Compulsory “Schooling” vs. Education

“In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present education conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into men of learning or philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters, great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, statesmen, politicians, creatures of whom we have ample supply. The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in an perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way”.


The above quote is from OCCASIONAL LETTER NO.1. OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION BOARD. The General Education Board was founded, funded and controlled by John D. Rockefeller and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Between 1906 and 1920, a handful of world famous industrialists and financiers, together with their private foundations, hand picked University administrators and house politicians, and spent more attention and more money toward forced schooling than the national government did. Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller alone spent more money than the government did between 1900 and 1920. In this fashion, the system of modern schooling was constructed outside the public eye and outside the public’s representatives.

Another insider, H. H. Cadard, Chairman for the Psychology Department at Princeton back then called government schooling approvingly — “the perfect organization of the hive with the anthill”. Cadard wrote further, “standardized testing would cause the lower classes to confront their biological inferiority, sort of like wearing a dunce cap. In time that would discourage reproduction of the ants on the anthill”.

What is the true purpose of compulsory education? To make good citizens? To make good people? To make each person his or her personal best?

Or is it what H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury in April 1924 that 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 its aim in the United States… ”

Do you think your school system gives a rat’s ass about your kid’s education?

“Because of Mencken’s reputation as a satirist, we might be tempted to dismiss this passage as a bit of hyperbolic sarcasm. His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia. And although he was certainly aware of the irony that we had recently been at war with Germany, the heir to Prussian thought and culture, Mencken was being perfectly serious here. Our educational system really is Prussian in origin, and that really is cause for concern.”

Horace Mann’s “Seventh Annual Report” to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here. We eagerly adopted the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens in order to render the populace “manageable” – thanks to the money of Rockefeller and Carnegie.

Alexander Inglis’s 1918 book, Principles of Secondary Education and for whom a lecture in education at Harvard is named, makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table.

The Prussian system was useful in creating not only a harmless electorate and a servile labor force but also a virtual herd of mindless consumers. In time a great number of industrial titans came to recognize the enormous profits to be had by cultivating and tending just such a herd via public education.

The Prussian model serves the needs of the ruling class and the state.  That is why it is compulsory.

Is it possible that George W. Bush accidentally spoke the truth when he said we would “leave no child behind”? Could it be that our schools are designed to make sure not one of them ever really grows up?

Our problem is not a lack of education, but a lack of creativity, and an inability to independently think for ourselves. Schools are the perfect advertising agency to convince students they need society just as it is.

Schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey rules and orders.

“The public school system: ‘Usually a twelve year sentence of mind control. Crushing creativity, smashing individualism, encouraging collectivism and compromise, destroying the exercise of intellectual inquiry, twisting it instead into meek subservience to authority.” – Walter Karp

No wonder the kids hate it. Doing well means regurgitating “facts”, allowing you to pass “tests” and “do well” Respond to the bell like Pavlov’s dog. Being told what to think, not how to think.  And if you were “disruptive”, perhaps disturbing the tranquility of the morning, you will be drugged.  Have some Ritalin.

Learn how to compete, to kiss up, to cheat, to mistrust others, to seek your status, to buy status, to bully, to lie, to conform. Graduate still a child.  Weve taken away their dreams leaving no sense of wonder and accomplishment – now all they want to be is “popular” and “famous”.  And we can’t understand why sonny boy is 29 and still living in the basement.

Then get put into debt sometimes forever to pay for more “education” while you endlessly buy shit and argue whether Coke is better than Pepsi, unable to carry on a conversation with a living person – only with your phone.

You are kept constantly terrified of losing your job; always kept at the mercy of the boss; constantly bombarded with “free markets” vs. “socialism” while unionism, which could get you a bigger share of the pie, is crushed.  The media is filled with messages to make you fearful of your neighbors – just like you were when you were in school.

You are the “human capital” of the capitalist system.

You have become the perfect American.




About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Compulsory “Schooling” vs. Education

  1. sojourner says:

    I was in my mid thirties when I went back to college to get my teaching certificate. And I was constantly fed one indoctrinating line, in particular, that absolutely infuriated and sickened me: “The goal of education is to make students better consumers.” I would talk with the younger people around me and share my disgust for this and other mind control devices that were being foisted on us to then foist on our students. But I doubt that many listened. I only taught for five years. I love my students but hated the system.

