Book Review: The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse | #SmartReads

TheVanishingAmericanAdult
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 19, 2017

Wide in scope, and methodical in its examination, The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse is not only a dire warning, but a call to action for those who are seeing the decline of modern adults and the transmutation and erosion of adulthood in modern times, and the erosions of Freedoms as well.

Examining a veritable panoply of issues, the author centers upon myriad issues in modern schooling such as age segregation, over-consumption, lack of knowledge or literary skills, and also the incomplete view on what Freedom really is and all that it entails, and more.

Speaking about the glaring disrespect for Freedom and all that it took the gain, the author incisively notes:

“Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has created the tragically apt phrase “unlearning liberty” for the troubling turn from freedom of expression and academic freedom toward political correctness and speech codes on our elite campuses.

“Let’s state it clearly: This is nearly the opposite of hat American Revolution as fought for.  America declared independence from Great Britain in pursuit of liberty, not “safe spaces.”  Freedom, and particularly freedom of discourse and debate about the big ideas of life, death, and meaning, is the foundation of the American idea.  Fleeting notions of psychological safety from having to considering competing ideas are quite nearly the opposite.”[1]

Such is what takes place when people are raised wrapped in bubble wrap, and are only allowed to experience a fraction of the totality that the world holds.  Worse, these actions are antithetical to Freedom since they aim to castrate others of the very views Freedom aims to protect, even if they are unpopular.

At one point, the author centers upon the work of award-winning teacher, John Taylor Gatto, who has done yeomen’s work in sounding the alarm regarding the insidious nature of public schooling.  In his landmark book, Dumbing Us Down, the author notes that:

“…seven lessons are universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood,” in our cookie-cutter schools.  The main consequences for students are: emotional confusion, social class disparity indifference, passivity, intellectual dependency on experts, conditional self-esteem, and surveillance by those in charge.”[2]

In such a system that seeks to conform, Is it a wonder that many are merely shadows of what they are fully capable of?

That said, there are two contentions to note with the book.  The first contention centers upon footnotes.  Although the author has a bibliography, and does in fact does address why the footnotes are missing, it still leaves a lot to be desired.  Given that this book aimed to cover a large scope of information, for those wanting to not only verify the information given, but wanting to research it further, footnotes are black pearls, they are essentially priceless.  One can only construct the present out of the roadmap of the past, and without a roadmap, one is unable to know where to go.  One would have to spend hours trying to stitch together the book’s sourced material in an attempt to ascertain which statement correlates with what book in the Bibliography, and there in you STILL don’t know what page that statement came from.  Had he given the page in the bibliography this would have been alright, but such was not the case.

The second contention with the book is that although the author does note some of the incisive issues that are taking place within society, and rightly so, the author doesn’t go far enough and only does a cursory examination.  One could make a sound argument that a large portion of issues stems from the social engineering in education, which is wholly verifiable if one takes the time to look.  It’s certainly not the only reason, but a leading one.

In fact, the very work that the author cited of John Taylor Gatto, throughout his books shows at length many references for the system having been engineered this way.  It wasn’t random that America’s education is failing, and that critical thinking skills have been lost – It was meant to BE that way.  Gatto’s work is a crucial start to glean this.  Moreover, the work of whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt, who was a former Senior Policy Adviser for the Office Of Education Research & Improvement in the Reagan Administration adds more fuel to the fire, and sheds more light onto the darkness.  Her intriguing book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America, is a phenomenal foray into the insidious roots of this broken system.

Also noteworthy is a gentleman who came out pulling no punches on this very topic named Professor Patrick Deneen.  In fact, in a lucid article entitled “How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture,” he states the following:

“We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders.  What our education system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free process and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”  Our education system produces solipsistic, self-contained selves whose only public commitment is an absence of commitment to public, a common culture, a shared history.  They are perfectly hollowed vessels, receptive and obedient without any real obligations or devotions.”[3]

Such is the true nature of the beast.   Not only is society being dumbed down, but culture as a whole is being eviscerated, one child at a time.

In any case, Sasse does provide some solutions to these problems and they are worthy of consideration.  The solutions that the author offers are not only practical, but much-needed.

