Incompatable Beliefs

An article on the Home School Legal Defense Association web site reports the following:

Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, from the Emory University School of Law, wrote in 2009 of her fear of parents with “oppressive, hierarchical belief systems.” She says,

Indeed, the long-term consequences for the child being home schooled or sent to a private school cannot be overstated. The total absence of regulation over what and how children are taught leaves the child vulnerable to gaining a sub-par or non-existent education from which they may never recover. Moreover, the risk that parents or private schools unfairly impose hierarchical or oppressive beliefs on their children is magnified by the absence of state oversight or the application of any particular educational standards.

Rather than leave a child “vulnerable to gaining a sub-par or non-existent education” via home schooling, perhaps it’s better to guarantee a sub-par or non-existent education by feeding children into the public education system. And as for “opressive, hierarchical belief systems,” to the extent they may exist at the level of a family or a private school, they are far easier to challenge and escape. Oppressive, hierarchical state belief systems are much less easy to challenge or escape. This is the probable goal of statements by academics such as Fineman. The unstated answer to “total absence of regulation over what and how children are taught” is “total regulation over what and how children are taught.”

Fundamentally, this reflects an incompatibility of beliefs with respect to individual human capabilities.  Stateism fundamentally distrusts The Individual. Indeed, in light of recent revelations involving the IRS and the NSA, adherents to stateism treat The Individual as an outright threat. A threat which in the mind of Prof. Fineman “cannot be overstated.”

The challenge to Prof. Fineman is to unpack what she means by “long-term consequences.” What, specifically, are the long-term consequences? Let’s examine them and have a reasoned dialog about consequences within the systemic context. This should be an easy essay to write. Unless, of course, those consequences are actually overstated.

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