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Is Liberal Agenda Advocacy Just The Norm In Teaching Now?

*Record screech* … Wait, what did I just read?!

“New teachers, I’m sorry if we veteran educators have misguided you about the profession. It’s not about cute classrooms & trendy ideas. It’s political. It’s advocacy. It’s the front line of battle for the future of our nation. Go no further if you’re not ready.”

Okay, that’s terrible. But surely it’s just some random leftist twitter warrior. Right? No teacher with any type of actual influence would say something like this. He’d be fired immediately. Right?! So I did a little digging—and it turns out this guy isn’t a nobody afterall.

“This teacher has won plenty of accolades such as GQ Magazines’ Male Leader of the Year, and finished in the top 5 for Teacher of the Year in SC, as well as winning an award from President Obama for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, The SC Dept of Ed released a glowing report on Mr. Dearbury which can be viewed here.”

If you skim the comments in our social media ads and posts you’ll find teachers who sometimes take offense at our books and the values and principles they promote. One teacher from Texas made the point that he didn’t have to fight us because he had our children for eight hours a day and he could teach them whatever he wanted without parents even knowing—much less having the power to stop him.

Awhile back I wrote about a new trend that saw teachers abandoning their beloved profession because they could no longer in good conscience be part of a system made to indoctrinate children into political ideology.  Those teachers find themselves in good company.

When I wrote The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation  I was heavily inspired by John Taylor Gatto who famously declared “I am no longer willing to hurt children.” Mr. Gatto resigned from teaching by writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal  while holding the title of New York State Teacher of the Year. Excuse my sharing this lengthy chunk of text, but it’s worth reading.

I’ve taught public school for 26 years but I just can’t do it anymore. For years I asked the local school board and superintendent to let me teach a curriculum that doesn’t hurt kids, but they had other fish to fry. So I’m going to quit, I think.

I’ve come slowly to understand what it is I really teach: A curriculum of confusion, class position, arbitrary justice, vulgarity, rudeness, disrespect for privacy, indifference to quality, and utter dependency. I teach how to fit into a world I don’t want to live in.

I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t train children to wait to be told what to do; I can’t train people to drop what they are doing when a bell sounds; I can’t persuade children to feel some justice in their class placement when there isn’t any, and I can’t persuade children to believe teachers have valuable secrets they can acquire by becoming our disciples. That isn’t true.

Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents.

An exaggeration? Hardly. Parents aren’t meant to participate in our form of schooling, rhetoric to the contrary. My orders as schoolteacher are to make children fit an animal training system, not to help each find his or her personal path.

The whole blueprint of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows from the faith that human value is a scarce thing, represented symbolically by the narrow peak of a pyramid.

That idea passed into American history through the Puritans. It found its “scientific” presentation in the bell curve, along which talent supposedly apportions itself by some Iron Law of biology.

It’s a religious idea and school is its church. New York City hires me to be a priest. I offer rituals to keep heresy at bay. I provide documentation to justify the heavenly pyramid.

Socrates foresaw that if teaching became a formal profession something like this would happen. Professional interest is best served by making what is easy to do seem hard; by subordinating laity to priesthood. School has become too vital a jobs project, contract-giver and protector of the social order to allow itself to be “re-formed.” It has political allies to guard its marches.

That’s why reforms come and go-without changing much. Even reformers can’t imagine school much different.

David learns to read at age four; Rachel, at age nine: In normal development, when both are 13, you can’t tell which one learned first — the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school I will label Rachel “learning disabled” and slow David down a bit, too.

For a paycheck, I adjust David to depend on me to tell him when to go and stop. He won’t outgrow that dependency. I identify Rachel as discount merchandise, “special education.” After a few months she’ll be locked into her place forever.

In 26 years of teaching rich kids and poor, I almost never met a “learning disabled” child; hardly ever met a “gifted and talented” one, either. Like all school categories, these are sacred myths, created by the human imagination. They derive from questionable values we never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling.

That’s the secret behind short-answer tests, bells, uniform time blocks, age grading, standardization, and all the rest of the school religion punishing our nation.

There isn’t a right way to become educated; there are as many ways as fingerprints. We don’t need state-certified teachers to make education happen–that probably guarantees it won’t.

