As far back as I can remember I’ve heard the often repeated phrase, “As the twig is bent so grows the tree.” I later learned that the phrase’s origin can be traced back to Alexander Pope in his Epistle to Cobham (1734):
‘Tis Education forms the vulgar mind;
Juft as the Twig is bent, the Tree’s inclin’d.
America’s earliest founders understood this. After first establishing houses and places of worship, they next began to attend to education. Harvard was established in 1636. The Massachusetts School Law of 1642 and the Massachusetts General School Law of 1647, better known as the Old Deluder Satan Act, were designed to insure that future generations would follow the old ways.
The biggest mistake these well-intentioned colonists made was to put education in the hands of government officials. In time, the schools were co-opted by people who understood the political power that could be wielded if education could be financed by taxpayers and controlled by the State. Liberals are all about time and persistence. That’s why they’re winning.
We’ve seen it happen before but under more revolutionary conditions.
The Marxist worldview, as put forth by Vladimir Lenin, worked for the centralization and State control of education. Under Communism homes and schools were to reflect and perpetuate the agenda of the State.
The goal was to indoctrinate the youth with an alien worldview that was counter to the past and the governing authority of parents. Marxism’s optimistic although secular eschatology allowed it to purge the old from the new, generation by generation.
Like Hitler, Lenin saw the value in monopolizing education and bringing it under the exclusive control of the State. He believed that time was on his side. The old order would pass away along with its outdated ideas regarding religion, family, and education.
The sooner the children could be taken from their parents and broken from their links to the past, the sooner the reprogramming could take place. In his Principles of Communism of 1847, Engels had advocated the “education of all children, as soon as they are old enough to dispense with maternal care, in national institutions and at the charge of the nation.”1 All facets of society must conform to the new ideology:
“We are bringing the women into the social economy, into legislation and government. . . . We are establishing communal kitchens . . . infant asylums . . . educational institutions of all kinds. In short, we are seriously carrying out the demand of our program for the transference of the economic and educational function of the separate household to society. . . . The children are brought up under more favourable conditions than at home. . . .”2
The “separate household” was transferred “to society.” Mothers would be encouraged to enter the work force in ever greater numbers. This would allow the State an opportunity to care for the children in “educational institutions of all kinds” at an even earlier age.
Education in America has followed this model. We’ve turned our children over to the very institution that is leading us down the path to State control and economic slavery.
- Quoted in Francis Nigel Lee, Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin (Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1974), 351. [↩]
- Quoted in Lee, Communist Eschatology, 350. [↩]