“One of the methods used by the enemies of freedom to pervert and distort the true concept of rights is the collectivist idea that the government or the state has the duty to provide the needs and welfare of its people.” – The Vincenton Post
“The more subsidized it is, the less free it is. What is known as ‘free education’ is the least free of all, for it is a state-owned institution; it is socialized education – just like socialized medicine or the socialized post office – and cannot possibly be separated from political control.” – Why Free Schools Are Not Free by Frank Chodorov, writer, publisher (1887-1966)
Since a lot of my critics and readers have been asking why I wrote my controversial blog titledTo All UP Students: Education is NOT a Right, my answer is read this blog and my other related online polemics against public education (not against UP as most of my emotional critics try to suggest). So this Idiot’s Guide is only for those who are willing to think, and I have no concern with those whose minds are impervious to reason. Yes, I was fully aware, from the very moment I posted that blog, that it would attract some people’s attention. It did. However, it’s not my primary intention to draw people’s attention in this politically correct country. One of my goals is to challenge a social fallacy that had long become an orthodoxy- that so grotesque a lie that every human being in these parts has a right to education. My selfish agenda is to help promote the most objective concept of free-market capitalism, of individualism, and of the philosophy for living on earth- Objectivism.
“Contradictions cannot exist”- this is the fundamental tenet behind my controversial blog. There should be no contradiction in man’s basic premises just as there is no contradiction in the law of nature and in the majestic formation of the universe. That is, our cognitive understanding of “rights” should not contradict the truest essence of freedom, which means that a man is metaphysically free, by virtue of his nature, to live his life, to pursue his personal goals, to earn a living by trading his ability or products with others, if he wishes to, and to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others- this is the idea upon which a free society is based, and by “free society” I mean an informed society.
There are things that we cannot compromise. We cannot compromise our basic moral principles, our freedom, our life, our self-esteem, our personal happiness. Some people say, in order to live properly in our society we must make a compromise. They say, we must understand the plight of other people- we must subjugate our will, desire, wishes to our great society- we must put the interest of others above our own. Yes, surrender and self-sacrifice is the most evil creed behind their virtue of compromise.
Rights are not granted or given to man by either congressional act or divine law. Rights are a condition of man’s existence on earth. A man has a right to his life, liberty, property, and his pursuit of happiness in order to live properly as a human being. If a man were deprived of these rights, he wouldn’t be able to live the life of a thinking- not necessarily rational- human being. For thousands of years, the proper concept of rights remained undiscovered and unpracticed despite the fact that the first intellectual on earth- Aristotle- devised a philosophy upon which individualism was based: the philosophy that holds that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. This is the same philosophy upon which the United States of America was built. Thus, the only logical consequence or corollary of the recognition of man’s rights is individual freedom and the discovery of the most moral and most practical economic-political system on earth: free-market capitalism.
However, one of the methods used by the enemies of freedom to pervert and distort the true concept of rights is the collectivist idea that the government or the state has the duty to provide the needs and welfare of its people. History has it that the welfare-statists effectively pushed for their political agenda by appealing to human emotion, by proclaiming that the purpose of their welfare programs is to serve the poor, the weak, and the less privileged, by championing that we must prioritize common good over individual good, and by preaching that we are our brothers’ keepers. At the outset, the programs, policies and agenda of the welfare statists led to the negation of two most important elements pertaining to man: 1) the proper concept of rights, and 2) the proper role of the government. In truth and in reality, the only proper role of the government is to protect individual rights. It has no power to interfere with the private lives of individuals without due cause. This is the reason why we have the concepts of “due process of law” and non-state intervention of individual’s private affairs.
The advocates of “right to education” argue that the government must focus on education and de-prioritize our national defense. I say: TREASON!
The perversion of the proper concept of rights is one of the most evil methods used by the welfare statists to destroy freedom. The welfare-statists proclaim that every individual has a right to “education, health care, pension, housing, among others, such “fiat” rights which all became popular in the past century. Yes, “the right to education” is a nineteen-century concoction by the statists whose goal is to subjugate individual freedom to what they call collective good or common good. Education is a “necessity”, the welfare-statists proclaim, disregarding the fact that food, shelter, clothing, travel, etc. are also human necessities. Why not subsidize all things which they deem to be human necessity? Since education is a necessity, everybody must see to it that every Juan and Pedro must have a free or subsidized access to education, they say, forgetting the fact that the government is not a productive agency, but the most dependent agency on earth. The children are our nation’s future, so we must invest in education in order to secure the future of our society, they preach, disregarding the fact that the very idea they seek to implement simply means “redistribution of wealth.” Since we are part of our society, we must have social obligation to each other, they say, negating the fact that they are preaching the morality of looters and of cannibals. And when an economic crisis comes, everybody will suffer from the stupidity of our brilliant social planners who publicly proclaim how much they care for the poor. It is the evil belief of these do-gooder social planners that they need to be and can be charitable with other people’s money.
