“EDUCATION” PART TWO – Find out what the Prussian/Hindu Caste System “education system” was REALLY all about. – State Mind Control. AND A NEVER ENDING CONVEYER BELT OF OBEDIENT UNQUESTIONING MORONS


This is from the first chapter of my second “book” “Dumbed down word controlled monkey’s who think that keeping up with the Jones’s and not being the stupidest guy or gal in the room is ALL that really matters”. which is available on this site for free.

It has been posted as an addendum to my last post on the deliberate dumbing down of us ALL through the public education system – it is in fact a continuation of that theme, but in this second part you get to see the root ideology behind the whole caboodle. Enjoy.

I’m sorry to say my friend, but I genuinely hope that the first instalment of this work was a bit of an eye watering experience for you. (And unless you’re either thick, stupid, or one of today’s apathetic, generation X, post-ironic, phased by pure nada, automaton’s, or just one of those annoyingly pig-headed know-it-all types who thinks I’m talking bull (simply because the guy on the 6 o’clock news hasn’t told you any of this) it fucking well should have been!) It was compiled with the aim of capturing your attention, and to also open (or if required poke) your eyes. I have just spent nearly 900 pages showing you, (at times in great detail), that we have all been greatly manipulated for purposes that are entirely detrimental to our entire species, now I’m going to spend this part of the work showing you exactly how it is being done. (Including once again laying bare for your perusal all the utterly preposterous and downright whacky “Science*” that stands behind this nonsense).

*You may well recall my having a slight dig at science right back at the beginning of this work, (and continuously ever since). The reason for this is quite simple: Science and many of its “experts” are being used constantly to manipulate us in a whole multitude of ways.

The physics part during my introduction has also (hopefully) pointed out this second fact to you too: They (the experts) don’t know everything. – (And as you are about to see in this work, for mere money and platitudes, many of these so called scientist’s are quite willing to kill, maim, or otherwise seriously harm their fellow human beings, children included).

Right now I’m not going to waste any further time dwelling on the points raised earlier on in the work because we have much more to cover in this part. – But I will get back to them. The overwhelming theme of this part of the puzzle will be Mind Control. (Or from now on MK for short. (That’s where the K for Kontrol came from in my last work incidentally). It’s a subject that I’ve already touched upon many times up to this point in my thesis, and for that reason I will now dedicate a major amount of my time in detailing for you exactly how deep-rooted, powerful, and all pervasive this mental menace is. The public funds alone that have been spent on this field of “science” are astronomical. And then there’s the private fund’s… If you were to add it all up, to be blunt, it equals… DEEP FUCKING TROUBLE FOR ALL OF US!

We begin this journey by visiting a relatively forgotten region of Germany first of all, then we will then look across what seems like a small spectrum of “science” or “medicine” related subjects; we will be starting with psychiatry/psychology, and then we will move onto the dodgy goings on in the world of psychiatric drugs. Then we delve into Mind Control proper: From its (recently modern) – (as this has been going on for a long time) birth, to its present day perfection, (we will also take some time to look at the “covering up” of the ritual sexual abuse phenomena, because this relates to material that you read in the first part concerning paedophilia. (Do you remember that weirdo Uncle Fester lookalike Aquino? He pops up again.) Then after that, well after that it’s time to show you more “science” (often the work of intelligence services or the military) which has been developed, (and had an awful lot of financial aid flung in its direction over the years), all seeking to create, (and this is no exaggeration) full blown, bona-fide, (remote) mind controlled human beings!

Some of the men you will be reading about think that they have succeeded in this goal.

The material available (that is just from the PUBLIC RECORD) on this one subject alone is easily enough to prove my case 20 times over. And for that reason plenty of my proof will of course come direct from the public record. But I must add that, once again, it will also (of course) be a select band of “other’s” who will be teaching you plenty during this “my” (so called) “work”. One of those teachers will (once again) be the studious, intelligent and inimitable, Mr Dave McGowan. And trust me, he teaches you much with the sampling I have included of his best work to date: “Programmed to Kill” – (It talks about STATE sponsored serial killer’s and it is towards the end of my chapter’s concentrating on the development of mind control), I then finish this short group of chapter’s by casting a curious eye over the harrowing and unforgettable events that transpired at both Jonestown and in Dunblane.

The education system (you will discover) also has a massive part to play in all of this too, so I will spend some time with you going over where our present day education “system” really came from, what its true purpose is, and I will also show you how it is an institution which causes untold harm to our most precious of resources: – Our children. – I need to point out, that in order for me to do so, Mr John Taylor Gatto is the man being relied upon for the truly extraordinary work that he’s done both with, and also on, “Education” as a whole.