It would be prudent for those seeking to understand more thoroughly how all these issues came to be to not only read The vanishing American Adult but also to read up on the work of Gatto, Iserbyt, and Deneen.  Complement this piece not only with the prior authors’ work, but also with Dr. Joseph P. Farrell’s and Gary Lawrence’s Rotten To The Common Core, and Gatto’s books called Weapons Of Mass Instruction, A Different Kind Of Teacher, The Underground History Of America, and John Holt’s How Children Learn, and one will begin to have a firm foundation upon which to grasp the totality an depth of this disturbing issue and even some possible solutions.

The myriad ramifications of this book abound, and should be ruminated upon at length.  If the America of the future is to have a firm foundation, at present, action needs to take place, with an ironclad education at the vanguard.  All individuals that value Freedom need to realize their fullest potential in mind, body and soul.  The future that awaits seems rather bleak, and it will remain bleak as long as ignorance remains.

That is why being proactive should be a daily priority.  Change starts with the individual – every single one of us.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.  For if we don’t take time to teach our children, kit and kin about the lessons of life, a great majority will arrive at life’s end having learned nothing.

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Footnotes:

[1] Ben Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult, p. 250.
[2] Ibid., p. 71.
[3] Professor Patrick Deneen, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

 

Book Review: The Library At Night by Alberto Manguel | #SmartReads

LibraryAtNight
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 8, 2017

“A house that has a library has a soul.”
– Plato

Just like A History Of Reading is an unabashed book about all things reading, The Library At Night is an unabashed book about the veritable signature sanctum for all readers throughout history: The Library.

Looking at libraries from fifteen different perspectives, Manguel shows us the The Library as myth, order, space, power, shadow, shape, chance, workshop, mind, island, survival, oblivion, imagination, identity and home.

In each of these respective chapters, the author keenly compares each topic to the library, and in a very refreshing, vivid, and thoughtful way shows us how the library fulfills each of those themes.

Since time immemorial, entering a library has always been seen as entering a different domain.  It matters not whether one is merely a researcher, a reader, a student, or someone else.  Everyone knows that the library is a place of adventure, place of learning, a place of rumination.  The fact that one can hear pin drops in libraries [and most book stores for that matter] shows the respect everyone has for such an ancient intellectual sanctum.  Throughout the book, the same level of respect is shown by Manguel as he takes us on a journey on all things libraries.

For avid learners, libraries have always been a private realm, a place of mental solitude and discernmentAny individual, at any time, in any place can keenly escape into the mental freedoms such a place affords.

In a sense, libraries are a page of human history – a well known locale in which one can hearken back in time, and even forward, to witness the totality of the human experience.  Or at least what’s left of its memories.

Be that as it may, Libraries haven’t always been respected.  Within this book, Manguel details a few of the most heinous human acts: the destruction of libraries.

Given that books impart great power, books have always been seen as dangerous by those in power.  Libraries are symbols of what human nature can accomplish when totally free to explore and create, which is why time and time again there are those who have sought to destroy them, to keep people dumbed down and ignorant of the roots of civilization – the veritable pages of history.

As Manguel sobberingly notes:

“The libraries that have vanished or have never been allowed to exist greatly surpass in number those we can visit…”[1]

Of those that remain:

“Throughout history, the victor’s library stands as the emblem of power, repository of the official version [of history], but the version that haunts us is the other, the version of the library of ashes.  The victim’s library, abandoned or destroyed, keeps on asking, “How were such acts possible?”[2]

What has humanity forgotten?  What has gone by the wayside to the sands of time?  It’s worth ruminating upon, especially since the cycles of history teach us that sooner or later, the war against books and libraries takes center stage.

And given that censorship of articles, books and blogs is beginning to run rampant as governments and institutions try to censor “fake news”, the modern version of book burning will merely be the censorship of the written word through the landscape of the Internet, and many are feeling the flames of this fierce fire, myself included.  Again, what are they trying to prevent?  What are they trying to hide?  Each and every one of us should ponder these questions deeply.

Mostly though, Libraries conjure positive thoughts, and most of the book covers the positive aspects that libraries infuse into individuals.

