David Quinn has begun to worship a new deity: choice (Indo 19th Oct). At the centre of this creed is the belief that choice should be the core value in society. That is why it teaches that it is sinful to curtail the freedom of parents by not expanding the private school system.
Proponents of 'choice first' claim they believe that the market mechanism delivers the optimum results. Open it all up, they say, and the market will work its miracles. Have faith, they beg, and the market will apply the magic of its invisible hand to lead us to salvation. Social ills such as inequality, poverty, and misery are the price we must pay for the promise of freedom.
But like most religions, 'choice first' is a sham. In the promised land, happy parents choose their school like picking a new car. In reality, under an extended private system, parents have no choice at all. Your children will be schooled in the best school you can afford. If that means the free one, so be it. And if you are rich, you choose the best school. How can this be choice when there is no decision to be made?
When we try to reach them, the Arcadian fields, where contented children sing and frolic, recede into the mists. Choice is a myth and is no more than a clever way to dress the divisive tyranny of the market in the garb of freedom.