We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“Two months ago an education activist told a small group in Virginia that people don’t yet understand that Americans’ relationship with public schools changed during the pandemic. For the first time ever, on Zoom, parents overheard what is being taught, how, and what’s not taught, and they didn’t like what they heard. The schools had been affected by, maybe captured by, woke cultural assumptions that had filtered down from higher-ed institutions and the education establishment. The parents were home in the pandemic and not distracted. They didn’t want their children taught harmful nonsense, especially at the expense of the basics.”

Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal (paywall), pondering the losses by the Democrats in the recent Virginia elections. A state that was going “blue”, has gone “red”, and the promotion of Critical Race Theory in public, state schools is a part of why.

Maybe the pushback is also a victory for a new breed of scholars and writers who are starting to seriously hammer CRT and parts of the “woke” movement, such as Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay and John McWhorter, or in the UK, the likes of Douglas Murray. This episode also highlights why much of the Left loathes school choice.

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Jim West

    One thing I found incredible is that, after the woke educational establishment got caught out teaching this Cultural Marxist BS during the pandemic, they thought they could make parents go back to their former complacency by playing silly word games. Exhibit A here is their repeated attempts to discredit critics by pointing out that CRT is not actually being taught in schools. While strictly correct (it is the evil propaganda, practices, and “solutions” advocated by CR theorists, rather than CRT per se, that is being implemented in schools), as if that matters.

    It could be fun to enter into the spirit of their definitional quibbling, and concede that the more practical program being implemented in schools justifies a different but related name. I wonder if the less academic-sounding term “Critical Racism” would be acceptable to them?

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – there is a vast difference between sometimes “paranoid” old conservatives (such as me) saying “your children are being indoctrinated with Frankfurt School Marxism in school” and actually hearing and seeing the Marxist indoctrination taking place.

    Now parents know that is at stake, the education system is not just expensive and incompetent – what is being taught in these schools is actually EVIL. Yes EVIL – the intention is to twist and degrade the children, twist and degrade the children utterly.

    Nor is all this confined to the United States – “trans rights” for YOUNG CHILDREN, Frankfurt School “Critical Race Theory”, “intersectional” stuff (that started at Harvard, but has spread like Covid), “decolonising” (i.e. wiping out “white” culture), and all the rest of it, is the United Kingdom as well.

    “Have no fear Paul, we have a Conservative government – they will drive back the “Woke” Marxism in the education system.”

    I wish I could be confident of that.

    Today the government of the United Kingdom did announce a major drive in education – but it was not to drive back “Woke” (i.e. Frankfurt School) Marxism, it was to increase the level of “Green” indoctrination for Primary School children.

    Yes not end – INCREASE. Do ministers know that “Climate Justice” is from the same Frankfurt School Marxism as the rest of this stuff? If they know – do they care?

    Nigel Farage asked the other night that as England has not had Elected School Boards since 1902, what can parents in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do about the indoctrination of the Woke (Frankfurt School Marxist) “Diversity, Equity and Diversity” agenda, little boys in skirts giving their “Woke” teachers lap dances (and yes – that has happened in America, and the little boys in skirts are being pushed in the United Kingdom) and-so-on.

    Parents really must consider HOME SCHOOLING – that is not easy, it is very hard indeed, but the alternative is leaving your children to all this.

  • Paul Marks

    I thought what brought it home to American parents was the girl who was raped by the boy-in-a-dress – and the COVER UP of that in the name of “Trans Rights”.

    This all started as Frankfurt School Marxism – but there is something else involved now.

    You can read the works of Herbert Marcuse and the others from cover-to-cover and there is nothing about little boys giving teachers lap dances, in any of the of the Frankfurt School Marxist works.

  • bobby b

    The only way to fix education will be to encourage the non-woke to become teachers. It has become a bastion of woke women intent on transforming society. Education of children has become a sideline to that, allowed only of it doesn’t interfere.

  • This episode also highlights why much of the Left loathes school choice.

