If the government would make up its mind to require for every child a good education, it might save itself the trouble of providing one. This might leave it to parents to obtain the education where and how they pleased, and content itself with helping to pay the school fees of the poorer classes of children and defraying the entire school expenses of those who have no one else to pay for them. The objections which are urged with reason against state education do not apply to the enforcement of education by the state but to the state’s taking upon itself to direct that education, which is a totally different thing. That the whole or any large part of the education of the people should be in state hands, I go as far as anyone in deprecating. All that has been said of the importance of individuality of character, and diversity in opinions and modes of conduct, involves, as of the same unspeakable importance, diversity of education. A general state education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body. An education established and controlled by the state should only exist, if it exist at all, as one among many competing experiments.