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Education, Free & Compulsory

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  306 ratings  ·  35 reviews
What is it about today's school system that so many find unsatisfactory? Why have so many generations of reformers failed to improve the educational system, and, indeed, caused it to degenerate further and further into an ever declining level of mediocrity?

In this radical and scholarly monograph, out of print for two decades and restored according to the author's original

Unknown Binding, 58 pages
Published December 31st 1999 by Ludwig Von Mises Institute (first published August 15th 1971)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  306 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rothbard at near peak performance. Excellent short history of the roots of compulsory education in Europe and the U.S. Starts with the theocratic roots, and shows how the same ideas were successively adopted by militarist nationalists, state socialists, and eventually "progressive educationists" like Horace Mann. Pretty slimy business all things considered.

Only criticism was that I wish it was longer and extended into the modern period. This is really just an examination of where compulsory educ
Patrick Peterson
I read this in the 1980s and remember it VERY fondly. I have referred to it myself and many others to it since. It is not to be missed by anyone serious about education reform. This history is very little known, but so important and counter to most of the myths about government education or the needs and reality of a free society.

It may well be one of the key books to set Andrew Coulson on to his very productive track on this issue. See his book on this subject to, as well as his wonderful docum
Zachary Moore
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the best, shortest, and most devastating critiques of the modern statist education system. Great outline of the despotic origins and goals of the public school system and the importance of keeping the government away from eduation.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
To get one thing out of the way: While Murray Rothbard is the father of anarchocapitalism, his views barely shine through in this book. You could easily mistake him for a minarchist, if you only had this to go by, and even then, he held back on trying to proselytize. I see that as a good thing. Why bring up more controversies than you have to? The result is a book that's incredibly informative for its length, and if you're just a bit open for freedom and liberty, you could benefit greatly from r ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short book (and for some reason the edition I bought was either sized for children or stupid people. I’m sorry, but the size and shape of the book indeed have me angry) divided in three chapters.

First of all, it is written by one of the most prominent anarchocapitalists authors of the subject. And you must know that I have a very strong bias against extremist people like them (and communists, and fascists...). Anyways, let me start the review:

The first chapter talks about how the stand
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I struggled with the decision to write down my thoughts about this book or not. The main reason I didn't want to is that I have many friends involved in public education. These are educated, dedicated, honest people doing their best to improve education in their area. I love and respect them and don't want to offend them.

It made me think back to conversations I've had in the past where I took comments personally because I associated myself with an idea or institution being questioned. Specifical
This short pamphlet by Rothbard, which can be downloaded for free on the Mises Institute website, consists of three short essays regarding public education: 1. The Individual’s Education, 2. Compulsory Education in Europe, 3. Compulsory Education in the United States.

The first essay deals with the individual's learning process and how and by whom a child should be educated. Rothbard comes to the conclusion that the perfect education can only be the one which takes the indivduals strengths and w
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This had some really interesting philosophical discussions about state vs. family and implications for education. My favorite argument was the stark contrast between sentiment about government involvement in education vs. media. The idea of legally enforced state-run media horrifies many Americans, yet many are fine with legally enforced state-run schools. Both would disseminate information and influence political views, and be subject to government corruption and be used to support tyranny.
Jairo Fraga
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Credo da igualdade é um credo de morte e destruição", exceto se na liberdade. Almejar a igualdade na educação não contempla as diferenças inatas entre as aptidões de cada um.

Violência contra os pais, subordinando os filhos, que também têm seus direitos violados, ao controle do desamor estatal. Fracassos em instruir não são motivo para interferência estatal na autoridade dos pais sobre as crianças.

Pareceria um absurdo que o estado cobrasse impostos e instituísse uma rede de jornais públicos em q
Felipe Costa
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sou conservador, mas é inegável que os livros de Murray Rothbard trazem sempre boas reflexões e críticas.

Rothbard inicia seu livro mostrando que a sociedade, ao progredir, tende a tornar-se mais complexa, mais desigual. O ser humano quando evolui aumenta seu grau de diferenciação.

Claro, há aí uma crítica ao marxismo, uma das poucas teorias sociológicas a admtir que a sociedade humana tenderia inevitavelmente a igualdade.

Desse modo, o autor constata que se o homem é tão desigual, tão diferente,
Patrick S.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good short book by the master on why education should be done with zero state interference and therefore zero violence to children. Rothbard breaks up the book into three main parts of education - the moral, the historical, and the impact of the state during the modern period. The moral portion is great and is the primary location I would focus in. While his historical section offered some good historical narrative I did find myself disagreeing with some of his evaluation of historical events. ...more
Shane Hawk
Rothbard was an excellent writer. Here he covers topics similar to those explored by John Taylor Gatto but with much better prose. It’s broken down into three sections: what an individualist education looks like, the history of compulsory educational systems in the UK, and the same in the US. Rothbard included a plethora of block quotes from primary sources—all long enough to grasp the full context. Great short book.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libertarian
Rothbard lays out a solid argument against the reigning theory of compulsory state education.

