Chapter One: How They Taught Us to Submit.
…by Cara St.Louis
I say submit, and that is precisely what I mean. However, it’s far worse than that. They taught us to injure ourselves and each other, quite on purpose and with a smile on our faces, convinced that we are/were doing the smartest and best thing. Voluntary self-mutilation and ultimately ‘noble’ self-extinction. Let’s dig in because the rules of the game are simple and we don’t have to play. We can always just put the toys down and walk away. It really is that simple in so many ways.
Schooling was intended to be “a 5th column into the
burgeoning libertarian condition.” So said John Taylor Gatto, American Educator and Philosopher. The method? Infiltration into the minds of children isolated too early and too completely from their parents. It has also been characterized as part of a movement one could describe as the Counter-Renaissance. It matters only a little how we choose to see it, as it is perhaps the most insidious tool of enslavement being foisted upon humanity. School, as it exists today, has nothing whatsoever to do with education. We must rip the mask from the face of the imposter. Education, certainly, is our birthright as human beings. School itself is a prison sentence.
The idea, the concept, goes back to Plato. In The Republic, Plato asserted that the state should train children from the age of three. Each citizen was guided by the state towards an ideal conception of justice. Each citizen was placed into the social class and occupation best suited for him. Education had to be universalized so that all citizens could be effectively screened and placed. He insisted that it was the state’s job to support and control schools and to make them mandatory: designed by the state for the benefit of the state.
One notable feature of this method of ‘educating’ children is Plato’s demand for strict censorship of literary materials, especially poetry and drama. He argued that early absorption in fictional accounts can dull an person’s ability to make accurate judgements regarding matters of fact and that excessive participation in dramatic recitations might encourage some people to emulate the worst behaviour of the tragic heroes. (Republic 395c) Worst of all, excessive attention to fictional contexts may lead to a kind of self-deception , in which individuals are ignorant of the truth about their own natures as human beings. (Republic 382b) This absolute ban on the Imagination is a subject we will return to again and again.
Plato’s school for the masses had nothing to do with our romantic notions of education: unlocking vast and surprising human capacities or empowering hearts and minds. It never did, apparently. It had to do with maximum management of what we would now term ‘human resources’ for the maximum benefit of the elite and/or the state. The other stuff, the window dressing? Sold to us to keep us thinking the system was okay and if we were unhappy there was something wrong with us.
If citizens express any dissatisfaction with the roles to which they are assigned, he proposed that they be told the “useful falsehood” that human beings (like the metals gold, silver, and bronze) possess different natures that fit each of them to a particular function within the operation of the society as a whole (but that are essentially unchangeable). (Republic 415a)
This simply had not been tried on a large scale in more modern times until 1818 because the idea was thought to be too outlandish, too crazy, too enslaving. Who in their right mind would go along with it? It is so important to trace the path of this line of thinking as, with a backward look, we can view it with complete justification as the chute in an abattoir and we, my friends, are the ambling cattle.
Let’s move forward from Plato, then, to five centuries ago when John Calvin, seen as the most influential theologian of the last fifteen hundred years, was working. We have our ideas who Calvin was and how bleak were his pronouncements. The ‘damned’, the wretched, outnumber the ‘saved’ by orders of magnitude. Outnumbered by about 20 to 1, force was not an option. Thus continued the Roman recipe for crowd control, anglicized, of ‘bread and circuses.’
John Calvin said: salvation is already decided before you are born. Justified sinners were going to heaven no matter what they did, 95% were doomed no matter what they did. Calvin constructed the ideal of forced, mass education. Things had to be put in place to occupy the 95% such that they would never bother the 5% again. This theme saturates all angles of the spectrum in full spectrum dominance and certainly, Calvin wasn’t the only one who thought of it. However, a compulsory schooling was thought to be a brilliant solution wherein to warehouse the 95%.
Distract, numb their minds, set them against each other…eat up their time, attention and energy. That plan is still in effect because it works. We think this is a new paradigm but it is an ancient paradigm under which we have been enslaved for thousands of years. Now, we have a Predator. The Predator is using what is already in place and deepening it to unholy extremes. That is why we must grasp with what the walls of our prison are made.
Jump from Calvin to a thoroughly secular philosopher in Amsterdam, Benedict Spinoza, who published a book in 1670 that had a huge influence on the leadership classes of Europe, the United States and Asia. Its called Tractate Religico Politicu. It has been written that practically everyone who could read in colonial times read Spinoza.
In his book, he wrote that people should not be characterized as ‘damned’ or ‘saved’ because there is no supernatural world. He also said there’s an enormous disproportion between permanently irrational people who are absolutely dangerous and the people who have good sense. Again, he said the ratio is about twenty to one.
We have to pay attention to that fraction, that figure. How was it derived and by whom originally? He also said ‘permanently irrational people’. Hence, why devise a system of education at all? We also have to realize that he was widely read the world over. His ideas have penetrated all the continents. I speak primarily about the US school system as a grandchild of the Prussian system but these techniques are global now.
Spinoza falls into lock-step with Calvin. However, Spinoza actually says that an institutional school system should be set up as a civil religion. It’s a term found frequently in early colonial writing because Spinoza, as we have noted here, was very widely read.
A civil religion (secular) would kill two birds with one stone. First, it would destroy the irrational and dangerous forms of official religion. So it had nothing to do with educating individuals whom he thought of as permanently irrational anyway. It would change who controlled them and reinforce the walls of their cage, that’s all.
Second, it would ‘bind up’ the energies of these irrational twenty to one (the damned of Calvin) and destroy their imagination. That bears repeating because it is crucial. It would destroy their imagination. Why would that be important? Do permanently irrational people have imagination? Does not imagination indicate a will to both conjure a different scenario and enact it? I would postulate that one must have some ability to order a series of variables in some way to use imagination in any way that might challenge those in control. So, yes, the imagination — like the children in whom it is nascent and unsullied — was a major target. It is also possible, perhaps probable, that the possession of imagination at all was what was being termed ‘irrational.’
So, Spinoza said the same thing as Calvin. We have to destroy the imagination because its only through the imagination that the maximum damage (power and free will) is unleashed. Otherwise people can rebel, effect short-term change, but they can’t do much harm to the fundamental structure because they can’t think outside of the box. In fact, the structure is too close and too ingrained for them to see it unless it is pointed out. The structure and its effects, which can be bewildering events that seem to have no origin.
Destroy the imagination and build a better box; the plan.
Even when the prescription is ‘think outside the box, the thought that follows is implanted. There is only the box, redesigned, painted, perfumed, and so forth, but it is still the box. It’s a game.
It would be not quite a century and a half from Spinoza in 1670 to Johann Fichte in Northern Germany in 1807-1809, where the very first successful institutional schooling in the history of the planet, was established.
Ficthe says in his famous Address to the German Nation, that the reason Prussia suffered a catastrophic defeat against Napoleon at Jena was because ordinary soldiers took decisions into their hands. He called for a national system of training that would make it impossible for the 19 out of the 20 to imagine any other way to do things. A decade later Prussia had the first institutional form of mass schooling ever created.
One man did not think this idea, this ‘crazy nobody will ever agree to it’ idea, was out of reach. Perhaps you anticipated that I would start with Frederick, Emperor of Prussia? Yes, but only insofar as he expressed a despotic, totalitarian desire. It had come to his attention that his troops were running away from the front lines in battle. They seemed to have been inexplicably overcome by an irresistible will to save their own lives. When a fellow wants his empire to grow, this behaviour is contraindicated, this abandoning of the battle lines. In 1805, Napoleon crushed Frederick’s army. This could not be tolerated.
On the back of Fichte’s admonishment to the nation, King Fredrick of Prussia systematically established a schooling model designed to make sure that the “spirit of ability within” was permanently extinguished. Children were excised from their families, de-personalized and even isolated from each other at an early age. Seated in rows, they were easily silenced, controlled, and forced to engage in rote tasks whose sole purpose was to inculcate obedience.