In the process of doing this I will also take the time to show you the many obvious links and common ground that clearly exists between these three seemingly unrelated matters:

The education “system” of the developed world, the rather insane “science” of psychiatry, and the even weirder subject of mind control.

And wouldn’t you know it, it turns out that the exact SAME people who had funded these three field’s (mentioned above) from their birth to the present day, who oddly, weirdly and rather conveniently (for me), had also funded the birth science’s, plus all that other stuff that you learned in the first part like: the abortion pill, feminism, homosexuality, etc.) – Yep, once again it’s those pesky Rockefeller (trust’s) (with the help of other’s in this helping, like Ford and Carnegie) who’ve been blatantly splashing their malevolent cash once again!

As I have said, to start this part of the section off we will cover a region of Germany that had a massive effect on the whole world during the 19th century, and even though you probably won’t agree with me, or you may even think I’m little weird* for saying this, this is the place where your guide on this tour feels that we need to start if you are to ever fully understand the true (modern) roots of this so called “science” of mind control. After that we will also be covering everything from psychiatry and psychology, to mind control in, theory, use, and practise, including the military side and also the intelligence service side as well. Then there’s the pharmaceutical and medical angle to all of this too. And as I have already said, we will then look at more of what I feel is Mr Dave McGowan’s best piece of work so far, – “Programmed to Kill”. – His enthralling, explosive, and always fascinating piece of work on State crafted serial killer’s, this is before finishing off the large part of this concentrating just on the “science” of MK, by showing you just two examples of exactly how this total control of the lives of others doesn’t just work on individuals, it can also work on large groups. – We’ll do this by looking at Jim Jones and Jonestown first of all, then we will be covering a subject I wanted to go over in part one, but that I ultimately felt you just weren’t ready for back then. It’s only now that we have covered all the ground we have that I can cover the Dunblane massacre. This was a brutal example of MK on a country-wide scale.

We then spend a little time looking at the blatant Mind Control going on through the media. And just to make my point on this matter rather succinctly. The simple fact is this: If any of these media people were actually doing their job, don’t you feel that you would already have been told about virtually all of the things that I have discussed with you up to this point? How many of them have you actually been told about on TV or in the newspaper? The fact that you will have heard almost NOTHING on ALL of the issues I have raised earlier should have demonstrated to you just how much our “news” is both filtered and controlled. When you see for yourself how utterly controlled the media is, then you will understand why.

We will be putting our government supplied education system under the microscope. I feel it is pertinent for me to be both starting and winding up this part of the work by showing you exactly how much of an effect these people have had on education, and on our CHILDREN.

When you are clearly shown the lie on each of these matters, and after being told why you were being lied to in the first place, I’d imagine that many of you will either get rather angry with me, or with my work. (Or if you’re smarter, you might get angry with “them”). If I was you, I wouldn’t waste my time doing either. Instead I’d pour all that frustration and anger into getting myself fully clued up on ALL of this nonsense. I’d then start educating others about it. – Give them this or my other work if you feel it will help them along the way. Feel free. – Your kind, humble, and always considerate (never rude or brash) friend. – Martin K.

*Weird to you, not me. – Remember I’m the annoying, cocky, Jock cunt who has been telling you, (right from page one, of part fucking one, for God’s sake), that I knows what I’s doing.

Now to begin this part of the work, we will begin at the beginning by taking the logical and necessary step of going right back to the very foundation’s of modern day mind control.

You might well think I’d begin with either Psychiatry or Behaviourism, but you’d be wrong.

You might, if you know a little on the matter say Wundt, Freud or Jung, but you’d still be wrong.

It’s not a person, or even a science as such, not in my view; it’s actually a place…

It’s a region in fact, one that pops up quite a lot in the second section of this work, and it’s one that many of you will know very little about. But don’t fret, that’s all about to change…

It’s called Prussia – (Cue the anti-climatical music to match that scrunchy look on your face)

Even though it may not be the starting place that you were expecting, trust me, (in my humble opinion), Prussia is the place where a lot of the modern attitudes prevalent in most “First World” countries (in the present day) really came from, like for example: “The State is more important than the people who make it up” – ”We all live to serve the State” – “Trust your Government” – “Trust ALL authority” – “Trust the media to find and print the truth” Etc.

Curiously, the “Prussian Model” is one that is being aimed for, and it is one being practised by so many of our governments worldwide today, that there must be something to it.

