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The 1943 Disney Cartoon on Public Education in Germany

Written by Gary North on June 28, 2013

This is a remarkable indictment of tax-funded education.

It was not produced to show the implications of state-controlled education in principle — only what happens when bad politicians take over education at the taxpayers’ expense. But when every local taxpayer must fund a single curriculum, one man’s good politician is another man’s bad politician.

Then what?

If neutrality is a myth, what is the philosophical justification for tax-funded education?

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41 thoughts on “The 1943 Disney Cartoon on Public Education in Germany

  1. Privately funded education was doing fine in the US until ; 1) the Protestant-controlled govt got worried that Catholic schools would dominate, or at least get too popular, and 2) Dewey and other 'Prussian style' (rote) advocates wanted govt control.. Property taxes, rather than tuition, was used for funding because it was an easy gang-theft-by-vote target. I Hence the govt controls what curriculum is taught and unions control methods, etc.

    Our kids and country would be better off with ZERO govt funding and control from K to PhD.(no licenses for anything) with all funding by tuition and private charity. There would be a variety of fancy vs simple schools, some 'religious', etc. Parents would instantly become 'involved' as they shopped to get good service (competition works!).
    Poor people would use a volunteer teacher and used books and meet in someones home, and get a far better edu that inner-city poor and minorities get today. Each generation would do better.

    Today each generation gets less edu and with bad attitudes (not industrious, etc) by parents and kids, they treat the govt as mother. boss and source of money and all good things they want. (same for corp subsidies etc) Personal responsibility, courtsey and honesty decline because the don't matter! Instead of needing 'friends and family and church' to help you when in need, your relationship with them doesn't matter because 'entitlements' from govt bail you out. This leads to sloth decadence and bad attitudes in a society. We are well into it. Sad.

    See #3 Issues, item # 15 Edu in the left margin of my site Forward-USA.org.

    Lets' get govt OUT of edu to save the USA.

  2. Michael Hutchins says:

    Utter BS. The Federal government contributes $.06 out of every dollar spent on K-12 education in the United States. This is a red herring. There is no massive out-of-control government budget for education. And it might even be preferable to have one! (One might wonder how much better education would be were the government to spend as much on it as, say, the military?)

  3. Education Needed says:

    Education is needed and important, but what does it really mean? There are obviously different ideas as to what education is all about. AND if only ONE is allowed and proscribed have the students really been educated? I continue to meet people, especially younger people that have a level of education but still parrot words they don't understand and can't defend. It is very sad, but without TRUE education first, the thought process will fail from a simple garbage in garbage out perspective. The illustration of intimidation is all too prominent. Continue to play on people's fears and this is what you will get?

  4. DNA proof that hitler was jewish http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1305414/H
    in time all the top nazis will be revealed as jewish

  5. and…You…obviously are a product of the nazi-type shcools…

  6. Same evolutionary trash is taught in the government skrools today… the scam of Darwinism is the heart of the system as it was under Haeckel's textbooks with the Nazis

  7. Why would anyone invite the government in to their lives by sending their children to public school and subjecting them to the whims of an unaccountable "teacher" who through careful consideration has decided your kid needs ritalin to help him focus on the anti religion, anti capitalist pro LGBT lesson. To bad he can't read at grade level, but at least he feels good about himself.

  8. Good overview, Dave. Your last long paragraph ("Today each generation…") details not only the bad outcomes of state education, but is also a list of the "good" outcomes as far as the statists are concerned. Like Gary said, "one man's good politician is another man's bad politician". These are exactly the outcomes the statists were hoping for: Gov't as mother, source of all good things, relationships don't matter, personal responsibility in decline, etc. Dewey got his whole wish list filled!

  9. If you're right about the .06/1.00 funding level, then how come the Fed seems to be able to dictate the terms and curricula of local school districts? Seems like for a measly six cents, the locals could tell the feds to shove off. I'm going to research your claim and see if it's true.

  10. Michael Hutchins says:

    Nope! I was homeschooled up to college. But I do support free, public schools and wish crackpot "economists" would learn from history. Society was more unequal and the economy less broad-based when education was reserved for the privileged classes who could pay for it. Go look up the data on economic cycles before public education. You haven't seen boom-and-bust until you've seen the 18th and early 19th centuries!

  11. Michael Hutchins says:

    Correction: I was quoting the wrong budget cycle. The latest budget takes the federal K-12 contribution up to 10.2% of the total spent. see: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html?s

    As for federal oversight, almost all curricula are adopted on the state level or locally (sometimes with really bad results. Consider the Texas school board controversies of 2010-2012 or the Dover school district: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_

  12. Michael Hutchins says:

    The federal government exercises astonishingly little control over schools. Consider the disparity between curricula, funding, staffing standards and achievement records across the 50 states. The premise of this post is laughable.

  13. Gary wrote about State controlled, tax funded education. Heard of the 50 States? He never once mentioned the Federal government or its contribution, though that is present and brings with it some influence as can be seen by all of the Federal initiatives over the years. Ever heard of No Child Left Behind?

