Albert Jay Nock vs. John Taylor Gatto

January 10, 2007 at 11:59 am | Posted in Homeschooling | 4 Comments

Albert Jay Nock wrote “On the Disadvantages of Being Educated” opposing state education, arguing that many people are just not cut out to receive a liberal education and are better off learning trades.

John Taylor Gatto wrote “The Underground History of American Education” opposing state education, arguing with quotes from the most influential people in power that the state never intended a liberal education for the common people. Their “education” was intended to have a false appearance of liberal education, but was in reality just preparing them for being peons and cheap labor for wealthy elites and industrialists instead of competition..¬† Nock and Gatto are¬†superficially at odds, but not deeply so. Nock argues against the common advocates of liberal education for all at state expense. Gatto shows that such advocates were really just useful idiots providing a superficial excuse for those who created and controlled compulsory state schooling.

The compulsory liberal education advocates, by combination of hypocrisy and negligent ignorance, sought to dumb down the common man, training them to exchange a school desk for a work desk without a second thought, without attempt for something better. The worst aspect is those who received the false liberal education and think they have one. These are your average people who think they are cut out for making political decisions to force on everyone else, i.e. voters. Also there are those who become disillusioned by the false liberal education and do poorly but could have excelled if allowed a real education. You will rarely hear about these, except a few who later educate themselves despite the distaste for it bred by public schooling and later become famous, such as Albert Einstein.

As my oldest child turns five, my wife and I are homeschooling. Unschooling may work in an era when learning is a leading source of entertainment, but for us, unschooling would mean our oldest would become a professional video game player. How is it, although I’m no slouch at video games when I play, I can’t even once beat my four year old at competitive New Super Mario Bros?


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