How much more evidence is necessary? Good schools don’t need more money or a longer year; they need real free-market choices, variety that speaks to every need and runs risks. We don’t need a national curriculum, or national testing either. Both initiatives arise from ignorance of how people learn, or deliberate indifference to it.

I can’t teach this way any longer. If you hear of a job where I don’t have to hurt kids to make a living, let me know. Come fall I’ll be looking for work, I think.

If we take what Mr. Gatto recognized in 1991, and couple it with the open agenda of leftist indoctrination that Mr. Dearybury embodies, we have a truly shocking picture of what public education has become. A comment on our Facebook page in response to Mr. Dearybury’s tweet puts it in perspective.

Joseph T. wrote, “I went into education with the desire to educate children and change lives for the better. As I worked on my MAT, and gained internship hours, the more I learned that public education was not for me, nor for my growing family… Public school has become little more than “affordable” daycare that pushes agenda driven group think. The school system essentially raises the children for the parents, who were largely absent from the lives of the children in the schools I worked in. The best way to combat this wrong headed indoctrination is to pull our children out of these failed institutions of “higher learning” and raise them ourselves with meaningful values, an understanding of history, and the ability to critically think for themselves. School is not the way it was when I went, and I want my daughter to have better. It should tell you something when school teachers homeschool and/or send their children to private school. As for me, I’m looking for new work. I’m out. Good riddance.”

I don’t argue that there are still good teachers out there who either keep their politics out of the classroom or who recognize that one-size-fits-all education doesn’t work and try to meet the needs of individual students. But I have to wonder how much longer teachers like these will even be allowed to teach… or how much longer they’ll last in the current system until they burn out, as many have.

I believe that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the public education system as a viable option for anyone who doesn’t want their children mass-indoctrinated into far-left thinking. Many good teachers are quitting because they, like Mr. Gatto before them, can no longer hurt children. I’m unconvinced that this system can be reformed from within; alternatives are needed, and many exciting ones are popping up. Caring parents need to decide whether the heavy agendas being driven into students are appropriate for their children. As for me and my house, we steer clear.

— Connor

 

The Fate Of The Future

Happy New Year!

I kicked off my new year  working on a bill in my home state of Utah that will help protect people’s DNA from mass searches by law enforcement. It got me reflecting on the serious and sometimes heavy nature of most of the work that I do.

But then I got to thinking about all the good and exciting things that are going to happen in this new year and this new decade, and I was reminded how much the world has continued to improve and be made prosperous since the emergence of the market economy. For example, this article sets the stage:

Rather than poverty versus plenty separating “the many” from the “the few,” over the last two hundred years the distinction has increasingly been reduced to degrees of wealth, comfort, and luxuries among people in society. This has been the cumulative outcome of the competitive process within the market economy. The horn-of-plenty produced by private enterprise provides a vast and growing variety of goods and services available to all, a great equalization in the quality and standard of living.

Studies continue to show that the world is only improving and that capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than anything else. And that’s something to be really excited about! The more we can educate about the dangers of big government and the importance of protecting individual rights, the better people’s lives are going to continue to get. Freer people participate in freer markets which increases prosperity.

I was thinking about The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future and how we are all responsible for shaping our personal futures, but also the futures of our neighborhoods, communities, countries, and, by extension, the world. The task can seem overwhelming, but I don’t think it actually has to be.

Last year, my friend Lawrence Reed penned some Modest Proposals for the New Year that I thought I’d share:

  1. To criticize less and encourage more. A kind word usually goes much further than a harsh or hasty judgment. We could all get by with less negativity.

  2. To count our own blessings, not the other guy’s, and do it regularly. Studies show that cultivating a grateful spirit improves both your mental and physical health.

  3. To improve our personal character—our truthfulness, patience, courage, honesty, responsibility, self-reliance, and introspection—before we set out to reform the world. If everybody did this, the world would by definition be reformed.

  4. To clean up our language, especially in front of youngsters. Foul language, ever more common and public these days, sets a lousy standard.

