Rushdoony’s study tells us an important part of American history: exactly what has public education been trying to accomplish? Before the 1830s and Horace Mann, no schools in the U.S. were state supported or state controlled. They were local, parent-teacher enterprises, supported without taxes, and taking care of all children. They were remarkably high in standard and were Christian. From Mann to the present, the state has used education to socialize the child.
From the Dust Jacket:
“Man does not live by bread alone”‘; this language may be excluded from the public classrooms by court order, but the problem which is here involved for education cannot be avoided. The nature and the character of society, thus of education, hinges on the accepted concept of man; and, whatever this concept is in a given society, it can be based on an article of faith.
This book will be bitter medicine, indeed, to those who see the answer to today’s problem in more education, unless the question “for what?” is confronted and resolved.
What the educationists have forgotten is that the sense of meaning and purpose in life which they take for granted was bought with the blood of saints from the time of the prophets and Jesus until this day. And the end is not yet in sight. By taking for granted that which can only be acquired by faith, the rationalist tradition of American education has severed itself from its roots, and indeed is paying the penalty for trying to “live by bread alone.”