A few years ago, a collectivist on Facebook attacked me because I dared question a university “social psychology” study that “showed” “liberals” admired “progress” and conservatives were “fearful” of it. My blasphemy was to ask what the study organizers defined – if they did at all – as “progress” when they asked the questions, and what the participants described as “progress” when they answered.
The woman who had posted the “study” didn’t like that question. She had never bothered to look into the foundational definitions. She had simply assumed that progress meant one thing. She never considered that while a collectivist might think “progress” comes through government legislation, the control of others under the auspices of “tolerance”, and the redistribution of wealth, a conservative might see these as destructive of the market economy that leads to better living standards. And perish the thought that a conservative might consider individual sovereignty as of prime importance, even more important than material comforts. God forbid anyone step outside the box and see that different people define progress differently.
Of course, it was very easy to peg her as a collectivist, and my suspicions were soon confirmed when she exploded at me for being “a misogynist” and not being a professional “social psychologist.”
Which not only confirmed by suspicions, it showed others another example of a postmodernist demonizing anyone who dares question the collectivist mindset with principles of the scientific method.
Of course, this is the mindset on all levels of education, including many public high schools, as a student at Rock Hill High School, in Rock Hill South Carolina, appears to have revealed late this school year.
As Paul Boyd reports for WSOCTV, a student in one of the Rock Hill history classes used his phone to take a picture of a slide presented by his teacher, a slide that posted “Liberal” and “Conservative”, and added various descriptors beneath each.
Beneath “Liberal” appeared: “Tolerant, Generous, Enlightened, Broadminded, Lavish, Charitable.”
Beneath “Conservative” appeared: “stingy, miserly, regressive, narrow-minded, reactionary, bigoted, prejudiced, and biased."
The student sent the photo to his father, who became incensed and posted it on social media, writing:
I am tired of these schools indoctrinating our kids. This needs to stop.
And this inspired many, many others to become rather angry as well.
Of course, lacking context, it’s possible that the photo might not be as biased as it appears. Perhaps the teacher was offering oral instruction countering some of the descriptors.
A quick look at the “statement” issued by the school “leaders” as the report describes them quickly negates that option. It reads, in part:
The full presentation sought to provide an overview of political parties, and social and fiscal issues that have shaped the American political system. The teacher, on at least two occasions, stressed to students that labels of “conservative” and “liberal” have changed throughout history and each is not synonymous with today’s Republican and Democrat parties. The presentation focused on the basic beliefs of conservatives and liberals, and a follow-up activity asks students to identify conservative and liberal positions on issues and explain why each side takes the position(s) that it does.
Of course, the dispute had nothing to do with whether a political party was affiliated with any of the descriptors, but whether the ideologies themselves were presented in such a misleading, abusive, and biased way.
Said Bonnie Hunter, a Rock Hill resident:
I don't think it's a fair assessment because I am a conservative. I wouldn't be too happy with those being the ways to judge me. I would hope that we can take away the division that we have in our country nowadays instead of inflame it.
Unfortunately, Ms. Hunter’s hope is unlikely to be realized.
This is because of one simple truism. It is not in the best interest of tax-funded, government-run schools to promote principles that run counter to the continuation and expansion of the tax-funded, government-run school systems.
Contemporary liberals favor collectivist schools and contemporary conservatives generally dislike them. In fact, many would either like to see them abolished or see them met with semi-competition in the form of voucher programs and charter schools.
So why would anyone expect a tax-funded system to portray those who favor less of that system in a positive light?
This is the Modus Operandi that most collectivists utilize, and have utilized for generations. Anything hospitable to more individual sovereignty and decision-making is, by its nature, hostile to the growth of collectivist political systems, and is, as a result, characterized in negative stereotypes.
One hates to say it too bluntly, but more conservatives might do well to realize they cannot change a system that, by its nature, cannot coexist with many of the conservative principles. They might want to detach from it as much, and as quickly, as possible.
They’ll be helping kids escape from the collectivist echo chamber that leaves them deaf to all but collectivism.