Manguel elucidates on this:

“The existence of any library, even mine, allows readers a sense of what their craft is truly about, a craft that struggles against the stringencies of time by bringing fragments of the past into the present.  It grants them a glimpse, however secret or distant, into the minds of other human beings, and allows them a certain knowledge of their own condition through the stories stored here for their perusal.  Above all, it tells the reader that their craft consists of the power to remember, actively, through the prompt of the page, selected moments of the human experience.”[3]

Those reasons are exactly why libraries will confer power, because they allow individuals to become self sufficient in more ways than they can imagine, fine tuning their mental faculties in ways no other place does.

Libraries help us see the past, but even better, help us imagine a greater future.

In a time where countless issues abound, imagining a better future is certainly a prospect worthy of proper ponderance.

Whether you are a student, a researcher, a reporter, or merely a reader, the library will always provide a sanctum, a personal space, like a warm fire at night, to be used at any moment.  In similar fashion, this book provides readers with comfort and all the amenities that libraries provide, but in book fashion.  If that notion appeals to you, then you will undoubtedly enjoy this book.

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Footnotes:

[1] Alberto Manguel, The Library At Night, pg. 124.
[2] Ibid., pg. 247.
[3] Ibid., pg. 30.

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand | #SmartReads

TheFountainhead
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 7, 2017

There are writers.  And then there’s Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand was a very unique individual; an individual that isn’t afraid to stand by her convictions, no matter what anyone said.  That’s what made her so beloved and hated.  Even more so, that’s why people were so bifurcated about her books.

Knowing that, then it isn’t shocking to realize that The Fountainhead was written with her very own ideals embedded within every page, within every character, within every thought.  In that sense, she is rather unique because not only did she create an amazing story, as many authors have, but she went a step beyond and used the book with the essence of her philosophy, which was, and will always be, a  truly daring endeavor for any writer.

The Fountainhead has been described in many ways, but at its core it is about The Individual vs. The Collective; about Freedom vs. Conformity.

With characters that are gripping, settings that are par excellence, and dialogue that displays incredible depth, the book is a well rounded synthesis about the nature of individualism and what it means to be human.

The leading characters all flow through their roles seamlessly, and whether you love them or hate them, you can feel the realism in them, even if at times they are the epitome of Rand’s ideal.

Anyone who values individuality will value this book.  Those that seek to conform will undoubtedly hate it.  That’s the nature of the beast, and always will be.  What Rand did though, perhaps better than anyone else, is show both sides of the coin – Individualism vs. Conformity – in a manner that nobody else had brought about through fiction.  This is why the book is so engaging, because you hate the villains as much as you love the characters you gravitate towards.  It is rare when a book has you personally invested in nigh every character failing or succeeding, but this book accomplishes that in spades.

Ayn Ran went to war for the Individual against The Collective in a torrential manner in a way almost nobody does.  Through her characters, Rand did a salient job of showing the wide range of latitudes within human nature.   All of this was, of course, was to highlight the importance of Individualism.

As Rand herself elucidates in the following passages, the last of the three which is in her own words, the prior two through her characters:

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their vision.  Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, their vision unborrowed, and the response they received – hatred.  The great creators – the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors – stood alone against the men of their time.  Every great new thought was opposed.  Every great ne invention was denounced.  The first motor was considered foolish.  The airplane was considered impossible.  The power loom was considered vicious.  Anesthesia was considered sinful.  But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid.  But they won.”[1]

“From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”[2]

“And for the benefit of those who consider relevance to one’s own time as of crucial importance, I will add, in regard to our age, that never has there been a time when men have so desperately needed a projection of things as they ought to be.”[3]

Rand stated those words decades ago, and they apply even more so now.  Given that humanity keeps snowballing down a hill in a world where morality, common sense and virtues keep getting swept under the rug, such statements and their ramifications should be pondered at length.

Whether you love the book or you hate it, it will give you much to ponder about, especially if you value Freedom and Individuality in any way shape or form.

__________________________________________________________
Sources:

[1] Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 710.
[2] Ibid., p. 711.
[3] Ibid., p. vii.  Written in the Author’s Introduction to the 1968 Edition.

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Against School – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids & Why by John Taylor Gatto

FakeNews
Source: WesJones.com | Published by Harper’s Magazine
John Taylor Gatto
September, 2009

How Public Education Cripples Our Kids & Why

I taught for thirty years in some of the worst schools in Manhattan, and in some of the best, and during that time I became an expert in boredom. Boredom was everywhere in my world, and if you asked the kids, as I often did, why they felt so bored, they always gave the same answers: They said the work was stupid, that it made no sense, that they already knew it. They said they wanted to be doing something real, not just sitting around. They said teachers didn’t seem to know much about their subjects and clearly weren’t interested in learning more. And the kids were right: their teachers were every bit as bored as they were.

