Americanism Versus Communism: The Institutionalization of an Ideology

Dissertation, University of Florida (1988)
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In order to graduate, Florida's high school students by law must learn that Communism is evil, dangerous, and fallacious. All students must learn that the U.S. produces the highest standard of living and more freedom than any other economic system on earth. State universities in Florida are creating a curriculum to implement the Americanism versus Communism Act of 1961 and the Free Enterprise and Consumer Education Act of 1975. ;The Florida Department of Education says that ideology, noncritical thinking, is superior to critical thinking and that the superiority of the U.S. political economy and the dignity of the individual rest in part on peoples' being able to express themselves freely. ;Florida's A.V.C. and F.E.C.E.A. proponents have a special way of convincing audiences that they will develop loyalty while at the same time imposing a set of ideas not open to question. ;This work argues that, intentionally or not, Florida's legislature and Department of Education have set up an official ideology and the mechanism to purvey it. This ideological approach defeats the aim of comparing systems objectively. While the stated aim is to promote critical thinking, the D.O.E.'s special philosophy underscoring words like "democracy" results in indoctrinating students with a questionable description of the U.S. system
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