Rotten at the Core: Paideia Politicised
It is a classical, though strangely unrecognised, tactic of polemics to divert attention from one’s own most critical defect by flatly attributing it to the opposition. So, it was common practice to accuse those promoting British comprehensive schools of social engineering, as if God or nature or some other transcendent force had decreed that there should be two sorts of child, the academic and the other sort, so that dismantling the structure that assumed this dispensation was a gratuitous infringement of unwritten law. Yet, human dynamics are not constrained by logic, least of all when the status quo is assailed by innovators in a hurry. Non-rationally but acutely, once its implications began to be understood, the comprehensive movement was felt to be ideological, and so in that subjective sense it effectively was.