Marxist Academics object to Gove’s reforms

The ideological struggles over state education have not changed in forty years. The current episode will tell you all you need to know. Whenever a vaguely conservative-minded character happens into the role of Education Secretary and, being somewhat perturbed by the levels of innumeracy and illiteracy, and, if from the Labour Party, burdened with a guilty conscience, due to the grammar school education he or she most likely received, decides to attempt some modest reforms to get the system back to the hallowed three Rs, they are met with howls of outraged anguish from the heavily dug-in educational establishment.  A close inspection reveals these self-proclaimed high priests of pedagogy to be dominated by Marxists, who, having captured the territory during their long march through the institutions, have no intention of yielding an inch.

It is worth pondering for a moment what Marxists believe in their hearts, the doctrine Marx taught them; namely that our society and economy must inevitably collapse, at which point the socialist utopia will rise from the dust. Inevitable though this apparently is, the forces of History could always use a little help, it seems, if only to repel the attempts of ‘reactionaries’ to hold back the cosmic dialectic, which although futile may retard the long-anticipated and glorious day. With this in mind, the miserable state of education in this country begins to make sense.

Gove’s fight is no different from that which was laid out in Melanie Phillips’ “All Must Have Prizes”, written 20 years ago, in which the conservative instincts of an earlier government were thwarted by a power greater than its own. Indeed, that government, in its attempt to wrest control of education from one set of lefties brought ever more centralisation to the system, in so doing it fashioned new weapons for the enemy. Perhaps Gove will be more successful, but the only sure way to victory is to break the state system into a thousand pieces and thereby destroy the power of the pinko dons.

Most parents are not interested in the pet theories these types peddle as ‘progressive’, none of which are new, all of which have been floating around for 100 years or more, since when they have all been tried and found wanting. Neither do they want their children brought up with the twisted knowledge the Marxists seek to implant, “the wisdom to overthrow this destructive and wasteful system” as Terry Wrigley, one of  the instigators of the open letter to Gove would have it. These putrid pedagogues have every reason to fear the free market (N.B. a real free market, not just a transfer of the state system to corporate hands) A free parental choice between common sense education and communist indoctrination for their children would seal the latter’s fate.

 Perhaps one or two Karl Marx Academies would be economically viable in such a free system. Given the massive over-supply of potential staff, the pupil – teacher ratio will very likely be most competitive.

The above is in regard to this letter, covered in the Mail and Telegraph, and these responses from Harry MountToby Young and John Rentoul. Various articles by or relating to Terry Wrigley can be found here, here, here and here.


  1. Can government education be reformed?

    Long before Mr Gove in Britain there was a big move to reform government schools in Texas.

    Anti leftists won the elections to the State Board of Education – supported by an anti leftist State Governor and State Legislature (and courts to).

    The Obama Administration’s “Common Core” curriculum (disgised collectivistism – supported by many private companies because it includes lots of nice contracts for them) and so on.


    In a recent investigation it was found that at least 80% of Texas schools were following a full scale “Social Justice” curriculum anyway.

    It has all come in by the back door (thanks to the “education professionals”).

    It is hard not to come to the conclusion that reform is impossible.



  2. I should have typed that “Common Core” was REJECTED.

    But, of course, it (the Social Justice stuff) came in by the back door.

    Look how far the collectivist mindset has gone.

    For example, in England, the new Archbishop has declared that NHS and Social Services were created with “Christ granted courage”.

    Good or bad it was hardly “courage” – it would have been courage to say NO to more welfare for votes (not to just go with the flow – that is the opposite of courage). And see how the worship of God has now (via the “Social Gospel” and “social teaching” generally) been perverted into the worship of the STATE.

    Defending the old voluntary hospitals (that offered free treatment for the poor) that would have been “courage” – just like defending the old voluntary Church schools would have been courage.

    Now the poor depend (depend almost totally) on THE STATE – the “State is God”. There is no longer any distinction between God and Ceasar

    Civil Society has declined almost to the point of nonexistence. Even the so called “independent sector” is now largely government funded (i.e. not independent at all).

    This will end badly – very badly.

    And the people who will suffer most – will be THE POOR.



    1. “There is no longer any distinction between God and Caesar”

      This is the heart of the problem in the Church. The traditional Christian view was that there was a moral imperative for the wealthy individual to provide charity out of his surplus, and the modern socialised Church has abandoned the individualistic view and transformed an exhortation to personal morality into support for a coercive state.



      1. Yes Richard – although, one could argue it goes back a long way. For example, the German philosopher was argueing for compulsory charity (dry water – square circle?) in the 1600s.

        The same bloke also interpreted the Book of Genesis as holding that God gave the world to humans IN COMMON (so private ownership had to be justified – which ties John Locke in knots). Brain Tierney (The Idea of Natural Rights) even claims that all this (compulsary charity, private ownership needs to be justifiied and …..) was the standard view in the Middle Ages – but I suspect he is pushing things (if everyone was pro statism – how could freedom exist at all?).


      2. … right, so i guess laws prohibiting stealing would have been unknown prior to the Reformation? Tierney’s view strikes me as ludicrous. There has been disagreement about whether the ownership of property was a natural right or a civil right. I think Sir William Blackstone asserted the latter, but, as neither he in the 18th nor us in the 21st century are naked savages, this is immaterial (I take the Lockean view myself). It may have some bearing on the question as to whether a starving man has a right to steal food. The English law has long maintained the answer to be negative.


      3. Yes Richard – how could the legal thinkers of the Middle Ages (and the legal thinkers were the same people as the theologians) have all accepted the TOTALLY ILLOGICAL position that charity is compulsary (that means it is NOT charity – it really is dry water and square circle) and why does the law of no Realm (not just England – nowhere) reflect this doctrine in the period?

        I wish I could read Latin so I could judge what Tierney claims (“positive rights were part of the tradition from the start” and so on), but I am too ignorant.


      4. My Latin’s not up to much either, so I can’t help, but I would recommend Alexander Gray’s excellent book “The Socialist Tradition”, which discusses early Church teaching, Aquinas etc, and whether or not the claims that it favoured socialism can be maintained. He concludes that they cannot, and the claims rest on taking certain quotes out of context, while the evidence to the contrary is voluminous, although there has always been a certain inchoate tendency.


  3. Gove has the right instincts and will take on the educational establishment for as long as he can.

    Wresting control of the schools from the dead hand of LEAs is only the first stage. The next stage is a full blown voucher system which I believe would transform education in many of the ways we would like.



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