Boredom is the common condition of schoolteachers, and anyone who has spent time in a teachers’ lounge can vouch for the low energy, the whining, the dispirited attitudes, to be found there. When asked why they feel bored, the teachers tend to blame the kids, as you might expect. Who wouldn’t get bored teaching students who are rude and interested only in grades? If even that. Of course, teachers are themselves products of the same twelve-year compulsory school programs that so thoroughly bore their students, and as school personnel they are trapped inside structures even more rigid than those imposed upon the children. Who, then, is to blame?

We all are. My grandfather taught me that. One afternoon when I was seven I complained to him of boredom, and he batted me hard on the head. He told me that I was never to use that term in his presence again, that if I was bored it was my fault and no one else’s. The obligation to amuse and instruct myself was entirely my own, and people who didn’t know that were childish people, to be avoided if possible. Certainly not to be trusted. That episode cured me of boredom forever, and here and there over the years I was able to pass on the lesson to some remarkable student. For the most part, however, I found it futile to challenge the official notion that boredom and childishness were the natural state of affairs in the classroom. Often I had to defy custom, and even bend the law, to help kids break out of this trap.

The empire struck back, of course; childish adults regularly conflate opposition with disloyalty. I once returned from a medical leave to discover that all evidence of my having been granted the leave had been purposely destroyed, that my job had been terminated, and that I no longer possessed even a teaching license. After nine months of tormented effort I was able to retrieve the license when a school secretary testified to witnessing the plot unfold. In the meantime my family suffered more than I care to remember. By the time I finally retired in 1991, I had more than enough reason to think of our schools – with their long-term, cell-block-style, forced confinement of both students and teachers – as virtual factories of childishness. Yet I honestly could not see why they had to be that way. My own experience had revealed to me what many other teachers must learn along the way, too, yet keep to themselves for fear of reprisal: if we wanted to we could easily and inexpensively jettison the old, stupid structures and help kids take an education rather than merely receive a schooling. We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight – simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids to truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then.

But we don’t do that. And the more I asked why not, and persisted in thinking about the “problem” of schooling as an engineer might, the more I missed the point: What if there is no “problem” with our schools? What if they are the way they are, so expensively flying in the face of common sense and long experience in how children learn things, not because they are doing something wrong but because they are doing something right? 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?

Do we really need school? I don’t mean education, just forced schooling: six classes a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for twelve years. Is this deadly routine really necessary? And if so, for what? Don’t hide behind reading, writing, and arithmetic as a rationale, because 2 million happy homeschoolers have surely put that banal justification to rest. Even if they hadn’t, a considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln? Someone taught them, to be sure, but they were not products of a school system, and not one of them was ever “graduated” from a secondary school. Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn’t go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be admirals, like Farragut; inventors, like Edison; captains of industry, like Carnegie and Rockefeller; writers, like Melville and Twain and Conrad; and even scholars, like Margaret Mead. In fact, until pretty recently people who reached the age of thirteen weren’t looked upon as children at all. Ariel Durant, who co-wrote an enormous, and very good, multivolume history of the world with her husband, Will, was happily married at fifteen, and who could reasonably claim that Ariel Durant was an uneducated person? Unschooled, perhaps, but not uneducated.

We have been taught (that is, schooled) in this country to think of “success” as synonymous with, or at least dependent upon, “schooling,” but historically that isn’t true in either an intellectual or a financial sense. And plenty of people throughout the world today find a way to educate themselves without resorting to a system of compulsory secondary schools that all too often resemble prisons. Why, then, do Americans confuse education with just such a system? What exactly is the purpose of our public schools?

Mass schooling of a compulsory nature really got its teeth into the United States between 1905 and 1915, though it was conceived of much earlier and pushed for throughout most of the nineteenth century. The reason given for this enormous upheaval of family life and cultural traditions was, roughly speaking, threefold:

1) To make good people.
2) To make good citizens.
3) To make each person his or her personal best.

