“State sponsored education is like the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. The ruling class’s core curriculum stifles dissent.”
George Orwell (via Soul, Disney Pixar motion picture, 2020)
Consider Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Abigail Adams: Mrs. Adams never met the other two champions of liberty; she passed away in 1826, when Lincoln, son of a Kentucky frontier farmer had been born in 1809, and Douglass as a slave in Maryland in 1818. Abraham Lincoln got less than one complete year of school in his three ventures into it in 1816, 1820, and 1822. His step mother, Sarah Lincoln, supported his love of reading books. Young Abraham never stood proverbially still. He instinctively understood that he had to be industrious if he wanted to make a living for himself. His love of learning new skills and abilities, propelled him across the United States in job after job, until he was the intellectual scholar powerhouse in defense of the original intentions of the founding fathers as found in their writings and collaboration that became the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
Frederick Douglass did not attend school. His passion for liberty was the incredible force that shaped his character and trajectory as an author, newspaper writer & publisher, and public speaker. As an abolitionist, members of the audience questioned if he was ever a slave, for he spoke with such an educated vocabulary, and exhibited impeccable professional proficiency in his speaking form. Abigail Adams was not allowed to go to school because of her gender. She was born into a unique household though: her father was a Christian minister and her mother operated a parsonage (nursing hospital for the elderly), and her home, because of the degree of community outreach her parents created, became a place of intellect, information, and compassion unto others. Her parents taught her how to take care of a home and farm, and she was encouraged to read in her father’s library. Suffice to say, Abigail lived at a time on Earth when the ideas of the rights to individual liberty and self-determination where sweeping across European countries and the American colonies. Her home was a place of continual conversation and exchange of ideas. As a woman, Abigail Adams had the solemn respect and intellectual admiration of the Continental Congress delegates. She was seen as a wise advisor, filled with temperance, goodness, and sharp positions on liberal equality of all people.
None of these three individuals got educated with state-sponsored educational curriculums, but were products of their homes, community, and the times they lived in. In effect, if they harnessed a dexterity in attaining a level of national advocacy uncommon for people in their time, the main engine of their passion was a shared idea; a strong sentiment that we are all created equal, with the right to life and liberty, with the end objective that we be safe and happy, and the right to question, alter, and even abolish, government not in alignment with such natural principles.
Social entrepreneurs, in essence, devote their talents, time and skills to creating a more just, inclusive, peaceful world, and if not, then a better quality of life for the greater good of local and national community, and the Earth itself. They are project oriented, and must innovate, be problem-solvers, and collaborate with others in order to bring relative permanency to their efforts. It behooves them to be critical thinkers, to be passionate upon the principles that drive their endeavors, and to lead as pioneers, trailblazers and vanguards. In the 21st century, the likelihood of educated professionals having somehow not gotten a grade school education in the United States is small. As a whole, do public schools in America instruct a similar education focused on knowledge attainment, without individually financially self-sustained applications? Are American private and public schools educating us to be a passive workforce that works within present employment constructs, or dynamic, advocating renaissance professionals who match their knowledge with passion, a community-mindedness, and a ‘know-how’ on how to financially be independent? The former certainly slants the American citizen away from a more passionate advocacy that brings them to be active participators in national discussion, whereas the latter approaches the energy and intellectual individualism of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Abigail Adams.
If George Orwell has it right on the idea that,
“State sponsored education is like the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. The ruling class’s core curriculum stifles dissent-”
then it will be so that a slim percentage of Americans will receive a quality education, and/ or educate themselves, to become the captains of industry, and our national discussion will largely be out of reach for most Americans.
The remedy is simple though: financial independence purchases time to think and partake in national discussion, and individual endeavors, therein, the American citizen approaches the possibility, if they want to, of helping to advocate for self, community, local, national, and global issues, or to create and invent. We can be more dynamic if we are financially independent, and it is easier to control masses of people if they simply make enough to survive. If there is such a thing as a ruling class in America, why would they want to stifle the rise of millions of people participating in an active way?
Undoubtedly, if there is a ruling class that forecloses on national discussion, it is made of political faction, money, and proximity to governmental power. A redistribution of political power that empowers individual financial independence would destabilize the current balance of political power in America. In that sense, it can be understood why a political faction would choose rather to maintain a ‘welfare mentality’ that stifles dissent.
But this is America in the 21st century, and we must return to the principles of our Declaration of Independence. We must be taught or teach ourselves to understand what was the spirit of intention for all Americans from our founding fathers. We are created equal, with certain unalienable rights, that amongst these, we have the right to life and liberty; that we have the right to be safe and happy, and that we have the right to alter or abolish government not in accordance with those written ideas as can be understood from a simple reading of them and the intention of our founding fathers: the intention to protect individual life and liberty in a republic that is established on a foundation of protecting human rights.
Our founding fathers wanted that we be a self-determined people, enjoying our natural rights as long as we respect each others liberty to do the same.
Thus, an elected and chosen people, who hold the office of local and national government, not espousing and promoting an educational core curriculum that brings together the attainment of knowledge within a construct to safeguard the financial independence of the American individual should be examined and questioned. It is not a radical thing to question government; it is our responsibility. We were meant to be critical thinkers.
The American economy of the 20th and 21st century have been a pattern of cyclical recessions and lopsided wealth attainment, rather than an economy focused on individual financial empowerment. Is wealth distribution being called for here? No. That is socialism. It is the strengthening of the American individual (and their family) that will increase national financial stability, and political redistribution of responsibility for the quality of local, national, and global life.
Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Abigail Adams share a caliber of dynamic citizenry because of their self-reliance, and because all three received important support from key individuals and community that created the necessary intellectual platforms required for them to be such strong and unique champions in their time. Will we continue the cyclical economic national pattern that begets the same results of lopsided wealth attainment and lopsided political power, or do we alter our educational goals to shape fulfillment of the spirit of protecting and strengthening individual liberty that should be the understood foundation of our American way of life? Government for and of the people should be so in action and in word; in spirit and intention; in sincerity and sentiment.