K-12 really matters

Century 21 Expo 1962What a blessing it was I had no idea, when my parents moved from Seward Park and a terrible school -- Sharples -- to Mercer Island and the best pick of teachers. Like can happen, we had a coach teaching contemporary world problems. But, typical of Murray's school district, he was absolutely first rate. And he passed out a text far better than any I would have to buy in higher education. Great Political Thinkers. By Ebenstein. Fabulous. And we learned about Socrates, Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Mill, Tocqueville, Marx... Mills' essay on Liberty is an all time high water mark. And Tocqueville's dissection of Democracy in America makes him the last great political thinker before Orwell. Mr. James loved a good rhetorical war over ideas and we duked them out, as students in Wichterman were doing next door, and Mr. Yanicks down the hall in American history. They all lived for what they taught, had all played hard nosed football. And they all drove VW buses and they went out on adventures together, like kayaking the Wenatchee River. And back then I can remember in class wondering why no great political thinkers had happened since Tocqueville, whose journey to America was in 1834 -- plus or minus a year. Obviously communism doesn't work. But capitalism doesn't either if you consider the end result. We've consumed the richest bank of resources in the world since 1492. We've found it, felt it, ruined it and forgotten most of America. Political theory fundamentally is just about survival and happiness. How do we do that now, that's the question.

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