2700-year-old idea for running American schools in 2020-2021?

Posted by various Facebook Shutdown Karens:

Certainly this is potentially relevant for elementary school children whose parents are 82-year-olds with underlying health conditions (Maskachusetts statistics). And, if this were a realistic scenario for more than a handful of children on Planet Earth, we could make a lot of money building orphanages in Sweden, since their schools never closed, even in the midst of a raging coronaplague. We could also make money building orphanages in most of Europe, since their schools reopened in April or May while coronaplague at least simmered.

The image made me wonder if we already have a solution to (a) protecting American Karens from the viral monster under their beds, while (b) educating American children: ἀγωγή (agōgē). This was the system set up by Sparta in which all state-run schools for children were residential schools. Boys lived in the school from age 7-21 and thus wouldn’t be able to spread any viruses to their parents. Of course, today we would not limit the agōgē to children who identify as “boys”, but would instead host a full rainbow of gender IDs.

As an added bonus “in these times” (my favorite expression!), the Spartan system promoted the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle and most boys were ultimately persuaded of the shortcomings of cisgender heterosexuality (see “Status of homosexuality in ancient Sparta?”).

Readers: What do you think? Time for residential schools for every American K-12er? For extra protection we can limit teachers to those under age 50 and also have the teachers live in the school.

Mystras, 2004, near the site of ancient Sparta:


  • Twitter post by a law professor regarding the Arlington County Public Schools: “My wife, who is apparently a glutton for punishment, listened to an entire Arlington County school board meeting last night. She reports there was great concern expressed about, and discussion of how to help: (1) the teachers, especially those who will have kids at home; (2) the staff, as the county wants to avoid layoffs even for those who will have nothing to do with school online, such as extended day staff; (3) poor kids who rely on school lunches; and (4) poor kids who have trouble accessing the internet. Other than (4), there was essentially no discussion how educating students, which is indefinitely online (and was a disaster in the Spring), nor concern expressed for parents who can’t afford childcare, can’t afford tutors to help their kids, and who are otherwise experiencing a looming disaster with indefinite school closure. The way at least my county school system has reacted to this crisis would have been considered outrageous ideological propaganda if a libertarian-oriented public choice scholar had predicted it.” (Due to being next to Washington, D.C., the source of much wealth in a mostly-planned economy, this is one of the richest counties in the U.S.)
  • “Lost Summer: How Schools Missed a Chance to Fix Remote Learning” (NYT, August 7): government workers on vacation did nothing other than vacation…

4 thoughts on “2700-year-old idea for running American schools in 2020-2021?

  1. Weren’t all young Spartans, as part of their education, required to kill helots? That could be, as they say, problematic.

    • “Weren’t all young Spartans, as part of their education, required to kill helots”.

      No, only some who advanced their career to become kryptai, members of Spartan secret police, kind of then KGB, as part of their training. According to Plutarch, at least.

      Spartans were truly despicable racist specimen of humanity, they practiced eugenics too. You can try cancel them on twitter because they are truly problematic.

  2. The underlying question is: How do we keep the money burning furnace of public school sinecures going without actually doing any public schooling?

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