But “stupidity” is very hard to detect by many if the underlying purpose is to serve the “common good” or the “greater good.” Who am I to argue that the Constitutional guarantee of the “right to education” is invalid when it was conceptualized by the country’s top legal geniuses and other concerned citizens in 1986? But still the “right to education” is an evil and invalid concept for the very reason that it is inconsistent with man’s freedom. It negates the proper concept of rights and the proper role of the government.
Rights, by definition, refers to a positive right of action. A man’s right to life, which is the source of all rights, simply means “to live.” A right to property primarily means a freedom of action, which means a man has to produce and earn his property. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. A right to liberty enables man to live free from state interference or from violation of his privacy. It means that he is free to pursue his goals, to make his own choices, to study, to get a medical check up, to worship any idol, to write a blog, or to even to go to hell, if he wants it. The right to the pursuit of happiness means a human being has a right to live for himself, to fulfill his individual happiness according to his will or wishes and to achieve his goals, so long as he does not disregard the same rights of his neighbors.
Since an individual is an end in himself, he must not be regarded as a sacrificial animal to be immolated for the sake of common good. The “right to education” is a perversion of the concept of rights because it imposes a form of obligation on others, and this obligation is to contribute a portion of his earnings, whether he likes it or not, to the state in order to fulfill his social responsibility. One of the main reasons why freedom is being destroyed and why this country is becoming more and more impoverished is that crude notion or social belief that we have a right to education, health care, housing, pension, or anything. This belief is the very reason why most students in public schools, colleges, and universities continue to ask for a higher education subsidy. Apart from this, they also ask for better or quality education as if the government has the magical power to produce instant wealth out of nothing. The government has the responsibility to provide a quality education we need since it is our right, they say, forgetting the fact that some people have to part with their earnings before the government can have something to redistribute.
Reality check: the government is now facing its dead-end. We all confront a higher level of economic, social and moral crisis. The current administration just revealed that the past presidency left empty public coffers. It is also made public that all citizens are indebted to foreign creditors to the tune of more than P4 trillion. Where did all the money go? Corruption, they say. This is a valid point, but most of the money went to excessive government spending in order to support its welfare programs.
However, protesting public school students claim they’re merely asking for the proper allocation of our national budget. How much share in the national budget do our public schools need? More than P500 billion? How about the other sectors of the government that need welfare state funding? How about the military? Most point to the military or defense, which receives most of the share in the pie. The advocates of “right to education” argue that the government must focus on education and de-prioritize our national defense. I say: TREASON! We are currently at war on various fronts: the communists, the Abu Sayyaf, and the Moro separatist group. Without a doubt, the country needs to prioritize our national defense because this is one of the proper roles of the government: to protect its citizens against invasion or internal threat. Those who would like to sacrifice our national defense in favor of the so absurd “right to education” are either stupid or have sinister agenda. With this, I say that the advocates of this ‘fiat’ freedom are morally guilty for their refusal to think or for harboring a sinister political agenda. The government must put more premium on our national defense. The solution to our economic crisis is free-market capitalism. That is, the government must guarantee economic freedom, privatize government-owned and controlled corporations, abolish redundant government bureaus, agencies, and offices, cut our taxes, guarantee less government spending, and abolish or privatize public schools, colleges, and universities.
Freedom is the greatest enemy of welfare statism. Observe that in most welfare state slave pens, such as North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and others, such “fiat” rights as the right to education, the right to pension, the right to food allowance, the right to public housing, the right to social welfare, among other ‘fiat’ rights are guaranteed by the benevolent dictators of common good. But the very price of securing all these ‘fiat’ rights is so high: the ultimate negation or destruction of individual freedom.
- Now here’s a run down of what I wrote against public education:
You complain about the country’s huge foreign debt and high tax rates yet you continue to demand more from the government? Don’t you know that more public demands and subsidies means the government will have more power to take everything you value in life? More demands means more state power. Most students of public schools believe that education is a right. They claim that the state must provide their educational needs, but where will the government get the money and the goods to perform this magical job? Who will be sacrificed in the name of free or subsidized education? To all protesting state university students, education is NOT a right!
Knowing the proper concept of right is very important, as it is the key to understanding whether Pedro has the right to ask the government to steal from Juan in order to serve his needs. Lack of proper understanding of the real concept of right is bringing the whole country to dictatorship and socialism. We see liberals and leftist protesters asking for exclusive government protection, free or cheap medicines, free health care, free or subsidized food, free access to quality education, and free “everything.” What do you think will happen to a country of freeloaders and free-askers? Do they think that the government has the magical power to create wealth out of nothing? Where will the government get the wealth and goods to provide their needs? In reality, we are not yet considered a free society. A free society means an informed society.
