We are Seriously Uneducated

There is a myth in Germany that our education system were much superior to every other system in the world. Sad enough there is much to be said in support of this. However, the margin is thinner than claimed and the strength is in the weakness of the competition. To run down some:

  • By and large Asian education is rote learning that keeps the kids from thinking. Multiple cults and other authoritarians use rote learning to create a conformist mindset. This is what you see from Scientology, Catholic Pius Brethren and, yes, the entirety of the Asian continent.
  • Africa follows either the Asian tradition or lacks formal learning entirely. Either students are hell-bent to waste their time memorizing the Quran or whatever is fancy or they work in the fields.
  • Latin America. I am too uneducated to tell. More about that later.
  • North America. The public schools are completely absurd. A lot of teachers are crypto-Marxists. If you want your kids to learn that Muslims invented everything from astronomy to “algorithms,” that “capitalism” killed everybody who was not killed in the name of socialism or that genocidal Europeans murdered the majority of Native Americans (and not the epidemics), then you better send them to a school in Canada or the US.

I skip European countries outside Germany who have various different systems and show a complex picture. Against this backdrop Germany does not look bad. But the German belief in the superiority of their education system follows the lead of their belief in having a superior media. There is nothing Germans think could be superior in other countries and the thing they praise themselves most often for is their humbleness. Only these inferior countries who are nationalist and patriotic think that they are better at something than others. Because Germans are better than them they, the masters of modesty, snub them for it.

The problem is that our education might be better than the education in other countries, but it hardly matters by the rate of its decline. Compared to previous times we see a tremendous degeneration. German universities used to be the best in the world at the beginning of the 20th century. More than half of the population is now going to university usually ending up with valueless degrees. The elite won’t touch this topic because the inflation of degrees falsely indicates a higher education and offers more legitimacy of the ruling classes (liberals always point to their supposedly more educated voters). “The world becomes more complex” is a weird mantra often heard. On the one hand it demands more time in schools, on the other hand it is also designed to discouraging citizens from taking part in debates.

But why does the left want people to stick around in schools for so long while keeping them away from gathering relevant information and learning tangible skills?

While public schools in North America are ahead of the curve when it comes to making education an indoctrination circus, Germany follows swiftly. There is not one social woe that is not habitually answered with the suggestion to heal it through “education.”

Germans learn and study forever and it stands to ask at what point the entire economy will crash under the weight of business grads and multiple language doers (What are they doing?). There is a sizable academic proletariat now and the discussion can only be muted by nixing the tuition. The stress and outcry in the Anglo-Saxon world over the debt and pointlessness of the whole debacle is hidden behind the wall of German arrogance (*cough* modesty): Anglo-Saxons do it wrong anyway.

There are studies in the US that prove that public schools in America are doing worse than home schooling. You read that correctly. You are more likely to pass the tests for university admission if you don’t go to school at all. I suspect that the situation in Germany is not as dire, but I daresay that it might not be far from it. One of the ills that might also be one of the seeds of socialism is the mandatory school system which was introduced to Prussia by Frederick the Great. As a starter, while your aim is to combat illiteracy, this was an understandable measure. But the education became ever more bloated and is no longer agile enough to keep up with newer technological developments.

Imagine there were no school boards, no common core curricula, no board of bigwigs decides what your kids should learn! Imagine it were your town or your borough that would completely finance, budget and run your schools! Imagine the schools could hire teachers on the basis of skills rather than “pedagogic” training, and choose whoever the hell they want! Would parents turn up at townhall meetings and demand more music lessons, more social instruction/politics classes, more Marx, more reading of literature, more art and more religious instruction? I would bet that sooner or later parents would demand chemistry, software engineering, mathematics, and other tangible skills be taught and rubbish be weeded out. I am also pretty sure that even with a tiny budget, they would get it.

But aren’t there already private schools anyway? Yes, but they are tailored to the demands of leftist snobbish upper-middle class parents who try to teach French and the basics of vegan dieting to three-year olds. It is no wonder that they are ridiculous. Still, even these overpriced places often do better than standard public schools.

Nonetheless, there is one lesson that a society needs to teach its children. This one thing is the successes and failures of our history. I try again and again to write articles about our past, feverishly uncovering what was and what wasn’t, and I must admit that I’m completely shocked about the deficiency of my own education. My knowledge of the most relevant part of history, namely how the values of the Western World formed, is spurious at best. In school, I found the Magna Carta, the cornerstone on which our modern political system is built, only mentioned in a textbook for the English language class (and the text was not even read there). It was not even mentioned in the history books. Whatever you have to say about American education, I think it was never so bad that pupils wouldn’t even know about the Magna Carta.

For those who don’t know. The Magna Carta embodied an earlier text called the Charter of Liberties in which king Henry I ceded powers in exchange of the support of the noble men. It subjects the king under the law. However the ‘rule of law’ remained a dead concept until the Magna Carta in 1215. What led to its dominance and the evolution of our system which was built upon the Great Charter lies in the darkness of my weak education. The Magna Carta was rewritten over time again and again and read in the parliament every year to bind all parties to what we would now call a constitution.

Instead I was taught faux history. There were fuzzy terms like “enlightenment” and “humanism” and I fail to grasp them. To modify a quote from Socrates, the more I know about it the less I understand. What did Voltaire, Rousseau, and other cherished philosophers actually bring to the table and who was inspired to do what because of them? I’m not completely uneducated, I can give credit to folks like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes and others. But the role of the French dwarfs more and more the longer I think about it and I feel that the only reason why we have to worship these French enlightenment people is because of our military loss against Napoleon Bonaparte. What is more, the French Revolution was presented in history books as if they had all kind of concepts bestowed on them by (the absence of ?!?) G-d. But the Revolution did not give birth to democracy, it gave birth to the Jacobins, the intellectual forerunners of today’s political left.

