“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” ~ Clay Shirky
You know the slavery Kool-Aid is working well when those who are oppressed petition their oppressors for more of that which helps keep them oppressed.
For instance, public education is a tool that was designed–specifically and directly–as a means of controlling the hoi polloi. The educational system of compulsory public education championed by Horace Mann, chock-full of multiple-choice testing perfected by Frederick J. Kelly, feeding into statistical models based upon the work of (eugenicist) Sir Francis Galton, was (and is) designed to fulfill the need for employees who are primed and ready to inhabit factories where efficiency can be measured in ways developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor. (The fact that so few of such factories currently exist in America should also be telling, but that’s a different discussion.) Mann believed “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.” The whole thing was designed to produce a seething throng of people ready to take orders, stand in line, ask few questions, and install bumpers all day–accepting the interminable boredom of such a life–while their over-lords made a ton of money. Free and compulsory public education was never intended to create inquisitive, risk-taking, leaders. Or entrepreneurs and/or business owners. Or frankly, owners of anything! Yet, people clamor that “education is a right” and “we need more funding for our schools” despite the inescapable fact that these same crap holes are doing their best at producing children incapable of independent thought and unable to read a book (or a blueprint), solve a simple mathematics problem, or devise a new strategy. It’s damned sad, really.
When I embarked upon the task of teaching Austrian Economics at USFQ (as ECN101 and with some concessions to the mainstream such as teaching their flawed theories before attacking them) I couldn’t predict beforehand if I was going to find either resistance or support from my students and colleagues. I promise to tell TLS readers about the latter in another occasion. Of every class of 30-33 students for ECN101 I end up focusing on the 5-10 that are really into the material. We read a lot of Hoppe, Rothbard, Reisman, Dilorenzo, Kinsella and Block. Of course I tell my students that my class’ purpose is to show them a different point of view, since the “official” one can be found on the MSM of Ecuador and the U.S. and other classes even at USFQ (most PhD professors being either natural science types or liberal arts former hippies that support any soft form of socialism you can imagine there is.)
Of course of this 5-10 (per class, and I teach 3 classes per semester) maybe 2 or 3 become ardent libertarians and are encouraged to attend Mises University and FEE Seminars during the following summer. Last semester, I taught an “Advanced Libertarianism” seminar for the 12 best students from the past two years. Their enthusiasm being at a peak, they decided to do as Helio Beltrao and his libertarian cadre did in Brazil and create a LVMI-Ecuador think tank. My students Esteban Perez, Cindy Aguiar, Esteban Torres, Lizeth Torres, Alejandro Veintimilla, Pablo Mateus, Paul Riera and Lizeth Vasconez are the culprits: they are they driving force for LVMI-Ecuador. I’ll just say you better remember their names, they are very young but I bet they will make the headlines of libertarian and MSM publications later on.
The most exciting thing is that thanks to web 2.0 we can hold board meetings via Skype, promote our articles (60% of mises.ec being the translated Mises Daily articles) and events (this Wednesday we begin with “Cuba and the elephants” a thought-provoking documentary) via Facebook and keep our fixed costs to $40usd a year (for the .ec domain.)
In sum, today I want to share with you the official launch of www.mises.ec as the core service the Instituto Ludwig von Mises Ecuador has to offer the region and country in which it operates.