Thursday, January 05, 2006

Comrade Kate of SDA

Will wonders never cease, the entire Conservative movement in Canada appears to be moving to the Left. First Comrade Harper keeps talking about 'Canadian workers' and 'working families', which is only a hop skip and a jump to him saying 'working class'.

Then Edmonton Centre candidate Laurie Hawn joins Federal Prison Guard Union members in Solidarity Forever.

Now Kate McMillan from Small Dead Animals in her latest blog on CBC quotes Vladimir Illich Lenin. No really. She quotes Comrade Lenin.

Now of course if I quote Comrade Lenin then I get accused of being a Lefty. But if Kate quotes him well..... ok lets put it in context. She really is NOT supporting a return of Red Toryism in the Conservatives she is attacking her favorite bug a boo, socialised day care. Ok and she is attacking socialized health care.

Lets deal with the former first. In her blog she says;

But that anyone would propose that government "knows best" when it comes to early learning and child care is nothing short of frightening.

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." - Vladimir Lenin

Oh that clever Lenin, he surely is responsible for the Liberals and NDP day care policies. I bet they hired him as a disembodied advisor. But wait this quote sounds familar. Hmmm let us google around for a minute and see what we find.....
Oh dear Lenin was paraphrasing that famous Jesuit quote:

"Give me a child for the first seven years, and you may do what you like with him afterwards."

And since this has been the core philosophy of Catholic Education, I wonder if Kate is as frightened of the Church knowing best. Specially since Canada is a Catholic country. Perhaps not by government edict but certainly by census, if not concensus. Of course she doesn't mind Church indoctrination. Like most Blogging Tory's she is all in favour of private delivery of services by the Church. Moral values and all that. But the government funding secular non profit daycares, oh heaven forbid such interference in our individual and family lives.

Instead she makes a straw man out of Lenin, raises the bugaboo of daycare as a communist plot, not unlike the old red scares around flouride back in the early sixties. Except she says nothing at all about education having always been the delivery of ideology by the Church or State.

The only free school movement that has historically existed is not what Kate has in mind. No siree it has been Anarchist, starting with Francisco Ferrer and the Modern School Movement in Spain in opposition to the Catholic Education system in that country.

Early in the summer of 1908, after his release from jail, he wrote the story of the Modern School. The work was entitled The Origins and Ideals of the Modern School and was translated into English by Joseph McCabe and published by the Knickerbocker Press in 1913.

Following the declaration of martial law in 1909 during the Tragic Week, he was arrested and executed without any proof by firing squad at Montjuich Fortress in Barcelona on October 12.

Shortly after his execution, numerous supporters of Ferrer's ideas in the United States formed what were called Modern Schools, or Ferrer Schools, modeled after la Escuela Moderna. The first and most notable Modern School was formed in New York City in 1911.

Coincidental with the anarchist Modern School Movement was the Summerhill Free School movement in Germany which moved to England and influenced the homeschooling movement of the early sixties.

Summerhill: the early days

Summerhill was founded in 1921 in Hellerau, a suburb of Dresden. It was part of an International school called the Neue Schule. There were wonderful facilities there and a lot of enthusiasm, but over the following months Neill became progressively less happy with the school. He felt it was run by idealists – they disapproved of tobacco, foxtrots and cinemas – while he wanted the children to live their own lives. He said:

Summerhill School I am only just realising the absolute freedom of my scheme of Education. I see that all outside compulsion is wrong, that inner compulsion is the only value. And if Mary or David wants to laze about, lazing about is the one thing necessary for their personalities at the moment. Every moment of a healthy child's life is a working moment. A child has no time to sit down and laze. Lazing is abnormal, it is a recovery, and therefore it is necessary when it exists. Summerhill School

Together with Frau Neustatter (later his first wife), Neill moved his school to Sonntagsberg in Austria. The setting was idyllic – a castle on top of a mountain – but the local people, a Catholic community, were hostile.

By 1923 Neill had moved to the town of Lyme Regis in the south of England, to a house called Summerhill where he began with 5 pupils. The school continued there until 1927, when it moved to the present site at Leiston in the county of Suffolk, taking the name of Summerhill with it.

Yep social engineering is what Kate opposes, of course unless its delivered by the private sector as a commodity. Or perhaps by the church through access to public school funds or through religious based home schooling (an extension of Sunday School).

That is what she wants for day care, education and health care. She calls these commodities, at least she is honest about her capitalist apologetics. She wants all this delivered by the private sector. Or in an unregulated fashion, such as Baba babysitting, which is all the Conservative plan pays for.

Where she is not honest is of course her revisionist history of Canada and our social programs. She rely's upon her reading of American right wing propaganda and applying it uncritically to Canada. Lets look at Medicare for instance.

In her same blog item she says this about Medicare.

With the generation who remember life without socialized medicine slowly passing into history, the nation fully indoctrinated with the belief that the words "commodity" and "right" are interchangable, the Liberals have decided to welcome a future voting demographic to the concept that "babysitting" is a government responsiblity.

Oh what generation is that Kate? You obviously missed my blog about how Socialized Medicine Began in Alberta, even before it began in Saskatchewan.

And it was demanded by the ruling classes, the political powers that be, in the medical establishment as well as the government, and it was introduced by a right wing government; Social Credit. It began in the 1940's.

So there has not been a modern generation without Medicare in Canada except your grandparents, when they were children. After WWII every Canadian that came home from the fight for freedom was prepared to fight for social programs, cause when they left home there had been a depression and no social programs and when they returned they were not prepared to settle for less than the current social programs we enjoy. If they hadn't gotten them there would have been a revolution. Which is why Keynsian economics was used to createthe welfare state.

But Kate the historical revisionist denies all this.

Mind you Medicare as it existed in Alberta and Saskatchewan were different then Medicare is today. And different from the private insurance policies that folks in other provinces lived under. And I don't imagine that generation wants to return to that.

Nope they are seniors now and they ain't much in mood to listen to wet behind the ears whippersnappers like Kate tell them that what they consider a right should now be sold back to them as a commodity. Nope. Thats why they vote. And they vote in large numbers. And they vote to keep pensions, medicare, etc. They are the most vocal defenders of the status quo, cause they and their parents fought for it and built this country around those rights that Kate would sell off.



Meaghan Walker-Williams said...

Social Engineering is all wrong to Kate, unless she is the Social engineer, and Indian Children, are the little ants in the experimental toy-ant farm that she can perform her ghastly little social engineering experiments upon.

wonderdog said...

Well, I see that Meaghan beat me to the punch: I'd like to see how Kate squares her distaste for social engineering with her support for residential schools. You know, it's not racist as long as she just wants to save the Indian kids from their parents....

Glyn (Zaphod) Evans said...

Great post!