Saturday, November 21, 2009

Edutheria by Lilburne

Ludwig von Mises wrote:

"Society lives and acts only in individuals; it is nothing more than a certain attitude on their part. Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us."

The decisive battle Mises spoke of continues today, and it has come to a head. The unprecedented actions taken by the United States government in the last 8 years (especially the unprecedented degree of monetary expansion of the last 2 years) have brought human society to the brink. Now more than ever, society needs as many shoulders as possible.

When Mises wrote the above words, the "intellectual battle" he meant was a battle of economic ideas. Unfortunately today, the battlefield must be enlarged beyond that.

In Mises' day, it might have been enough to rescue society for a critical mass of individuals to only comprehend praxeology, thereby enabling them to explode the myths of the socialist and interventionist. But now the intellectual armament of a man who would be free must be larger.

  • He must also know enough of algebra and calculus to know the limitations of their applicability and thereby explode the myths of the mainstream economist.
  • He must know enough of true natural science and its underpinnings to explode the myths of the environmentalist.
  • And he must know enough of true history to explode the myths of the public school teacher.

With Mises' injunction in mind, I intend to create a general curriculum with which any intelligent adult or adolescent can arm himself to that degree.

This curriculum for freedom, or education for eleutheria (Greek for freedom) will be called Edutheria.

This curriculum is not only motivated by Mises' entreaty, but it will be informed by his epistemology. Mises wrote extensively upon the appropriate ordering of conception before understanding in cognition, and thereby, of theory before history in scholarship. I believe this priority is just as appropriate for the humble student trying to find truth for himself as it is for the pioneering scientist trying to discover truth for the sake of all mankind. And so Edutheria will start with pure theory, namely logic, praxeology and mathematics, and work from there to the humanities and to natural science.

The four successive portions of this curriculum will be as follows:

  1. Theory: First logic, then praxeology (including economics) and mathematics
  2. Chronology: An economic and logistical exploration of historical facts
  3. History of Thought: Applying theory to discover ideological insights and fallacies; culminating in a summary of contemporary natural science and a working ideology for...
  4. A General Interpretation of History, Society, and Man

This curriculum will be useable both for completely independent study and for study under the guidance of a tutor. It will be appropriate for brilliant middle schoolers, bright high schoolers, and intelligent adults.

Ideas, facts, and narratives will be introduced with comics and skits, and then further elucidated with original monographs and worksheets as well as further reading assignments. Lessons can be applied via writing and report assignments to be provided.

I fully expect this to be my life's work.

Thus far, I have made the following progress:

My work in the near future will be dedicated mostly to the praxeology portion, especially Human Action Comics.

1 comment:

Chao Ren said...

* He must also know enough of algebra and calculus to know the limitations of their applicability and thereby explode the myths of the mainstream economist.
* He must know enough of true natural science and its underpinnings to explode the myths of the environmentalist.
* And he must know enough of true history to explode the myths of the public school teacher.

VERY ambitious....it will not be easy to sell textbooks that do not whitewash history...fortunately, there are some high school history teachers who use Howard Zinn's "People's History of the USA" as their classroom text...I guess that's a step in the right direction but more is needed.