One summer when I was about nine years old, my friend and I explored the remains of a car that had been totaled in a highway accident. Among other things, there was a shiny blue metallic pinwheel in that car.
I brought it home; my mother was horrified.
“That pinwheel,” she explained, “belonged to a little child who died in that car crash. You had no right to take it.” And we brought it back.
I still remember that murky feeling. I had imagined that since nobody else was using the pinwheel, it would be alright to take it. But in my gut, I hadn’t felt good about it. It was the heavy feeling of partaking of spoils.
The Book of Mormon tells a story of a band of collectivist thieves, called Gadianton robbers, who had “overspread all the land of the Nephites and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils and to join with them…” (Helaman 6:37-38)
Why would it be “the more part of the righteous” who believed in the Gadianton robbers’ ideas and who partook of the spoils? What was it that was so believable about the Gadianton robbers’ ways?
The answer to that question may also be the answer to why so many good Americans buy into socialistic/communistic ideas, pushing aside principles of liberty, autonomy and the Constitution. The fact is, there are things about socialism/communism (like the belief that nobody will be poor, which is a lie) that do appeal to human beings, especially kind hearted ones. But that doesn’t make socialism/communism any less wrong. It’s still robbery, via taxation, both of money and of the freedom to determine what that money will be spent upon.
When we get “free money” offered to our state office of education or our local school district, by our federal Dept. of Education, is that partaking of spoils? I think so. That money came from taxpayers who were forced to pay ever-increasing amounts of taxes to fund education. As the definition of what constitutes “funding education” expands, and as taxes hike higher and higher, taxpayers are forced, on pain of jail or imprisonment, to pay taxes which fund many things that aren’t really education. –Like the free lunches that everyone, even rich families, are invited to partake of, here in Wasatch School District.
But even if the fund-recipient is noble or needy, does that make forcible taxation okay? Did you ever think that maybe the Gadianton robbers weren’t just a bawdy band of barely organized pirates, but maybe a highly organized, union-like cartel? Or even a dignified order of socialist/collectivists, as is the leadership of the Common Core movement?
When the Department of
Gadianton Robbers Education offered states the opportunity to compete in the “Race to the Top” funding contest, they allowed states to improve their eligibility status by jumping through certain hoops. One of these hoops was to ADOPT COMMON CORE NATIONAL STANDARDS for their state. They took care to call this voluntary so nobody could accuse the Dept. of Education of breaking G.E.P.A. laws or the Constitution, which forbid them from supervising or controlling education in any way. But it was still coercive incentivizing with money. And it worked. Even though many states didn’t win the “Race to the Top” funding contest, many chose to increase their odds of winning by adopting Common Core national standards. And even after the race was done and the money winning states and the empty handed states shuffled home, one fact remained: they were all –all, except for Texas and Virginia– members of the Common Core.
The temptation to partake of spoils, not a sincere desire to improve state educational standards themselves, was the driving force behind our state’s adoption of Common Core. Don’t believe it? Read the grant application for yourself. Link: http://www.schools.utah.gov/arra/Uses/Utah-Race-to-the-Top-Application.aspx