    Like everything else dealing with this system and government, education is just another crime being perpetrated on the people, as the above quotes make clear.

    Another excellent, excellent post!


    • toritto says:

      I spent all day yesterday putting this post together. Retired guys can do that sort of thing. I did it because my youngest daughter sent me an email attaching the video. She sent it without any comments. Just the video.

      My little girl’s eyes have been opened. She is 36,



  2. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II and commented:
    If you are considering homeschooling your children but still aren’t sure yet, then read the following excellent article.

    I am a former teacher, and I can tell you, from experience, that this article paints a very accurate and clear picture of the despotic and despicable agenda that drives public education.

    If you don’t want your children intellectually and philosophically raped and pillaged, if you don’t want them to become mindless, devoid of imagination androids, ready and willing to be used by their elite masters, then home school them! Take full responsibility for your children, and be in charge, oversee, their education from beginning to end!


  3. I will never forget my daughter’s statement when she came home from her first day of kindergarten. I asked what she had learned: “They taught us to sit on a dot.”


  4. Father Paul Lemmen says:

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.


  5. beetleypete says:

    Good article Frank. I cannot really say anything about the system in the USA, as I am not an American. I will however give a good word for the system that i was taught under, and still exists in much the same way today, though the results are substantially different. Taught to think for ourselves, to challenge the status quo, appreciate other cultures, and seek to better ourselves through learning and tolerance.
    Of course the Private system still flourishes here too, under the misnomer of ‘Public Schools’, where the elite pay fortunes to send their kids. The government here is made up mostly from the former pupils of two of those schools.
    Good education still doesn’t equate to opportunity. Even here.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  6. dougstuber says:

    Amazing then that Horace Mann is best known for this quote: “Be Ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity,” and s touted as an early progressive, partly, to be sure, for founding Antioch College. There is no education until people are taught EXACTLY how those in conrol REALLY do things., and why. You can get fired for teaching the truth.


  7. Pamela Torres says:

    I’m glad you posted this. One of the most horrifying things about our schools is how they methodically, purposefully deconstruct your self-esteem. When you take a quiz in any subject (history, algebra, social studies, etc.) and you score an A or a 95%, teachers and parents tell you how proud they are and you’re rewarded in some way. During this time, you THINK you’re smart, you THINK you’re doing the right thing, and you THINK if you do what you’re expected (studying hard, writing and proofreading reports, and earning high grades), then you’ll have a better future. Attending these boring classes day after day isn’t something you WANT to do. It’s what you HAVE to do because you’ve been force fed the paralyzing fear of total failure. Like a trained animal at the circus, you’re jumping through one hoop after another to get closer to the prize, not realizing that you’re not really learning, just repeating short term memorization of stale facts you can’t use in your daily life. You’re just being indoctrinated and the school has been setting you up for failure right from the start. To have a child’s worth as a human being measured by a report card is wrong…and ludicrous. Raising your hand and asking for permission to use the bathroom is abnormal too. On top of the headaches you get from the weeks, months and years you spent worrying about ‘doing well’ in school and trying to stay awake long enough to read the next chapter in your assigned book, you’re being bullied, put down, judged and taught to hate yourself until you feel so worthless, you just want to disappear. And all for what? So you can spend your entire American adult life held hostage by health insurance companies and sucked dry by the IRS? When I graduated with my BA, I didn’t feel like I truly grew up. Then again, how exactly are you supposed to ‘grow up’ when you just spent 17 years of your natural life sitting in a room, vegetating behind a desk?


  8. jfwknifton says:

    “mindless consumers” ?? “the human capital” of the capitalist system” ?? A tad harsh, surely ! Thank goodness nothing like that happens here in Good Old England. (Except that, admittedly, we have learned over the years to use the Royal Family as a calming drug for the working classes.)


    • toritto says:

      John – Ya think a tad harsh? What would capitalism do without all us wage slave cogs in the wheel buying crap we don’t really need? Creating generation after generation of mindless cogs is the sole purpose of the educational system! And I’m sure you think the same.

      As for worshiping Queens and Princes – well that’s for another post from your side of the pond!





  9. Pingback: In light of the new Iron Fist total control on the new Jefferson County School Board – this website will add new focus | Gramma Griizzly's Corner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.