Friday, September 19, 2008

The political views of teachers

"Schools should be centres of learning and tolerance, not a breeding ground for the poisonous views of the BNP."
That's Christina McAnea from Unison, speaking about Adam Walker, a BNP member, and officer of the BNP's Trade Union "Solidarity", who could be struck off the register of teachers and therefore lose his livelihood because he used school computers to leave online comments critical of immigration, Muslims, asylum seekers and 'the promotion of homosexuality'.

The BNP's views are hateful, and hate-filled. The topics Walker posted about are groups of people, not abstract ideas. They are people who can become targets of hate. It would be very bad if children were influenced by this sort of systematic organising of people into groups that can be hated.

Unfortunately, though, that's exactly what's happening anyway. The left can offer a hatred for every taste: invariably class, sometimes race, occasionally sexuality.

The BNP are non-conformist left-wingers. They do subscribe to mainstream leftist ideas about a class divide, and want to see more worker-ownership of businesses, but do not advocate large scale nationalisation to achieve this. Their approach is more like that of the Green Party.

They are obsessed not just with Jews, as are so many on the left, but also with skin colour, which is less common. Where it exists, the skin colour prejudice most commonly found on the left holds those with pale skin collectively accountable for crimes committed by their ancestors, even though the sorts of crimes their ancestors committed were also committed by the ancestors of people of every colour. The BNP invert this, preferring pale skin.

Their sexual prejudices are socially conservative. Unlike most socially conservative left-wingers - most people who vote for parties of the left fall into this category - the BNP are open about their sexual prejudices and in some cases make them policy. Normally, on the left, this is left to extremist, man-hating feminists who come up with entirely different policies to those of the BNP; no less hateful and hate-filled, just different.

There's nothing uniquely harmful about the BNP among all the parties of the left. In some ways they are less harmful than the mainstream - impotent, ineffective, fractious, their antecedent parties killed a mere 60 million people in the twentieth century, compared to the 150 million murdered by their Marxist cousins. International socialists still enslave hundreds of millions of people; National socialists no longer have the power to enslave anybody, although Russia's transition from international to national socialism threatens to change this.

Schoolteachers from some, Marxist, parts of the left can proselytise, let alone hold hate-filled private opinions, without objection from Unison officials. There is no suggestion that this BNP-supporting teacher tried to proselytise. His opinions were private. Tim is right about this case:
The line has to be drawn somewhere and if we’re to remain a free society it’s got to be that membership of a legal group, whatever their views, cannot be a bar to employment.

So this member of the BNP is one of the scoundrels H.L. Mencken warned we would have to defend if we are to defend freedom of speech and thought. But the issue of politics and school teaching goes further.

Schoolchildren are subjected to open political bias in their programmed learning, not just by some form of osmosis when they come into contact with teachers with pronounced opinions, and this open bias favours the Marxist tradition. If we should be concerned about politics in schools, this is what we should be concerned about.

UPDATE: Coincidentally, David Thompson just linked to a particularly egregious example of academic bias:
Metro State College is investigating a professor who asked students to write an essay critical of Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin. One student said the instructor singled out Republican students in the class and allowed others to ridicule them.

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