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Friday, November 13, 2009

Schools and the natural instincts

To a certain extent, good manners consists of overcoming our natural instincts. We shouldn't grab food from other people, we shouldn't hit people if they anger us, and we shouldn't mock anyone for something they can't help. That's just basic decency. To the extent that schools help civilize students these ways, they are a positive influence.

Sex education teaches basic precautions. No one would make a serious argument that letting that particular instinct run wild would be good for society. Sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancies are best avoided by everyone.

But much of what the schools teach in this politically correct era seems to have gone beyond basic manners, and is now about propaganda.

My son went for one year to a private school where they told the students that sexual harassment included any sort of suggestive comments, which could even mean complimenting someone on their appearance. ("Hi Susie, you look nice today" -- arrest that man!)

They even said that staring at someone too long could constitute harassment. (It seems to me I spent my high school years staring longingly at various girls but doing nothing about it; I had no idea at the time what a criminal I was.)

One day this school had a guest speaker who informed the students that if they'd ever had sex while drunk, that meant they'd been raped. (I guess I've been raped, though it's probably too late to report it to the authorities.)

Another thing the schools teach these days is tolerance for gays. This is good; any fair-minded person would agree that no one should be blamed for what they have no choice over. But at the same time, it's unnatural. Most guys are instinctively repulsed by the thought of two men having sex. So once again, students are being indoctrinated against their own instincts.

The most complete indoctrination goes on in the name of race relations. Students are taught that noticing any differences -- such as in crime rates, or test scores -- between the races is absolutely taboo. Yet noticing such differences, and thinking empirically, is what people do naturally.

White students are taught that they must bend over backwards so as not to offend black students (brown students don't get nearly the same deference). To that end we have Martin Luther King Day, black history month, and Kwanzaa (a holiday which was never really celebrated in Africa).

But this goes against natural instincts as well. Evolutionarily, we're all programmed to stick up for people who look like us -- our extended family. This goes for black people and brown people as well as white people. But white people are encouraged to be ashamed of their imperialistic heritage, and to kowtow to the other races.

Not natural.

But that's what education is all about these days. You're taught to ignore your natural instincts. And if you can't quite manage to completely squelch them, you're taught to at least feel guilty about them.

Much of liberalism is in fact a continuation of the same: who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?


Anonymous said...

Good Post...couldn't agree more with you. Most of us were taught " natural instincts" by our parents and not the schools. In my experience, getting into trouble at school was nothing compared to the discipline that awaited me at home. We were always told to respect other peoples property and feelings. I'm pleased that i was in high school in the early seventies as compared to today. Definitely, could not put up with all the BS that your son has to deal with.
Mad Dog

John Craig said...

Tom --
I think a lot of the kids today just laugh at the stuff they're taught, especially when it's as loony as that stuff my son was told while at that private school for a year. Still, the fact that they even say it (staring constitutes sexual harassment, etc.) is very telling.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your response John. The good news is that humans are highly resistant to attempts by public institutions at social engineering. And the US is doubly blessed because many people have particularly SE resistant DNA thanks to their ornery immigrant ancestry. That said, having institutions supporting basic values of treating people with respect and decency (mutually of course) is not a bad idea in a civilised society - but the BS at your son's school is a joke.

John Craig said...

Guy --
Thanks for your comment. The British must do a better job of it than we do here since most of the Brits I've met -- with you being a prime example -- seem to be much better mannered than us Americans -- with me being a prime example of the latter.

I suspect that pretty much everybody has the DNA to become pretty ornery if they're taught that they should feel guilty about their ancestry.