I post this ‘speech’ around this time of year on several websites.
If it were up to me, it would be required reading for every high school and college graduate in America as a condition of receiving their dilplomas.
Too bad no educational institution has ever invited Neal to give it for real:
The Commencement Speech
By Neal Boortz
I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It’s about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you’ll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I’m not here to impress the faculty and administration.
You may not like much of what I have to say, and that’s fine. This isn’t the first time you’re not going to like what someone has to say … your bosses, for instance. Things change today. There will be a lot less pandering to your every whim, and a lot more demands for performance. You will remember what I had to say though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, of course, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees … or as college professors.
You’ve heard the old saying that those who can – do. Those who can’t – teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.
By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot’s license many years ago, he said, ‘Here, this is your ticket to learn.’ The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.
OK .. it’s time for you to hear something – to learn something – that may, but should not, come as a complete surprise.
You are the victims of a terrible fraud. You have just completed your travels through an educational system that had no real intention of educating you … at least not too much.
You’re pretty hot at research right now, aren’t you? While those skills are still with you, perhaps you would like to put them to work studying the start of compulsory government education in the early part of the last century. Do you really think that the goal of our compulsory government education system has been to actually educate you?
Did you study H. L. Mencken? In 1924 he wrote an article for the American Mercury where he defined the true aim of our then-fledgling system of education. Listen carefully:
The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. … Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is the aim in the United States and that is its aim everywhere else.
Think about this. Who owns the schools? The government. Who mandates attendance? The government. Who staffs the schools? The government … with government workers. Who directs the work of the schools? The government. Can you see where it is in the best interests of government to suppress dissent and originality? Can you understand why government would want a standardized citizenry? Those who dissent; those who produce originality of thought; those who exceed the standards are a threat to what? The status quo, that’s what … and government likes the calming influence of the status quo.
You will find the rest of Neal’s excellent speech at this link.