These practices shaped the curriculum of the Prussian public schools for over a century. That could logically only be considered a problem if one lived in Prussia, and then likely only if one were male. However, other powers with other goals and purposes took up the Prussian baton and ran with it. For example, we here in the United States had suffered a humiliating defeat in 1812 at the hands of the British.We were interested in this ‘straight jacket’ which had turned things around for the Prussian army.
Yes, the machine that was the Prussian military after the introduction of their new compulsory schooling system was very attractive indeed. It was really a well-received bonus that this system worked to crystallize a class system under siege and so easily inserted itself with blunt force into the liberty traditions. As with all other forms of social and cultural engineering which were the bulk of the 20th century environment, once an architecture was in place, it could be used by many small ruling groups for the purposes of dominance and control.
So, briefly, who was this mover of entire cultures? The philosopher, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, essentially came from humble, farm hand beginnings…the son of a ribbon weaver…but he managed to produce a philosophy that the Emperor of Prussia had converted to what we now refer to as The Prussian Education System. One wonders today if this was poor Fichte’s goal. After all, many philosophers would find their work twisted and bent to serve a purpose for which it was never intended. Not so, J.W. Fichte, who like most children in his time, was home-schooled. One might have thought he was rising above his humble station, but that may be questionable. Let us add was John Taylor Gatto wrote on the incidence of formal education during Fichte’s time and later:
“People who wanted their kids schooled had them schooled even then; people who didn’t didn’t. That was more or less true for most of us right into the twentieth century: as late as 1920, only 32 percent of American kids went past elementary school. If that sounds impossible, consider the practice in Switzerland today where only 23 percent of the student population goes to high school, though Switzerland has the world’s highest per capita income in the world.”
No matter what else Fichte was, it is important to note that he was also a Freemason. And, subsequent to the humiliating defeat of the Prussian army by Napoleon, he wrote one of the most important documents the modern world has known or of which we have become victims. It was called, the “Address to the German Nation.” It led directly to the introduction on a practical level of compulsion schools in the west. Here was in place, of course, globally, any number of forms of ‘forced training.’ This was a completely different animal.
In his second address regarding the ‘New Education,’ Fichte remarked, “If you want to influence [the student] at all, you must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”
Fichte blamed the education system for the weakness of Prussian soldiers, he said children would henceforth have to be disciplined through a new form of universal conditioning. Obviously, their parents could not be counted on to inculcate blind obedience to the state and a sheer ravenous will to win. No sentiment would remain alive.
Through forced schooling, everyone would learn that working for the State, even laying down one’s life to its commands, was the greatest freedom of all. Do we not understand this sort of patriotism in the United States deeply? Semantic redefinition or neurolinguistic programming: no matter what one calls it, it is public relations genius and, frankly, allows both for heroics that may be deserved…assuming one has the power to critically make that choice…and mass slaughter over oil fields and such. This power was then later packaged and sold by Edward Bernays and a cohort of propagandists (ad men and experimenters in mind control), who dominated the 20th century as it unfolded.
The system worked so well to transform the Prussian military that the country was often referred to as ‘an army with a country.’ Since the Aggressive Control Apparatus I refer to as the Adversaries or, more and more, the Predator, at the beginning of the 20th century has the USA in its sights as the military arm for world control, this system of education seemed ideal for creating a compliant citizenry. And, as noted above, we thought we had located a solution to the humiliation of 1812. By the mid-19th century, our emissaries were singing the praises of a potentially Germanicized United States and a structure came together toward that end. Little has been written about that. In fact, we so romanticized the King of Prussia that he was invited to settle a border dispute with Canada and we named a town in Pennsylvania after him out of gratitude. Finally, let us add that in 1919, German public schools were described by German philosopher Kurt Eisner as “veritable drill academy[s] in which children could be intellectually crippled for life.”
