So here’s a video from a Scottish public school of a student in a dispute with his teacher which results in him being put out of class for thirty minutes. Oh here we go again, students being rowdy and misbehaving!
What’s his crime? Have a watch:
— I,Hypocrite (@lporiginalg) June 14, 2019
Go you good thing Murray! And you challenge your interlocutor not with violence or swearing or even pouring a milkshake over him (to say nothing of battery acid). You simply stick to your view, politely and calmly. That’s how to argue your case.
If it were not so sad, it would be funny. It’s a parody of what we’ve come to expect when students start challenging their teachers. Time was when Pink Floyd wrote “Hey teachers leave those kids alone!” we’d all head to the barricades for the permanent revolution for radical ideas! Give me liberty or give me death!
What mandate from the authorities (aka, the education department) did this student transgress? He gave his opinion that there are two genders, and only two. In class. In the setting that has to be – if the last forty years of education policy in the West is to be believed – a place for pushback and opinion; where students throw out dangerous ideas into an educational version of the public square and see where they land. Where students are taught to think for themselves. And where teachers applaud it. But not any longer.
I can’t help but feel that the increasingly rigid social policy around the Sexular Culture is not long for this earth. When it becomes not only mainstream, but enforceable as a set of ideas through public policy, then the truly free thinkers will jettison it, and the truly free – and brave – thinkers will call out the naked emperor in the streets.
Or if such public policy is long for this earth, then the straight up and down Principal Skinner types like this teacher are definitely shortening its lifespan through the manner in which they shut this down.
After all, if it’s enforced by national education policy, then it’s got to be something worth rebelling against, right? This teachers smacks of the cliche we all groaned at when we discovered we were in his class, who follow-the-rule-book, the very antithesis of Mr Keating in Dead Poets Society.
And then there’s that line that’s the true kicker, that I can hardly believe the teacher would say, though i guess he wouldn’t have said it if he’d known he was being filmed:
I have stated what is national school authority policy
The national school authority policy? It’s like someone stole all the Teachers Editions! You can almost hear him screeching “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”
National school authority policy. That’s just asking for young activists to jump on their tables and shout “Captain my captain!” The revolutionary forces that spawned rock and roll would have loved this rebellion.
Look, I’m sure you could write about this incident in line with the Christian outrage industry shock and horror, but why bother? To do so would be to give the authority this teacher tries, and fails, to invoke, a level of credibility it just doesn’t deserve. This is an Elijah moment: mock the concerted efforts of the acceptable powers and their cultural idols.
Here’s the thing about the Sexular Culture. It doesn’t brook rebellion. It’s after total, totalising conformity. Why? Because it’s just too unsure of itself. The practice of a confident culture is to cope with strong pushback. Our culture is not confident, and why would it be?
And notice what it takes for the nervous culture to enforce conformity? The same thing it took to enforce conformity back in the 1960s and 1970s when the shoe was on the other foot; pliant, compliant lemming-esque bean counter types with little imagination, foresight or bravery.
That’s what the authorities need, people who bow and scrape to authority, any authority. I am quite sure this teacher, if the authorities had handed down a decree stating that there were only two genders, would have punished students who had declared otherwise. Trouble was, they probably did! And now in a classic case of over-reach, they’re trying to launder out their mistakes by swinging the pendulum too far the other way.
If we’re ever going to inhabit a truly liberal society, then ideas must be challenged and opinions must never be viewed as too precious to push back on. And it’s interesting how Murray – the student – is calm, rational and polite, while his teacher huffs and puffs and spouts jargon.
But unfortunately the attitude this teacher displays is the prized asset – conformity. He’s exactly what the state needs and desires if it is to push the Sexular Culture further into our lives through our mediating institutions. The state requires compliant educators who go home at the end of the day having ticked all the boxes, and who can sit over their dinner of meat and two veg (before their pudding), satisfied that they have broken no rules, bucked no trends, and caused nary a ripple on the publicly acceptable moral landscape.
Murray on the other hand? He looks set for great things.
Listen to this on the way out: