Civ^2 Blogging (85)

(1) What does the evidence show about education in England before the compulsory state system was established?

Before compulsory state education emerged, people were free to seek education however they chose. Despite no forced education, England produced the most literate society on the earth for that time (over 95% of 15 year-olds). In 1870 an act was passed to “fill in gaps where there was not enough education in the private system.” By 1880, education became compulsory, and in 1891, state schooling became funded solely by tax-payer’s dollars. Compulsory education laws never had and never will increase the amount of children attending school despite the misleading figures that inform us otherwise. The only thing that grew was the amount of people in the West due to decreasing death rates, and the government’s influence over the people.

(2) What is classical liberalism?

Modern liberalism and classic liberalism are extremely different concepts, essentially opposites. Modern liberalism is a little something I like to call hipster socialism and is represented by all of the Hillary supporters rioting due to Trump’s election. Classic Liberalism can be summed up in four words:  individual liberty and limited government. Classical liberalism supports freedom of speech (although technically free speech, hanging a figure of Trump from a noose off the side of your house in a neighborhood full of children is both offensive and extremely inappropriate) and freedom of press. Religious freedom is also an essential idea in classic liberalism–forcing someone to attend a mass does not convert them and only forces them to become liars or hypocrites. Reason and rational discussion are the only viable ways to argue your beliefs and they are two things that modern liberalists are entirely incapable of (as evidenced by their beliefs).

(3) Choose one of the works discussed in lesson 83 and explain how it reflects the principles of classical liberalism.

The Petition of the candle-makers is a satirical work by Frederic Bastiat about how some candle-makers protest to the government that they cannot sell enough candles due to a superior competitor–the sun! They argue that they cannot possibly compete with such a perfect light source so people must block out the sun in their homes in order for the candle-makers to compete fairly. Bastiat is mocking the heavy tariffs on imported goods that were initiated because the goods were so cheap that local producers could not compete and so forced the people to buy their more expense goods by petitioning the government to spike the cost of the cheaper imported goods.

(4) Discuss several classical liberal themes that can be found in the work of Benjamin Constant.

The point of the law is to defend the citizens lawfully. Nowadays, the law has been twisted to prevent people from acting as they wish even if the actions harm no-one. The law is almost favoring breaking the very laws it has laid down. Stealing from your neighbor is illegal and yet your neighbor can vote for a politician who will tax you and give some of that tax money to your neighbor in the form of public schooling and health care (legal plunder). Kidnapping people is also illegal, but likewise, the government can kidnap you by drafting you into the army. If it is wrong for any citizen to do these things, it is just as wrong for the government to do them. (Uhm whoops Benjamin doesn’t actually say that. I got his work confused with that of another author, but he does include most of these ideas in his works and I thought you might be interested in hearing these ideas anyways.) Benjamin describes how if one person messes up in the government of themselves, it harms only them-self: one person. However if the government messes up while ruling everybody’s life, everybody will suffer, not just one person.

Do you guys like reading my papers in a more casual form like this or the more formal structure I have been using up until now? Also, does this post format look and/or read better than the standard form I have been using since for-EVER? –Just trying to make this experience of reviewing my “essays” more enjoyable for everyone! ;) <3

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