Again, it must be noted that we can examine Plato’s Republic and we can look deeply at the writings of John Calvin and Spinoza and Fichte but the responsibility for the depth of destruction and nefarious purposes to which our schools continue to have been dedicated lies squarely with those who embraced such even in the face of the very clear and vociferous opposition of the first parents face with compulsory schooling. One also has to wonder in what way we viewed our human children (German, American, Japanese and so forth) if the entire purpose of their ‘education’ was to make them good cannon fodder.
Horace Mann was curiously smitten by the Prussian system. However, clearly the resulting graduates were left infantilized and fearful, its members left weak and supremely conditioned to obey those in command. Yet it was this system that Horace Mann transplanted to the US in 1843 and which has spread around the world, anywhere in which despots and corporatocracies seek to gain mastery.
Mann seemed to have understood the darker nature of the system yet he was mesmerized by its power. It is truly a ‘ring of power’ and those seduced by such always arrogantly convince themselves that they are really working for the greater good. Control was too appealing to resist. Mann called it the moral power over the “understanding and affections of the people.” He and his colleagues believed that they should be the ones to determine values and ideas best perpetuated into the future. Such an old story and yet so buried that no average American understands the cage in which they and their children are living.
Briefly, it is critical to reveal that far from embracing the introduction of the compulsory Prussian-based education system into the United States, parents were adamantly against it. Many, many years went by before it was finally forced down the throats of parents in Massachusetts and the national guard had to be called out to ‘walk’ these first test children to school. Parents rebelled, demonstrated and went to jail. They were convinced that this entombment of their children was nothing more than brain-washing. Turns out they were absolutely correct. However, it became law.
When passion for liberty burned brightest, there were no compulsory education laws in the US. Between the pre-Revolutionary period and the mid-1800s, the power to decide whether, when, and how to educate one’s children lay entirely in the hands of the parents. The first compulsory attendance law was adopted in Massachusetts in 1852. During the next 15 years, no other state followed Massachusetts. But, beginning in 1867, a steady stream of states began adopting compulsory attendance laws and, by 1918, all states had enacted them. Over the years, the initial age of compulsory attendance became lower and lower. Now the age ranges from 5 years old through 18 years old although most states allow the children to stop when they are 16 if they so desire.
Coincident with the abject defeat of the populace to compulsory education, a professor at Harvard University released a book thoroughly discussing the state of American education and its goals. Once again, we rely on John Taylor Gatto when we pick up the trail via The Innovative Educator:
Prof. Alexander Inglis’s 1918 book, Principles of Secondary Education makes it clear that compulsory schooling in America was intended to be what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s. John Taylor Gatto explains that the work of Inglis’s, who was a Harvard professor with a Teachers College Ph.D., positions school as a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table. Modern, industrialized, compulsory schooling was to make a sort of surgical incision into the prospective unity of these underclasses. Divide children by subject, by age-grading, by constant rankings on tests, and by many other more subtle means, and it was unlikely that the ignorant mass of mankind, separated in childhood, would ever reintegrate into a dangerous whole.” Inglis’ basic function of school follow:
6 basic functions of school
“1) The adjustive or adaptive function.
Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgement completely. It also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting material should be taught, because you can’t test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.
2) The integrating function. (conformity)
This might well be called “the conformity function,” because its intention is to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a large labor force.
3) The diagnostic and directive function.
School is meant to determine each student’s proper social role. This is done by logging evidence mathematically and anecdotally on cumulative records. As in “your permanent record.” Yes, you do have one.
4) The differentiating function. (sorting)
Once their social role has been “diagnosed,” children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits – and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.
5) The selective function. (hygienic function)
This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin’s theory of natural selection as applied to what he called “the favoured races.” In short, the idea is to help things along by consciously attempting to improve the breeding stock. Schools are meant to tag the unfit – with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments – clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes. That’s what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.
6) The propaedeutic function.
The societal system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will quietly be taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.”
In 1924, the great HL Mencken wrote for The American Mercury, 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 . . . and that is its aim everywhere else.“
In 1959, a well-read book-length essay, The Child the Parent and the State, by James Bryant Conant, mentions in passing that the modern schools we attend were the result of a “revolution” engineered between 1905 and 1930. There are no real details but those years coincide with the inception of a few think-tank social engineering institutions which we will discuss in later chapters.