  5. To help others who need and deserve it by personally pitching in or by supporting private organizations that do the job well (like The Salvation Army). You’ll likely accomplish more good than by passing the buck and just voting for politicians who say they’ll do it with other people’s money.

  6. To read one or more good biographies of people who were (or still are) excellent examples of the virtuous life. Inspire yourself by learning of their accomplishments. Email me if you’d like a list of some especially good ones.

  7. To go out of our way to show kindness to a pet. Also, teach your children about the importance of kindness to animals. It’s a great start on the way to respecting all life, including that of our fellow humans.

  8. To smile. A lot. A lot more than comedian W. C. Fields once advised when he said, “Start every day with a smile and get it over with.”

  9. To beautify something that otherwise gets ignored. Examples: buff the sidewalk in front of our homes; pick up some litter on our streets; replace that unsightly, aged mulch, or paint the faded siding on our houses.

  10. To get to know our neighbors better. How many of us don’t actually know the folks who live two or three doors away? Go say hello.

  11. Commit now to acquainting at least one person a month with the philosophy of liberty. Choose people you have reason to believe have not heard the message before. Put careful thought into encouraging them to read an article or two, a book, or come to a FEE event. This is how we win the future—as missionaries for liberty, not cloistered monks, as I explained in this article.

This list inspires me! Imagine all the good that would come from a mass-adoption of even a few of these suggestions! I believe that this is going to be the decade of individual, family, and community activism and that the fate of our futures is as bright as we are willing to work to make them.

Want to join in?

— Connor

 

Shrimp Falafel And The American Dream

A food truck as a nightclub? Could this be the American Dream?

There’s a lot of bad (and just plain weird) news that comes out of California, so I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked on this article last week and found an inspiring story coming out of Oakland.

Elsayed Elhamak, an Egyptian immigrant, opened a food truck with his brother-in-law Mamdoho specializing in a unique dish that his mother created. He saw a niche in the market when he realized that club-goers were hungry when they left the bar, so he decided to open his truck at night only—keeping the lights on until 3am. He invested in some speakers and pumped the unique sound of Egyptian pop into the streets. Voila! Instant dance party/falafel feast.

The brothers-in-law, who separately immigrated from Egypt to the Bay Area in the 1990s, pump the infectious beats of Egyptian pop outside the truck to lure customers in — and it works. Impromptu dance parties are a common sight as hungry Oaklanders line up across the street from the Fox Theater for shawarma. The truck even has its own YouTube channel featuring footage of some of the wildest falafel-fueled nights.

Elsayed and Mamdoho are exactly the kind of immigrants that make America great. They’ve brought some of the best parts of their culture and found a way to give them to the rest of us in a way that is mutually beneficial. Oklanders are eating shrimp falafel and dancing to Egyptian pop and the brothers-in-law are building a business and achieving financial success for themselves and their families.

“This is the music I love most in my life,” Elhamaki explained. “It’s not like a classic music, it’s more shaabi music […] They’re not acting really professional when they’re singing, they’re just singing with their soul.”

Shaabi, which means “of the people,” is a form of popular working-class music that originated in Cairo in the 1970s. Popular artists include Hamo Bika and Oka Wi Ortega. You’d be hard-pressed to find it playing anywhere else in Oakland, according to Elhamaki.

“I have the signature with this music here in town,” he said.

And while most visiting the food truck don’t understand the lyrics, the language of a good beat is universal. “Even old men, old women… if they’re not dancing, they’re just moving their head, they’re moving their body. At least they’re moving something, and that’s what I’m looking for,” he said.

Bringing people of all races, ethnicities and walks of life together over good food and good music is good business in any language. Our Tuttle Twins books put a pretty heavy focus on entrepreneurship and preserving the freedom of people to conduct business in a way that brings the most value to themselves and their customers. We even have an entire book dedicated to food truck freedom! Maybe I should send a copy to Elsayed and Mamdoho?

Stories like this inspire me to keep spreading the messages of freedom and liberty and entrepreneurship. It’s a great example for our children—a testament to creativity and hard work.  I love when people set out to create something of value that betters their lives and the lives of the people they serve—and totally kill it! That’s what this is all about.

