“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.