These goals are still trotted out today on a regular basis, and most of us accept them in one form or another as a decent definition of public education’s mission, however short schools actually fall in achieving them. But we are dead wrong. Compounding our error is the fact that the national literature holds numerous and surprisingly consistent statements of compulsory schooling’s true purpose. We have, for example, the great H. L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury for 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 . . . and that is its aim everywhere else.

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.

The odd fact of a Prussian provenance for our schools pops up again and again once you know to look for it. William James alluded to it many times at the turn of the century. Orestes Brownson, the hero of Christopher Lasch’s 1991 book, The True and Only Heaven, was publicly denouncing the Prussianization of American schools back in the 1840s. 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. That Prussian culture loomed large in America is hardly surprising, given our early association with that utopian state. A Prussian served as Washington’s aide during the Revolutionary War, and so many German- speaking people had settled here by 1795 that Congress considered publishing a German-language edition of the federal laws. But what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of 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 – all in order to render the populace “manageable.”

It was from James Bryant Conant – president of Harvard for twenty years, WWI poison-gas specialist, WWII executive on the atomic-bomb project, high commissioner of the American zone in Germany after WWII, and truly one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century – that I first got wind of the real purposes of American schooling. Without Conant, we would probably not have the same style and degree of standardized testing that we enjoy today, nor would we be blessed with gargantuan high schools that warehouse 2,000 to 4,000 students at a time, like the famous Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado. Shortly after I retired from teaching I picked up Conant’s 1959 book-length essay, The Child the Parent and the State, and was more than a little intrigued to see him mention in passing that the modern schools we attend were the result of a “revolution” engineered between 1905 and 1930. A revolution? He declines to elaborate, but he does direct the curious and the uninformed to Alexander Inglis’s 1918 book, Principles of Secondary Education, in which “one saw this revolution through the eyes of a revolutionary.”

Inglis, 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. 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 breaks down the purpose – the actual purpose – of modem schooling into six basic functions, any one of which is enough to curl the hair of those innocent enough to believe the three traditional goals listed earlier:

1) The adjustive or adaptive function. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgment 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. 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. 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. This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin’s theory of natural selection as applied to what he called “the favored 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.

That, unfortunately, is the purpose of mandatory public education in this country. And lest you take Inglis for an isolated crank with a rather too cynical take on the educational enterprise, you should know that he was hardly alone in championing these ideas. Conant himself, building on the ideas of Horace Mann and others, campaigned tirelessly for an American school system designed along the same lines. Men like George Peabody, who funded the cause of mandatory schooling throughout the South, surely understood that 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, among them Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

There you have it. Now you know. We don’t need Karl Marx’s conception of a grand warfare between the classes to see that it is in the interest of complex management, economic or political, to dumb people down, to demoralize them, to divide them from one another, and to discard them if they don’t conform. Class may frame the proposition, as when Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909: “We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.” But the motives behind the disgusting decisions that bring about these ends need not be class-based at all. They can stem purely from fear, or from the by now familiar belief that “efficiency” is the paramount virtue, rather than love, liberty, laughter, or hope. Above all, they can stem from simple greed.

There were vast fortunes to be made, after all, in an economy based on mass production and organized to favor the large corporation rather than the small business or the family farm. But mass production required mass consumption, and at the turn of the twentieth century most Americans considered it both unnatural and unwise to buy things they didn’t actually need. Mandatory schooling was a godsend on that count. School didn’t have to train kids in any direct sense to think they should consume nonstop, because it did something even better: it encouraged them not to think at all. And that left them sitting ducks for another great invention of the modem era – marketing.

Now, you needn’t have studied marketing to know that there are two groups of people who can always be convinced to consume more than they need to: addicts and children. School has done a pretty good job of turning our children into addicts, but it has done a spectacular job of turning our children into children. Again, this is no accident. Theorists from Plato to Rousseau to our own Dr. Inglis knew that if children could be cloistered with other children, stripped of responsibility and independence, encouraged to develop only the trivializing emotions of greed, envy, jealousy, and fear, they would grow older but never truly grow up. In the 1934 edition of his once well-known book Public Education in the United States, Ellwood P. Cubberley detailed and praised the way the strategy of successive school enlargements had extended childhood by two to six years, and forced schooling was at that point still quite new. This same Cubberley – who was dean of Stanford’s School of Education, a textbook editor at Houghton Mifflin, and Conant’s friend and correspondent at Harvard – had written the following in the 1922 edition of his book Public School Administration: “Our schools are . . . factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned.. . . And it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down.”

