Anthony Esolen visits one of the few surviving men’s colleges and finds it a hotbed of benign timocracies. Fine upstanding young men, sense of honor, all that sort of thing. From his account it seems that education really can make a difference, and people can bounce back and start acting normal again if given a chance. (The comments to Dr. Esolen’s post, which range from skeptical, to unhinged, to you-changed-my-life, are worth a read.)
Not that new growth or even survival is a done deal. Some are alarmed by the prospect of oppression by the normal, or perhaps just want to redefine the normal to be whatever power says it is. We live in the modern world, and the point of modernity is control. In evident response to such concerns, the French National Assembly has just decided to fobid cooperative efforts among home-schoolers. From now on, if you’re homeschooling in France you gotta go it alone. Smart move. If people come together to educate their own children, who knows what will happen?
At least things are still better in France than in Germany, where homeschooling is illegal and the authorities have taken to declaring homeschooled children mentally disordered. (Here’s a page with more information on the situation, including a link to an online petition.)