September 29, 2006

European court of human rights meet European convention of Human rights

Not directly to do with the EU, but another European transnational organisation. The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a claim by the German government against home schooling. (And yes, I believe people should be free to send their children to Madrassas. But I do object to having to pay for the subsequent failure that this will cause. Freedom means the freedom to to make mistakes. But I see no reason that I should have to pay, and not just financially in this case, for the mistakes of others.) Now ignoring for a moment the drivel that these particular home schoolers wanted to teach the European Court of Human Rights should be upholding the European Convention of Human Rights that states:
No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.
Quite clearly this means that if the education provided by the state conflicts with what their invisible friend tells them then they should be able to indoctrinate their kids with whatever nonsense they think the sky fairy would prefer. It does not mean as the court seems to want it to mean:
by its very nature calls for regulation by the State.
If anything the nature of education requires that it is not regulated by the state, for reasons best described by J S Mill.
A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
This argument was perfectly understood by those that put the law against home schooling onto the german statute books in 1938.


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