If any of you have occasion to visit Oakland, I hope you stop by Shrimp Falafel Mix and send me a picture and a review! For now, I’m thinking shawarma is on the menu for lunch in the office today… with shaabi music playing in the background… 😉

— Connor

A Leftist Rejection From Across The Pond

I want to talk about last week’s general election in the United Kingdom, but before you groan, let me explain why you should care (at least a little bit). The results were actually pretty stunning! In the biggest win since 1987 under Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party took an 80 seat majority. It was also the biggest defeat the leftist Labour Party has suffered since 1935. This is a pretty big deal.

I know a lot of us roll our eyes at the political happenings across the pond. With their funny hats and royal weddings and hokey ceremonial traditions, they seem more like our eccentric obscure relatives than fellow leaders of the so-called free world—but this political victory sent a pretty loud message that people in the U.K. are rejecting a lot of the leftist policies and ideas that a growing number of folks in the U.S. have been praising and trying to adopt here at home.

Just last week I observed a back-and-forth on one of our Facebook ads where a “democratic socialist” was arguing how much better life is in England. He said he plans to move there next year so that he can finally be free of the “evil” capitalism and “greed” he sees here, and instead thrive in a country whose government “actually takes care of their people.”

The reason the election results matter to the rest of us is in the message that voters chose to send to their government—and, by extension, the world. The conservatives didn’t just win the election—they pretty much destroyed the competition. They issued a resounding “nope” to the far-left ideals that the Labour Party has adopted over the last decade. And that is really good news for everyone.

I saw a meme the other day that I wish I’d have saved. Basically it pointed out that the battle has ceased to be “left v. right” but has actually shifted to be simply “the far-left v. the rest of us.” And I think there’s a good bit of truth in that. Most of Europe is ahead of the U.S. in the adoption of far-left policies, so observing the way things are playing out over there can give us a glimpse of what we can expect should those policies continue to gain support here.

As noted in Rational Standard, even the “Nordic Model” of democratic socialists is wrong because, put simply, socialism always ends up failing in every area and to every degree it is tried.

The Nordic people are not oblivious to the negative impacts of the welfare state and for the past 2 decades have been turning away from democratic socialism by introducing market reform, lowering the generosities of the welfare state, lowering taxes and moving towards greater individual freedom and a more market based economy. There are 5 (prominent) Nordic countries, 4 of which have centre-right governments which are doing market reform. (Only Sweden has a social democratic government and Sweden has never, in modern times, been as weak as they are today. Even their socialist government is doing market reform.)

When we see Nordic countries turning away from their far-left policies, and the U.K. with election results like this, we should feel encouraged that more people are waking up to the problems of socialism. Even former president Barack Obama recently cautioned democrats that they are trying to implement policies that are too far left.

Awhile back we took a survey of our Tuttle Twins readers and found that our audience is really varied. We’ve got people who identify as libertarians, republicans, anarchists, voluntaryists, minarchists, and those who choose not to identify as any “ist” at all, and they all love our books.  The one thing that I’ve found we all agree on is that the far-left is pretty scary and that putting aside differences of ideology to fight the growing threat of far-left thinking is totally worth it.

Our Tuttle Twins books cover a lot of important topics, but a recurring theme in all the books is the value of developing traits of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and that merit-based reward is always moral and right. These are principles that leftists seem to really hate.

The cool thing about all the themes of our books is that they leave kids feeling empowered. Earning what you have and working hard to get it makes you feel good and accomplished. Taking personal action to help those around you gives you confidence to tackle hard things in the future and to speak out against injustice. When kids are raised with these ideas and feeling these feelings, it’s a lot harder for their heads to be turned by popular ideologies of selfishness and laziness. 

Let’s hope this trend of rejecting leftist thinking continues in Europe and takes hold here in the United States. Small and seemingly simple changes are what brought these policies in, and they are what will eventually drive them out as well. It all starts at home—with concerned parents and grandparents teaching their kids true principles of freedom and liberty. I’m proud to have our series of kid and teen books at the forefront of the fight.

