Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just how free are Swedish free schools?

Last year I scoffed at the idea that state schools in Sweden were free from indoctrination:
Björn, the ABBA pop star, wants to ban independent religious schools in Sweden. Why? He gives this explanation:

Above all, children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination. In fact, freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children.
I burst out laughing when I read this. There is no place in the world where people are more indoctrinated than in Sweden. And they are not indoctrinated by churches but by the secular state.

I think I was right in this assessment. It seems that even the "free" and "independent" schools in Sweden are heavily subject to the state ideology. Consider the case of the "free school" located in Hörby in the south of Sweden. It was visited recently by the school inspectorate. The result?

The chemistry books used by the school were declared anachronistic, not because there was anything wrong with the chemistry being taught in the books, but because the books weren't adequately multicultural or feminist. It seems that the names in the chemistry books were "almost exclusively Western" and therefore offensive to the state ideology. The inspectorate also criticised the school for its lack of dialogue on gender and ethnicity.

The principal of the school, Kerstin Lindberg, hastened to reassure the officials responsible for monitoring any deviation from the state ideology that the lapse would be rectified:

The literature will be evaluated and new books will be purchased. [The school] will also initiate a clear equality plan for staff and invite a lecturer in gender and ethnicity issues.

The school has been given until March 3 to re-educate itself.

Really, what is the point of having an "independent" school that is so obviously under the thumb of the state? You may as well get your indoctrination straight from the source, from a state school.

As for Björn, those costumes he wore back in the 70s must have cut off some of the circulation to his brain. He claims that "children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination" but remains oblivious to the fact that the great indoctrinator in Sweden is not some little religious school, it's the liberal state.


  1. Its possible to get into an overdog underdog mentality, where everything underdog is good. The Bjorn's look at religious practices and say that they used to be the big dog ans so we have to be hard now to combat it, we're still the underdog. Conservatives look at these guys and say you must be joking you control so much.

    Its not good enough just to fight these guys in my opinion, because like the communists they think that everything they do is justifiable. We have to show that they're wrong. That what they're doing classes as indoctrination.

    I talked to my Dad tonight and he was talking about a Church school run charity program, "They'll make it work” he said, “because they're not government. Government can't make things work". I said but you went to a state government school and it was good, I don't see why Government inherently can't work? He went on to say that its government these days.

    I don't want to surrender the public education system to the left and encourage everyone to enter independent schools. I want the government back.

    If we want a school system free of indoctrination we have to point out how that what they're doing is indoctrination. Take that position of self righteousness from them.

  2. Good post. Reminds me of this article published recently ---

  3. The liberal state is a VERY jealous God, it bans all false Gods that might compete with it.

  4. There's no such thing as sitting on top of the fence...

    Pick a side and fight for it. Make sure your side wins.

    Bjorn knows perfectly well what side he's on---The Communist Soviet Politburo side

  5. "Liberals" ... God bless 'em ... if they're not hypocrites, they're morons (for, the third potential alternative, mere ignorance or lack-of-understanding the facts clearly does not explain the things they say and do).

  6. This is what happens when you take Christianity away from Society.

    Christianity is taken from the schools it creates a vacuum...and SOMETHING always moves to fill it...

  7. Mainstream American conservative publication for the first time in decades openly discussing indoctrination and affirmative action ---

  8. It's impossible to live in a society where there isn't some form of indoctrination.

    The best that can be achieved is that one particular ideology doesn't have a monopoly over indoctrination. That's why I'm opposed to libertarians, atheists, religous fundamentalists and leftists who want one particular sector to have a monopoly over education. Ideally having a mixture of secular state, religious and private education providers at least helps to moderate the influence of any one particular form of indoctrination.