Thursday, August 14, 2008

Socialist Teacher

Some of you readers must think I'm kidding, or out on the fringe, when I tell you about how some teachers and their unions support socialism.

I was talking to a teacher yesterday and I mentioned "my money." His reply was, "It's not your money, it's ours. You didn't make it on your own, we all had a part. Society made it possible for you to earn that, so it belongs to everyone."

He wouldn't empty his pockets and give me our money, though. But he really believes what he said.


How does someone, especially someone who grew up in the United States, come upon such a belief structure?


allen (in Michigan) said...

Jane Goodall'ld be able to tell you.

Like our hairy relatives we're strongly group-oriented but we're also individualist. There's a spectrum of inclinations; some folks are more group-oriented, some more individualist. If there were a way to quantify the preference you'd probably see a bell curve.

Group oriented people necessarily divide the world into innies and outies and I'm not referring to belly buttons. More individually-oriented people just want to be left the eff alone.

If you're an outie you probably aren't too bright, smell funny, engage in indecencies with barnyard animals and are, in every way that matters, inferior to innies. Just ask an innie.

As a conservative outie you don't have the proper appreciation of the importance of the group and how much you owe the group which is everything. Without the group you're nothing therefore everything you have and are you owe to the group and the group, naturally embodied in the form of someone who's first among equals, can pull your string any time a convenient rationale presents itself.

The way someone comes on this belief structure is that dissolving yourself in the group carries significant benefits and if you're so inclined to begin with there's not really much of a conscious choice. It's just the right thing to do.

As a high school teacher you ought to have, on a daily basis, a ringside seat to the sort of group dynamics that, writ large, turn into the environmentalist movement, welfare advocacy, the pro-abortion movement, socialism, etc. There's the disdain of those outside the group which mirrors the assumption of superiority of those who are insiders. There's the inevitable hierarchical structure of the group with new entrants generally coming in at the bottom. Look at the high school cliques you see about you and you'll see the basis for American left: aggregating due to some arbitrary assumption of superiority.

The bad news is that the urge to merge is built into us. The good news is that representative forms of government are inherently stony ground for the development of the weed of authoritarianism and I happen to think our particular variation on the theme of representational government is particularly barren for seedling Adolphs and Maos.

Papa Frank said...

The truly daunting answer is -- willful blindness. Hopefully this teacher does not teach history.

Anonymous said...

A high school friend of mine summed things up this way: "I have it, it's mine. You have it, we share."


-Mark Roulo

pseudotsuga said...

I can haz ur money?! ;-)
Seriously, though, it's amazing that these people can be so sheltered that they never seen the reality behind the effects of their ideas.
But reality is not that big a part of the American education system (corporation?) these days.

Henry Cate said...

There is a story of a man explaining the benefits of socialism to a farmer:

"If you don't have a cow and your neighbor has two cows, then under socialism you would get one of the cows."

"Oh, that is good."

If you don't have any sheep and your neighbor has ten sheep, then under socialism you would get five sheep."

"Oh, that is good."

If you don't have any chickens and your neighbor has a hundred chickens, then you would get fifty chickens."

"No good, no good. I already have a hundred chickens."

Anonymous said...

You have money?

Anonymous said...

This is why parents have to continually ask pointed questions of their children concerning what is said during schooltime.

Then, in a reasoned manner, the parents calmly explain why those particular comments help explain why that particular teacher is so full of self loathing.

Darren said...

I don't see how it's self-loathing at all, if such a thing really exists. I see this example more as a case of misplaced empathy and warped values.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I'm with you on this one. This teacher is a product of a system in which children are forced to bring classroom supplies to school and share them with kids who bring none. Communal sharing is the lesson here. If you have something you will be forced to supply those who don't. Good lesson if you're a socialist.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Good gracious. That fool's comments gives me hives. I wish I knew what rock these folks climbed out from under...because I'm afraid it's spewing out more and more like him.

michael mazenko said...

There is a fundamental difference between someone being a socialist and that person expressing a belief about the inter-dependency of free market capitalism. Obviously, all members of a community come together to create commerce/trade. No producer is making money if people are not purchasing the products.

Granted, the assertion that it isn't "your" money is a bit extreme. However, generalized use of the term socialist is a disservice in the field of education. I was listening to people speak with all sincerity the other day about how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are socialists. Clearly, that's not true, and the use of the term was used as an epithet simply to manipulate the opinions of the less-than-informed. That kind of thinking gets "us" nowhere.

Darren said...

*I* think the teacher in question is a communist, but he bristles at that and claims himself that he's only a socialist. If he doesn't think I own my property or that my money is mine, that's pretty much communist to me.

As for Clinton and Obama, I don't think it's clear at all that they're not socialists. We can argue the degree, but they're significantly more socialist and nanny-statist than I am.

Anonymous said...

You are railing against an idea that you don't have a clear conception of. The issue of property rights and their role as either natural right or pure social construct is separate from communism and socialism. Look at Henry George or Proudhon. Not to mention certain sub-schools of socialism that advocate for collective ownership.

To label communism on that one principle alone is to use a folk definition of communism without care for the actual usage of the word.

Educate yourself on a concept and use precise language or you just sound like the average yokel dispensing malt-philosophy from atop his bar stool.

Darren said...

OK genius, please educate all us yokels about communism and socialism. Stand up on your marble dais and explain why the working definition I have given here is insufficient.