Thursday, September 25, 2014


The national peddling of the left-right paradigm was on display in Colorado this week, with school kids walking out of class in protest of curriculum changes that came from "conservative school board members" who took office last November. The Facebook comments to the Fox News-produced story were predictable, angry, and eye-opening in terms of just how well the divide-and-conquer scheme is working in America.

The walkout aside, the story presents the bold agenda being pushed by the new board members. It's bold not so much in terms of its goal, but in terms of its unveiling of what is essentially one of many versions of propaganda which are blind to their own fallacies. Those with the authority to do so call such propaganda "history."

From the story:
The school board proposal that triggered the walkouts in Jefferson County calls of instructional materials that present positive aspects of the nation and its heritage. It would establish a committee to regularly review texts and course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history, to make sure materials "promote citizenship, patriotism...and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights" and don't "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strike or disregard of the law."
Citizenship: you will pay taxes, or you will go to jail. Or you can pay to renounce your citizenship...which is something you could do for free just a few years ago, apparently. So if you're one of those people whose intellectual contribution to these conversations is limited to angrily asking the question "If you don't like it here, why don't you just leave?", bear in mind--that solution has a cost now, too. So it's not quite as helpful as you may think.

Patriotism: you will support wars--your only choice is whether you support Bush's wars or Obama's wars. In the end, everyone ends up endlessly reciting that "freedom isn't free," and that we're the "home of the free because of the brave." Which is, at this point--decades after WWII--to say that America's way of life must be militarily extracted from the lives of people in other countries. True? Who cares--patriotism is, by its nature, blind to such petty things as truth. We must fight the terrorists we created until we create new and better boogeymen to take their place.

Benefits of the free-market system: you will believe the most regulated system the world has ever known is free. Driving a car? Get a license from your county. Buying a firearm? File the paperwork with the ATF. Building a house? Get the permits. Opening an incorporated business? Get an EIN number from the IRS. And almost every substance you put in your body, regardless of harm or benefit, is regulated. Maybe this is what is meant when people say that "freedom isn't free"?

Respect for authority: you will respect those who do the taxing and those who do the tax enforcing. See: Citizenship and Patriotism.

Respect for individual rights: except (of course!) for the rights of the unborn, the rights of those you don't agree with (gays, marijuana advocates, non-interventionists, protesters of your proposals, etc.), and those rights which must be taken away from you to ensure your freedom.

Discouragement of civil disorder, social strike or disregard of the law: this goes hand in hand with citizenship (pay your taxes, as required by law), patriotism (support the wars of your preferred party), and respect for authority (respect those who do the taxing and those who do the enforcing). The short-sightedness here is breathtaking--both from the board members who claim to be conservative and those who are accusing them of pushing a conservative agenda.

In the end, the story of the Colorado school walkout is just another example of what happens when the people decide they are too busy to lead their own lives and elect someone else to lead in their stead: the people get played into turning on each other by those they elect, the people turn to the elected for a solution, and the elected just keep adding more tunnel until the light can no longer be seen. Keep protesting, kids--and when you're old enough to vote, don't elect anyone. Lead yourselves.