Panarchists

The right to choose your government.

What universal government school was meant to accomplish

In Chapter 16 of John Taylor Gatto’s book “The Underground History of American Public Education” (2nd Ed, 2000), he has this commentary on what public education was meant to be, by one of those who brought it about.

The most candid account of the changeover from old-style American free market schooling to the laboratory variety we have under the close eye of society’s managers is a book long out of print. But the author was famous enough in his day that a yearly lecture at Harvard is named after him, so with a bit of effort on your part, and perhaps a kind word to your local librarian, in due time you should be able to find a hair-raising account of the school transformation written by one of the insiders. The book in question bears the soporific title “Principles of Secondary Education”. Published in 1918 near the end of the great school revolution, Principles offers a unique account of the project written through the eyes of an important revolutionary. Any lingering doubts you may have about the purposes of government schooling should be put to rest by Alexander Inglis. The principal purpose of the vast enterprise was to place control of the new social and economic machinery out of reach of the mob.

Alexander Inglis, author of “Principles of Secondary Education”, was of Aldrich’s class. He wrote that the new schools were being expressly created to serve a command economy and command society, one in which the controlling coalition would be drawn from important institutional stakeholders in the future. According to Inglis, the first function of schooling is “adjustive”, establishing fixed habits of reaction to authority. This prepares the young to accept whatever management dictates when they are grown. Second is the “diagnostic” function. School determines each student’s “proper” social role, logging it mathematically on cumulative records to justify the next function, “sorting”. Individuals are to be trained only so far as their likely destination in the social machine, not one step beyond. “Conformity” is the fourth function. Kids are to be made alike, not from any passion for egalitarianism, but so future behavior will be predictable, in service to market and political research. Next is the “hygienic” function. This has nothing to do with individual health, only the health of the “race.” This is polite code for saying that school should accelerate Darwinian natural selection by tagging the unfit so clearly they drop from the reproduction sweepstakes. And last is the “propaedeutic” function, a fancy word meaning that a small fraction of kids will slowly be trained to take over management of the system, guardians of a population deliberately dumbed down and rendered childlike in order that government and economic life can be managed with a minimum of hassle. And there you have the formula: adjustment, diagnosis, sorting, conformity, racial hygiene, and continuity. This is the man for whom an honor lecture in education at Harvard is named. According to James Bryant Conant, another progressive aristocrat from whom I first learned of Inglis in a perfectly frightening book called “The Child, The Parent, and the State” (1949), the school transformation had been ordered by “certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process.”

Incredible! The words “control freak” come to mind.

2010/10/04 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment