Education Today: A Prerequisite for Self-Destruction
By Joe David - November 03, 2017

If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, as Jefferson cautioned, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.

President Ronald Reagan

National Library Week, 1981

Today’s students have been skillfully educated to demonstrate their ignorance with both ease and pride. If you have doubts, you should:

Listen to them discuss popular concerns (like black lives matter, capitalism, socialism, Wall Street, and politics). Observe them as they measure their self-worth with destructive acts in order to win the approval of their peers. Note the activities they enjoy and whom they idolize. And, by all means, ask their “educators” what they believe should be done about it. When you remind yourself that many of them have been shaped by our schools for twelve, sixteen, eighteen, and even more years, you will get an idea of what many educators are doing daily to innocent students in the name of “education.”

But you mustn’t stop there. If you really want to understand the problem, you must learn to probe deeper. Read what the average student must read in many of his classes: volumes of irrational nonsense in which clever writers adroitly lead students to their intellectual graveyards; acquaint yourself with some of the “profound” ideas voiced by popular anarchists, presented to students as precepts of “freedom” lovers. And observe the academic routine – the busy-work, the contradictory curricula content, and the historical negationism – conceived to confuse and deaden healthy minds seeking truth and sound principles to guide them.

When I was a student, I remember some of the mush that I was expected to learn in order to pass exams.  I remember a history professor who tested me on my retention of footnotes (not important concepts and facts); a psychology professor who thwarted my clear observation of human behavior with Freudian clichés; a literature professor who graded me by some subjective standard that made no real sense to me; and, most disturbingly, a philosophy professor who promised to deliver profound insights, but instead delivered a sleazy philosophy on relativity. (This is the concept, which uses superficial standards, not moral principles, as its premise.)

Because of such wide-spread teaching practices, many American students graduate from school intellectually handicapped. The degree of their handicap usually depends on the amount of years they have spent in school – especially in the liberal arts department – and how seriously they took their studies during their school years. Although they may read, write, and speak with some skill, many of them find it difficult to break free of the mental straitjacket they must wear. As a result, they find themselves incapable of thinking deeply and independently. When they are finally released to the world, the majority, sadly, are released like conditioned Pavlovian dogs who are trained to respond to popular political ideas, social fads, and more, on cue, exactly as they were instructed by their teachers and other influential adults.

The end result is the typical graduate who lives for the moment irresponsibly, guided by his conditioned reflex. The bright ones, who find conflict with what they are taught and what they perceive as true, are left with the mentally exhausting task of sorting through the mush they have learned in school for an explanation. Unfortunately, all they often discover for their effort is a lot of dead ideas that lead to nihilism. For this reason, many give up and find comfort in some form of self-destruction like drugs and alcohol.

This type of education is tragic. Students by nature are rational beings who want to take control of their lives. A student who can’t often finds himself turning to others for guidance. If irresponsibly advised, such students can easily be encouraged to make decisions that will later prove regrettable.

Since we live in an age, where ignorance and sensations are esteemed, not knowledge and reason, they usually have a broad choice of self-destructive activities to choose from. I firmly believe a healthy mind dedicated to the joys of learning in a truly intellectual and mentally healthy sense is not a mind that will want to obliterate itself with cheap thrills and drugs.

What is the solution?

In an effort to understand the solution, I spent some time researching what respected educators thought good teaching ought to be. In two articles that I published in 1993 and 1994, I identified my views in Basic Education (a Council for Basic Education publication). One article was on how to teach history and the other was on how to teach literature. The general value of these two articles is that they provide a template, which teachers can use to bring lasting understanding to their subjects.

Today, as never before, the freedom, which Americans have long taken for granted, is being skillfully undermined by progressive educators (like John Dewey and his disciples). These clever thinkers who have set the standards for our teachers to follow must be identified and removed from education. Their theories have for too many years insidiously and systematically destroyed the cognitive development of our students. In my two easy-to-read novels, The Fire Within (which dramatically examines two opposing education philosophies) and Teacher of the Yearthe play and the novel, (which examines with corrosive wittiness a satirical educator), I have attempted to link the problems in education to the ideas responsible.

