Education vs. indoctrination: a parable May 11, 2010Posted by Ezra Resnick in Education.
Suppose that I am an enthusiastic Marxist. My family has a long tradition of Marxism: my parents are Marxists, as were my grandparents before them. I believe strongly that Marxism holds the key to solving most of the world’s problems – indeed, I’m convinced that without Marxism the human race may not survive this century. I therefore consider it my duty to actively support, defend and spread Marxism to the best of my ability.
Naturally, it is of the utmost personal importance to me that my children be Marxists as well. I would consider myself a failure if they were not! (As would all my Marxist friends.) As soon as the opportunity arises, therefore, I teach my children all about Marxism: its philosophy, its principles, its history. I explain in detail all of the reasons I have for supporting Marxism, and why I think its critics are wrong. I encourage my children to study Marxism both in school and on their own. So far, so good.
Suppose, however, that I do not stop there. Suppose that, from the earliest age, I tell my children that they are Marxists. I refrain from teaching them about any other political or economic systems. When they eventually discover that not all people are Marxists, I simply tell them that different people have different traditions, but we are Marxists and this is what we believe.
Naturally, I send them to a Marxist school, where all students and teachers are Marxists, and Marxism classes are taught daily. (It goes without saying that alternatives to Marxism are not taught and are strongly discouraged.) Outside of school, the children belong to the local Marxist youth movement and go to Marxist summer camp. Once a week, year round, we join all the neighboring families at the nearby Marxist community center, where we listen to charismatic lectures on the virtues of Marxism and the dangers of a non-Marxist society. We conclude our gatherings with uplifting Marxist songs.
My children are now grown, and I am proud to report that they all remain committed Marxists. They appreciate the importance of marrying a fellow Marxist and building a Marxist household. For my part, I feel that I have fulfilled my obligations as a parent and a Marxist, and have contributed towards building a better world. I look forward to the birth of my first Marxist grandchild.