    One could omit the penultimate word. 🙂

  • JohnK

    As the famously inarticulate John Prescot once said, if you allow parents to choose which schools their children go to, the danger (his word) is that they will choose the good schools, leaving the bad schools empty. For a socialist such as him (although he is now a Lord, of course), that is a problem.

  • Exasperated

    The claims, by the sneaky media, that CRT is not taught in schools is a crock; its sleight of hand over definitions. CRT, by any other name is still CRT and it creeps into everything; a result of the band wagon effect. I don’t know anything about Critical Race Theory, as it’s conceived in higher education. Maybe it is nuanced at that level, but by the time it trickles down to the public and by the time it gets filtered through the teachers to the children, it’s pretty poisonous; activists turn it into reverse racism. No one, I know, objects to requiring courtesy and tolerance, and no one, I know, objects to teaching history warts and all, when age appropriate. Note, however, that cultists seem to hate children and resent children for being innocent.
    For my part, I object to collective guilt and inherited guilt. There is nothing inherently true or universal about these concepts.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Seems like the ‘Babylon Bee’ was right on the button with a piece from the early days of Covid, ‘Teachers Urge Government To Reopen Schools Before Students Learn To Think For Themselves.’

    “We must reopen as soon as possible — before they regain their ability to have independent thoughts,” said New York 4th-grade teacher Ms. Jenny Mudd. “This is an urgent crisis. We realize we have to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus, but we must also prevent the spread of unapproved ideas. There’s a balance there.”

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – it is the SYSTEM that is “Woke” (i.e. dominated by Frankfurt School Marxist thought), the system can not be reformed – and teacher-training means it is in many PRIVATE schools (including some Catholic schools – for example in St Louis). Home schooling may be the only way – especially where teachers need (de facto) to have undergone “teacher training” in order to get a post at a school.

    In the United Kingdom a teacher was sacked from Eton (the most famous private school) for stating basic facts about human biology – and not even in the classroom.

    As for the United States…..

    Now that children, including very young children, are being subjected to “Drag Queens” and even taken to Gay Bars (yes – it is happening) it is folly to think the system (the “Public Schools”) can be reformed – the system is ROTTEN TO THE CORE.

    If anything we should thank such people as the San Francisco Board of Education – with their denouncing of Abraham Lincoln (removal of his name from schools – and so on). They are bringing their evil (and they are evil) out into the open – and they are Legion.

    As President Trump correctly pointed out in 2017 – it was never going to stop with Robert E. Lee, in reality the Marxists pulling down statues of General Lee (or objecting to the Confederate Battle Flag) hate General Grant just as much as they hate General Lee. The Marxists (the “Woke”) hate President Lincoln just as much as they hate Jefferson Davis.

    You can not make deals with the Frankfurt School Marxists (with the Woke) and the system is utterly controlled by them – and not just the education system. The system has to go. The system (the Administrative State and the allied Woke Corporations) is a Clear and Present Danger to the continued existence of Western Civilisation.

  • Paul Marks

    On the sex stuff, for example taking little children to Gay Bays and having the children perform for the assembled men (as has been done in the United States) – I think that something more that Frankfurt School Marxism is at work. By the way, I hope that homosexual men would also condemn this targeting of children – homosexuality is NOT the same thing as paedophilia.

    Certainly sexual corruption (especially homosexual corruption) of young children has long been an aim of the Frankfurt School Marxists – as part of their campaign to destroy the West. But it is not just politics for many of the people behind this, it is also FUN. The get a kick out of what they do. And so do the media – remember how the media LOVED little boys performing as “Drag Queens”.

    I am reminded of the old Marxist campaign (that goes back more than a century now) to get men of a certain sexuality to train as priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly the aim was “cultural politics” (the Catholic Church was, THEN, a great a opponent of Marxism – so infiltrating it with Communists, of a certain sexuality, was a logical move) – but it was NOT just politics.

    Certainly people such as Cardinal McCarrick were serving the Marxist cause (part of the so called “St Gallen Mafia” – which goes all the way back to the 1940s), but they also just enjoyed sexually abusing boys – and they promoted (in Seminaries) fellow abusers – even if they were NOT Marxists. It was not all about “serving the cause” by corrupting boys, they also enjoy corrupting boys.

