There is a war being waged. Not the one in Syria or Yemen. Not the Nazis shelling the Donbass or the warlords selling slaves in Libya. Not America’s drones executing an entire garden party in Pakistan because somebody on that street might have googled “bomb components” and “American Airlines” on the same day 10 years ago. Not even between the ridiculous buffoon Trump, and the equally absurd “resistance”.
A different kind of war.
Perhaps “struggle” would be a better word.
The struggle is eternal in every direction – it has always been, it will always be. It goes to each horizon and both poles and everywhere in between. In every mind and body. A global conflict with a million fronts in a thousand theatres.
People versus power: A struggle between the population and the power to control it, personified through institutions and governments.
People don’t want to be controlled, they naturally resist it.
Institutions know only control, they crave it.
Power is addictive like that, and institutions are true addicts. Give them a little power and they’ll want a little more. Give them a lot, and they want it all. Power tends to corrupt, as the saying goes, but the inverse is also true: the corrupt tend towards power. They are more likely to want it, more likely to be willing to do anything to get it, and more likely to abuse it once they have it.
That’s the point of democracy of course, to keep the soil tilled. To turn over the manure and hope something green can grow. To fight against corruption by giving it no time to ferment. To stop the rot setting in. It doesn’t really work, but it works better than anything else.
Somehow The Guardian has found its way to the vanguard of this war. It’s picked its side in the great conflict, and it wasn’t ours. Every day, in every way, The Guardian shows its support for them over us. Every campaign, every agenda, is about empowering the state and destroying the individual. They want to hand the government the power to control what we eat, what we say, who we say it to, where we go, how we get there. Even what we think.
It is a struggle for control of life on Earth, not on the grand scale, but the specific. Every small decision, every tiny moment, every thought and word and action will need government approval. Global hegemony won’t come via Imperial wars of conquest, but a conglomeration of tiny restrictions of individual freedom. If they don’t want to ban things, they want to regulate them. If they can’t regulate them, they want to tax them. Which is to say, ban it…for poor people.
Ban sugar, because it’s bad for you. Ban meat, because of global warming. Ban sport because it’s violent. Ban air travel because of carbon emissions. Ban alcohol because it exploits addicts. Ban free speech because it’s offensive. Ban alternate medicine because it might not work.
Ban freedom because it’s dangerous.
Don’t like that, don’t watch this, don’t read those.
Don’t do X, don’t say Y, don’t think Z.
In every issue, on every issue, The Guardian is the spokesperson of the authoritarian heart of the state – pleading for more power in the name of the safety of the masses or the grand virtue of the collective.
Today’s topic: this editorial under the headline:
The Guardian view on home-schooling in England: a register is needed
The editorial is anonymous – why The Guardian does this, I do not know. It could be that they are trying to put across a collective identity, it could be that some thoughts are so shameful and absurd that even Guardian journalists won’t cop to them, or it could be they receive written memos from GCHQ or government press offices and simply copy and paste them into their website. It could be some odd combination of all three.
Whatever the explanation, there’s no name on it…so we don’t know who wrote it. We just know they have an agenda and aren’t ashamed to stretch logic to breaking point in order to service it. The agenda is simple – regulate homeschooling into oblivion, ban it if we have to, regulate it if we can. Homeschooling is a problem in desperate need of a solution:
Children educated by their parents must not be hidden from the authorities.”
…shrieks the sub-head. Without ever providing any evidence that a) Home-schooled children ARE hidden from authorities or b) That, if true, this is a bad thing.
It’s all notionally about Jordan Burling, a young man who allegedly lived a terribly sad life of abuse and neglect, and then died at the age of 18. He was also home-schooled.
Let’s be clear about this: Child abuse and neglect happen, they are an unfortunate fact of life for a tiny minority of children. There is no reason to imply a connection with home-schooling and force a causation where only correlation exists.
All of Jack the Ripper’s victims wore shoes. Ergo we need to regulate shoes in order to protect people from serial killers.
The author (whoever they were) is, however, intent on ignoring a basic fact of life – that a factor can be present without being causative – in order to pursue their chosen agenda:
…there is no reason for the government to wait before acting on behalf of other home-schooled children, of whom there are thought to be around 50,000 in the UK – a number that has increased sharply in recent years.
There is nothing to suggest home-schooled children are at risk. In fact, there is no evidence that being home-schooled leads to an increased risk of abuse or neglect. How do I know this? Because the article says so, in the next sentence:
There is no evidence that being home-schooled leads to an increased risk of abuse or neglect.