— Connor

A Climate Of Outrage And Idols…

I wish I could say I was surprised yesterday when I woke up to the news that Time magazine had named teen “climate activist” Greta Thunberg their “Person of the Year.” After all, Time awarded the same “honor” to Adolf Hitler in 1938, and featured John Maynard Keynes (the father of Keynesian economics and practically all that is wrong with current economic policy) on their cover in 1965.

I’m not saying young Greta is comparable to Hitler, of course. It’s just that Time has a history of making idols of people who really weren’t all that great. I recognize that Ms. Thunberg is just a kid, and that, like all children, she is heavily influenced by the adults in her life. I think that any criticism of Greta should really be leveled at her parents, and those who have ooched and scooched her into the international spotlight.

Recognizing that there are vastly differing opinions and beliefs—even amongst Tuttle Twins readers—about climate change, I’m mostly interested in talking about a different kind of climate change: the climate of outrage and idol worship that has permeated our culture.

Greta Thunberg is a sixteen year old “environmental activist on climate change” according to her Wiki page. It also lists her “years active” as 2018-present. So basically Time magazine has decided that of all the people in the world, a child who appeared from nowhere about a year ago and gives speeches yelling “how dare you” to the world, and all adults in general, is the most influential, benevolent, knowledgeable, or praiseworthy person for the year.

I just saw a post on social media that I thought was pretty accurate. The gist was that it seems fitting for an outraged young person who hasn’t offered any solutions, hasn’t created anything,  and hasn’t actually done anything but parrot what those in power have told her to say, would be recognized as the most influential person of 2019. That sounds about right to me. I mean, look at Antifa.

A few years ago, at the age of eighteen, Dutch student Boyan Slat  invented a method to use oceanic currents to clean plastic from the world’s oceans. He dropped out of the Aerospace Engineering program at the TU Delft (one of the top tech and engineering universities in the world) and founded the nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup. TOC is so far having success in their cleanup efforts—bringing about actual change in the healing and protection of our planet.

Why wasn’t Slat ever awarded Time’s distinguished honor? The sad answer, I believe, is that a lot of people (especially in media) are more interested in theatrics and outrage than they are in actual progress and solutions. Many would rather see a Swedish girl yelling from the pulpit at the United Nations and throwing Twitter shade at world leaders than a young man who has quietly—and successfully—devoted his time and talents to finding solutions to the world’s problems.

It’s good and right for young people to care about the world around them. It’s especially good and right for them to feel compelled to take action and be workers of change. Our entire Tuttle Twins series focuses on teaching kids that they are responsible for not just themselves, but the world around them as well—and that they can do big and difficult things.

Unfortunately, the loudest voices kids hear in entertainment and media, and even in school, are telling them that simple outrage is enough—that being an “advocate” means being angry and rude while yelling and making blanket demands that more of our money be given to government to fix whatever is supposedly wrong.

The passion of youth is being wasted on upcoming generations because most children have been indoctrinated into a world of reality TV and outrage politics. They idolize people who haven’t ever accomplished anything and see winning Twitter arguments by calling anyone who doesn’t agree with them “Nazis” or “racists” as meaningful advocacy. Even our president is best known to today’s youth as a reality television star turned Twitter ranter.

The youth of today can be a powerful voice for change in a culture that desperately needs changing. Young people have historically done some pretty brave and important things—just look at Hong Kong right now! But the world is loud, and it is doing a pretty terrible job at providing good examples and good messages to kids about what real advocacy looks like.

Books like ours help counter the misinformation and lies taught in media—and unfortunately sometimes even in school—by teaching kids how the world around them works, and how to fight against injustice in real and productive ways. Young people want to change the world. They just need good influences, good examples, and good literature to help them do it!

— Connor

This Isn’t The Super Bowl, But The Stakes Are Higher!

There’s something to be said for throwing on your lucky jersey and screaming with thousands of other fans in support of your team.  Maybe your dad, and even your grandad, loved your team too. Maybe your love for your team is less about their ability to win and more about the memories all tied up in those sights and sounds and colors and smells. You spot a stranger in your team’s garb, and you’ve got an instant friend—a bond before any words are exchanged.

Team sports, although not for everyone, can make us feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. When they win, we win, and so does everyone else in our fandom. When they lose, we lose. And it stings for a bit, but at least we are in good company as we nurse our collective wounded pride. It feels good to belong.