It’s perfectly obvious from our society today what those specifications were. Maturity has by now been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults. We buy televisions, and then we buy the things we see on the television. We buy computers, and then we buy the things we see on the computer. We buy $150 sneakers whether we need them or not, and when they fall apart too soon we buy another pair. We drive SUVs and believe the lie that they constitute a kind of life insurance, even when we’re upside-down in them. And, worst of all, we don’t bat an eye when Ari Fleischer tells us to “be careful what you say,” even if we remember having been told somewhere back in school that America is the land of the free. We simply buy that one too. Our schooling, as intended, has seen to it.

Now for the good news. Once you understand the logic behind modern schooling, its tricks and traps are fairly easy to avoid. School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they’ll never be bored. Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology – all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more meaningful life, and they can.

First, though, we must wake up to what our schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands. Mandatory education serves children only incidentally; its real purpose is to turn them into servants. Don’t let your own have their childhoods extended, not even for a day. If David Farragut could take command of a captured British warship as a preteen, if Thomas Edison could publish a broadsheet at the age of twelve, if Ben Franklin could apprentice himself to a printer at the same age (then put himself through a course of study that would choke a Yale senior today), there’s no telling what your own kids could do [especially with the amount of resources at bay in modern times]. After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.

Read More At: WesJones.com
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**  09/2003 Harper’s Magazine.

* John Taylor Gatto is a former New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year and the author, most recently, of The Underground History of American Education. He was a participant in the Harper’s Magazine forum “School on a Hill,” which appeared in the September 2001 issue. You can find his web site here.
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The Free & Independent Individual

Imagination&Obstacles
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
April 27, 2017

“Now we have a whole army of experts, whose job is to tell you success only comes with you being part of a group. Your status as an individual is transmitted to you through some diabolical portion of your brain that is loaded with false messages. Therefore, give up on the greatest adventure in the world. Take the elevator down to the basement, get off, and join the crowd. That’s where the love is. That’s where your useless courage dissolves into sugar, and the chorus of complaints will be magically transformed into a paradise of the lowest common denominator. Give up the ghost. You’re home. The sun never rises or sets. Nothing changes. The same sameness rules.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

Since the 1960s, many people have decided that, in order to create the future they want, they should engage in a certain amount of introspection.

Spiritual or psychological introspection.

I have encountered a large number of such people, who have swung the balance to the point where introspection has become indecision and paralysis.

There are “so many issues to consider.”

Starting in the 1960s, we saw the import of various Eastern philosophies and practices. They arrived here in diluted and distorted forms. They introduced their own versions of “karma” and “balance” and “surrender” and “abdication to the wishes of the universe.”

“If it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be.”

In the end, it amounts to waiting around in a cosmic station for a train that never arrives.

Or in psychological terms, it is: “I have to resolve my past before I can pursue my future.” “How can I know what I want if I’m trapped in past conflicts?”

The effect of all this was to diminish the potential realm of human action. It was a kind of court case where all the priors of the defendant were allowed into evidence and dominated the verdict.

More recently, another limiter came on to the scene. It is expressed this way: “Now I see through fake reality, I see how reality is being manipulated by the powers-that-be, so what can I do? We’re at the mercy of these forces.”

I could suggest that these vectors were and are an intentional operation, whose purpose is to demoralize the individual and cut him off from his own freedom, independence, and power. And that would be an accurate assessment. But it wouldn’t tell the whole story, for one vital reason:

The individual is the only person who can change his own course. Others can help, but the final decision is his.

That is bedrock.

And here is the superior principle: even if the individual determines that all is hopeless, he should launch his life anyway. Despite all the good reasons to give up, he should ignore all of them and launch his future.

Because if he does that, he soon begins to see his own view change. It’s not the same anymore.

And this is what freedom and independence and power are all about. Bottom line, these qualities are what you take hold of after you know all is hopeless. That’s the acid test.

Every individual, since the dawn of time, has thought himself into smaller and smaller boxes until there is no space left—and then certain individuals, who are spiritual and metaphysical riverboat gamblers, have shoved in all their chips on projecting action in the world anyway…and they revolutionize their destinies.

