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Compulsory Education and.... Hayek

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Talking about Shultz, Sen, and Sainath, I was reminded of this:

Hayek in the Constitution of Liberty:

pp. 376-377:

"Though our case for freedom rests to a great extent in the contention that
competition is one of the most powerful instruments for the dissemination
of knowledge and that it will usually demonstrate the value of knowledge to
those who do not possess it, there is no doubt that the utilitisation of
knowledge can be greatly increased by deliberate efforts. Ignorance is one
of the chief reasons why men's endeavour's are often not channeled so that
thy are most useful to their fellows; and there are various reasons why it
might be in the interest of the whole community that knowledge be brought
to who have little incentive to seek it or to make some sacrifice to
acquire it. These reasons are particularly compelling in the case of
children, but some of the arguments apply no less to adults."

"With regard to children the important fact is, of course, that they are
not responsible individuals to whom the argument for freedom fully applies.
Though it is generally in the best interest of children that their bodily
and mental welfare be left in the care of their parents or guardians, this
does not mean that parents should have unrestricted liberty to treat
children as they like. The other members of the community have a genuine
stake in the welfare of the children. The case for requiring parents or
guardians to provide for those under their are a certain minimum of
education is very strong."

"In contemporary society, the case for compulsory  education up to a
certain minimum standard is two-fold. There is the general argument that
all of us will be exposed to less risks amd will receive more benefits from
our fellows if they share with us certain basic knowledge and beliefs. And
in a country with democratic institutions there is the further important
consideration that democracy is not likely to work, except on the smallest
local scale, with partly illiterate people."

In the secondary literature, Chris Guest (Hayek on Government) describes
Hayek's argument for comp. ed.:

"Market intervention in relation to education is required for two reasons.
The first is the problem of consumer ignorance. Children cannot make
informed decisions and parents may not make decisions in the children's
best interests. For adults, education may awaken capacities they did not
know they had. Hayek advocated compulsory general education for all, with
government financial assistance for families that could not afford
compulsory education. The case for cercion is that the catallaxy is
stronger is everyone shares some basic knowledge and values,.... If all
families are compelled to send their children to school, then the community
should pay for those families to whom the "cost would be a severe burden."

"Hayek supported a voucher system to avoid a government monopoly of the
provision or control of the content of education, which would be dangerous
for freedom due to its power over men's minds. He suggested that government
schools should be confined to cases of small isolated communities where the
numbers of children are too small for the economic provision of private

Warm regards,
Chirag Kasbekar
Address: Row House #6,
         Om Dwarkanath Society,
         Sector 19A, Nerul,
         New Bombay 400 706,
         Maharashtra, India.
email: photismo@my-deja.com

    (India's first Online Business Magazine)

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