But problems arise when we can’t leave our team mentality at the stadium or in the sports bar or in the living room in front of the big screen. Have you seen those clips of talk show hosts or media personalities out on the street questioning people about the policies of certain politicians?

They’ll stop someone and tell them that a particular policy belongs to their guy—and the person praises the policy. And then the joke is on them, because it was actually  the guy they “hate” whose policy was quoted. If their guy isn’t our guy, we all laugh at what an idiot “that guy’s” supporters are. If they like the same guy as us, we largely ignore the whole thing and remark on how television has turned to garbage.

The problems with our government aren’t really about which team is in power. They are almost entirely about the tendency of both parties to continue to expand on the other’s terrible policies and practices, almost all of which end up limiting our rights, costing us money, and delivering terrible unintended (and many intended!) consequences.

In the early 1940s, F.A. Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom to warn people “of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning.” We may have awarded him a Nobel Prize in economics, but we did a terrible job heeding his warning.

A recent article at FEE took a look at central planning and its unintended consequences with this piece focusing on what’s called The Cobra Effect. Basically, Delhi, India had a terrible cobra problem. As part of the government effort to eradicate the deadly menace, a pretty hefty bounty was placed on cobras. Things went really well for awhile; people were making money hunting cobras and the cobra population went into serious decline.

But then there weren’t any more cobras, and people couldn’t keep collecting bounties. So what did they do? They began raising cobras, of course. After awhile the government noticed that despite the streets being cobra-free, they were still paying the same amount in bounties as they had been at the height of the cobra infestation. And so they ended the bounty program. And those raising cobras? Well… they were no longer of any value—and who wants a house full of cobras?—so they simply turned them loose.

In the end, Delhi had a bigger cobra infestation than they did before they began paying bounties. Yay central planning! This situation plays out in hundreds of ways every day (although usually with fewer cobras). As FEE notes:

“These examples of unintended consequences aren’t aberrations. Unintended consequences arise every time an authority imposes its will on people. Seat belt and airbag laws make it less safe to be a pedestrian or cyclist by making it safer for drivers to be less cautious. Payday lending laws, intended to protect low-income borrowers from high lending rates, make it more expensive for low-income borrowers to borrow by forcing them into even more expensive alternatives.

Requirements that corporations publicize how much they pay their CEOs in order to encourage stockholders to reduce CEO pay resulted in lesser-paid CEOs demanding more pay. Three-strikes laws, intended to reduce crime, increase police fatalities by giving two-time criminals a greater incentive to evade or even fight the police. The Americans With Disabilities Act gives employers an incentive to discriminate against the disabled by not hiring them in the first place so as to avoid potential ADA claims. Electrician licensing requirements can increase the incidence of injury due to faulty electrical work by reducing the supply of electricians, thereby encouraging homeowners to do their own electrical work.”

In The Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom, Ethan and Emily learn that when government gives people what they wish for, they often get more than they bargained—a lesson that would benefit a lot of adults these days. It would especially benefit those who have gotten so caught up in being part of a team that they’ve lost sight of their responsibility to protect rights and liberties from overreaching government, regardless of party.

I love thinking about all the good that could come from a whole generation of kids growing up viewing their government as public servants and not partisan superstars. I think books like Road to Surfdom will help. There aren’t any cobras in our book, but there is a beachside banana stand! 😉

— Connor

 

The Government: Protector Or Predator?

On Tuesday morning, Representative Thomas Massie took to social media with a warning to the American people.

Today, while everyone is distracted by the impeachment drama, Congress will vote to extend warrantless data collection provisions of thePatriot Act, by hiding this language on page 25 of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that temporarily funds the government. To sneak this through, Congress will first vote to suspend the rule which otherwise gives us (and the people) 72 hours to consider a bill.

The scam here is that Democrats are alleging abuse of Presidential power, while simultaneously reauthorizing warrantless power to spy on citizens that no President should have… in a bill that continues to fund EVERYTHING the President does… and waiving their own rules to do it.

Just a few hours after posting his warning, the House indeed rushed through the temporary funding bill, and with it, the extension of the warrantless data collection provisions of the Patriot Act.

