Play It Again, Chris. . .
Last Friday night (November 19) on CNBC's "Hardball" Chris
Matthews recalled his visit ten years ago to the Berlin Wall the
second weekend it was opened, soon to be torn down altogether.
He showed and commented upon the unforgettable scene - thousands
upon thousands streaming through the opening, taking their first
breath of fresh Western air and lining up for free biscuits off
a bakery truck. "But," said Mr. Matthews, "the greatest
deficiency of the fast-dying communist order was not biscuits but
"This is freedom", a young student said to Chris on the
Eastern side of the Brandenburg Gate, "this standing in an
open space arguing openly about such things as democracy, capitalism
and socialism. Four weeks ago we couldn't have done it."
Added Mr. Matthews: "Not free to speak all those post-World-War-II
years, East Germans were also not free to learn."
Can we, in America today, argue openly about socialism?
Are American children free to learn?
As to the latter, it depends on where they go to school. In what
is called the public school system, they are not. The traditional
curriculum of knowledge has been replaced by political conditioning,
combined with outright disinformation. Parents, in steadily increasing
numbers, are horrified to learn what their children are fed daily
by persons still called teachers, even though they are now trained
to be political activists.
And thus, the education debate is not about funding. It is not
about class size. It is not about computer equipment. It is not
even about vouchers.
The education debate is about the freedom to learn.
The National Education Association is committed to monopoly control
of young people's minds; the current occupants of the White House
- both the president and the first lady - share that commitment.
That commitment has nothing to do with the quality of education,
but everything to do with state monopoly of education. Those who
wish to control the information imparted to our children, those
who wish to perpetuate the group divisions in our society are threatened
by alternative sources of education - private, parochial or home
schooling - not unlike East Germany's leaders were by freedom in
West Germany. The advocates of exclusively state-controlled education
- first articulated as Objective No.10 in Karl Marx's Communist
Manifesto - are building something of a Berlin Wall around it, using
money and slogans in place of concrete blocks and barbed wire.
In order to discuss education properly, the nation would have to
embark on a public debate about socialism - the subject of the first
question posed above. The idea of a state monopoly in education
is a socialist concept. So are positions taken on countless issues
by our politicians every day. Some do so knowingly. Others, perhaps
the majority, do not.
And that is why it would be vital for America's future to discuss
socialism calmly in terms of a political philosophy offered as the
contrast, the alternative, the answer to Anglo-Scottish-American
concepts of liberty, rule of law, and free enterprise. Socialism
needs to be discussed as the theory which holds that a self-governing
society of individuals, restrained only by a common morality, the
rule of law, and contracts will necessarily produce selfish, greedy
parasites on the one hand, and the hapless helpless on the other.
Socialism needs to be discussed as the proposition that only a people
schooled in socialist thought and controlled by a network of rulers
can create and maintain the precarious balance between irreconcilably
hostile segments of society.
Because, pursuant to that proposition, our children are taught
socialism disguised as "concern for the environment."
They are taught socialism disguised as "justice for women and
minorities." They are taught socialism disguised as "working
for one world."
Yet anyone proposing to discuss socialism under its proper name,
and as the political philosophy opposite America's founding principles,
is instantly tarred and feathered. The specter of Senator Joseph
McCarthy and the blacklisting of some of America's communists is
invoked, the speaker is ridiculed, laughed out of court at best.
Where is the academic, where is the network anchor who would chime
in with Chris Matthews when he refers to "the dreaded Stalin-Hitler
pact [of 1939] that made World War II possible"? Where is the
academic, where is the network anchor who, like Chris Matthews,
would remind us that Soviet-controlled East Germany denied altogether
the extermination of Jews?
Play it again, Chris. This time, for America. Make it a regular
feature of your show to explore the ominous parallels, the reinvented
histories, the assault on America's soul. The Wall collapsed because
there was an America whose irresistible example proved an even stronger
force than its valiant armies and fearless president. The Wall collapsed
because Truth had an assured place of survival, beyond the reach
of false prophets and the tyrants they breed.
But there will not be that place called America, last best hope
of mankind, if our young continue to grow up deprived of its true
history, its goodness, its incomparable significance for all the
world. According to the Associated Press, a mere twenty-six per
cent of high-school seniors have passing knowledge of our unique
system of government. Perhaps even they lack true comprehension
of the phenomenal inspiration of America's founders, the creativity
and industry of those who followed, the generations who have come
here to become American - free, successful, good, prosperous.
"The captive Germans and East Europeans," you said the
other night, "ten years ago won back their knowledge of the
past, and with it a say in their future."
Won't you help us do as much for America?