    The average abuser (priest or school teacher [sexual abuse is just as common in government schools as in religious schools] – or whatever) is, by this stage, not wildly interested in Marxism as such – they just like doing what they do. And the promote people like themselves.

    In Seminaries denouncing “Social Justice” is a good way to get shown the door – after all the Churches (not just the Roman Catholic church) have been promoting Collectivism, “Social Justice”, for a century or more – so you are unlikely to hear good sense from a priest on economics and politics (a person who understood these subjects would have had to keep his mouth shut at the Seminary – or he might well have never become a priest).

    But it is not just politics.

    Say you were a trainee priest or a trainee public (government) school teacher – and you showed “homophobia” when Rainbow flag sexual advances were made to you. Do you think it is likely you would pass the course?

    The personal is the political – say the left. And the sexual is the political – say the left.

    Express dissent on sexual matters (“homophobia” or “transphobia” – for example, say you do not want little boys taken from school to Gay Bars) and you are likely to express dissent on political matters as well (be opposed, if only secretly opposed, to totalitarian collectivist “Social justice”) – so you will be OUT of that training establishment.

    Let us put it this way – how likely do you think it is that someone who waves a Rainbow flag is in support of lower taxes and less government spending? Or that they will be against de facto RACIAL QUOTAS in universities?

    This is a package deal – and it includes the Climate Change Emergency. If you watch British television shows you will see all this stuff (race, sex, socialism, greenism….) all mixed together.

    By the way I do know about the existence of “DOTs” (Daughters of Trent) – the slang name for traditional priests (the opposite of Modernists) who are interested in a certain form of sexuality in relation to males (and some of these traditionist priests have been a serious threat to boys). Most likely there are such people in the secular world who are a serious threat for boys – so it is NOT just Marxists.

    And (again – yes) we must not confuse homosexuality with paedophilia.

  • Phil B

    You singularly fail to understand … as the Jesuits and Adolph Hitler said, give me child up to age seven and I’ll show you the man. Hitler did not care if the older generation supported him – they were the past but their children were under the influence of the Nazi Hitler Youth (compulsory for all children).

    This is the most prophetic and illustrates exactly what I mean.


  • Chester Draws

    You singularly fail to understand … as the Jesuits and Adolph Hitler said, give me child up to age seven and I’ll show you the man.

    Yeah, but they’re both wrong.

    Jesuit schools turn out trivial amounts of Jesuits. These days they struggle to produce Catholics.

    Communist schools had decades of students. They failed utterly to produce a majority of believing Communists. Actually, as time went on the number of real believers shrank to almost nil.

    US schools in the 1950s produced a generation of hippies. They sure as Hell weren’t trying to back then.

    Society at large, and especially peer groups and families, are what drive social beliefs. Outsiders, such as teachers, don’t get a look in.

  • Have to agree with Chester on that.

  • Snorri Godhi

    The only way to fix education will be to encourage the non-woke to become teachers.

    As things stand, they would not be allowed to become teachers.

    I don’t remember who said that first-rate people hire first-rate people, second-rate people hire third-rate people, and third-rate people hire fifth-rate people. (But, actually, for all his flaws, Plato anticipated the concept.)

  • Fred Z

    In Canada, today is the day of the semiannual daylight savings time switch over, and ought to remind all sane people that the government is one of those lying assholes which cannot even be trusted to tell you the correct time.

  • Paul Marks

    Chester Draws – the Jesuits (formally the Society of Jesus) are achieving exactly what they want to achieve.

    Both yourself and Perry seem to assume that the Jesuits are pro Catholic – nothing could be further from the truth. The Jesuits have, for quite some years now, been actively working against basic Roman Catholic doctrines.

    Perhaps what happened was not just the infiltration of the Jesuits (and others) in the traditional sense of the word “infiltration” (i.e. agents entering an organisation with the intent to do harm). The Jesuits set out to study Marxism – and to study other evils, and they set out in that study many years ago.

    They studied Marxism (and other evils) with great energy. But they did NOT study the REFUTATIONS of Marxism and other evils.

