Seek Wisdom, Not Facts

Theodore Roosevelt:

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.

We search and search for the answers (or rather a quick fix, easy solution) to the violence and mayhem happening in our culture and around the world today. Invariably someone cries out, “We need more education!”

education_c-s-lewisIgnore these people. We have been “educating” generations of American children to no avail. A society can not survive long, where even “The Golden Rule” can’t be discussed in a public school.

Seek wisdom. Find and keep a moral compass that is rooted in something other than the material or in the self. Once you have wisdom and morality, you’ll then know what to do with all of the useless facts.

When your children aren’t your children

I reject the notion that the Federal government and its employees are in any way responsible for the upbringing or education or even the personal happiness of my children… as suggested by this tweet from the White House:

Obamamunist Tweet 141204

Education and the power and money that goes with it, is simply NOT in the constitution.

Quoting Thomas Jefferson: Public School Snob?

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” *

What a snob. What an elitist! What a Republican… wait. Oops. He was a Democrat, wasn’t he? I was looking through some quotes from President Jefferson, because I had been hearing way too much about how Jefferson was the master planner of the modern public school system, and how he wanted every child to be educated at the expense of the state. If Jefferson is your hero in this regard, please read on.

But if you want to remain ignorant to the fact that Thomas Jefferson was an education snob that really couldn’t imagine the idea that all children should complete their education and go on to college… maybe you should move on.

Let’s take a look at what I found! We’ll warm up with several quotes that make Sara Palin seem like a moderate:

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson: Education Snob

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Holy cow! Jefferson was a Tea Party hate monger!

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Now this is where we get into the subject of Government Run, Taxpayer Funded Schooling. Taxpayers are subsidizing the propagation of ideas they find abhorrent. They have been doing so for generations. And now it’s time to think about going back to the type of public schools Jefferson really wanted.

At, in a post called, Thomas Jefferson’s plan for “Public” Schooling, Albert Jay Nock was quoted extensively. Nock gives us a different–and probably more accurate–perspective of how Jefferson thought public education should work: [emphasis added]

For some reason that I have never been able to discover, Mr. Jefferson seems to be regarded as a great democrat; on public occasions he is regularly invoked as such by gentlemen who have some sort of political axe to grind, so possibly that view of him arose in this way. The fact is that he was not even a doctrinaire republican, as his relation to the French Revolution clearly shows. When Mr. Jefferson was revising the Virginia Statutes in 1797, he drew up a comprehensive plan for public education.

Each ward should have a primary school for the three R’s, open to all. Each year the best pupil in each school should be sent to the grade-school, of which there were to be twenty, conveniently situated in various parts of the state. They should be kept there one year or two years, according to results shown, and then all dismissed but one, who should be continued six years. “By this means,” said the good old man, “twenty of the best geniuses will be raked from the rubbish annually” — a most unfortunate expression for a democrat to use! At the end of six years, the best ten out of the twenty were to be sent to college, and the rest turned adrift.

(Read Nock’s entire essay at the Ludwig von Mises Instutute)

Well! I am certainly all for Jefferson’s plan for educating the youth of America! I’ll fill you in on all the particulars next time you get all excited about how Jefferson wanted our schools to be just like they are now.


* Special thanks to the first person to comment on this article for the clarification of the first quote attributed to Jefferson. The actual quote, found here, says pretty much the same thing, only with a lot more words. But since the quote I found above is getting enough traction to warrant an “official” site to make the corrections… I thought I’d let it stand.

Quoting Theodore Roosevelt

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society”

~Theodore Roosevelt

This is kind of what I’ve been saying all over the place it seems. This is why I say — in general — that public, state schools suck so much. We are seeing right before our eyes, the education of menaces to society.

Can we deny it?

Can we point to a few schools and a handful of teachers who are exceptions to this rule? Sure. Does it mean that our state controlled, taxpayer funded, industrialized factory-model education system is doing a stellar job at educating a little over 50% of the millions of children force-fed through the system, and because of that, it is worth maintaining?

Hell no!

So what are you going to do about it? (I mean, besides writing pithy retorts on internet forums about how your teachers are great and the schools that your kids go to are top-notch and how people like me shouldn’t be so mean-spirited.)

What Would Teddy Do?

Maybe he’d tell you go yank your kids out of public school, teach them a little “morals clarification” in what it’s like to be a family and to work for your existence.

Maybe then, your head might clear and you will realize how our Government Schools have taken our children and trained them, not to be well educated, but rather trained them to be a menace to society.

Quoting Alexis de Tocqueville: Literature Good, Tradeschool Better

This interesting quote speaks to the need for the study of ancient literature in order to secure a sound democracy. But, it is not good ONLY to study the classics. A society needs the trades, commerce and other producers so that the society’s needs are met, and all are happy.

In other words, your community isn’t worth squat with a bunch of pointy-headed intellectuals running around telling each other how smart they are. We need the ditch-diggers, the car-fixers, the grocers, clerks and farmers. Not everyone is going to go to college.

Maybe keeping kids in “…a multitude of bad grammar-schools, where superfluous matters, badly learned, stand in the way of sound instruction in necessary studies” is a bad thing. Maybe we should consider invigorating the general health of our communities by allowing those who are predisposed to the trades and other useful yet not necessarily academic studies, get to it and get on with their lives.

(Any added emphasis is mine.)

Alexis de Tocqueville, from "Democracy in America"

It is important that this point should be clearly under-stood. A particular study may be useful to the literature of a people without being appropriate to its social and political wants. If men were to persist in teaching nothing but the literature of the dead languages in a community where everyone is habitually led to make vehement exertions to augment or to maintain his fortune, the result would be a very polished, but a very dangerous set of citizens. For as their social and political condition would give them every day a sense of wants, which their education would never teach them to supply, they would perturb the state, in the name of the Greeks and Romans, instead of enriching it by their productive industry.

It is evident that in democratic communities the interest of individuals as well as the security of the commonwealth demands that the education of the greater number should be scientific, commercial, and industrial rather than literary.

Greek and Latin should not be taught in all the schools; but it is important that those who, by their natural disposition or their fortune, are destined to cultivate letters or prepared to relish them should find schools where a complete knowledge of ancient literature may be acquired and where the true scholar may be formed. A few excellent universities would do more towards the attainment of this object than a multitude of bad grammar-schools, where superfluous matters, badly learned, stand in the way of sound instruction in necessary studies.

All who aspire to literary excellence in democratic nations ought frequently to refresh themselves at the springs of ancient literature; there is no more wholesome medicine for the mind. Not that I hold the literary productions of the ancients to be irreproachable, but I think that they have some special merits, admirably calculated to counterbalance our peculiar defects. They are a prop on the side on which we are in most danger of falling.