Education is our fundamental defense against societal disintegration, which is rapidly occurring in America (best exemplified by the Berkeley riots and the Alinsky-inspired radicalism generously encouraged on our campuses). To resist this assault instigated by some leaders, we need to hire teachers capable of inspiring students to higher levels of cognition – teachers dedicated to developing minds like fortresses filled with knowledge to combat irrationality. But before this can be done, our primary goal must be to rid our schools, as soon as possible, of some of those poisonous practices and ideas so commonplace in education today and once again bring sensible balance to the presentation of ideas.


Joe David is a former educator and the author of six books, several on education, The Fire Within and The Infidels. His writings have appeared in numerous publications. For more information, visit www.bfat.com

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  • Dimitri Ledkovsky


  • Alan777

    Joe, I couldn’t agree more with the points you make in this article. Hopefully, a counter revolution is taking root in our young citizens as they suffer under the consequences of their lousy educations and loss of liberty in our government controlled lives. Keep up the good work.

  • RED

    Fully agreed! However, before we can hire quality teachers, we must first remove the School Administration, Administrators and Unions, etc. that support the tyrannical theories of Socialism / Communism / & Marxism, etc.

    • john cummins

      See above, but rather we must eliminate government schools altogether that are firmly rooted on systematic thievery, that’s ALL of them.

      • RED

        I believe that is exactly what I said. And I do not agree with Sheryl Ann’s generalization that all private schools are about money. I do agree that parents need to educate their own children and teach them “correct” values. There are far too many parents, however that prefer to place that responsibility upon the school “system”. Hence, my remarks against Socialism, Communism & Marxism, et al.
        Children need to be taught Individualism and individual responsibility.

        • john cummins

          Why should a private school NOT be about money? All the schools, unless total charity, should be about money. The government schools merely steal from all of us at gunpoint.

          • RED

            You Miss the Point! Sheryl asserts that private schools are ONLY about money. I took issue with that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with providing a service for Money. That is the Reward of an open & honest free market system.

  • Sheryl Ann

    May I point out that “many of them find it difficult to break free of the mental straitjacket they must wear. ” is a set up for failure for the majority or a failure of this writer to clearly state his intent. ‘Free’ & ‘Must’ are incompatible.

    A better hope would have been conveyed if he had said ‘they have become accustomed to wearing’ or ‘they have been fitted for’ or ‘they have been wearing for most of their lives’.

    ‘Must’ is not only a requirement for the present, but it also is a prescription for the future. Even if this writer feels it completely necessary to use the word ‘must’ in this sentence, he would been much better off saying ‘they must wear in public’ or ‘they must wear in the public arena.’

    Either way, if one must wear something, one will never able to break free from its confines.

    I’d like to think that a writer of educational books could show at least a modicum of hope for today’s youth. If not, his writing is simply a source of financial income or just a product of mental masturbation. Neither of which would be positive.

  • john cummins

    The primary goal to have real education MUST be to eliminate state schools altogether. It must all be returned to the private sector, period.

  • Sheryl Ann

    But, if we’re honest folks with ourselves & each other, we know the current educational system isn’t going anywhere. The SJWs are better equipped to facilitate more destructive change through force, than we will ever through talking & writing about change. Unfortunately, these individual young & irrational warriors possess a passion & a fervor that few rational thinkers of any age could ever even hope to match. Collectively, due to their self delusion, they have become the biggest threat & danger to everything which is good in humanity.

    • GH

      Well said Sheryl Ann! Better than the DB article! Thank you!

  • Sheryl Ann

    If anyone even thinks they are going to change anything for the better, they’d better start with their own homes. Don’t count on public schools to educate your children. Don’t count on private, parochial, or charter schools to educate your children either. They are all parts of a corrupt system. The teachers employed in that system were taught by that very system. They’re beholden to it, & they’re not about to bite the hand that feeds them & their families.

