For all of the emphasis put on liberating and cultivating the individual by those who adhere to the ideology of political leftism, the enforcement of public, compulsory schooling achieves the exact opposite. The individual, by virtue of housing one mind, must learn uniquely. By throwing him into an enclosed room with children of different backgrounds and home environments, the instructor doesnâ€™t adhere to each childâ€™s unique learning ability but crafts a teaching plan to reach all pupils. The result is instruction at the lowest common denominator. One-on-one interaction is lost to catering toward a universal standard of idiocy. As Murray Rothbard writes,
A course where one teacher instructs one pupil is clearly by far the best type of course. It is only under such conditions that human potentialities can develop to their greatest degree. It is clear that the formal school, characterized by classes in which one teacher instructs many children, is an immensely inferior system. Since each child differs from the other in interest and ability, and the teacher can only teach one thing at a time, it is evident that every school class must cast all the instruction into one uniform mold.
The most basic of all knowledge left out in the public school curriculum is the ability to use deductive reasoning effectively; especially toward crucial areas of life. How market economies function, what a job entails, how to be entrepreneurial, and what constitutes good behavior are all topics of thought absent from government education. In their place is a distorted view of history and moral relativism paid to functions of the state. The enactment of one-size-fits-all education delivered by the barrel of a gun has churned out generations unwilling to use logic where it may impair their favorable view of government programs.
In most Western nations, this has resulted in the widespread notion of the existence of a â€œrightâ€ to health care. It is always an easy task to assert that one should be provided with a good or service. Taking into account moral standards and clear thinking is where it becomes difficult. For state-provided health care as a â€œright,â€ many thinkers and commentators will go into linguistic gymnastics to defend the proposition. As commentator Miles J. Zaremski writes,
Yet others would say that health care is a privilege. But the very foundation of life is health, and if millions have not the means to afford it or access it as others do, is the life of such a person unable to obtain health care any less worthy than someone who can afford and access the best medical science has to offer? The answer should be clear — NO! To say otherwise is to believe that health care is only for those who can afford to be healthy and maintain health.
Zaremski invokes a form of deductive reasoning but fails to take it to its full extent. His argument can be summed up as: life requires some semblance of medical care, so to experience life to its fullest extent, the state must provide health services for its citizens. This argument, like most in favor of socialized medicine, neglects the fact that the governmentâ€™s only method of enforcement is the use of violence.
Zaremskiâ€™s argument is hinged upon man having rights. One of these includes health care. But if man has rights, is it not an infringement to use the threat of force? What rights are there when some individuals can coerce others to follow their will? No one denies that living a full life requires medical care. The same can be said of food, clothing, and shelter. But all of these compliment life insomuch as manâ€™s uses his natural body and skills to economize them.
The foundation of life is not health but the ability to exercise oneâ€™s humanity, which includes producing, purchasing, and utilizing health care. It does not include employing government thugs to snatch the funds necessary to buy care. Health and violence are always at loggerheads because having property stolen on a regular basis constitutes an infringement on well-being. If someone should protest government thievery, they are physically accosted. The continued threat of predation which the state embodies ends up posing a grave risk to the publicâ€™s overall health.
Natural rights stem from manâ€™s ability to reason that he owns himself and unowned property which he comes in contact with. Any breach of this order is a violation of rights and basic morality. Only then is the use of force justifiable. The state claims the legal monopoly to use force over a geographical area. Its enforcers can steal, rape, and murder with little recourse able to be taken by the victims. The state is therefore a systematic violator of natural rights. This follows from Aristotleâ€™s classic law of the excluded middle.
These lessons are absent from public school. Being official instructors of the state, most teachers are not wiling to engage in criticism of government as an institution. They may denounce certain programs or tax rates, but they will never entertain the very idea that the state rests on institutionalized plunder of the masses. Critical thinking and deductive reasoning can be used to unmask the state for what it truly is. Thus, they are not welcome in the public classroom.
By using reason, man can determine that life is livable in all types of conditions including totalitarianism and anarchy. The difference is that only one of these states of affairs allows for the flourishing of humanity through owning property, the ability to participate in the division of labor, and living in peaceful society. And only one recognizes the natural rights of men. Health care is not a right because its provision entails the use of force against the innocent. There is no middle road between a voluntary transaction and an involuntary taking. This is a clear and simple point that even some of the most respected thinkers canâ€™t or refuse to comprehend. It should be no surprise that their wisdom trickles down into the minds of children corralled into public schools.