Tom Switzer and Charles Jacobs have a somewhat depressing op-ed in The Australian this morning:
According to a Centre for Independent Studies/YouGov poll, 58 per cent of Australian millennials — those born between 1980 and 1996 — have a favourable view of socialism, with only 18 per cent having an unfavourable one. They believe government should have more control of the economy.
That 62 per cent of millennials believe Australian workers are worse off today than 40 years ago is in direct contradiction of all available economic evidence …
While the wickedness of Mao, Lenin and Stalin is unknown to these youthful idealists, they are well schooled about the wickedness of the extreme right: 73 per cent of them are well aware of Adolf Hitler and his iniquities.
CIS Paper here.
Now Tom and Charles blame the education system – as does Janet Albrechtsen:
We are funding our own demise. A country that is the product of Western civilisation has a death wish when it sends billions of taxpayer dollars to a swag of fancy universities, few of which teach students the tenets of Western civilisation. Each year the federal government — meaning we taxpayers — sends $16.8 billion to universities because educating the next generation is a fine way to spend our money. Except for this: a detailed history audit conducted last year by the Institute of Public Affairs found that few Australian universities teach the core subjects about the history of Western civilisation.
More university subjects cover the history of film than democracy, more focus on identity than the Enlightenment.
This is all true – but also misses an important point. I learned more about WWII at home than I did at school. I learned more about the evils of totalitarianism and authoritarian government at home than I did school. My children too have learned more about the evils of government and social engineering at home than at school. I read far more books off my own initiative than ever prescribed at school or university.
Now I’m not advocating home schooling per se but I am suggesting that people take some responsibility for the moral education of their children. Yes educators have a lot to answer for, but let’s not forget parents either.