I’m not the only one who has these giant gaps in education. To start a debate we should be able to admit it.

*language note: I mix British and American English on my blog. In GB a private school is called a public school and a public school is called a state school. There should still be no confusion given the contexts that the text provides.

10 thoughts on “We are Seriously Uneducated”

    1. Thank you for that note. Frederick introduced the ” Generallandschulreglement” law in 1763. But I read conflicting accounts about it. On the one hand mandatory schooling was introduced in Prussia in 1717. On the other hand, I find that there was a tutoring obligation, but not an obligation to send children to school until 1918. In other parts of Germany mandatory schooling was introduced much earlier. I wouldn’t have known that if you had not left your comment. In any event the Nazis did not have anything to do with it.

      source1
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      1. Falsch. Es gab bis 1938 keine Schulpflicht, sondern eine Unterrichtspflicht. Diese hatte aber nicht an einer staatlichen oder staatlich zugelassenen zu erfolgen, sondern konnte auch zu Hause erfolgen. Die Weimarer Verfassung enthielt zwar einen Passus bzgl. Schulpflicht, dieser wurden aber nie in ein allgemeines Reichsschulgesetz gegossen, weil die Länder sich nicht auf ein solches einigten. Erst die Nationalsozialisten haben dieses dann von oben oktroyiert.
        Eine andere Quelle: https://sciencefiles.org/2017/09/28/fakenews-oder-geschichtsfalschung-deutschlandfunk-feiert-300-jahre-schulpflicht/

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        1. Insofern ist es interessant, dass Personen die gegen die Schulpflicht sind, als Nazis bezeichnen werden, von Leuten die für die Schulpflicht sind, obwohl es die Nationalsozialisten waren, die diese durchgesetzt haben.
          Ein bekanntes Beispiel für jemanden, der auch Home—Schooling für ein paar Jahre genoss, war Werner (von) Siemens.

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          1. Werner Siemens hat nicht in Preussen gelebt. Von der Beschimpfung als “Nazi” braucht man sich ganz unabhängig von der Geschichte der Schulpflicht nicht einschüchtern zu lassen. Es gibt an den Nazis wirklich genug wichtigeres auszusetzen.

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        2. Ich komme darauf vielleicht noch einmal zurück. Mir ist an der Darstellung von Sciencefiles auch nicht alles klar und die Existenz der Schulpflicht bedeutet ja nicht, dass sie flächendeckend gelten müsse. Bildung war (und formal ist sie noch) Ländersache. Ich denke, sie hat eine Geschichte die länger zurückreicht als das Dritte Reich. Dort wurde aber natürlich gleichgeschaltet, also flächendeckend für die gleiche Altersspanne umgesetzt.

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          1. Es gab wohl regional Schulpflicht vorher. Ich müsste da aber erst mich einlesen. Außerdem ist die Behauptung, dass die Edikte dem Landrecht nichts anhaben vollkommen irrelevant, weil die zitierte Passage eine Schulpflicht ermöglicht.

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      2. Auch, wenns schon alt ist: Ich hab mich auch mal mit dem Thema beschäftigt, und glaube, dass die Schulpflicht, wie wir sie kennen, von den Nazis stammt. Wenn man einfach mal nach “Schulpflicht Nazis” in der Suchmaschine seiner Wahl eingibt, findet man zahlreiche Texte zu dem Thema.

        Die Schulpflicht vor den Nazis bestand darin, dass Eltern dafür sorgen, dass ihren Kindern bestimmte Fähigkeiten vermittelt werden. Rechtlich war diese Schulpflicht so gehalten, dass man die Kinder in eine Schule schicken musste, WENN man ihnen bestimmte Fähigkeiten nicht zu Hause vermitteln kann oder will. Um den ZWANG, Kinder in ein staatliches Indoktrinationslager zu stecken, ging es bei der Schulpflicht vor dem Führer gar nicht. Vor Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts gab es überhaupt kein flächendeckendes staatliches Schulsystem, das allen Kindern den Besuch in einer staatlichen Schule ermöglicht hätte. Schulen waren die längste Zeit auch eher ergänzend für die Dinge gedacht, zu deren Vermittlung die Eltern selbst nicht imstande waren.

        Es war zwar schon zu Kaiserzeiten üblich, dass Kinder in eine Schule gehen, weil die Schulpflicht bereits die Vermittlung wissenschaftlicher Fähigkeiten umfasste, deren Vermittlung zu aufwändig für die meisten Eltern gewesen wäre, und Schulen meines Wissens auch kostenlos bis stark subventioniert zur Verfügung gestellt wurden, aber der Punkt, ab dem Kindern praktisch sämtliche Bildung in einer staatlichen Einrichtung nach staatlichem Lehrplan vermittelt wird, deren Besuch selbst dann erzwungen wird, wenn es gleichwertige Alternativen gibt, wurde erst von unserem allseits geliebten Führer, Frieden uns Segen seien auf ihm, überschritten. Wohl wissend, dass Schulen nicht nur dafür da sind, Wissen zu vermitteln, sondern auch dafür, Kinder zu guten Staatsbürgern zu erziehen.

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