Every once in a while, I come across something that I find almost impossible to believe. Somebody sends me a document or a link to an article, and I am stunned.
I'm not saying that we are winning this ideologically. I am saying that we are winning it institutionally and administratively.
The institutions are moving towards decentralization. This is anathema to the welfare-warfare statists. They are literally losing control, even if Salman Khan is not radically challenging the content of humanistic education. He is certainly no radical. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School. His outlook and his teaching methods are going to shape the minds of tens of millions of students around the world. More important, they are going to shape the learning environments of these students. He is pulling them out of state-run classrooms.
The children who are coming up through the Khan Academy today go at their own pace. Nobody tells them what to do and when to do it. They take exams, and if they pass the exams, they go on to the next level. There is no one nagging them. There is no one telling them that class is over because a bell has rung. They are not being regimented.
If you have read the great book by John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education, you understand that the regimentation of the American school system was at the heart of it. I think he exaggerated form over content. Read Rushdoony's Messianic Character American Education to understand the underlying worldview of the educators: salvation by public education. But because of these two foundations -- ideological and institutional -- the state was the big winner.
Now the state is losing the institutional environment. A generation of students will grow up who will not respond effectively to the institutional controls that their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents learned to accept during 12 or 13 years of classroom education.
Ideas have consequences. So do environments. The state is losing control over the environments. Decentralization is undermining anyone's control over the flow of ideas. The gatekeepers have been routed. As I've said many times, the symbolic, representative example was Matt Drudge's exposé of Newsweek's spiking of the Lewinsky story. That was in 1998.
We are winning this war. Our primary enemies are in retreat. They talk about victory, but they don't have many.
The heart of the state's control system is the public school system. Take away this, and liberalism goes into full-scale retreat. In the United States, we are beyond the tipping point now. The big city public school systems are going to be outflanked by rival programs within 20 years, and this will be visible within 10 years. I didn't think this was possible. I now think it's inevitable.
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