Well. Fancy this. Children (especially boys, by the way) need to move more. In all dimensions. Failure to move leads to physically weakened bodies and sensory systems, which prevents them from . . . you know . . . learning.
Forty-five years ago we put men on the moon. The men (and most of them were men, back then) who did this pulled it off with access to less computing power than is now available on-board in a previous-generation iPhone. They were working with slide rules. They had gone to schools where they had to go without “diversity” sensitivity training. Where they’d never had to prepare a video presentation on “environmental problems” in their neighborhood which just cried out for them to join ranks and march for the Cause. Where they’d never had to learn about however-the-hell-many “pillars” exist in the Religion of Peace. The literature books they read somehow managed to do without “transgressive” pieces designed to rub the authors’ perversions and hang-ups in the readers’ faces. The folks who sent the Apollo missions out (and back) managed their accomplishments utterly ignorant of how wonderful a thing it is to be homosexual. When they were young, boys got to settle things on the playground among themselves. If they got caught there was a quick trip to the hallway with a teacher, a paddle or strap, and hands-around-the-ankles-young-man. They’d not had “travel ball”; they’d played dodge ball at recess. They’d not been dragged around to all manner of “enrichment” programs. They’d never been herded into auditoriums there to be terrorized that unless they hectored their parents into disgorging all their money in taxes and subsidies for politicians’ friends’ businesses, the world would come to an end amid crashing waves of vastly larger oceans. Every morning before school they’d pledged allegiance to the United States flag (or at least such of them as hadn’t sung the “Horst Wessel Lied” where they’d grown up). When a foreign country had attacked us on our territory, they’d turned out in millions for the express purpose of so adjusting that country’s attitude that it would be a very long time indeed before they contemplated that shit again. And they’d gone and done it.
Those, it seems, were the dark ages.
The rot that is now America’s schooling system isn’t peculiar to America. I’ve written before about Germany’s blowing up a primary education system that was the envy of most of the rest of the world. And doing so intentionally. One thing we know for sure: Those countries which mean us — and by “us” I mean Western Civilization, with its acceptance of precisely that “diversity” so relentlessly preached by the “education” mavens — no good at all are specifically not bringing up their children the way we do. Red China, Russia, and the Middle Eastern klepto-theocrats are teaching their children to ride hard and shoot straight. Whatever detracts from those abilities gets short shrift.
The prevalence of Western cultural values — even in parts of the world where its political values have no purchase — is not inevitable. In terms of survivability there is nothing at all inherently superior about Western Civilization. I’ll point out that twice in the last century it made a fair attempt to commit suicide, and was at least on the second occasion only saved from itself by virtue of some very fortunate circumstances.
The development of civic systems capable of expressing those Western civilizational values occurred overwhelmingly in the Anglosphere, and have only imperfectly been transplanted onto other soils. I do not that think that a coincidence. The ability to survive of a polis in which a central organizing principle is minding one’s own business, and the powers of coercion allowing that to occur, is a luxury to be enjoyed only in those societies who by and large need not spend the bulk of their energies defending themselves from attack from outside. Defense of tribe and territory requires brutal subjugation of individuality to the life-and-death demands of combat. Is it really an accident that those societies which have the sorriest records of crushing human aspirations and even existence are precisely those whose history over the course of centuries has been that of repeated invasion, conquest, bitter defense, and exploitation? I’m thinking the Balkans, Hungary, Russia, Spain, and Germany. Vienna — beautiful, artful, lyrical Vienna — was a fortress against the Turks until Franz Joseph ordered the destruction of the works. In contrast, it was only in the Anglosphere, first in England and then in its overseas off-shoots, that society was able to erect political structures that successfully balanced the needs of government to protect with the citizens’ need to flourish. I suggest this would never have been possible without the geographic accident of the English Channel, and the colonies’ separation by thousands of miles of deep water from those who would prey on them.
These days, the existence of those oceans, to say nothing of a mere 26 miles of shallow sea, is of nearly no consequence. Churchill, in the introduction to his History of the English-Speaking Peoples, addresses his home island: You came into existence by an accident of sea power. You will die by an accident of air power.
In short, by inviting into our schools these forces of degeneration — and I’ll just go ahead, step right on out and say it: American “education” is degenerate — we are replicating the behavior of the late Roman Empire. Unwilling to defend itself, it invited the barbarians in and gave them land. Yeah; that’s right: The barbarians will protect us. Remind me again how that worked out. If Gentle Reader thinks Gibbon a bit too hard going, modern historical methods have produced some more digestible material. Just by way of example, the latter-linked book contains some interesting ice-core analysis. During the heyday of the Roman Empire, traces of chemicals produced by copper smelting are discernible in ice cores from Greenland. Within the space of a few generations after The Fall, that evidence vanishes.
Am I hyperventilating? I sure hope so. But it is a failure of human perception to accept one’s surroundings as being both inevitable and permanent. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus ’twill be. We forget how quickly we can forget. After the Fall of Rome, stone building vanished from the European continent for a matter of centuries. Literacy vanished from England. Whole ranges of useful arts were extinguished and had to be re-learned in later centuries. In our day and in this country, there are enormous swathes of large societal groups — specifically, American blacks — which in the course of 50 years have lost the socio-cultural skills to maintain themselves. A number of years ago I knew someone who was a social worker in a large Northeastern city. She observed that there were families in her office’s case load in which it had been four generations since anyone in the extended family had held a job. What is the likelihood of any member of those families re-learning the skills to get a job, hold onto it, and advance to something better? Modern social research is reminding us how critical for children’s learning and socialization is the presence in the household of both biological parents. When 80% of your children are born out of wedlock, and not infrequently to multiple and in many cases unknown fathers, what does that mean for those children’s chances to acquire those skills? Moynihan was a Cassandra.
What happened to American blacks can happen to any group and can happen to the entire country. Vignettes like the blog post linked are canaries in the coal mine.