The silent school

The British education minister has praised a new school in London:

Pupils at the City of London Academy move between classrooms in line, while mobile phones and cash are both banned.

“Children were walking down the corridors in silence, in order, going to their classroom on time and getting straight on with their work,” said Mr Williamson.

So cash, talking and means of communication are banned from the school. That school now resembles a communist dictatorship even more than other schools do. The news story continues:

Figures from the Department for Education show the number of permanent exclusions in England due to physical assault on an adult has increased from 490 in 2012/13 to 845 in 2017/18.

To put this in context, the government threatens every school child and his parents with force through truancy laws. Parents can be criminally prosecuted, fined and imprisoned for truancy. So the government can threaten people with force for changing their minds about using its “services”, but if a child hits an adult in the school that is unacceptable. There is one rule for government officials who are allowed to initiate the use of force and another rule for the ordinary people. I think that nobody should be allowed to initiate the use of force, but I’m just one of the commoners so the British government would prefer that I fuck off and die in a fire.

The government also plans to impose a new regime of internet censorship to shut up the plebs. They want to turn the entire country into the equivalent of that silent school hallway where everyone is too terrified to say anything. In the light of all this I think the British government should adopt a motto that reflects their actual philosophy. I suggest the motto from Plato quoted at the start of Volume I of The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper:

The greatest principle of all is that nobody, whether male or female, should be without a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him do anything at all on his own initiative; neither out of zeal, nor even playfully. But in war and in the midst of peaceā€”to his leader he shall direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals .. only if he has been told to do so. In a word, he should teach his soul, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and to become utterly incapable of it.

About conjecturesandrefutations
My name is Alan Forrester. I am interested in science and philosophy: especially David Deutsch, Ayn Rand, Karl Popper and William Godwin.

3 Responses to The silent school

  1. Plato’s quote is awful but he remains a respected and prestigious name. He’s given lots of emphasis in school. And not just e.g. the cave or forms. I remember reading excerpts from *The Republic* in a humanities 101 kinda class. It’s not exactly their motto but they *teach* that stuff!

    • internetrules says:

      wait, the quote is actually what Plato thinks? i thought it was like Plato was describing what the principal of an evil government was, not that he actually agreed with what he wrote. if he actually agreed with the thing he wrote then jfc.

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