This short book is an important reminder that parents, and not the state, have the primary responsibility and authority over the education of their children. Thus, it is also a compelling argument for homeschooling.

One aspect I disliked was Rothbard's criticism of Reformers such as Calvin, Luther, and Beza, which was unfairly critical.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leitura essencial nesses tempos de declínio de qualidade no ensino. Um livro de décadas atrás que descreve exatamente o que está ocorrendo atualmente no ensino brasileiro.
Jared Lovell
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Mostly good with the exception of one really bad, confused chapter.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interessante a argumentação e uma parte da história do ensino compulsório. Mas o capítulo sobre a história da educação nos EUA ficou um pouco monótoma...
John G.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Very short book, only 55 pages but well worth it. I wasn't as interested in the authors political commentary, he's a libertarian, although education policy is indeed quite political. John Taylor Gatto is another and I think more passionate and detailed critic of the educational system and some of what they write overlaps. What I gained most from this book is the idea of the collective/the state against the uniqueness and full development of the individual. That's an important theme, Rothbard kep ...more
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
Rothbard gives us the Libertarian view on education. You may not agree with Libertarians on other issues but on education he hits the bull's-eye. It takes a man with courage to tell things as plainly as Mr. Rothbard tells them, but I'm sure everybody agrees with him sotto voce.

Basically "to force into schools children who have little or no aptitude for instruction at all (prevents the education of a child) ... It so happens that among the variety of human ability there is a large number of subno
Nov 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
About Murray Rothbard I hear and read so much ecstatic talks I felt ashamed because I never read anything by this great man.

This is my first book by him. Reading it I had a shock. There is nothing in it about liberty. But there is much about freedom in the sense used by fanatical bigots when they talk about their freedom of religion and how that said freedom is infringed by people going against racism or anti-semitism.

There is also almost no trace of reason or reasoning in this book. It is more
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
"Education" is often thought of as the time spent incarcerated in the government schools. This is only one type of education, and as Rothbard points out in this book, it is not a very effective form of education (to put it mildly). The main problem with compulsory education is that mass schooling penalizes individuality and forces everyone on the same conveyor belt. Obviously not the best atmosphere for an individual to develop and pursue their unique talents and interests.

Those that advocate Ma
Pedro Faraco
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neste belíssimo ensaio sobre a história da interferência estatal na educação, Rothbard demonstra como o estado vem, ao longo da história da humanidade, utilizando a educação obrigatória como forma de controle social e doutrinação ideológica.

O livro é dividido em três partes. Na primeira, o autor discorre sobre as características cognitivas do ser humano, defende sua visão de uma educação livre e apresenta os argumentos do porquê a considera superior à educação obrigatória. Na segunda parte, Roth
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ase
A good book describing the state education system. Murray Rothbard in his work takes us to ancient Sparta and modern Prussia. It also describes France, England and the USA. With this work you can learn many interesting things about the creation of the state education system. It describes how this system is totally dedicated to educating slaves.

Dobra książką opisująca państwowy system edukacji. Murray Rothbard w swojej pracy zabiera nas do starożytnej Sparty oraz do nowożytnych Prus. Opi
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is a series of essays. You can read the entire book online at The first section was mostly stuff I've read before. The most compelling piece was the idea that sameness, or social equality is equivalent to savagery. Civilization means specialization. Specialization is by definition uniqueness. That individual uniqueness and a free market will indiscriminately expose the inequality with which nature has distributed talent.

Schools, historically, have been created by the State t
Manuel Silva
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Rothbard coloca questões interessantes acerca da obrigatoriedade de ensino pelo estado, principalmente nos EUA, ele argumenta que 'se as pessoas tem competências, gostos e vocações diferentes, por que motivo daríamos uma educação igual a todos?' outro ponto levantado por ele é que a média de educação é jogada para baixo para que os alunos com ritmo de aprendizado mais lento não se "frustrem", mas isso trás consequências, pois o alunos que aprendem mais facilmente perdem rapidamente o interesse.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very good brief summary of the history of institutional education. I disagree with the author on the importance of early reading (studies show a person who learns to read at 5 and one who learns at 12 both read at about the same level by the times they are about 14). That critique aside, the book is very good and a worthwhile read for pretty much anyone.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting book on how modern education system has developed and how most of it is rooted with idea of governments or rulers wanting to propagate their own ideas and ideals to next generation.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent observations.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A brief history of state 'education' and it's origins. A must read for anyone (especially school students and teachers) who doesn't know their history of education.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
An OK critique of public education from a classical liberal/faux-individualist perspective. It's a good enough book if you ignore the whole "privatization/the market will fix it" crap.
Fernando Marques
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Uma das melhores críticas ao atual sistema de ensino, obrigatório, compulsório, que temos.
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Murray Newton Rothbard was an influential American historian, natural law theorist and economist of the Austrian School who helped define modern libertarianism. Rothbard took the Austrian School's emphasis on spontaneous order and condemnation of central planning to an individualist anarchist conclusion, which he termed "anarcho-capitalism".

“It is clearly absurd to limit the term 'education' to a person's formal schooling.” 129 likes
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