Literally, the very next sentence. Look…
So, as it turns out, not only IS there a reason to “wait before acting on behalf of other home-schooled children”, the article actually provides it to us. A more spectacular own goal you will not see this side of England’s next World Cup campaign.
The author, to their “credit” (for want of a better word), doesn’t seem to be totally unself-aware, feeling the need to claw back some of their “credibility” (for want of a better word), by adding some more facts to their “article” (for want of a better word):
The government believes most home educators do a good job. But reviews following the death from scurvy of eight-year-old Dylan Seabridge in Wales in 2011, and of Khyra Ishaq, who was starved to death aged seven in Birmingham in 2008, highlighted home-schooling as a factor. Concerns around safeguarding, and what happens when children disappear from the view of professionals who might otherwise support them, are one reason why the government is seeking to tighten and clarify the rules surrounding home education.
That’s it. The weight of the case against home-schooling is three deaths over 10 years. The prosecution rests.
Let’s now put a counter case:
IF home-schooling is the recipient of one The Guardians favorite “crackdowns”, what will the results be?
In the best scenario: nothing. Because…
There is no evidence that being home-schooled leads to an increased risk of abuse or neglect.
But let’s make a wild leap of speculation, and assume that the Tory government which sends men and women dying of cancer back to work, and refuses benefits to thousands of sick and disabled people, may not act either ethically or competently. Maybe, just maybe, they will simply create a bureaucratic nightmare of a system that sees more children taken away from their families, possibly thousands more, on spurious and absurd grounds. These children will then be thrown into the system of foster homes and adoption…a system which definitely DOES lead to an “increased risk of abuse or neglect”.
“The Guardian view” is that the state should be more active in protecting children. But our state sells weapons to Saudi Arabia to drop on school buses, and wants to take away free school meals from underprivileged children. Our state doesn’t a give a toss about children – foreign or domestic – and demonstrates this to us every single day.
It doesn’t take much imagination to progress further down this road to hell – paved, as always, with “good intentions”: We already know the government spies on us, they pass laws making it legal, so it’s all fine. But handing the government the power to control home-schooling, coupled with monitoring internet and phone communication, could easily lead to a massive political bias in the way the new home school laws are enforced: Leftwingers, trades unionists, “conspiracy theorists”, all being refused the right to home-school their children based on their tweets, their voting history or their Amazon wishlist.
It’s really not that hard to imagine.
Ask yourself: Why is The Guardian – allegedly a liberal paper in favour of being nice, recycling, tweedy cardigans with leather elbow patches, slippers, refugees and the Antiques Roadshow – in favour of handing the uncaring, even malign state, more power and authority?
The only logical answer is they want to create a more authoritarian state. A cross between Stalinist Russia and Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, where everyone has been successfully Mrs Lovejoyed into obeying Big Brother because he really does know best. A jolly, comforting oligarchy with twinkly grandfather eyes and half-moon spectacles. A nice, friendly dystopia with burning incense and herbal tea and drifty floral print dresses. Where everyone gets a turn and everyone is special and everyone does what they’re told…or else.
A new kind of “progressive” statism. Where our caring authoritarian masters aren’t controlling or dictatorial because they want to be, but because they need to be, for our sake. A kindly overlord child-proofing the world for the betterment of their naive charges.
Homeschooling is increasing, on both sides of the Atlantic, this is unsurprising given the above facts, the decline in the quality of education, the drop in schools funding and a generally unacademic attitude of control, censorship and indoctrination that has taken hold of a lot of Western institutions in recent years.
That same attitude will push, harder and harder, to clamp down on homeschooling – if not to outright ban it, then set a “home school” syllabus. The syllabus will be either impossible to implement, meaning parents can’t homeschool, or so incredibly controlled that it eradicates the benefits of homeschooling in the first place.
The campaign has already started state-side, where certain law-makers leapt upon the convenient Perris case to try push anti-home school legislature through the state, with the assistance of the media of course. Fortunately, it was defeated.
As I said, it is a war with multiple fronts. A war to take ownership of the individual and control of the sovereignty of the self, and it is won by the people when we talk to each other and rely on ourselves. That’s why they want to get a hold on home-schoolers, and why they’ll continue to push at social media to ferret out dissent.
You can see the pattern with vaccination – how, in America, political debate on vaccination was dismissed as a products “Russian bots” trying to “sow division”. Once the law to ban homeschools is put forward, anybody criticising it on Facebook will be a Russian bot.
First they came for the homeschooled, and I did not speak out…because they banned my Twitter.