Yes, I’m for the complete abolition of the University of the Philippines and all state schools, colleges, and universities (SUC). However I don’t believe that privatization of all public SCUs is the first reform. I truly understand why most of my very passionate critics continue to insist that education is a right. It is very clear: they are ignorant of the proper, real concept of rights. They think they have a right to everything or anything. Perhaps they think that rights is like a bumper sticker or a humanitarian slogan that anyone can use for his/her own benefit. Or perhaps they think that this abstraction- “rights”- is divorced from reality. Yes, it’s the Law of Identity which they ignore or try to negate.
Others might also ask: What about the cost of education? In a free-market economy, competition would force all private players to lower the cost of their education. Competition would also guarantee innovation, productiveness, better method of instruction, better research, improved school facilities, more scholarship grants to deserving students, among others. Just look at the cost of cellphones, computers, and phone or text cards that we have today. Because of competition, the top three telecommunication companies- Globe, Smart, Sun- were forced to lower the price of their products and services. Before we had to buy P300 worth of prepaid card before we could text or call our loved ones. Today there are now a lot of promotional campaigns that allow us to choose among all telecom players in the country and buy telecom products at a very low price. Before the cost of cellular phones ranged from P10,000 to P30,000. Today depending upon your choice, you could buy a cellphone worth P3,000 or more in spite of inflation. If you want a good cellphone, you could have iphone 4 over P40,000. In a free society we are free to choose.
Poverty is not merely a creation of mere unluckiness or failure to survive. In most societies, poverty is the by-product of man’s failure to think. People in some slave pens are poor not merely because of corruption, but because of people’s ignorance and failure to discover the proper morality and the proper social system for man. Our huge amount of debt is not merely a product of government’s mismanagement and corruption, but most especially of the dominant mentality of our people, which consists of their belief that the government must embark on excessive government spending to provide for their needs. There are certainly some poor people who deserve their fate because of their failure to think and credulity.
“Salus populi est suprema lex” is an evil concept because it merely looks at one element, undercutting and negating two most important elements: the proper function of the government and the nature of man. This concept simply means that the welfare of the people is the paramount law. But what constitutes the welfare of the people? If welfare means the protection of individual rights by the government, then I would say that this concept is valid. But let me make it very clear that “salus populi est suprema lex” is now part of the neo-liberal domain, along with the so absurd concepts of “social contract,” “greater good,” summum bonum” (popularized by Immanuel Kant whom I consider the greatest enemy of reason), “the greatest happiness of the greatest number”, etc. The liberal and socialist definition of “welfare” is anything that is good for the society as a whole, and that this the good is achieved through whatever means possible. Salus populi est suprema lex is indeed a Machiavellian concept, which means that so long as everybody gains benefit from a particular social welfare, then it is good and moral even through it is achieved through immoral or evil means. Chief example of this is the “right to education” that legalizes theft and extortion by the government in order to serve the good or welfare of a particular group of people.
Some bitter, pathetic critics claimed I wrote my controversial blog because I didn’t pass the UPCAT. For posting it they say I’m an “elitist,” anti-poor, anti-student, and even anti-establishment. But I say it is these advocates of this monstrosity- “right to education”- who are not only anti-poor, but anti-reason as well. And it is those who advocate for people’s “right to everything” (e.i. education, health care, transportation, basic needs and services, etc.) who are making this country more and more impoverished. The very means by which they try to help the poor and the needy is evil and immoral. Yet they have the guts and the gal to call me an “elitist” and “anti-poor.” According to them, so long as everybody is benefited, the government has the right to steal and extort more and more money from the taxpayers. They say, “everybody pays taxes.” Where do think this mentality would lead this country to?
It is true that losing one’s cool is not cool at all, but sometimes, somehow we have to name things by their proper name. When a group of people collectively asks for more government favor, protection, or subsidy, the proper name to call this mediocre collective is “parasite.” If they don’t know that what they’re doing would turn the government into a legalized looter or extortionist and that the logical consequence of their collective decisions or actions would be national destruction, the proper name to call them is either “stupid,” “ignorant,” or both. This is why we have this term “useful idiots,” which refers to stupid liberals and apologists of evil whose mediocre ideas effectively aid the rise of any gang of evil ideologues or criminals.
Those who made such an outrageous claim are suffering from paranoia. Perhaps, they ‘feel’ or think that their subsidized institution of learning is the only school in the country. But one thing is very clear: they simply want to dismiss the fact that there’s a bigger issue involved in this debate. And this bigger, more important issue is the argument that I extensively, clearly established in my controversial blogs and its appurtenances: that education is not a right and private education is the only way to help the poor and to save this already bankrupt country. Alas, this is the main issue which they refused to understand.