Public School

Rushdoony on public school:

The public school is a substitute institution for the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church of the middle ages and is a thoroughly medieval concept. A single culture is demanded, and the public school must create it … a free and pluralistic society requires the abolition of the public school and tax support of the school in favor of a pluralistic education. The competitive aspect will ensure the quality of education, and the cultural implications of various faiths, philosophies and opinions can be given freedom to develop and make their contribution.

8 thoughts on “Public School”

  1. “The public school is a substitute institution for the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church . . .”

    What a silly claim. John Dewey was a secret Jesuit?

  2. His opinion of Medieval pluralism aside (and I believe that pre-tridentine Catholicism is now understood to have been more intellectually diverse than believed when Rushdoony wrote — but I’m no expert), I somehow doubt that educational pluralism would flower by comparison in the “Reconstructionist” culture that he advocated.

    After all, if all education is religious (which I recall was one of his major tenents), and if idolatry, heresy, and blasphemy are punishable by death (I recall that a distinctive touchstone for Reconstructionists was the abiding obligation of capital punishment for non-murder offenses specified in Mosaic law), then I suspect that Rushdoony’s Reconstructionist culture would have little more diversity than what he believed was allowed in Medieval Europe, and potentially a lot less.

  3. I don’t think he’s looking for pluralism as a goal. He’s saying that in the current religious situation of the USA, the various communities would produce true pluralism if they educated their own, rather than enforcing our secular mono-culture on everyone across the board.

    The reconstructionists had a long view. A ‘reconstructionist culture’ would be a long goal, in the short term he’s just advocating death to the secular monopoly. The death penalty and all that wouldn’t come back until the state withered away and we had a lot more localism.

  4. I think what Rushdoony is advocating is taking place in Dubai. There are many different private schools here and you decide which school to enroll your child in based on your values and the childs needs.

    Good luck on abolishing the public school system in the USA. The Dept of Education, the teachers unions and numerous other entities would be at a fevered pitch if you ever attempted it. (Even though it is apparent the public schools are doing a terrible job of educating our youth.)

  5. So in your take, Rushdoony isn’t taking aim so much at monoculturalism as such, rather, he wants culture monopolistically to reflect his own beliefs, but needs to undermine the current monopoly in order to do so. So his invocation of “a free and pluralistic society” to accomplish his goal is purely strategic, since he does not believe in “free and pluralistic” societies as an ultimate goal.

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