(Its mantra’s are also being preached to us by all of the high priest’s of our modern day “educational” institution’s – As you are about to find out for yourself.)

This first chapter’s significance will perhaps (I feel) only become truly apparent to you when you have read this work for a second time, don’t get me wrong, it fits right in with the rest of this part of section one, but it’s TRUE significance will probably only become clear when you have read all the section’s of this work, or perhaps, only once you’ve read them twice. –

(In section two, you’ll understand a lot clearer what I’m going on about.)

Before I defer to Mr Gatto, please allow me to leave you with these true words of wisdom…

Before you ever bother to look at any science in its application, you should take the time to look at the same science’s “Foundation’s”. (Especially if the name Rockefeller pops up!)

From the stunning book “Underground History of American Education” by John Taylor Gatto

A very small group of young psychologists around the turn of the century were able to create and market a system for measuring human talent that has permeated American (My note. And also the British too) institutions of learning and influenced such fundamental social concepts as democracy, sanity, justice, welfare, reproductive rights, and economic progress. In creating, owning, and advertising this social technology the testers created themselves as professionals. – Joanne Brown, The Definition of a Profession: The Authority of Metaphor in the History of Intelligence Testing.

I have undertaken to get at the facts from the point of view of the business men – citizens of the community who, after all, pay the bills and, therefore, have a right to say what they shall have in their schools. – Charles H. Thurber, from an address at the Annual Meeting of the National Education Association, July 9, 1897

(My note. My whole case proven in a lone quote!!!!!)

Chapter Seven – Prussian Fire-Discipline

On approaching the enemy, the marching columns of Prussians wheeled in succession to the right or left, passed along the front of the enemy until the rear company had wheeled. Then the whole together wheeled into line facing the enemy. These movements brought the infantry into two long well-closed lines, parade-ground precision obtained thanks to remorseless drilling. With this movement was bound up a fire-discipline more extraordinary than any perfection of manoeuvre. “Pelotonfeuer” was opened at 200 paces from the enemy and continued up to 30 paces when the line fell on with the bayonet. The possibility of this combination of fire and movement was the work of Leopold, who by sheer drill made the soldier a machine capable of delivering (with flintlock muzzle-loading muskets) five volleys a minute. The special Prussian fire-discipline gave an advantage of five shots to two against all opponents. The bayonet attack, if the rolling volleys had done their work, was merely “presenting the cheque for payment,” as a German writer put it. – Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, “Prussia”

The Land of Frankenstein

 The particular utopia American believers chose to bring to the schoolhouse was Prussian.

The seed that became American schooling, twentieth-century style, was planted in 1806 when Napoleon’s amateur soldiers bested the professional soldiers of Prussia at the battle of Jena. When your business is renting soldiers and employing diplomatic extortion under threat of your soldiery, losing a battle like that is pretty serious. Something had to be done.

The most important immediate reaction to Jena was an immortal speech, the “Address to the German Nation” by the philosopher Fichte–one of the influential documents of modern history leading directly to the first workable compulsion schools in the West.

Other times, other lands talked about schooling, but all failed to deliver. Simple forced training for brief intervals and for narrow purposes was the best that had ever been managed. This time would be different. In no uncertain terms Fichte told Prussia the party was over. Children would have to be disciplined through a new form of universal conditioning. They could no longer be trusted to their parents. Look what Napoleon had done by banishing sentiment in the interests of nationalism. Through forced schooling, everyone would learn that “work makes free,” and working for the State, even laying down one’s life to its commands, was the greatest freedom of all. (My Note. Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori, the Owen poem, not the idea, perfectly summed it up.) Here in the genius of semantic redefinition1 lay the power to cloud men’s minds, a power later packaged and sold by public relations pioneers Edward Bernays and Ivy Lee in the seedtime of American forced schooling.

Prior to Fichte’s challenge any number of compulsion-school proclamations had rolled off printing presses here and there, including Martin Luther’s plan to tie church and state together this way and, of course, the “Old Deluder Satan” law of 1642 in Massachusetts and its 1645 extension. The problem was these earlier ventures were virtually unenforceable, roundly ignored by those who smelled mischief lurking behind fancy promises of free education. 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 as1920, 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.

Prussia was prepared to use bayonets on its own people as readily as it wielded them against others, so it’s not all that surprising the human race got its first effective secular compulsion schooling out of Prussia in 1819, the same year Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, set in the darkness of far-off Germany, was published in England. Schule came after more than a decade of deliberations, commissions, testimony, and debate. For a brief, hopeful moment, Humboldt’s brilliant arguments for a high-level no-holds-barred, free-swinging, universal, intellectual course of study for all, full of variety, free debate, rich experience, and personalized curricula almost won the day. What a different world we would have today if Humboldt had won the Prussian debate, but the forces backing Baron vom Stein won instead. And that has made all the difference. 

