Monday, 3 August 2015

Comment At Don Rodgers Article On Curriculum Protests

Here. Amazingly, I even got two comments past the notorious censor at Turton's blog on the same subject.


If we pretend, for a moment, that words actually mean things and are not just Pavlovian triggers, then there is something odd about this article (and all others like it). It seems to contain a non-sequitur: the apparent insistence that in order to be "anti-authoritarian", one must necessarily be "pro-democracy". Yet this doesn't actually make any sense. The sole purpose of democratic procedure is to legitimize government authority. If you are "pro-democracy" then you are not actually opposed to the "authorities" pushing people about and forcing them to do stuff against their will per se, you just want them to do it by elected committee.

The morally important thing is not so much democratic procedure, but limits to political power. Forcing children to learn subjects they are not interested in, or forcing them to participate in activities they strongly dislike does not suddenly become OK just because an elected committee of commissars authorized this in yet another curriculum. So rather than aiming to change the mechanisms for setting school curricula, the students could be aiming much higher: the abolition of compulsory education altogether in favour of freedom of choice.

This is not the 20th century. This is the 21st century. Freedom of information, freedom of association, freedom of choice and freedom to choose your own life are not compatible with compulsion and political control of thought, irrespective of whether that control is democratically sanctioned or not.


I was busy out at Jianshanpi reservoir today; I learned quite a lot, but am far from satisfied yet. I probably won't get around to posting pictures for a while yet, but I need to plan a return trip sometime soon after I get back from Taichung (the next trip).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is now in place, as of April 2012. Rules:

1) Be aware that your right to say what you want is circumscribed by my right of ownership here.

2) Make your comments relevant to the post to which they are attached.

3) Be careful what you presume: always be prepared to evince your point with logic and/or facts.

4) Do not transgress Blogger's rules regarding content, i.e. do not express hatred for other people on account of their ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.

5) Remember that only the best are prepared to concede, and only the worst are prepared to smear.