Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Destroying The Mind

 A recent story about a Warden of a Chicago Day Prison prohibiting the inmates from bringing their lunches from home has people in an uproar. It is indeed evil and presumptuous to arrogate to yourself authority over other people's children, but this has been happening for years; why the outrage over this instance?

Children in the government-run day prisons are all now effectively wards of the state, with the parents being relegated to providing a place to sleep and some food and clothing. For years the parents have been thwarted in their efforts to determine what their children are taught. If the parents don't approve of sex education or the political slant of various courses, it's tough luck.

What is more important - what is put into the mind or what is put into the body? It is much easier to correct maladies of the body than of the mind. If someone is taught a demonstrable error - such as two plus two equals five - it is much easier to correct that than if they are taught something like the idea that people in the time of Columbus thought the earth was flat. They in fact did not think it was flat, but I was taught this as a child and I have no doubt they're still teaching children this nonsense. We were also taught that Juan Ponce de Leon was looking for the fountain of youth, which he wasn't. It is very hard to disabuse someone of something like this that "everybody knows." A more recurring example is probably that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Government schools have probably never been about educating anybody since most people can't be educated anyway. I don't know that I've ever met an educated person, but if so, they have been few and far between.
Even back in the time of Marcus Aurelius, he could write: 
"From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper.

From the reputation and remembrance of my father, modesty and a manly character.

From my mother, piety and beneficence, and abstinence, not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity in my way of living, far removed from the habits of the rich.

From my great-grandfather, not to have frequented public schools, and to have had good teachers at home, and to know that on such things a man should spend liberally."

It appears as though the Emperor's concerns were weighted more toward intellectual matters than dietary.

Whenever I see the yellow paddy wagons disgorging the inmates from the day prisons, I cringe to think how difficult it will be for them to ever attain a grasp of reality.What is being fed them in the cafeteria is not nearly as pernicious as what is being fed into their minds.

Parents should fear those that can destroy the mind more than those who harm the body. The body is easier to repair and is of little value when operated by a diseased mind.

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