Education and the Marketplace, Education and the State

The State and Free Market Education

The following has been lifted from my PhD dissertation, and slightly edited for this blog site.  I continue to give thought to some of my earlier ideas, and welcome feedback as I continue to refine them.

Amongst some circles there is often talk about a free market. However, God’s Law acknowledges the fact of original sin. Therefore, the market place cannot be totally free and self-regulating. For instance, governments are required by God to impose standards of weights and measures (Leviticus 19:35-36). This is not to hinder free trade, but to ensure that there is integrity in free transactions in the market place. Money should not be controlled by the State. However, the weights and measures that are used to establish fair market amounts of those commodities being used as money must be determined by a body that has the capacity to administer general sanctions when false weights and measures are being used. This cannot be performed by the family, because the family cannot administer sanctions outside its own sphere. This cannot be performed by the church, because the church is to be a minister of God’s grace and mercy, principally. The state, on the other hand, is given general sanctions, such as enforced restitution, enforced temporary slavery, public corporal discipline, confinement to a specific location and capital punishment (Rushdoony, 1973, p. 228). The state, under God, has sufficient power and authority to deter widespread criminality in the market place.

At the same time, it is to the state’s best advantage to allow relatively free trade in the market place. Free trade enables wealth accumulation. Wealthy families in the market place are able to create employment, provide housing, minister social welfare, and so on, thus strengthening the society and the jurisdiction of the state.

This has direct and significant bearing upon the delivery of education.  Education should be a free market commodity.  It is not a jurisdiction of the state.  Statist intervention into education is a relatively modern phenomenon (except for the ancient Spartan experiment).  Under statist control, education becomes a tool for collectivist indoctrination–echoes of the mantra that schools are for socialisation, i.e. convenient places to indoctrinate in the tenets of socialism.  But education should be a means of raising godly seed, to serve the Triune God, not as a way of creating generations of slaves to the state.

References

Rushdoony, R. J. (1973). The Institutes of Biblical Law. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company.

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