That’s what some people have called “inequality of outcome.” That’s the basis for it.

We can go even deeper. What is the ultimate purpose of thought and reflection and introspection? Is it to arrive at certain conclusions, after which the thinker (the person) serves those conclusions like a slave? Or is thought itself a process through which ideas then serve the individual and his goals?

It is the latter.

The first great philosopher of the West, Plato, followed the first path. Which is to say, he applied his mind to understand the basis of reality, and he came to the conclusion that there were immortal and pure Ideas that existed in a higher realm, and they were unchangeable. Society, therefore, could only triumph if certain wise men, who could apprehend these Ideas directly, ruled over everyone else. Thus, the freedom and independence and power of open inquiry led to totalitarianism. Freedom led to slavery.

The individual, when all is said and done, is his own ship. However much he may learn about navigation, there comes the moment when he and his ship leave the shore. He explores. He discovers. He invents.

He invents his own future. No matter what.

We would be fools if we didn’t realize that, down through human history, individuals have grasped, for themselves, all these points.

And when the American Republic was invented, these same points were “background.” What were the checks and balances and the separation of powers all about? What was the reason for the enumeration of federal powers and the granting of all other powers to the states and the people? Why was the federal government squeezed at its extremities? Because the free and independent individual was the true coin of the realm. He needed latitude. He needed legal protection, in the best way it could be provided, from arbitrary power.

Otherwise, why bother?

The Constitution was far more than an extension of independence from England. The men who wrote the Articles and the Bill of Rights, and the men who voted for them and ratified them—to now argue for or against their “deeper motives” is, in the end, a distraction from the fact that the Constitution contains ideas that aid the liberation of the free and independent individual.

The ideas still stand.

They are predicated on the notion that these individuals exist and will launch, despite all reasons not to, their own creative desires and make them fact in the world.

Give us your huddled masses yearning to be free. Masses? No. A mass can never be free. And even if a mass can successfully demand freedom, on whom does that bounty then fall? The individual. This is where the buck stops, and no one can change that truth.

There are those who believe a quiet lake is the end of all existence. And then a boat comes along, and the ripples begin spreading. An individual has arrived.

You can be the person looking at the lake, banking on no-action, or you can be in the boat, forwarding your best ideas and visions and dreams, despite all the reasons not to.

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

What Chuck Schumer Is Revealing Out In The Open

Secrecy
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
April 26, 2017

Senator Chuck Schumer on MSNBC: “We’re no longer fact-based. The founding fathers created a country based on fact. We don’t have a fact base. If Breitbart News and the New York Times are regarded with equal credibility, you worry about this democracy.”

First of all, in Schumer’s opening sentence, who is this “we”? There is an implication that the “we” is somehow monolithic and centralized. But people have been in disagreement about facts and what they mean since the dawn of time. People have rejected centralized sources of facts, from kings and queens and priests, to newspapers and television news.

In the same way that 99% of economists assume society must be planned and centralized, Schumer and “the people in power” assume media must operate as a centralized force—as if it’s a natural law.

They just assume it, because until recently, it was the case, it was cozy and easy. But not now. And they’re angry and shocked. They see their foundation of propaganda and mind control slipping away.

You must appreciate how secure they used to feel. It was a cake walk, a picnic in the park. The definition of “fact” was: whatever centralized media said it was. What could be simpler? And to them, that was “democracy.”

Feed the people lies, hide deeper truth, slam dunk.

Then along came independent media.

Boom.

It turned out millions of people were interested.

The cat jumped out of the bag.

I know about this. I’ve been letting cats out of bags since 1982.

That’s longer than some of my readers have been alive.

I also know about censorship, because almost from the beginning of my work as a reporter, I had stories turned down by major media outlets and even alternative outlets. I saw the handwriting on the wall.

Chuck Schumer is echoing what many of his colleagues—and far more powerful people—are worrying about. Their vaunted mouthpieces, the NY Times, the Washington Post, etc., are failing. They can’t carry the same old freight with impunity.

So Schumer “worries about the future of democracy.” What he’s actually worried about has nothing to do with democracy, and it certainly has nothing to do with a Republic, which was the form of this nation from the beginning.

Schumer is worried about decentralization.

He’s worried that people are defecting from the authoritarian arrogant Castle of Truth.

