“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” — Adolf Hitler (1924)
In my opinion, there is no question that once a government controls the education system, it controls the people.
It worked well enough for Adolf Hitler. The Nazi party successfully grew a formidable army and support network by teaching nationalist socialist values in schools.
In his own words, “he alone, who owns the youth, gains the future”, Hitler boasted of his ability to teach young Germans what to think and how to act. That was how he turned an entire generation into Nazis.
But, in 2018, as calls for gun control sweep across the Western world, there is one uncomfortable and undeniable truth: the indoctrination of our youth is well and truly upon us.
I have long asked why the education system skews so far to the left. Indeed, I have also wondered why governments have slowly, but surely, removed useful and practical information from school curricula, leaving a gaping hole in the general knowledge of most young people.
Adolescents can certainly tell you that they hate President Trump, but they can’t explain how America was founded. They know they hate guns, that gender is a spectrum and that they feel entitled and above criticism, but they have no idea how mortgage interest works or how parliament operates.
The recent myriad of school walk-outs, marches and protests circulating a call for gun control have demonstrated that something in the education system has gone very, very wrong.
The inevitable truth is that between the ages of 12–15 children are their most impressionable — and who is imparting their values on children while they are at school? Educators.
The liberal bias throughout academia and the education system has been demonstrated in numerous studies around the world. One of which, from 2008, expressed that less than 10 per cent of university professors consider themselves conservative. The statistics did vary from university to university, but overall, conservative numbers were always left trailing, sometimes at only 3.9 per cent of a college’s academic make-up.
With the explosion of liberal ideals post 2015, a report by the Adam Smith Institute in 2017 said that eight out of ten British academics are liberal or left-leaning.
But, it is imperative that the entire education system to be non-partisan.
The stark reality is that children — particularly teenagers — have a tendency to regurgitate information they hear and see. Encouraging them to engage in school walks-outs or protests and pushing an aggressive, anti-gun agenda backed by little to no facts does one thing: it disables critical thinking.
For a long time, I have argued that children and young adults must be taught the ability to think critically– especially when they engage with complex information. But society has determined parameters that almost forbid and shame reasoned discussion and productive discourse. Many young people are not encouraged to question the world around them but, rather, to think as a collective cohort.
The introduction of safe spaces and anti-free-speech zones on some university campuses in the United States stands counter to the purpose of educational spaces — to learn and to discuss. An overall ban of language that is determined offensive because it does not follow the status quo in these spaces simply creates pockets of radicals and, importantly, idealistic echo chambers.
Across America and, indeed, across Australia, students have been mobilized to participate in discussions that are one-sided. In the lead-up to the anti-gun marches that happened last week, students in support of the Second Amendment were subject to physical and verbal abuse.
This, too, is the case in Australia where young people who reject identity politics are exhibited before their class and ridiculed.
Unfortunately, with the introduction of more and more emotive, less fact-based information, young people are experiencing a serious decline in academic standards.
Sadder still is that America’s education system is, in many ways, becoming an imitation of what transpired during the 1920s in Germany.
German youths were targeted, particularly, for propaganda messages. Millions of children were won over to Nazism in the classroom and as a result of activities organized by the Nazi party.
The education system in the Third Reich existed to indoctrinate students with National Socialist ideas. And there was very little objection.
In the end, forcing a narrative on children who are not even of voting age only serves to cripple their ability to evaluate ideas in a useful way. In addition, forcing logic and reason out the window and slapping slogans on half-baked campaigns hurts the young people in participation.
Time at school should be spent learning and questioning — not blinding following the ideas of educators and propaganda messages.
Compounding this issue is that adolescents are hardwired to desire positive feedback and make choices based on potential rewards. Mob mentality, in many cases, is, actually, the result of the release of oxytocin in the brain. This chemical makes people feel safe and accepted. The “high” that is experienced from a flood of oxytocin can be responsible for forming habits.
Oxytocin has also been consistently cited in the group-think of gang members. Researchers have said that this chemical response is the reason young people cannot break away from the emotional attachment to the gang.
The sad reality is that there is no world where emotion trumps fact. There is no world where you can arm children with ideas that cannot stand up to criticism.
Every teen is impressionable. Every young personal is malleable. But these opinions on guns — on anything inherently left wing — are learned. They are not the result of statistics or accurate information, but as a result of fear and mob mentality.
With the NRA and Second Amendment supporters as primary targets, these protests signal the end to free-thinking as we know it. They also indicate the amount of social programming going on in the education system.
So, at what point do we decide the role of the education system? Does it exist to teach history, math, English and science or are educators the new gate-keepers of adolescents and their political opinions?
Note: While the information cited in this article is true and accurate, this is an opinion piece and does not profess to be 100% objective.