James A. GarfieldJames A. Garfield, (1831-1881) 20th President of the United States (1881), assassinated

James A. Garfield Quote

“Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.”

James A. GarfieldJames A. Garfield
~ James A. Garfield

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

Not so much popular education as basic education, the three Rs. Add History to show our government has moved from a Constitutionally Limited Federal REPUBLIC to a tyranny, and maybe ... maybe this country has a chance to return to freedom and justice.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Excellent observation, and given where our tyranny is coming from, the best/wisest/most effective step we can take to solve this is to outlaw private religious based schooling and home schooling for purposes of providing that basic education... it clearly does not work to allow it, and our children deserve better.

David L. Rosenthal

I regret having read the comments.

A 16 yr old, IN

You guys are bright. You want the corrupt government, that you obviously don't like, to be the only one educating the masses.

Meshell, atl, GA

I'm really just here because his name is the same as what I am obsessed with, Garfield the lazy, orange cat! : )

John Anderson, Tacoma, WA

Public education is certainly one way to create a nation of docile subjects. Some of us do not wish to be subjects. We will continue to teach our children truth as we see fit, not simply allow the state to teach them the state's version of truth. A list of men NOT popularly educated includes George Washington, John Adams, James Monroe, James Madison, Adam Smith. While education is certainly profitable and may even be necessary to the preservation of freedom, state imposed education is antithetical to individual liberty.

id, k
  • Reply
id, k    8/23/09

I dont understand it

Waffler, Smith

I like associating with educated people. I could choose to live in a land of uneducated persons where no one could read or write. The Bible says "one man sharpeneth another". In our interactions and education we become "better".

jim k, Austin,Tx

Reston is right. We should outlaw home schooling and herd all the kids into these giant prisons that we call public schools, and don't forget to walk through the metal detecter. And if you can't read when you graduate, not to worry, there's remedial reading classes when you get to Flunk U.

J Carlton, Calgary

What passes for an education system today can't possibly be what Garfield was referring to. The one we have now needs to be flushed with a great many other aspects of psychotic Government.

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  • Reply
    Publius    5/21/11

    Reston, VA US...Outlawing parents from being able to educate their children or at least see to their education through private schools of their choosing is of the most oppressive measures any government can impose. That's not liberty and justice, its tyranny. I have the right to raise and educate my children as I see fit. Anyone who tries to take that right from me and sink their communist claws into my children will be met with every ounce of resistance that I can muster from my mind and body. You are far too trusting of the government. No government is, ever will be, or even can be perfect. Therefore it can never be trusted with as much power as you constantly call to give it. You are far too arrogant. You have consistently dismissed the ideas of the many martyrs of history quoted on this site. You are not more intelligent or wiser then they were. You have not faced the oppression they did or sacrificed as they did to keep freedom alive. Men like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Adams would kick your ass just for making a statement like the one you have above. The defecation that spews from your mouth is nothing more than a hindrance to anyone having heard it. Being a free person, you have the right to express your own ideas but you also have the responsibility to come up with some that are worth listening to.

    Patrick Henry, Red Hill

    Popular education that has been decoupled from illumined moral instruction is, in itself, a woefully inadequate foundation of freedom and justice.

    Prerequisite to the presence of actual freedom and justice are an understanding of and solemn regard for rooted in Reality morality.

    In the absence of the tempering influence of morality, freedom devolves apace to become licentiousness and justice becomes unrealizable.

    Ronw13, Oregon

    Garfield. a Calvinist, educated in liberal arts, Reformed Protestant.
    Siding against Martin Luther's following, of which the South embraced, salvation by grace through faith, tempered with the natural law of morality, restraint and responsibility. So as far as Garfield's " popular education" goes, absolutely questionable ! corrupt doctrinal teaching, With a little home work one will find, such perversion as inclusive to the point of destruction of a civilized wholesome life. Such is the result seen today world wide.
    Other than wanting a gold standard put in place during the reconstruction period, of which he was murdered, not much else of worth.

    Mick, Manchester

    Private = privilege in terms of education and is generally only accessible to the minority who can afford it to maintain the old boys network. Don't know about the US but Private schools in the UK are allowed to register as charities to avoid paying tax on the majority of the fees they charge - this is a national scandal. Chronic underinvestment in state education which is the real problem is then excused as failed ideology. A decent and universally accessible education is a basic human right which is denied to many in some of the worlds richest countries.

    Mike, Norwalk

    I guess the statement could be theoretically correct while, in the vast, VAST majority of times, the reality is to the extreme - inaccurate. What is "popular" education? The current theocratic seminaries (government schools) seem to be popular. Such prominent and favorite dogma propagation is antithetical to natural law, inalienable rights of man, freedom and justice. As example, how many graduates of said theocratic seminaries can define natural law or related constitutional law (as is averse to legal positivism), inalienable rights (as are inherent in the individual without third party intervention), freedom (as is an expositor of pure liberty), and justice (being that 'ALL' courts in Amerika are so extremely corrupt)?


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