1904: Education Compilation Act
April 15, 2019
In Lord of the Rings the big bad guy, Sauron, created the One Ring of Power to rule them all. The idea of technological institutions can, like magic rings, replace human leaderships and charisma is a fatal conceit. We know we can get someone else to carry our physical burdens and even have labour-saving devices like washing machines to automate and replace us. So, we assume incorrectly that every part of our humanity is replaceable and can be interchanged with rules and machines.
I’ve known people who want to impose this by replacing our political system with some ingenious form of Direct Democracy. Or, our economy with a Marxist Supercomputer. Or, our currency with Bitcoin. Or, romantic connection with Pickup Artistry. Or self-esteem with Comedy or Magician Tricks. Or socialisation with Game Theory (ref. Russell Crowe movie, A Beautiful Mind (2001.)) Or jury trials of our peers with specialists bound by hard rules.
The Liberal’s Education Compilation Act of 1904 contained such an attempt. The people backing such things trust rules more than they trust people…
“Any person who shall wilfully disturb any school, or who
shall upbraid, insult, or abuse any teacher in the presence or hearing of the pupils assembled in school, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings.”; Education Compilation Act, 1904 s.160
Really bad idea from a Public Choice Economics/Anarchistic stand point but, of course, Seddon and his Liberal government had a dozen bad ideas like that before Second Breakfast at Bellamy’s!
A school administration, and every teacher, ought to be able to hold their own space; Stand their own ground and do so in the presence or hearing of pupils. Set an example of personal power. To farm out this personal honour and dignity to The State is to lose it.
So far as I can see, this law was used just one time: Wairekiki School¹ in 1907. A member of the school committee, Mr Bowie, had come to remove his daughter and her books from class when a classroom altercation broke out between himself and the teacher Ms Munro. Perhaps she insulted Bowie’s family, perhaps he replied she were a liar or worse.
Essentially a dispute between colleagues but the law gives the teacher special advantage to both abuse and defence to not be abused on pain of The State entering the fray with his truncheon. Bowie was fined £2
What happened around 1904 is very similar to the position we find ourselves in 2019. And out-going Mainstream no longer holds mana, personal power, and seeks to replace it while it can by entrenching some laws to make people act as if it did. What else is the 2019 Victimhood Culture’s attempt to legally ban so-called Hate Speech except an confession that they cannot do so by personal conviction any longer?
1 Long lost ghost town somewhere near Winton, Southland
Image Ref. Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Dangerous Minds’ (1995) which was actually based on this incident but Hollywood changed the setting to California.²
2 No it wasn’t. That’s my idea of a joke
ref. Western Star, 22 October 1907; Papers Past