Schooling for Totalitarianism

By | 2018-03-02T15:48:03+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Marching in protest has become the activity du jour in America. The latest planned protest is “March for Our Lives,” scheduled for March 24 in Washington, D.C. and at high schools across the nation. Ostensibly, it is organized by the students who survived the mass shooting in Florida. But this myth has been busted pretty thoroughly, by Buzzfeed, of all outlets. It should not have taken that crack team of journalists to figure out that high school students couldn’t possibly make this happen without the “guidance” of some very powerful people. But common sense, unfortunately, isn’t the order of the day.

An organization funded by Michael Bloomberg, Everytown for Gun Safety, is the main organization behind the effort. Joining forces are people like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and Steven Spielberg, who donated large amounts of money. The basics of the event were likely orchestrated before the shooting even happened. The claims that this is not about politics but about student safety are preposterous because the objective is to expand gun laws, which are already quite strict.

As much as the particulars of this event are important, my objective is more to explore a cultural problem in America. Some students have gladly stepped into the public arena, reciting clichés and canards alongside the proclamation they will “not be silenced anymore.” As if! The overabundance of primitive emotionalism is astounding and the media can’t get enough of it because at the core of it all is hatred for Donald Trump.

American youth are confused. In this instance, they are being used by the Leftist machine to create a public narrative meant to evoke sympathy in the pursuit of policy changes. If you disagree—or worse yet, if you ignore these poor children (who, in case you forgot, are our future!)—then you are a cold-hearted person who lacks compassion or sympathy with the victims of an atrocity.
Miseducation in America

At the center of this emotionalism is the American educational system. “Public education” today is not so much education in the requirements of citizenship in a self-governing republic as it is  a series of collectivist events designed to indoctrinate and arm the students with a leftist ideology. I have always been amazed at the coercion that takes place in schools—not from peer pressure so much, but from the teachers.

In my native country of Bosnia (the former Yugoslavia), I was educated under the socialist system. Yet I find the collectivism in American schools to be much more potent and toxic than anything I experienced there. To be sure, our teachers were distant and cold, and they had no problem calling a student an idiot or a moron. An individual student’s unique talents were not cause for celebration. Teachers didn’t care if a student had a special set of gifts. In America, educators seem to go out of their way to note the various gifts of students (real or imagined), but the goal of such recognition is still collectivism. When everyone is special, no one really is. Here we have collectivism masquerading as emotionalism, and this was not something I had known until I came here. In Bosnia, at least, the oppression could be taken pure. Here it comes with “the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

A Marxist Mentality
How is it possible that socialism thrives in American schools? The reason, I think, is that the Marxism that is so pervasive here is not systematic but cultural and existential. It is a strange contradiction to have words “American” and “Marxism” linked together, but this is the reality we are living in today.

Educators deny the importance of liberty and sovereignty of the United States and encourage students to think of themselves as “global citizens.” Every time they do this, they also deny the sovereignty of an individual. For all the emphasis on developing “critical thinking skills,” students do not know how to think for themselves, to make judgments, to express an opinion. They learn not to question the ideological set of static principles that do not allow freedom of the mind. Correct opinion is a product of history and evolution. Teachers exist, merely, to point it out and students exist, mainly, to accept it.

Whether we look at the state of education and thoroughly Marxist teachers, or recall that awful spectacle of the Women’s March, we see one commonality—personal dissatisfaction. Life in America, for the most part, is a life of comfort. What we’re witnessing is a group of people who are deeply unhappy, living lives with little transcendent meaning, caught up in some quest to connect with meaning. And so they create social and cultural problems that do not exist that they might create movements dedicated to addressing them.

The protesters rely entirely on the notion of collectivism and ideology as their personal identity comes from the directives of the group. Being caught up in the sway is an occasion of celebration and social media affirmation. Without understanding this act, they are submerged and lost in the groupthink, and as a result, they have dehumanized themselves as well as their intended target.

By definition, a Marxist ideologue is interested primarily in agitating the perceived powers of the society. The intent is to create cultural and social disorder and, finally, chaos. The demand (in this instance, gun control) and the result are really not that important. It is the perpetual movement that gives a shot of ideological elixir into the otherwise lifeless zombies that roam in America. The constant agitation is the drug that an ideologue craves. It provides the necessary release until another fix can be obtained.

The Path of Collectivism

I’ve survived a war, lived as a stateless person in a refugee camp, and have experienced great difficulties of starting a new life in a place I had quickly to assimilate into in order to succeed. Seeing these empty and meaningless complaints happening in America, makes me wonder what has happened to this country that I chose as my adopted home? If anyone should be angry, it is people like me, who escaped chaos and are finding themselves in another kind of chaos brought forth by these kinds of fantasy struggles.

The path of collectivism is the path of a non-thinking person. It leads to the loss of individual agency, accountability, and therefore liberty. Collectivism stands against the foundational principles of America. In 1765, John Adams wrote “that liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.” But Adams also knew that without proper knowledge or clear thinking, we could not keep liberty secure. In order to preserve the idea and the reality of America, Americans need to realize that they are living in an age of false narratives and soft totalitarianism. The hope does not lie in change. It is in the recognition and affirmation of our Founders’ ideals that have given birth to this nation.

About the Author:

Emina Melonic
Originally from Bosnia, a survivor of the Bosnian war and its aftermath of refugee camps, Emina Melonic immigrated to the United States in 1996 and became an American citizen in 2003. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her writings have appeared in National Review, The Imaginative Conservative, and Splice Today. She lives near Buffalo, N.Y.