The Prussian mind, which carried the day, held a clear idea of what centralised schooling should deliver:

1) Obedient soldiers to the army

2) Obedient workers for mines, factories, and farms

3) Well-subordinated civil servants, trained in their function

4) Well-subordinated clerks for industry

5) Citizens who thought alike on most issues

6) National uniformity in thought, word, and deed.

(My note. Tell me, does this all not sound a just a little tiny bit familiar to you?)

The area of individual volition for commoners was severely foreclosed by Prussian psychological training procedures drawn from the experience of animal husbandry and equestrian training, and also taken from past military experience. (Me. – WTF!)

 Much later, in our own time, the techniques of these assorted crafts and sullen arts became “discoveries” in the pedagogical pseudoscience of psychological behaviourism. (My Note. We will be covering this issue in great detail later on in this part of my work.)

Prussian schools delivered everything they promised.

Every important matter could now be confidently worked out in advance by leading families and institutional heads because well-schooled masses would concur with a minimum of opposition.

This tightly schooled consensus in Prussia eventually combined the kaleidoscopic German principalities into a united Germany, after a thousand years as a nation in fragments. What a surprise the world would soon get from this successful experiment in national centralization!

Under Prussian state socialism private industry surged, vaulting resource-poor Prussia up among world leaders. Military success remained Prussia’s touchstone. Even before the school law went into full effect as an enhancer of state priorities, the army corps under Blücher was the principal reason for Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, its superb discipline allowing for a surprisingly successful return to combat after what seemed to be a crushing defeat at the Little Corporal’s hands just days before.3 Unschooled, the Prussians were awesome; conditioned in the classroom promised to make them even more formidable.

The immense prestige earned from this triumph reverberated through an America not so lucky in its own recent fortunes of war, a country humiliated by a shabby showing against the British in the War of 1812. Even thirty years after Waterloo, so highly was Prussia regarded in America and Britain, the English-speaking adversaries selected the Prussian king to arbitrate our northwest border with Canada. Hence the Pennsylvania town “King of Prussia.” Thirty-three years after Prussia made state schooling work, we borrowed the structure, style, and intention of those Germans for our own first compulsion schools.

Traditional American school purpose–piety, good manners, basic intellectual tools, self-reliance, etc.–was scrapped to make way for something different.

Our historical destination of personal independence gave way slowly to Prussian-purpose schooling, not because the American way lost in any competition of ideas, but because for the new commercial and manufacturing hierarchs, such a course made better economic sense.

This private advance toward nationalized schooling in America was partially organized, although little has ever been written about it; Orestes Brownson’s journal identifies a covert national apparatus (to which Brownson briefly belonged) already in place in the decade after the War of 1812, one whose stated purpose was to “Germanize” America, beginning in those troubled neighbourhoods where the urban poor huddled, and where disorganized new immigrants made easy targets, according to Brownson. Enmity on the part of old-stock middle-class and working-class populations toward newer immigrants gave these unfortunates no appeal against the school sentence to which Massachusetts assigned them. They were in for a complete makeover, like it or not. Much of the story, as it was being written by 1844, lies just under the surface of Mann’s florid prose in his Seventh

Annual Report to the Boston School Committee. On a visit to Prussia the year before, he had been much impressed (so he said) with the ease by which Prussian calculations could determine precisely how many thinkers, problem-solvers, and working stiffs the State would require over the coming decade, then how it offered the precise categories of training required to develop the percentages of human resource needed. All this was much fairer to Mann than England’s repulsive episcopal system–schooling based on social class; Prussia, he thought, was republican in the desirable, manly, Roman sense. Massachusetts must take the same direction.

1Machiavelli had clearly identified this as a necessary strategy of state in 1532, and even explored its choreography.

