Modern, universal, secular education is largely taken for granted today in the West. But it has not always been in existence. Up until relatively recently in history, most schooling was done at home or by the churches. Mass, public education conducted by the state is a somewhat recent development.

I have written before about the various dangers which may lie in public education. Mass education could simply be about the three R’s, which would be fair enough, but often it becomes a means of indoctrination and the promotion of various agendas.

And this has not occurred by accident. Many have viewed mass education as a means by which the state can indoctrinate students and enforce its ideology. Consider some of the leaders in the French Enlightenment. Rousseau for example wrote much about education. But his was a very elitist view.

He did not think the poor needed to be educated. But for those who did need education, he wanted the state, not mere parents, to do the job. He made this clear in his various writings on the topic. As Gertrude Himmelfarb says in her important book, The Roads to Modernity (2004):

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