Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One More Thing on the Lessenberry...

Okay, more than one thing.

First off, Jack Lessenberry has a great last name. It's just fantastic. I mean, Downes or Laden...Not the same ring at all. I like his name so much I'm sort of thinking of incorporating it into my everyday speech. The next time someone tells me that the only homeschoolers they know are social freaks I'll say, "Don't be such a Lessenberry!" Or maybe when I read the next editorial that claims homeschoolers are all adoring Ken Ham fans or else frontal-lobeless hippies I'll think, "That sure was a Lessenberry."

Yup. Love the name.

Next thing is that not only does Doc have the post I should have written but chickened out of (and I'm glad of it. She did a much better job then I would have) but Summer is joining in on the fun with How to Hate Homeschoolers Properly. She got her hands on The Anti-Home Education Guidebook and is letting us in on it's secrets.

Lastly, and more seriously, there's a post that relates deeply to much of the Lessenberrying that goes on. It's by Elisheva and it's called The Anointed and The Benighted. As usual, while the rest of us are splashing around on the surface she's gone deeper to explore what's behind the phenomenom of Lessenberryism:

Sowell (go read her post to find out who that is!) goes on to say that those who hold the Vision of the Anointed, take it upon themselves to characterize those they deem "them" to be not only factually wrong, but morally inferior. Because the Anointed ascribe to themselves only the best of motives, they do not feel the need to define their terms or to present logical arguments or empirical evidence for their rightness. They are right because they are the caring and compassionate few, the Ones Who Know What is Best for Us All, and if only we would let them get on with the business deciding momentous questions on the basis of their Vision, we'd all be led to the Promised Land.

Damn. She's good.


Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone whose first homeschool convention was more like a God-Bless-America, "Take-the-Land-Back" from the Liberal, Feminazi, Darwinian, Homo-Loving Elite rally, the use of Sowell quotes in this context didn't really resonate with me. For me? When I hear people described as the Annointed, the Benighted, the Ones Who Know What's Best for Us All, "(who) do not recognize any obligation to be tolerant towards those who disagree with them, but rather feel compelled to use the coercive power of the state to bring the Benighted damned to salvation," I'm picturing, well, Michael Farris ;) But, yes, that's me.

Dawn said...

I think it resonated for me because she wrote that soon after a kerfuffle with Stephen Downes who seems concerned with education and people who aren't of the 'elite' yet doesn't actually seem ro want educational choices like homeschooling in our hands. People who know better will tell us what's right.

That seems to be a theme with critics from the left.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel like a child in the middle of divorcing parents, each of whom wants to make me live their way. Each is an unfit parent, as far as I'm concerned.

JJ Ross said...

I'm with Lynn!
And now that there are elites studying "libertarian paternalism" too, well, I gess we'll need a third arm to get twisted on the courthouse steps?

See The Chronicle of Higher Education Review May 9, “The New Paternalism: An economist and a legal scholar argue that policy makers should nudge people into making good decisions" by EVAN R. GOLDSTEIN.

(I excerpt it along with a critique of this view for balance at Snook, if you have trouble getting to the whole articles.)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Thanks, Dawn, so much for the positive link and the discussion. I almost regretted that I wrote that post because of the flaming I got from BS, his aliases, and his ilk.

Lynn, although Sowell is a conservative (and I eschew such labels) he was actually talking about anyone with any political viewpoint who moves discussion from rational thought toward the ideological divide. In the HS arena, I have seen ideologues of all stripes--classical to (believe it or not!) unschoolers. I say believe it or not 'cause it's hard for me to fathom how in the heck someone can claim that there is only one right way to do child-led learning. It boggles the mind!

JJ Ross: ...and even libertarian paternalism. My mind is more than boggled by that--consider it completely fried!