    There ARE massive, out-of-control government budgets for education, not just A massive Federal budget.

  14. I agree! We must have Separation of School and State!!!

  15. Common Core will change all that, however, the Federal Government controls virtually all curricula across the country. And is forcing agendas that parents would not want for their kids. One reason why homeschooling is up 75% since 1999.

  16. Michael Hutchins says:

    So…if there is no sort of governmental support for education–most of which is already local–one would have to presume that education would be a completely ad hoc affair. Who then pays someone to create knowledge and teach it to your kids? You would probably see corporate or religious control of research and education: do you really want Disney or Monsanto or the Vatican dictating educational standards? Because make no mistake, someone will take charge. Wouldn't you rather it be someone elected and accountable to you the voter? Who else would ensure that your kids are NOT taught that the Earth is flat, for example, or that African Americans are unequal to whites, or that all humans owe allegiance to one god or another?

    The truth is that this country already allows parents to take control of their children's education by homeschooling–something unheard of in other developed nations. But if you want a real expert teaching your kids, and not just a yokel, some money has to be invested in training that person. That money is going to come with strings attached. You just have to choose where the strings lead: back to the voters or back to a special interest.

  17. LarryFrom10EC says:

    Have you heard about "Common Core"?

  18. True Faith says:

    There is no "Jewish DNA." Judaism is a religion. If someone can show evidence that Hitler was an adherent of the Jewish faith, that's one thing. But one is not born into a religious faith.

  19. To assume that educational conditions without govt. invovlement would revert to 18th-19th century conditions is false. With the advent of present-day tech etc., the ability for private education to proleferate would be greater than ever before.

  20. NO jewish DNA!!! is that what your public shul master taught you? science says otherwise, my eyes tell me otherwise….your jewish god jesus says otherwise.

  21. Or better yet poor children can get out into the workplace sooner and earn an income for their families.

  22. False? As if that would be a bad thing as that was the laissez-faire era and supposedly the time when the economy grew at its fastest?

  23. And the Nazis oppose smoking for health reasons so if you don't smoke then you're a Neo-nazi.

  24. Pfft. I'd feel better aboutthe education my kids would get in a 19th century schoolhouse than what they get force-fed these days.

  25. Marcus Zuhlke says:

    My God Michael Hutchins, homeschooling should have enabled you to become an independent thinker but all you state is and acquiescence to "experts" ; you are obviously too obtuse to understand that we, the people, are the government. The founders had no trust in the "experts" you so readily embrace; it is a shame that all you gained from "homeschooling" is indoctrination through an alternative educational media.

    Michael, you need to awaken and understand that "public education", in the US, has become an indoctrinating branch of progressive governance. My son (an intelligence analyst) deals with the narrowly public educated every day; it is frightening indeed to think that the future of our Republic is placed in their thought-controlled hands (welcome to the "brave new world" created my government controlled education).

  26. You actually believe that?! It is quite obvious that you have not been involved over the years in Public education (raising a child and paying attention to school would help). As a matter of fact, if you graduated anytime after the late sixties you were already being indoctrinated in the Hegelian model without even realizing it. That is the truly scary part! As of now, we have three or four generations of teachers that are products of this massive change in educational philosophy. If you think that there is little governmental control over public schools, I suggest that you just look at your school budget and see how much money is provided by the federal government. Every dollar given exacts a greater amount of control then you would ever realize. Time to wake up and smell the coffee my friend!

  27. "Privately funded education was doing fine in the US until … the Protestant-controlled govt got worried that Catholic schools…"
    Looks like they were right, weren't they?

  28. E Emerson says:

    Odd, you equating a bundle of social programs that have grown up around supposed 'education' to the constitutionally mandated provision of common defense. As for the non-existent massive out-of-control government budget for education – what, if not a "massive out-of-control budget for education" would you call the combined costs of all government-operated schools in the US?… The ones beholden to a national union, the ones managed and staffed by government employees at many levels, the ones funded by the NEA via block grants to the states, the ones producing by nearly every measure less-qualified graduates than it did 30, 40, and 50 years ago? In that context, any budget is out-of-control, as it does not produce desired results – but more to the point, is not intended to. It is designed and intended and operated to produce same-thinking obedient ideologues that will dutifully vote for more of what they there were indoctrinated to believe for their first 18 years.

    How many government school teachers vote (or even claim to vote) non-democrat? How many government school or school system administrators vote (or even claim to vote) non-democrat? How many school board members, boards of regents members, or other government education governance participants vote (or even claim to vote) non-democrat?

    If this were a racial demographic, rather than a political one, there would be no discussion as to how 'prejudiced' the environment were. There would be calls for 'affirmative action' to alter the clearly biased and bigoted environment that had developed.

    But since it serves the purposes of those who prefer to believe they know better, and so "should" be the ones to decide (with other peoples' money), no such consideration or thought. The philosophical equivalent of forcing atheists to pay for religious schools is considered right and good.

