The Soviets loved John Dewey and they still love him in Madison, Wisconsin, and wherever else public employee teachers have taken to the streets.
“More than 10,000 union members and supporters swarmed the State Capitol here,” began an ecstatic People’s World, describing the scene in Annapolis, Maryland. The masses assembled “to protest proposed changes to teacher’s pensions and to respond to the recent attack on unions in Wisconsin.” The CPUSA organ was there, reporting triumphantly, ready to storm the Bastille, arm-in-arm in solidarity with the workers against their evil oppressors.
It indeed smacks of Wisconsin, or so the comrades and their fellow travelers hope. The article in People’s World, self-styled “direct descendant of the Daily Worker,” continued excitedly:
The rally began at 6 p.m. as people began filing into Lawyer’s Mall in front of the Statehouse, arriving from all corners of the state. When the mall was full and barriers broken down, people resorted to climbing trees to fit in.
That’s when the marchers arrived.
Another 7,000 or so people came marching from the main boulevard. Standing at one end of the rally it was not possible to see the end of the procession that packed the whole four-lane street. The police ended up blocking traffic for blocks to accommodate the crowd….
A local veteran of the labor movement at the rally said, “I’ve been coming to labor rallies in Maryland for over 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.” … Another participant was a self-described “conservative” debating the merits of capitalism and the free market. Still, he was so energized by the recent movement by labor that he wanted to come support it….
Speakers from the local labor movement pumped up everyone, leading up to the headliner, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka…. Trumka had “a message for those who support the CEO agenda,” warning, “Madison is just the beginning, Cleveland is just the beginning. This right here tonight is only the beginning!”
The crowd roared. Trumka rallied the proletariat. “Tax the rich! Tax the rich!” chanted the workers.
And, yes, it’s only the beginning.
Yesterday’s demon was Scott Walker in Wisconsin, transmogrified into all sorts of political Frankenstein’s: Hitler, Franco, Louis XVI, Attila the Hun, Torquemada, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer.
Now, in Maryland, it’s someone, or something, else. With a Democratic governor there, the target morphed into the natural enemy of the folks at People’s World and their Daily Worker grandparents: the rich generally, the bourgeoisie, markets, “profits,” capitalism.
But the one specter not on display at these rallies, from Madison to Maryland and beyond, who is really the godfather of the teachers’ front, is the late John Dewey. If I may, I’d like to share some badly needed words on the late Columbia professor, who is at least partly responsible for delivering the teacher mobs.
Professor Dewey’s impact on education over the past 100 years is difficult to overstate, especially through the instruction and training of college students to become public-school teachers. He is the father of modern public education.
In fact, Dewey is often claimed as “father” of a number of concepts, some of which overlap or are confused, from “pragmatism” to “experimentalism.” We see the spirit of Dewey in the constant experimentation that prevails in the classroom, the never-ending, always-changing search for new methods, programs, terms, fads and fashion, and “research” into “improving” education.
Not only does such thinking maintain a hold on educators, but so does the sharp secularism and post-modernism. Dewey favored that, too; when it came to rampant repudiation of moral absolutes in public schools, Dewey was ahead of his time.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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