From the Editor’s Perch…

Nazi USA

Pouring the Mold

 

            “The state, for the Fascist, is the instrument by which the people’s common destiny is realized…” says Llewellyn Rockwell Jr. in his book Fascism versus Capitalism.

Any mention of the world fascism is very alarmist – and for good reason.  But it is actually just a term which describes a point of view.  A point of view which, when viewing its lineaments can be enormously attractive, until following where they lead and happening upon the face, reveals what you are in for.

Fascists seldom wear a nametag.  But they are always out there, preparing the mold with which to cast their idols.  For example:

Voluntary Community Service is a beautiful thing.  People coming together voluntarily to build something they can’t accomplish alone, and perhaps wouldn’t have as much fun accomplishing alone is one of life’s beautiful events.  It is so highly cherished that many people think inculcating this predilection should be mandatory, so that we can have more of it, and, I would suppose for Justice’s sake, so that all of the people who benefit should have to participate.  Where better to inculcate this predilection than in our children?  So, in many communities, (including ours), a certain number of hours of Voluntary Community Service has been made mandatory in order for students to graduate from high school.   And here we come upon the first two building blocks of a fascist state.  The first is that a Voluntary activity is made mandatory.  The second is that the new rule will mean the opposite of what of what it says, so that we now have, (Mandatory) Voluntary Community Service.

First, fascists corrupt the language.  Then, they corrupt the institution…  Which happens next.

What educational institutions have found is that students put off doing their ‘Voluntary’ service, often until it is too late and imperils their graduation.  So, in order that this doesn’t occur, the schools have attached ‘Voluntary’ Community Service to various subjects the students take.  So, for example, in my son’s Architectural Engineering class, 25% of his grade for this semester comes from doing ‘Voluntary’ Community Service.  What this means in practical terms is that he can raise his letter grade in Architectural Engineering by two letter grades by either reading a certain book, giving 500 pounds of food to Hopelink, or paying Hopelink 75 dollars.  Upon showing his teacher the receipt for $75. he is given 250 more points with which to determine his grade.  This corrupts the institution in two ways.  First, his grade, as a measure of his proficiency in Architectural Engineering is corrupted.  And second, he can raise his grade by two letters by paying money.

 

            Of course, my son, who had a lot of trouble keeping up in this course, also put off doing his ‘Voluntary’ service.  Which meant, by the time the problem ended up on my plate, we could either pay Hopelink seventy five dollars OR my son would receive a ‘D’.

I don’t know what has been more astonishing: the fact that I am being asked to pay money to better my son’s grade at his public school – or, the reaction from the people I have told about this.  No one has been outraged that a public school would allow a student to pay money to get their grade improved by two letters!  In fact, they have had just about everything to say about this incident, except that.  One said that I should make sure that my son paid the money, and not me.  Another comment was that I should let my son handle this.  A third was that I was letting my personal pique with the School District compromise my son’s future.  And the others were more disparate than this.  But, all in all, there was an almost blanket silence as to the fact that I was being coerced into paying money for a better grade. 

            The fact that something as egregious a scandal in our public schools as paying money for grades generates absolutely no traction at all, leaves me shell-shocked.  And if this is the case, it’s hard to imagine how talking to other people about anything of note at all is any more that a pointless waste of breath.  If this is not wrong, then what is?  (I will probably be shocked again to learn the answer to that.)

At any rate, I told my son that grades were meant not to ‘classify’ a person, but to be a learning device.  And he is already planning a better way to keep up with his studies and to get his ‘Voluntary’ Community Service requirements discharged early in the semester, without the ‘cash option’.  I told him that in this case, I regarded the ‘D’ he will receive as an honorable grade.  That his ‘D’ was a Badge of Honor, much more so than the ‘B’ he might have purchased.

Incendiary photo taken from Google Images.

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2 Responses to “From the Editor’s Perch…”

  1. dangblog Says:

    That policy is so wrong-headed it’s hard to understand how the school came up with it and thought it was a good idea. I guess the lesson is: it’s all about money, even grades and community service.

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