I came across these image and quote on Tumblr. I wanted to re-post it, and decided to add to the caption… Then I realized what I was writing had gone way beyond the original intent of the first post, and would be better on my blog anyway. So here it is, the speech inspired by the above picture, and augmented with a couple other George Carlin quotes as appropriate — because I like sticking to a theme once I stumble onto one…
Public Schools as we know them started in America about the same time as the industrial revolution and the beginnings of factories….
Before that, if a child went to school, it would have resembled something much closer to what homeschooling looks like: mixed ages being taught by one person, in one room, helping each other learn.Or if the parents were rich, they might have had a private tutor or governess who would have educated them at home.
Most children would also be working for their parents, since the concept of adolescence did not exist yet; you were a child — and generally still expected to help the family — and then you were an adult, with adult responsibilities.
They would leave school to either do that full time, or to start an apprenticeship in which they would become a master of a trade or skill that would support them for the rest of their life. And some would strike out on their own, daring to take the risk of failure in order to have a life beyond those boundaries.
This is the kind of life in which the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) of our country grew up. This is what shaped the minds and thoughts of those who looked at an unfair government, thought long and deeply about the practical and philosophical implications, felt the responsibilities of free citizens, eloquently wrote about all of it, and then acted.
This is the kind of life that led to the founding of the original government; small, underpowered, and given a very specific and limited outline of what exactly it was there for and could do.These people decided that the world needed a Republic, not a democracy (because what is majority rules if not a mob bullying the individual?); Who hobbled the Federal government in favor of the States’ freedom to rule themselves; Who decided the world needed a place where the freedom and the law lay with the people, not the government; Who deliberately and carefully avoided any religion when writing their official documents because they felt religion had no place in the government; Who declared war on their own country (they were English, after all), after all other efforts for equality had been made, because they felt it was their moral duty as citizens.
Imagine how frightening that kind of world would be, to future politicians… Imagine the lengths those people would go to hold on to what little political power they could gain, and use it to gain more.
Think about what this country looks like now, compared to the ideal it was founded to be. Think about the endless laws, the high taxes, the lack of representation, the spying, the government bullying, the fear of our own police force, the huge military, the control of food production, the inequality of opportunities, everything that we live with now. Compare it to the circumstances a certain British colony lived with, that drove them to conclude it was their moral duty as citizens to object, and to stand their ground with those objections.
Think about the kind of things that made this country what it was, and then think about what made it what it is; the path it took, the choices that must have been made, the compromises and broken promises and political misdirection, the secret agendas and hidden deals, the manipulations. What made those things possible?
We did. We stopped being critical thinkers, we stopped watching our government closely enough, stopped calling it out on injustice and assumed power, let it dismantle the checks and balances so carefully put in place. We trusted it, which we were never suppose to do. Governments by nature will try to grow, and as citizens it was our duty to be good gardeners and keep it pruned and weeded. We didn’t. We allowed it to grow wild and rampant, choking out our garden until we support only it, and not ourselves.
The system is breaking down, and it is our choice how far we will allow ourselves to get pulled down with it. Public Schools have robbed many people of the skills and references they might otherwise have had to help them do this, but it’s never too late to start learning again…
With love and hope,