The Common Core

One of the simple truths about mankind is found in this quote by Adam Smith, taken from his seminal work that defined capitalism, the Wealth of Nations:

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security is so powerful a principle that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations; though the effect of these obstructions is always more or less either to encroach upon its freedom, or to diminish its security.

The complete title of the book published in 1776 is “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”.

The kind of independent/individual motive force that Smith speaks about is being bred out of every successive generation through leftist control of the news media, the art and culture establishments and the institutions of learning.

What a shame that the “natural effort of every individual to better his own condition” is now considered to be “selfish” and the belief that somehow it is impossible for the individual to achieve success in today’s society is being reinforced by government, schools and universities that are steeped in the teaching of Marx.

Smith also offered his insight on institutions of higher learning of his age that rings true today. He said that the universities had become “the sanctuaries in which exploded systems and obsolete prejudices found shelter and protection after they had been hunted out of every other corner of the world.”

Even in Smith’s time, universities were becoming havens of prescriptive thought where free thinking was discouraged in favor of rigid adherence to dogma. Much like our educational systems today, these universities were at once relegated to indoctrination, not education.

With the advent of the recent federal mandate called the Common Core State Standards in English, it just got easier for the indoctrination process to be executed.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline notes:

Controversy is brewing over new Common Core State Standards in English that call on public schools to emphasize the reading of “information text” instead of fictional literature. According to the Washington Post, English teachers across the country are upset by what they consider the government’s effort “to drive literature out of the classroom.”

English teachers are right to be upset, but they shouldn’t take it personally. The government has nothing much against literature, per se. Rather, this initiative is driven in large part by the desire to promote political propaganda in the classroom. The study of literature is being downgraded in the process, but for a good cause.

Consider that one of the “informational texts” recommended as a replacement for, say, Great Expectations is “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” Students would thus study government propaganda in English class (this Executive Order was issued under President Bush, but it is still propaganda — a political sop to the environmental left, as Stanley Kurtz shows).

Another Common Core’s non-fiction exemplar is an excerpt from a 2009 New Yorker essay by Atul Gawande on health care. This too is propaganda – an effort to show that Obamacare is wise policy.

This brings something right out into the open that the political left has been doing for decades – and gives it the public sanction to continue – that being the teaching of students what to think rather than teaching them how to think. If the academic community allows this, it will be the final validation that they have given up preparing students for an independent future where they can progress as far as their abilities will take them and has doomed them to become interchangeable cogs in mechanism of the new Leviathan.

11 thoughts on “The Common Core

  1. “What a shame that the “natural effort of every individual to better his own condition” is now considered to be “selfish””

    Yes this used to be called self improvement and drive. The Poorgressives want to take away all self worth so the State is the mother of all that is good. 😦

  2. I love Dickens. In high school, I recall reading The Three Musketeers. It wasn’t required, but it gets your imagination going……mmmmm….

    Now I’m thinking on a funny story. My high school English teacher wanted us all to memorize Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar speech. I told her that was silly as I would never play that part. I asked if I could memorize another Shakesperean role that included boobies. No, she tells me. I made an F on that assignment because I felt it was ludicrous. If the idea is to get a child to memorize for no purpose, what then is the purpose?

  3. Ahh, Common Core. Yet another reason I retired from teaching to homeschool my children. I’ll have to tell you a funny story about an assignment, involving research, critical thinking, and a logical written defense of an opinion, that landed one of my collaborative teachers and I in a whole big pot of hot water. Peace be with you! –Kelly

  4. So literature is being taken out of schools…hm. ‘Subversive’ literature used to be lauded in schools, but I guess the tune is changing now that government has been adequately subverted. Instead of raging against the machine, we’re now supposed to rage with the machine.

    Regarding the assault on individuality, I have seen lefties actually blame Doherty and Woods for their own demise, despite the lives they saved. There was a time when the US military was known for its flexibility in leadership. Now you can almost detect a fear of waking Mein Fuhrer, or by extension ‘upsetting the international community.’ (As the Pearl Harbor anniversary passes unnoticed.)

      • 9/11/12, what a strange event. My recollection of is that uprisings were popping up all over the world, and it really wasn’t clear what was happening. Only Romney’s response matched the urgency of the situation, and he was ridiculed. Not to downplay the tragedy, but I wonder how the media would have responded had 20 or 30 or 100 people died in Benghazi … while the administration blamed an American and stood down. How the admin skated through is beyond me. It seems the blind faith has only gotten stronger, but we can’t sustain this level of innocence and vulnerability without being tested. That’s just the law of nature … which we seem to be defying, but for how long?

        • Not to mix Metaphors and posts……But I think this is why some form of Amalgam from the Secessionist / Nullification discussion will come to the fore. Once the US is ‘Tested’, the solution set will split further between Blind nationalism focused on the Communist Federal Gov’t and those demanding Federalism.

          Because at this point the 60,800,000 that voted Conservative Know that the US is being purposely left exposed to attack, by policies since 2008……virtually creating an environment that invites it.

  5. Meanwhile, it’s becoming increasingly evident that you can’t please everyone in the international community. The Syrian revolution is sharpening the divisions, and Iran will be next. Methinks Obama-plomacy will soon be put to the test.

    • And yet….the Newest Egypt protest would appear to be something American Patriots would agree with….fighting a “President” who just gave himself ‘Complete power to Corrupt absolutely’ ala”honest “Abe. They now see what this whole “Democracy-Muslim Brotherhood Arab spring Take-over was really all about……I hope they oust Morsi.

      And yet what is Obama-plomacy ( Clinton-Polmacy) in reaction to these new protests.??…………..The US is sending MORE Abrams Tanks to Morsi !!!!!

      The British played the Tune…”the World Turned Upside Down” when they surrendered to the Ameriacn/French forces at Yorktown………….I suggest we need to start playing this as a Conservative Anthem…..It really does appear the Liberal Socialist world has gone insane.

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