Living and working in Utah, I drive past the NSA’s massive data collection center nearly every day. I joke sometimes that I should buy a small plot of land right beside it and construct a giant Eye of Sauron as a visual protest of its creepy existence. Seeing that mass of buildings against the backdrop of our beautiful mountains serves as a constant reminder to me that our government has become anything but a protector of the people.

About six years ago, when the NSA facility was still under construction, I appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss the completely unchecked authority the NSA had been granted to spy on the American people and the staggering amount of data being collected. There was a sense, at that time, that maybe once everyone came to understand that gross misuse of power the intelligence community was regularly exercising, something would be done to reign them back in.

But as we just saw—and have continued to see with each year’s reauthorization of warrantless spying on the American people—the government has no intention of limiting this abusive power. Even in the midst of an impeachment circus, where each side is mud-slinging and decrying the other as unfit to govern, they manage to come together to agree that you and I have no right to privacy in our own communications and our own homes.

In fact, it seems that the only time our elected representatives can agree is when they are giving themselves raises, expanding their power, limiting our freedoms, or spending our money. They’ve created themselves in the exact image of the government our founders warned us about.

Murray Rothbard, in his Anatomy of the State, wrote that, “The State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.”

I based The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future on Rothbard’s work because I believe—and I think most of you do also—that a generation of children raised with an understanding of the coercive and predatory nature of government may very well be our best hope at restoring freedom and liberty. Too many adults, I fear, have become so used to government’s abuses of power that they have just resigned themselves to this being “the way things are.”

I think that the fate of the future rests in the hands of a well-educated, freedom-loving generation of kids who will grow up to look beyond party and politics and craft a society in which liberty, natural law, and individual rights stand as pillars and predatory and coercive government has no place. We, as parents, bear the responsibility of giving them all the tools they need to be fit for that task.

And of course, the Tuttle Twins team will keep working to make their jobs a little bit easier 😉

— Connor

I’m Telling You—The Future Is Bright!

This comment from our Facebook is pure gold!

Mike G. said:

I envision a world where we won’t need the antiquated buildings used for education public or private.The advancements in tech, VR, AR, AI, Blockchain, and so on will allow us all to have more control over our child’s education. It will also put more power and control in the hands of teachers to be able to connect directly with their students without the state as an inefficient and ineffective intermediary.

Teachers will be able to compete again where the best ones will win. Will there still be these left-leaning and liberal teachers attempting to push their ideology and views on children? Yes, but we will have the ability to choose those that more align with our own views for our children and we won’t have to settle otherwise.

All this will be able to be done in the comfort of the child’s living room (or wherever) and without having our hard earned money taken by force to pay for it. Imagine streaming your money directly to your child’s teacher.

The future is bright and these advancements will level the playing field for all.

I’d love to shake Mike’s hand! His comment reminded me of this interviewI recently did with The Epoch Times about The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation:

The Epoch Times: Where do you think education is headed in the future?

Boyack: The future of education is individualized—and we’re already seeing it. People have come to expect their car to pick them up when they want, their food to arrive in just the way they ordered in their app, etc. The entire economy is segmenting down to the individual level, and consumers demand flexibility to meet their personal preferences. We can’t imagine life without this option.

That trend is going to bring the education system to its knees sooner or later, forcing innovation into an industry that was set up to satisfy an industrial warehouse economic model we no longer use or need. Teachers and school administrators would do well to embrace this change rather than resist it—after all, it’s what will most benefit their individual students.

The coolest thing about Mike’s comment is how many other people are starting to wake up to the same way of thinking about what the future of education is going to look like. We get comments on our social media—and I get emails weekly—from parents, grandparents, and teachers, who are blazing new paths in education choice. 

The most encouraging thing I’m seeing is that people aren’t looking for, or expecting, a blanket, one-size-fits-all solution to the problems everyone knows are plaguing the current education model.

Instead of calling for a new government-designed program, or collectivist solutions, parents (and even some educators) are looking at education reform from a very personal and individualized perspective. It’s exciting!

