My article in The Federalist this morning — “Today’s Riot-Prone Mobs are a Product of Today’s Cult-Like Education System” — examines the growth of mindless group think that is fueling so much of the street theater we’re seeing these days. I believe public education has developed a lot of the hallmarks of cult-like indoctrination, including coercive thought reform, the cultivation of emotional reflexes, and relational aggression against anyone who expresses an unauthorized thought. Sadly, the agitators have been deployed as cannon fodder to serve the agendas of power elites who are hostile to any truly civil society in which real public discourse can take place. And the radical education reforms of the past 50 or so years have played a huge role in bringing us to this moment.
Here’s an excerpt from my piece:
“Let’s face it. Today’s street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision. The radical Left’s systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies. It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free. Those features include freedom of expression, civil discourse, the Socratic method of figuring out truth, value of the individual, and a common knowledge of the classics of history and literature that help us understand what’s universal in the human experience. All of that had to go.
“Now, as we see students marching to demonize as “fascists” proponents of free speech, their ignorance is in full view. This is really a full frontal attack on the rule of law, the Constitution, and a system of checks and balances that guards against the consolidation of centralized power.
“That’s the whole point of the education these students have been fed. In fact, a lot of 1960s agitators, including domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, decided to place their bets on radical education revision. For at least 40 years, Ayers has been devoted to transforming schools from places of actual education to places of coercive thought reform. As Andrew McCarthy recently pointed out in National Review: “It was a comfy fit for him and many of his confederates, once it dawned on them that indoctrination inside the schoolhouse was more effective than blowing up the schoolhouse.”
“If you review the history of radical education reform, it’s clear these agitators have been committing mind arson on the children, undermining their ability to think independently and clearly.”