Education: Free and Compulsory (LFB)by Murray N. Rothbard
In this radical and scholarly monograph, out of print for two decades and restored according to the
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What is it about today's school system that so many find unsatisfactory? Why have so many generations of reformers failed to improve the educational system, and, indeed, caused it to degenerate further and further into an ever declining level of mediocrity?
In this radical and scholarly monograph, out of print for two decades and restored according to the author's original, Murray N. Rothbard identifies the crucial feature of our educational system that dooms it to fail: at every level, from financing to attendance, the system relies on compulsion instead of voluntary consent.
Certain consequences follow. The curriculum is politicized to reflect the ideological priorities of the regime in power. Standards are continually dumbed down to accommodate the lowest common denominator. The brightest children are not permitted to achieve their potential, the special needs of individual children are neglected, and the mid-level learners become little more than cogs in a machine. The teachers themselves are hamstrung by a political apparatus that watches their every move.
Rothbard explores the history of compulsory schooling to show that none of this is accidental. The state has long used compulsory schooling, backed by egalitarian ideology, as a means of citizen control. In contrast, a market-based system of schools would adhere to a purely voluntary ethic, financed with private funds, and administered entirely by private enterprise.
An interesting feature of this book is its promotion of individual, or home, schooling, long before the current popularity of the practice.
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Meet the Author
Murray Newton Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an American economist, historian, and political theorist. He was a prominent exponent of the Austrian School of economics and fundamentally influenced the American libertarian movement and contemporary libertarian and classical liberal thought, by theorizing a form of free-market anarchism which he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the American libertarian movement.
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