by Richard Grunberger (1971)
I struggled through half of this book and finally gave up, not because it wasn’t interesting but because it was depressing me too much. I like how the book is laid out so that if you are interested in education during the Third Reich, you can easily find that chapter and find all the information you’d like. I started to read from front to back with the chapter on the Weimar Republic and political scene but then narrowed it down the chapters on families, education, women, health, speech, and religion. All of it was pretty terrifying in that there is so much going on in the world today that looks very similar. I’d like to read a book about how people got through it with their sanity intact.
Here’s what I was thinking yesterday.
Public schools undermine the efforts of citizens to find a real education of their own and they are not conducive to an independent and free citizenry.
First of all, because they are compulsory. You have to go there until you are 18 years old, or at least that is what most people believe. You don’t really. There are alternatives to the public schools but because of the public schools, they are few and far between and more expensive. There are very few charitable free private schools. I mean, I could open up a free school right now. I could ask my community to come together once a month and make plans, offer their services, donate supplies, organize events for our school, etc. But why would anyone want to put that much effort into something that the public school offers for free and without any volunteers needed? I’ve been putting together a once a week class for our homeschool group and have been blessed with some awesome families to help but I can’t help but think about how we could expand it and create a real school for the whole community instead of just the few that chose to homeschool. Then I run into the answer. Why would any parent put in all the effort to create something free from state control when they can just drop their kids off at the corner school for free? And then they complain about what the school offers, the teachers, the lack of field trips, the “bullying”. But they never do anything about it.
What else makes it wrong for a free country to create compulsory schools? Taxes. These schools take quite a lot of money to run. And most of it is wasted on bureaucracy and not spent directly on education. I understand that the whole country is better off if we have a citizenry that is at least educated in the basics but is that what we’ve been getting? Or has that so-called education become worse and worse over the last hundred years? We are not getting what we paid for by a long shot. Most of these kids are faring worse than if they had just been left at home alone with a TV and internet connection.
Personally, I think that if we got rid of public education people would still try to educate their kids. I really think that most people want their kids to have an education of some kind. It’s just that the kind I want my kids to have isn’t the kind you want your kids to have and somewhere along the line we’ve decided that your way is right and everyone voted to take money from everyone (even if they don’t have kids to educate) to pay so that everyone’s kids will have your kind. That’s the bottom line with all of these tax-funded compulsory things. Everyone seems to think there is one good way to live a life and someone, somewhere knows what that is and is enforcing it on everyone else. Who is this person? What makes him so much better than me? Where did he get this blessed information about life?
That’s what is running through my head. Unedited, stream of thought stuff. I only wish I were better at presenting more thought out ideas.