    Amongst the treasured books of the typical Jesuit would be well used works by many Marxists – but the typical Jesuit would NOT own (or even have read) any works by people who REFUTED Marxist economics or Marxist history.

    So even though the Jesuits started the study of Marxism with the intent to FIGHT Marxism – something very different happened.

    Do I have to spell out what happened to the Jesuits (including the one that sits in the seat of St Peter) – surely you know what happened to them.

    As for propaganda leaving people not believing in anything…..

    That is “good” enough. If children come out of school not believing in Marxism, but also not believing in anything (being totally corrupted nihilists), then the left would also have achieved their objective.

    The purpose of education is to pass on the knowledge and the MORAL PRINIPLES of society. If people emerge from school and university, knowing nothing and believing in nothing – then the left have achieved their objective of undermining the West.

  • Paul Marks

    The Jesuits swear an oath (a vow to God) that they will not accept the office of Bishop or higher.

    Sadly that sacred vow has long been disregarded. These days it carries about as much weight as Article One, Section Ten of the Constitution of the United States – that no State shall have anything other than gold or silver coin as legal tender.

    Never repealed – but not ENFORCED.

    A cunning mind can find ways round such things. For example, “the Tenth Amendment does not say that the FEDERAL government may not declare something other than gold or silver coin legal tender”, or “ah yes – but the vow does not count if the Pope ordered me to accept such a high office, because I have duty of obedience” (hence the term “Jesuitical argument” meaning someone of cunning in the use of words).

    What Pope ordered a Jesuit to become Pope? Do not ask such questions.

  • Snorri Godhi

    An attack on the Jesuits from Paul Marks strikes me as odd, given that Paul seems to have an obsessive Jesuitic concern with what people “really mean”, and no interest in what people actually say.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – if you do not believe what I say about what happened to the Jesuits, then study the matter for yourself.

    When you have completed your study, come back and make a comment.

    As for “what people actually say” – if a senior Jesuit makes a film praising organisations that are openly Marxist, that is what he is “actually saying”.

    It is you (not me) who tries to excuse these people by concentrating on what they “really mean” – rather than what they actually say.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – the same is true of the philosophers you defend.

    Thomas Hobbes made no secret that he was an opponent of the forces that tried to limit government in his time. The idea that he supported resistance to tyranny is quite wrong – he never, at any time, supported risking one’s life to oppose tyranny (indeed this was the opposite of his philosophy). Remember Mr Hobbes defines the very words “law” and “justice” as the will of the ruler or rulers – so standing up for law and justice by opposing the ruler or rulers (if need be at the cost of one’s own life) is ruled out by Mr Hobbes by the way he defines (falsely defines) the basic terms.

    And David Hume (a century later) was not a Whig in his politics, and nor was he an Enlightenment thinker supporting moral reason. On the contrary – he made it quite clear that he was in opposition to these things. No Whig at the time thought Mr Hume was one of them, and no Scots “Common Sense” (i.e. moral reason) philosopher thought that Mr Hume was one of them. Indeed Mr Hume made it quite clear that he was their opponent – both in politics and in philosophy.

    The difference is that Mr Hume was a lot more polite (gentle in his language) that Mr Hobbes.

    In a way I prefer the language of Mr Hobbes – as he makes the divide very clear (he does not fudge it).

  • P. Irate

    Archive past the paywall:


  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: if you think that i ‘defend’ Hobbes, then you are delusional; and it just goes to show that you are concerned with what i “really mean”, not with what i actually say.

    And i do not ‘defend’ Hume either, because he needs no defending from your blatant misunderstandings.
    (But it is true that Hume got some bad ideas from Hobbes, and also from Locke in epistemology.)

    And BTW it seems to me that even when it comes to the “Common Sense” Scots, you are concerned with what they “really meant”, not with what they actually wrote. You think that they were too polite to write what they “really meant”.

  • Paul Marks

    O.K. then Snorri.

    If you insist that you do not defend either Hobbes or Hume – fair enough.

    As for what you say about me – you are wrong.

    You have a nice day now.