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Quoting [log in to unmask]:

> On Wed, 26 Dec 2001, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
>
> > were quickly dispatched to the federal court system.  The state
> > governments also try to compel allegiance to the Federal system by
> > requiring all students in the public school system to recite the
> > Pledge of Allegiance at regular intervals, and take
> > civics/government classes in highschool where they are instilled
> > with pro-democracy,
>
> 1:  I did not recite the pledge of alliegence after first grade.  It
> was no longer a requirement in Indiana after 1972.

When I was last in the public school system some five years ago
in Texas, we were required to stand and say the pledge of allegiance
every week or two, though in elementary school every day.

This, of course, proves my point:  there is a continuum of the
level of force that goverments, especially within a federation like
the US, may impose on its citizens.  That force may take a variety
of different forms, too.  Northern states maintain their political
legitimacy by maintaining relatively more generous welfare programs
than in the South, and to do so they force the population to pay
higher taxes.  There are many different ways that governments seek
to maintain legitimacy, but force is always one method used to do
so.

> 2:  My Civics courses in school seemed to spend a great deal of time
> exploring the limits and faults of the US government and economy.  It
> also spent a lot of time exploring the limits and faults of other
> governments and economies.  Perhaps the Indiana state board was
> Churchillian in its politics...

I find that doubtful.  Theology, they say, was invented because
people began doubting. The same applies to any form of ideology
or system of control: when people doubt the official orthodoxy,
those in charge of the orthodoxy seek to come up with
rationalizations for the status quo.  I seriously doubt that anyone
in your schoolsystem ever seriously questioned whether democracy is
an appropriate form of government, or whether free enterprise does
not in fact increase the wealth of all albeit in unequal proportions.

Indeed, if it was Churchillian, as you say, then it was rationalizing
all the more.  Churchill's famous statement that "democracy is the
worst form of government, except for all the others" is a form of
rationalizing what the vast majority of people already want to be
the case, not a proof that democracy is in fact bad but better than
all others.  No standard of "goodness" was ever invoked to show how
that statement could be true; it was simply a bald claim, however witty.

=====================================================================
Thomas Wier <[log in to unmask]> <http://home.uchicago.edu/~trwier>

             "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n /
Dept. of Linguistics  mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..."
University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought /
1010 E. 59th Street   and not complete one road that has no turn"
Chicago, IL 60637     Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers