Thursday, December 24, 2015

Statists Play the Indoctrination Long Game

On Christmas Eve, I went to a chain bookstore looking for a box set of the Little House books for a friend's young daughter. While I was there I noticed a section of biographical and historical books for children. As I looked closer I noticed there were plenty of books on America's founders like Washington and Jefferson, but no Madison or Mason. There were also a few books on entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Edison and sports figures like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. But there were also many books lionizing liberal icons such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Gloria Steinem and Obama. Then I saw a book on The Great Depression. I quickly scanned it. Not surprising, it was the usual “unfettered capitalism failed and FDR, using the power of the federal government, came to the rescue” narrative. It even promoted the standard claim that, while FDR's programs were turning the corner, ultimately it was World War 2 that finally got the US out of The Great Depression.

These books only reinforce the indoctrination from schools that those who used the power of government are the heroes and those that fought for less government were standing in the way of progress. What is puzzling to me is why don't teenagers and college students revolt against the indoctrination that they have been force fed since preschool? They certainly did in the '60s. Why has the statist worldview continued to be cool while liberty not so much? I believe it is mostly due to libertarian voices being lumped in with conservative voices who have become easy targets of leftist social media activists. Maybe a separation of social conservatives and interventionists from libertarians is coming. But without being able to make the case for liberty through social media, libertarian ideas will not stand a chance.