Public Schools and the State’s Omnipotent Bayonet

From everything I read you would think we were incapable of solving social problems.

In truth, we find matters only getting worse because the proposed solutions almost always involve the culprit — the state — taking more control over our lives.

The state is a box we desperately need to think outside of if we’re ever going to establish civil relations among people. We would do well to remember that the state is absolutely not in the business of making our lives better. It is an institution appended to the rest of society through force for the purpose of enriching the lives of its members.

Modern welfare states might make this difficult to understand, but it’s no less true.  The State is not in the business of producing wealth and then distributing it to the most needy or deserving. It is not the successful entrepreneur turned humanitarian when it dishes out payments to favored beggars, whether they be unemployed workers, corporate cronies, foreign dictators, research facilities, or any other rent seeker.  It is best thought of as a homicidal thief who takes pains to appear as a good guy.

The state is fundamentally a criminal organization and liberty’s greatest enemy.  It’s that simple, and that ugly.  For starters see Anatomy of the State, The Criminality of the State, and The Left, the Right, and the State.  “Your entire life is at the mercy of the State,” writes Hoppe in A Short History of Man.

The state, being criminal and criminally inept, creates the crises that naive or disingenuous people blame on liberty.

Interventionist mania has been hugely successful but only as a means of bloating the state.  Otherwise it achieves the opposite of its stated aims.  Has the state been successful in preventing terrorist attacks? Has it achieved its stated goal of eradicating poverty?   Have state regulations in health care, which began long before ObamaCare, succeeded in making health care better and more affordable?  Did its countless financial regulations prevent the recession of 2007-2008?  How about the job it did following 9/11, with Orwell at home and bloody cakewalks overseas, both of which are running indefinitely?  Should we be surprised the state is meddling in Israel – Hamas, Ukraine – Russia, and China – Taiwan?  The American state seems bent on pursuing nuclear Armageddon.

School shootings

Americans are horrified at the wanton nature of school shootings.  One occurrence is intolerable, but repeat occurrences are unthinkable in a civilized society.  Yet the school in Parkland was preparing for just such a crisis because they had no politically acceptable way of preventing it.

As long as the state is in charge there won’t be a politically acceptable way.  What if it decided to outlaw gun ownership?  Completely, totally, immediately, no exceptions (other than the usual exceptions: members of the political class and their cronies).  Make violators pay with their lives.  Aside from it being a human rights nightmare and therefore politically unacceptable to many, it would at least maximize the risk and minimize the likelihood of a crazy walking into a school and shooting people. But it wouldn’t stop them from killing.  Law-abiding murderers would have to find other means to carry out their crimes.

What grade would we give it for the job its done educating our children?  Not only are our kids exposed to a creativity-killing environment but they’re forced to sit defenseless in rooms all day, with everyone hoping the next attack doesn’t happen at their school.

Leave it to the state to play Russian Roulette with children. Leave it to guileless parents to let the state get away with it.

It might still be argued that since these are state schools, the state should at least be responsible for ensuring the safety of its students.

Not a chance.  Parents of the victims can’t expect to sue the government for gross negligence or wrongful death and win. They can try, but governments protect themselves with something its lawyers call sovereign immunity.  You can only sue governments if they let you, and since they’re all broke and corrupt the chances of success are nil.

So parents sue people like Alex Jones instead.

It’s one of those fascinating aspects of the institution so many people regard as indispensable — you can’t hold the state responsible for its actions or negligence. You can’t hold it responsible for school slaughters or overseas military murders.  You can’t hold it responsible for its endless lies and the damage they cause.  You can’t hold it responsible for balancing its budget.  You can’t hold it responsible for deliberately debasing the currency.

But in the spirit of double standards, the state, backed by its omnipotent bayonet, can hold you responsible for anything it chooses, especially the payment of tribute.  We’ve surrendered our freedom to armed government bureaucrats.

One difference between a prison and a public school is this: you can’t walk into a prison heavily armed and start shooting people, at least not without guards shooting back at you right away.  In a public school killers will enter a world in which a careless student can be suspended for pointing his finger in the shape of a gun.  But if an Uber rider pulls up armed with malign intentions what’s to be done?  Tell him to go away?  Hope he loses his nerve?  The only deterrent is the threat of much-delayed retaliation, though sometimes it’s a brave parent who circumvents authorities and risks confronting the shooter.

I don’t like the thought of any kid attending a public school.  Not at all.  Neither should you.

In a satirical essay mocking the breathless demands of gun-controllers following a mass shooting, Gary North draws the irresistible conclusion that public schools are too dangerous.

Students in public schools are at risk. Terrible risk. Unacceptable risk. There is no excuse for this any longer. None. The statistics are clear. Students get gunned down only in public schools.

The solution?  He recommends charter schools or homeschooling.

“We must close the public schools forever . . . for the sake of the children.”

I fully agree.  But closing dangerous indoctrination centers will never happen as long as the state is in charge of our lives.

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