And, given his position, he should be worried.

We are at a tipping point. Needless to say—but I will say it—independent media need your support. Your choice about where you obtain your news makes a difference.

Until a few years ago, I never considered that I was relentless. I was just doing my work. But as I saw the counter-efforts of major media, social media, government, Globalists, and other players, as they tried to reassert their primacy, I found a deeper level of commitment. A person can find many reasons to stop what he is doing. Every person eventually realizes that. But will he give in? Or will he decide to keep going? My choice is reflected on these pages, where I write every day.

Many of my colleagues have made the same choice. As for myself, I take the long, long view. Whatever befalls this civilization, the individual survives. He cannot be erased. I know that as surely as I know I am sitting here.

People like Chuck Schumer are living on a foundation of sand. Their power depends on obfuscation and deception and exchanging favors. When they feel the ground shifting under their feet, they growl and accuse and declaim and resort to fake ideals. If they see their con isn’t working and isn’t selling, then they panic.

Which is a good sign.

Many, many years ago, I had a good relationship with a media outlet. Then one day, the man in charge told me I was “positioning myself” outside the scope of his audience. I was speaking to “different people,” and therefore I should “go my own way.” I could tell he wasn’t happy about saying this, because he thought of himself as an independent, but there it was. He was bending to the demands of “his people.” So we parted company.

I was now further “out there” than I had been before. I was “independent of an ‘independent’ media outlet.” It took me about five minutes to see the joke. A good and useful joke.

As the years rolled on, I kept finding myself in a more independent position, which meant I was writing what I wanted to write, and in the process I was discovering deeper levels of what I wanted to write.

Understanding this changed my political view. If I didn’t stand for the free and independent individual, what did I stand for? If I didn’t keep coming back to THAT, what could I come back to?

It made sense to me then, and it makes sense to me now.

This is why I keep writing about…

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

300 Word Memories #8 – Bruce Lee, Individuality & Freedom

BruceLee3

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 14, 2017

Bruce Lee is one unique, timeless and prodigious individual.

Lee’s widely known for his martial arts prowess, but he was quite the philosopher as well.  He is definitely a mind that strove to learn as much as possible, from as many places as possible.

In college, Bruce Lee ended up taking a philosophy course that would change his life.  From this impetus, Lee sought to learn from the greatest thinkers in the world.  Interestingly, he chose to remain open minded in his new ventures in learning.  Lee did not narrow down his exploration to any particular philosophy or culture.  Instead, he sought to learn from all of them.

This foundation upon which he built his philosophy – ranging the full breadth of everyone he learned from  – strengthened him as an individual.  It matters not whether from East or West, ancient or modern, Bruce Lee went above and beyond to learn from the full breadth and scope available in history.

And yet, even though many people saw Lee as a teacher, he often said:

“A teacher is never a giver of truth; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself.  A good teacher is merely a catalyst.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

For me, in this current moment, there is no better catalyst to learn from than Lee.  Having read dozens of his aphorisms this last week, there’s been much learned from his insights.  Particularly, Lee was as flexible an individual as ever existed.  He did not restrict himself into any particular type of
thought, system, or belief.  In fact, he was loathe to blind obedience and external authority.

This resonates deeply with me, because as someone who is regularly pointing out that part of society seeks to conform you and mold into what they want, learning from someone who espoused true individuality is a breath of fresh air.  And unbounded individuality ultimately leads to Freedom.

Lee elucidates:

True observation begins when one sheds set patterns, and true freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond systems.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

Being beyond systems, being beyond conformity is the true way of the Individual, and that is the ultimate gateway to Freedom.

In that respect, there’s much to learn from Bruce Lee.

For those keen reasons, and many others, that’s why individuals should seek to learn as much as they can from Lee, or anyone else that resonates with their inner being.  Not to conform to any preconceived idea or beliefs, but to learn to be fluid, to learn to be free.  Ponder these ideas deeply and ruminate upon what suits you best, for only you know what is best for you. 

In life, the most honest self-expression is Individual Freedom, and the most powerful catalyst for this is by being in tune with your innermost self.   It is in this understanding that we will be able to live life to the fullest.

And isn’t that what life is about?

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Source:

[1] Bruce Lee, Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Daily Living by Bruce Lee, pg. xv.
[2] Ibid.
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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.