According ThinkProgress, Virginia Representative David Brat (R-Of Course) argued against funding for secondary and higher education on Wednesday, claiming that it wasn’t necessary because Plato and Aristotle had been “taught on a rock.”
Rep. Brat began by invoking “spontaneous order,” saying that free markets didn’t arise through policy, never mind that free markets are like unicorns: at no point in history have they ever existed, but both feature in major American religions.
His lunatic education theory is based on the same logic. According to Brat, “I’ve taught for the past 18 years at the college level, and before got a Masters and Ph.D. and all that,” and that the great thinkers of Western civilization weren’t byproducts of education policy. In fact, he noted, “Socrates trained Plato on a rock” and Plato, in turn, “Aristotle, roughly speaking, on a rock.”
Therefore, “huge funding is not necessary to achieve the greatest minds and the greatest intellects in history. With that said, we do face huge challenges.”
The average American is as intelligent as Plato was, perhaps even more intelligent, depending on how you define intelligence. The difference lies in where that intelligence is directed, and which of the various “intelligences” that the person is strong in. Even the most hair-brained creationist is usually good at something. What he’s arguing here is that these minds were great because they received one-on-one teaching, basically. Ergo, the best way to produce “the greatest intellects in history,” since almost everyone is on the same playing field as Plato, is with one-on-one teaching, not 30 kids to a classroom, as that’s how Plato and Aristotle were produced. This means that the proper way to produce “great intellects” is with more funding, not less.
Try harder, Brat. I’m not Socrates, but you’re not even a cheap man’s imitation of Thrasymachus, the man you and other Libertarians want to be when you grow up.
He continued with his “huge challenges,” which were more about economics than education. “You have kids coming out of the high school system, and if you ask them what a business is, we’d be challenged to get a good answer,” he said.
Brat went on to say that “Our kids do compete against India, China, et cetera, right now in a global economy and we’re not winning. Economics is a ‘win-win’ thing. It’s not that China and India should lose — we can all get together and get rich together, so it’s a ‘win-win’ thing.”
The only way that happens is with global labor union, not magical voodoo economics and Austrian School theurgy.
Brat concluded: “I think if we really want to do better, we ought to get private sector folks into every one of our schools, get the CEOs in the schools and move beyond this just narrow policy debate and really have a revolution. I haven’t heard anything revolutionary coming from the other side . . . Our kids don’t know what a business is when they graduate from high school, and they need to know that.”
I’ll spare everyone the trouble; here’s the definition of a business: an amoral, sociopathic entity that treats people like they’re tools to be abused and replaced, and assesses social responsibility and good citizenship as a percentage cost against their bottom line.
We don’t need more sociopaths. That David Brat is elected proves we have enough.
Watch the video below: