21st-century indoctrination

Mark Steyn:

A few months back, my little boy came home from Second Grade and said to me, “Guess what we learned today?” I said: “Rosa Parks.” He said: “How did you know that?” I said: “Because it’s always Rosa Parks.”

I’d laugh, except it’s no joke. The Historic Victimhood Narrative is virtually the only history or civics taught in American public schools today. “America The Beautiful” has been replaced by “America The Oppressive.” Parents who send their offspring to these government-run indoctrination camps should be prosecuted for child abuse.

UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias offers the excuse that the “greater attention given in recent decades to the contributions of women and ethnic minority groups is about trying to expand the circle of people who feel invested in the national narrative.”

This is what Marxists call “social history” or “people’s history,” and is the sort of thing that leftist academic activists like Howard Zinn have made popular in America. Scouring history for relatively obscure figures who can be made into political heroes — role models for The Movement, as it were — is the sort of propaganda tactic that anyone familiar with the Soviet Union will recognize: “Comrade Pavlik — be like him!”

Children are taught to reverence a pantheon of symbolic personalities whose biographies are didactically rendered in such a way as to ignore whatever fundamental reality might contradict their function as symbols. The student/subject of these thought-control projects develops a conditioned response to the invocation of the holy names. Obversely, social didacticism requires certain demon characters who symbolize oppression and injustice, who are subjected to the same kind of one-dimensional treatment.

The student subjected to such politicized “history” cannot be said to think about history. Rather, he has an autonomic reflex, and reacts instinctively as he has been trained to react.

One of the reasons that women and minority conservatives are so vilified is that they contradict the Left’s narrative of women and minorities as “change agents” on the side of Progress. Our Marxist indoctrinators teach children to reverence a catalog of non-white-male symbolic heroes whose martyrdom and/or courageous protests are exalted as archetypes of progressive activism. This is why college leftists always react so furiously when they encounter a Michelle Malkin or a or Shelby Steele or a Star Parker contradicting today’s latest leftist dogma.

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