Ten years ago, people weren’t thinking like this. Heck, even five years ago far fewer people were thinking like this. So it’s super encouraging from the perspective of someone like me, who has spent the last decade trying to promote the idea of bringing all aspects of society down to the actions and needs of the individual, to see this type of thinking and problem-solving coming into a much more mainstream consciousness.

To be sure, not everyone is coming around—we’ve still got a long way to go. I just read an article the other day about a teacher in Texas who claimed that parents are misguided and shouldn’t have the final sayin whether or not their kids attend a school drag queen event. A school drag queen… event? Facepalm.

I’m encouraged, though, by the number of good teachers who are following in the steps of the late John Taylor Gatto and putting their concern and love for their students above the defense of a broken and damaging public education system. For all the bad—and often troubling—stories coming out of what I hope will someday be viewed as the failed compulsory education experiment, there are new and exciting options opening every day for parents, teachers, and families who want to take the responsibility of educating the children they love into their own hands.

So cheers to Mike! And cheers to everyone else who is waking up to the bright future of education that is ours for the making!

— Connor

P.S. Want to share this email? Click here for a link you can share with friends!

 

That wasn’t real communism…!

How is this real life?

Tyler M., a self-described socialist, commented on one of our Facebook posts, “9 million people starve to death yearly under capitalism. By that metric alone, capitalism has killed more people in the last 11 years than socialism/communism has in the past 100.”

Tyler wasn’t alone. You see, every so often someone will see one of our pro-capitalism quotes and share it to a pro-socialist or pro-communist group that they’re in. The result is a flood of leftists jumping onto our post to advocate seizing the means of production and throwing around words like “bourgeois,” “comrade,” and “labour” in an unironic way.

In the case of this post, Tyler and about a hundred of his comrades posted a few hundred comments on our page. There were several people who tried to share personal or family stories of escaping socialist or communist regimes in the hopes of educating those who had been raised in relative comfort, abundance, and security, about the realities of the systems they were ignorantly advocating—they told how grateful they are for the freedom and abundance they enjoy in the United States, and how disturbing they find the creeping in of socialism and even communism as viable “alternatives” to capitalism amongst today’s young people.

Each time a survivor tried to share their story, they were mocked, belittled, and slurred by this miniature Red Army. One commenter dismissed a man whose family had escaped Yugolsavia by informing him that only the food-hoarders and landowners were unhappy under socialism and communism, and so if his family had escaped it must have been because they were part of the greedy elite.

Of course I know better than to put any stock in the contentions of keyboard warriors and online trolls, but the comments on that post did give me pause. A few weeks ago, a survey conducted by the Victims of Communism and Socialism found that 70% of Millennials are likely to vote socialist, and that 1 in 3 have a favorable view of communism. Those numbers are staggering.

What I saw on that Facebook thread was a unified and organized group (armed with bad memes, quotes, and links) of young adults who truly believed the things they were saying. I realized that somewhere along the way, a whole lot of kids and teens had been presented with an alternate history of socialism and communism—a purposeful rewriting meant to indoctrinate them against free enterprise and into total submission to totalitarian government as the only way to allegedly solve the injustices of the world.

They had been carefully and purposely taught a completely revisionist history of ideologies which have caused some of the greatest human suffering the world has ever seen, and at the same time, brainwashed into believing that capitalism is responsible for the deaths of millions and the suffering of hundreds of millions of others.

When I wrote The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas, I chose to include a brief account of the selfishness and suffering that accompanies socialism. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that there were a growing number of people who wanted not just “democratic socialism” (eyeroll) but actual, for real, full-blown communism and socialism. Ugh.

These people have been made to believe that our world is dark and miserable and that human beings are incapable of kindness or compassion or generosity in the absence of compulsion by the state. They believe that the best life they can hope for is one where the bare necessities of life are provided for them by the government, and that working hard and getting ahead by virtue of their own merit is a fairytale story with no place in modern society.

What a bleak world-view.

My hope is that parents, grandparents, and good teachers will see these trends and renew their efforts to teach true principles of freedom and prosperity and the true history of failed ideologies to the children within their realm of influence. Because it’s true what they say: you can vote your way into socialism but you have to fight your way back out. And I really prefer writing  books and spending time with my family over armed revolution! 😉

— Connor