The reality is, no matter what angle of social or cultural engineering in the 20th century we discuss, we will and must always bring the effects back to how these saturated the schools. Remember, imprisoning the children is the primary goal.
As we make our way through the discussions in every chapter, we will see how a social and emotional vacuum was created for the ‘schools’ to fill. The scientific and industrial revolutions added the horrors of behaviourism and the industrial organization structures of factories and assembly line concepts to the schools.
As mentioned, a few select and thoroughly suspicious social engineering think tanks came into being and garnered unheard of power over populations, social structures and governments with all of their schemes for social control launched in? The schools. The facts are inarguable. In the end the family, the parent, has been removed from the raising of the child. There is a term referring to the power that the ‘schools’ have usurped. In loco parentis. In the place of the parent.
The school system has been mined ever deeper from the year 2000, when George W. Bush took over the White House. There was his No Child Left Behind plan, in which schools were paid according to the number of minutes a child was in school. Children began to forget what the playground looked like as elementary school struggled to meet criminal standards of conformity. Time at the drinking fountain was considered to be time lost.
Some of the subject matter that is clearly completely inappropriate and actually provably and legally abusive will be visited in other chapters. The new wave of Common Core, against which legions of educators who simply can no longer sleep at night are fighting, brings the punishment down to the very toes of the children.
And I want to note that in 2009, the Council on Foreign Relations made direct attempts to usurp the functioning of the schools. Here’s what their report said:
“The lack of preparedness poses threats on five national security fronts: economic growth and competitiveness, physical safety, intellectual property, U.S. global awareness, and U.S. unity and cohesion, says the report. Too many young people are not employable in an increasingly high-skilled and global economy, and too many are not qualified to join the military because they are physically unfit, have criminal records, or have an inadequate level of education.
“Human capital will determine power in the current century, and the failure to produce that capital will undermine America’s security,” the report states. “Large, undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy, and grow its economy.”
Security? Physically defend itself? Too many are not qualified to join the military?
Yet, any subject that truly develops critical thinking and independent, imaginative skills is being diluted and removed from the state curriculum…
There is so much to say. It will all be said under the various headings. Primary to remember is, Plato. Calvin. Spinosa. Fichte. Mann, Inglis….Let them NOT IMAGINE. I Mage In.
I Mage In. What power, what human co-creative power then, lies in the imagination? Facts, history, are devised, written, rewritten and rewritten by the plantation managers on behalf of the Predator. Let them imagine, and they can free themselves. I Mage In. The Predator knows this all too well.
…this has been an excerpt of the book on which I am currently working with Harald Kautz-Vella. Editor
…and a bit of an excerpt from Chapter Three: En Dust Reale…
En Dust Reale…from Blood to Dust
One of the most successful literary agents in New York City, when confronted with the actuality of my book The Sun Thief and its topic said to me, too many people would have to know this was going on for it to be possible (the dumping of aerosols into our atmosphere without relent). This was a man of some creative mind and intelligence and yet like most modern Americans, and other citizens of the world, he has completely lost the plot. It was a disturbing and depressing moment. There is only one word to keep in your pocket, one paradigm, one giant iron link in the chain that binds us: compartmentalization. It is time to make friends with this concept if one has not already. The only real obstacle may be being too young to remember things being any different but I doubt it.
This is part of the ‘rationalization’ of our waking life, our spiritual life, our material life. A ration is a part of a whole, a fraction, a fracture. Our understanding of that word in everyday parlance is skewed. We think it means ‘logical,’ when it most certainly does not. It means ‘in parts,’ and to rationalize is to break into pieces. We have been utterly and completely rationalized and, the usual salt in the wound, we have been trained to thank our masters for the injury. Indeed, consider the other common definition of rationalization. We also use it to describe forcing the reality or truth of a situation into some strangled moral pretzel so we don’t have to do the upright thing. Yes, we live in a rational world, unfortunately, thanks largely to the En Dust Real folks. We must return to our wholeness and health…