An article for the premier issue of the new e-zine Freedom’s Phoenix by Stefan Molyneux, Host of Freedomain Radio, the largest and most popular philosophy show in the world – http://www.freedomainradio.com
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The Future of Freedom is the Truth of the Past
Lessons in Propaganda from Government Education
By Stefan Molyneux, MA
Host of Freedomain Radio, the largest and most popular philosophy show in the world.
“A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.”
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859
“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
Try asking a web site for directions without typing in a starting point. The web page will rightly tell you that this is impossible. If you are lost on the ocean, you cannot plot a course for Tahiti.
In a famous chapter from George Orwell’s “1984,” Winston Smith tries asking an old man what life was like before socialism, but can extract only scraps and faded scenes from the ancient man’s broken recollections.
In order to seal you in slavery, your government must pretend that you were never free. It must shatter your true history into facile propaganda, into fairy tales that endlessly repeat the fantasy that your political leaders rescued you from the scary chaos of liberty.
The murder of memory is the first crime of the State — and the source and sustenance of all its other crimes.
Why do we believe this propaganda, these fairy tales?
I submit that it is to avoid the knowledge of our own enslavement.
Most people’s beliefs are ex post facto justifications for the after-effects of brute power. Almost no one wants to pay taxes — otherwise, why force them? — but because we are compelled to, we find solace in pretending that our tax money does great and necessary good in society — and comfort ourselves with the lie that without taxes, charity, benevolence and civilization itself would collapse…