    Who's slinging the "utter BS?"

  29. Actually there's. There are even some jewish-specific generic disorders like Bloom's Syndrome.

  30. philwynk says:

    The problem is not national-funded vs. state-funded education, Michael. The problem is publicly-funded education at any level, versus private education.

    State-funded education was introduced using the lie that state controllers always use: in order to reach the lowest 10% of the people who are not getting a perfect education, the state needs to fund 100% of education for everybody. The real reason for it, though, was that a state-funded system gives the experts control over the instruction of the young, in order to engineer a perfect society.

    Progressives have controlled the education establishment from the moment that it was established, and they still control it. Public education has therefore become indoctrination into the Progressive ideal.

    It has also, in their hands, deteriorated to the point where even the brightest students are ill-equipped to grasp the concepts that underpin our republic, and the ones in the bottom half of the grade pool are lucky if they’re capable of reading the directions on a can of soup. As will happen with health care, and as happens with any commodity provided by a monopoly (government or otherwise), a sole-source provider has no incentive to produce excellence and no incentive to improve. A government monopoly, in addition, has no incentive to control costs.

    At the time our republic began, America had the best-educated children in the world — produced by a system that was almost entirely private. No longer. After 150 years of fully-public education, not even the best students get as good an education as the poorest students received under the all-private system; and students spent four times as many hours in school today than they spent back then.

    This is not a red herring at all. We’re just scratching the surface of the real reason why American students cannot read, cannot think, and cannot choose their paths soundly.

  31. Uh, Jesus is not a Jewish "god." He's a Chrisitan god. Are you sure that you know who the god is that is talking to you?

  32. kalamawashington says:

    I would rather see my children and my grandchildren (which they are) taught at home. As was mentioned, the available resources are amazing. Just like a teacher in a public school, you don't have to be a genius to home school your children, just basicly intelligent. Also there are great Homeschooling groups that can be joined. I am glad I went through school in the '50's, 60's and 70's. It was public school, but it was sooo much better that what is out there now. It was before the Department of Education.

  33. Stephen Douglass as a slave was taught by the lady of the house – his writing is better than what comes out of college students these days. Also from the letters in the Civil War and other records literacy seemed to be widespread in the nineteenth century – again the writing and the vocabulary so much better than what comes out of the average public school. There is more to learn today – but there are a lot of good ideas for education from the private sector now – I think competition would be great. People seem to find money for IPods, movies, sports – allocating for education and other necessities (like healthcare) should come first . I believe DeToqueville (or some other observer of American culture) noted how much of the populace could read – I know cowboys in their leisure time read a lot – hardly sounds like just the "elite" had any education- we could adapt to a free enterprise educational system – we have been told government is the only way and believed it – Americans need to be "deprogrammed".

  34. CrustyOldGeezer says:

    Well, alright then!!!

    Michael does know how to backpedal!

  35. charles says:

    enjoying your obummer fine and snap cards?

  36. Get involved and do this project to Restore Liberty and no more Dept of Education, no IRS, no EPA, no NSA, no money or power left in DC – The States will again have all the powers and rights to protect the people from Federal tyranny and oppression . . no more tax slave . . http://articlevprojecttorestoreliberty.com/take-a

  37. Uh, christianity is a jewish invention, and Jesus is the son of the Jew god, Elohim (satan) he is of genetic jewish blood, so states the jewish book known as the new testament, who's authors are all jewish.
    hasnt your limp wristed preacher taught you all those facts yet?

  38. Michael, spending on Education by the Feds has almost doubled since the 60's with, if the reports are to be believed, no discernible improvements in educational levels throughout the social spectrum. We now are faced with a Fed mandated ands controlled "Common Core" with story lines adjusted to suit the message. It is troubling to say the least. We should disband the DofE and distribute the money to the States and let them handle. The Constitution does not require the Feds to oversee or dictate and "message" and no doubt for a very good reason. Something to do with the potential for brainwashing maybe?

  39. Blair Franconia, NH says:


  40. Re: Michael Hutchins,

    — Utter BS. The Federal government contributes $.06 out of every dollar spent on K-12 education in the United States. —

    Mr. North does not mention the Federal government or the Federal government's involvement in education; he only talks about education paid by the tax-payer, that is in general. So just to being with, you're dishonestly starting your rant with a strawman argument, and worse, you start your rant with a bogus statistic to then draw a fallacious conclusion!

    — But I do support free, public schools and wish crackpot "economists" would learn from history. —

    I don't understand this history to which you allude, since the actual history of public schooling (from its beginning as a training system for new citizen-soldiers in Prussia to anti-Catholic indoctrination centers ran by Protestant ministers) is pretty dark and bereft of any true benefit for the children that suffer through it.

  41. It is not about the budget, it is about the control, which is prohibited at the Federal level. The Feds get around that with donations by stakeholders and bribes.