Parents Taking on the Leviathan

17th-century theorist Thomas Hobbes argued that members of any distinct society must subject themselves to an absolute sovereign as the only way to preserve their own lives and security. His book, “Leviathan,” reflected the political world view of the age. Proving him wrong was a small group of Puritans who established a tiny colony near what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The term Leviathan as used today in political discourse simply means a large, oppressive government or force, much like the Old Testament monster from which it derives its name. And even though the United States is based on the anti-Hobbesian theory of consent of the governed, there remain large forces that demand submission from citizens.

One of those large forces is the education establishment found both at the state and federal level. Large bureaucracies backed by powerful labor organizations have a vice-like grip on how our children are taught and what they are taught.

But things may be changing. The election earlier this month, more than anything, demonstrated that parents are angrily rejecting the education Leviathan. Republican Glenn Youngkin artfully deflected Terry McAuliffe’s claim that he was a Trump clone. And most pundits believe the deciding factor in the race was McAuliffe’s gaffe saying parents shouldn’t have a say in what their kids are taught. McAuliffe’s terminal case of political tone-deafness is replicated here in California, where the California Teachers Association and its affiliated local branches are increasingly viewed negatively by voters across the political spectrum.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the head of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, Cecily Myart-Cruz, claimed that there is “no such thing as learning loss” for students who were forced into remote learning during the pandemic, saying the children learned “survival” and “the difference between a riot and a protest.”

The arrogance revealed by Myart-Cruz might explain why the Los Angeles Unified School District has seen its steepest enrollment decline in 20 years, dropping by more than 27,000 students. Disaffected parents are discovering that, while escaping the Leviathan isn’t easy and sometimes requires sacrifice, the benefits to their children are worth the cost. Charter schools, private schools and homeschooling options have exploded throughout the state.

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Comments

  1. I am the government and I am here to save you.

    Is this a plausible statement? This is what Benito told the Italians. He was the original model for Hitler.

    Isn’t reasonable for K-9 students to accept this regardless of the truth? If you don’t both sides of an equation you lose (2x+1=30) …..

    Does this mean that the absolute power of government is wrong? Because if you don’t do on the opposite side of absolute power you cannot get the answer?

    Elementary Watson

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