    Whether or not a parent considers themself to be spiritual or not, they would do well to heed the guidance the Hebrew scripture conveys. ‘Raise up a child in the way he should go & he will not depart from it.’ In other words, parents should be ones educating the children. It is both parents’ responsibility, not the village (Killary) or the state (Stalin) or, or, or. Take responsibility & accountability for what your children learns & believes. Don’t depend on the government, the state, the local school board, school administration, or teachers to educate your children. They’re just paid lackeys, following orders from headquarters. Welcome to the nanny state. Unless you are fortunate enough to homeschool, however, you’ll only be able to add truth to or combat the programming of your children. But it’s better than nothing. If you don’t take the time to interact with & teach your children how to think rationally for themselves, you might as well be feeding them to the wolves.

    Quick hire new teachers! Phhhh! Read my books! Phhhh! Get real, folks! If you’re depending on others to hand you answers & solutions to the problems, you’re actually part of the problem.

    Teach your children! Don’t rely on anyone else to do it for you.

    • Public (government) schools: Where souls are sent to die.

    • john cummins

      It’s not fortune though, homeschooling should be deliberate and, IMNSHO, will scuttle all other forms of “education” ultimately. With the Internet there is basically no more need for brick and mortar thievery from either private or “public”, however the public is pure thievery with “taxpayers” being forced to “contribute”.

  • Sheryl Ann

    Private sector is the answer? I think not. In the past, yes, private schools were a better avenue, but in this day & age, I beg to differ. Private schools are about money. Private schools also are not autonomous. They still follow many of the dictates of the state. Even when my grown children went to one of the very most expensive, prestigious private schools in South Florida, there were many state guidelines which had to be followed, i.e. Immunizations, qualifications of teachers, length of schooldays & # of schooldays. I am glad we sent our children there. They did recieve a fine education, a fine preparatory education, whether for life or upper education. I seriously doubt, however, that by the time my little granddaughters are school age, that even that school will be able to provide what my son expects to be ‘a proper education.’

    Yes, we’ve had that talk. I attended public school. We couldn’t attend let him attend that same school when he came of age. He attended the wonderful for-its-time private school, eventually to go on to West Point, etc. But even he says that even in his junior & senior years, he could sense & see that the environment & concepts being promoted were changing & not in a healthy way. He was glad to graduate when he did & hopes his wife will choose homeschool. We’ll see about that.

    No truly autonomous private school will recieve the proper accreditations needed to stay in business or qualify its graduates for entrance into institutions of higher learning. And no one is going to pay to send their child to what society perceives as an inferior school. I was highly involved with the staff at my children’s alma mater & make no mistake, it’s about money, a job, the public perception, & placating the TPTB. The education of children is the hook to get you in the door. And if it was that way from 1992 up until 2010, it probably hasn’t gotten any better since. More undoubtably, it’s gotten worse.

    • john cummins

      Total garbage there. The government schools will be swept into the dustbin of history.

  • Casey Phyle

    …we need to hire teachers capable of inspiring students to higher levels of cognition…

    Where do you get such teachers? In the ranks of he unemployed? And even if they were there, who would hire them? The subversives managing the system?

  • Maximiliano Plus Adrienne

    I believe in God and his son Jesus Christ and what is being described here is absolutely true but it is the works of Lucifer, who is many things but not stupid, it is only the return to the morals of the bible which could and would stop this satanism from taking over! happy r those who have eyes to see and ears to hear!

    • john cummins

      Actually, the Bible mandates AGAINST any government school whatsoever. It’s thievery.

      • Maximiliano Plus Adrienne

        I suppose that is so since any sincere attempt to follow the ten commandments will b the mother of all schools via the holy spirit talking sense to you but having said that there is nothing wrong in schools per se, as always, the devil is in the detail and the loss of control in regards to what is being taught at school to our sons and daughters in the name of freedom and independence is the problem! I mean, surly, there is nothing wrong in being taught how to read, write and basic maths, but of course schools do so much more these days and has in a way totally spun out of control, being bias and doing whatever necessary 2 keep the rich rich and the poor poor and there is maybe no better way 2 achieve that than selling you lies for truth, claiming to enhance your tolerance while continuing your ignorance.