2For an ironic reflection on the success of Prussian educational ideals, take a look at Martin Van Creveld’s Fighting Power (Greenwood Press, 1982). Creveld, the world’s finest military historian, undertakes to explain why German armies in 1914–1918 and 1939–1945, although heavily outnumbered in the major battles of both wars, consistently inflicted 30 percent more casualties than they suffered, whether they were winning or losing, on defence or on offense, no matter who they fought. They were better led, we might suspect, but the actual training of those field commanders comes as a shock. While American officer selection was right out of Frederick Taylor, complete with psychological dossiers and standardized tests, German officer training emphasized individual apprenticeships, week-long field evaluations, extended discursive written evaluations by senior officers who personally knew the candidates. The surprise is, while German state management was rigid and regulated with its common citizens, it was liberal and adventuresome with its elites. After WWII, and particularly after Vietnam, American elite military practice began to follow this German model. Ironically enough, America’s elite private boarding schools like Groton had followed the Prussian lead from their inception as well as the British models of Eton and Harrow. German elite war doctrine cut straight to the heart of the difference between the truly educated and the merely schooled. For the German High Command war was seen as an art, a creative activity, grounded in science. War made the highest demands on an officer’s entire personality and the role of the individual in Germany was decisive. American emphasis, on the other hand, was doctrinal, fixated on cookbook rules. The U.S. officer’s manual said: “Doctrines of combat operation are neither numerous nor complex. Knowledge of these doctrines provides a firm basis for action in a particular situation.” This reliance on automatic procedure rather than on creative individual decisions got a lot of Americans killed by the book. The irony, of course, was that American, British, and French officers got the same lockstep conditioning in dependence that German foot soldiers did. There are some obvious lessons here which can be applied directly to public schooling.

3Napoleon assumed the Prussians were retreating in the direction of the Rhine after a defeat, but in truth they were only executing a feint. The French were about to overrun Wellington when Blücher’s “Death’s Head Hussars,” driven beyond human endurance by their officers, reached the battlefield at a decisive moment. Not pausing to rest, the Prussians immediately went into battle, taking the French in the rear and right wing. Napoleon toppled, and Prussian discipline became the focus of world attention.

The Long Reach Of The Teutonic Knights (My note. Much more on these guys in section two)

In 1876, before setting off from America to Germany to study, William H. Welch, an ambitious young Bostonian, told his sister: “If by absorbing German lore I can get a little start of a few thousand rivals and thereby reduce my competition to a few hundred more or less it is a good point to tally.” Welch did go off to Germany for the coveted Ph.D., a degree which at the time had its actual existence in any practical sense only there, and in due course his ambition was satisfied. Welch became first dean of Johns Hopkins Medical School and, later, chief advisor to the (My note Shockeroonie!) Rockefeller Foundation on medical projects. Welch was one of thousands who found the German Ph.D. a blessing without parallel in late-nineteenth-century America. German Ph.D.’s ruled the academic scene by then.

Prussia itself was a curious place, not an ordinary country unless you consider ordinary a land which by 1776 required women to register each onset of their monthly menses (My Note. Their period!) with the police.

North America had been interested in Prussian developments since long before the American Revolution, its social controls being a favourite subject of discussion among Ben Franklin’s1 exclusive private discussion group, the Junta. When the phony Prussian baron Von Steuben directed bayonet drills for the colonial army, interest rose even higher. Prussia was a place to watch, an experimental state totally synthetic like our own, having been assembled out of lands conquered in the last crusade. For a full century Prussia acted as our mirror, showing elite America what we might become with discipline. (Good slaves?)

In 1839, thirteen years before the first successful school compulsion law was passed in the United States, a perpetual critic of Boston Whig (Mann’s own party) leadership charged that proposals to erect German-style teacher seminaries in this country were a thinly disguised attack on local and popular autonomy. The critic Brownson2 allowed that state regulation of teaching licenses was a necessary preliminary only if school were intended to serve as a psychological control mechanism for the state and as a screen for a controlled economy. If that was the game truly afoot, said Brownson, it should be reckoned an act of treason.

Where the whole tendency of education is to create obedience,” Brownson said, “all teachers must be pliant tools of government. Such a system of education is not inconsistent with the theory of Prussian society but the thing is wholly inadmissible here.” He further argued that “according to our theory the people are wiser than the government. Here the people do not look to the government for light, for instruction, but the government looks to the people. The people give law to the government.” He concluded that “to entrust government with the power of determining education which our children shall receive is entrusting our servant with the power of the master. The fundamental difference between the United States and Prussia has been overlooked by the board of education and its supporters.”3 READ THAT SHIT AGAIN MY FRIEND PLEASE.

This same notion of German influence on American institutions occurred recently to a historian from Georgetown, Dr. Carroll Quigley. Quigley’s analysis of elements in German character which were exported to us occurs in his book Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. Quigley traced what he called “the German thirst for the cosiness of a totalitarian way of life” to the breakup of German tribes in the great migrations fifteen hundred years ago. When pagan Germany finally transferred its loyalty to the even better totalitarian system of Diocletian in post-Constantine Rome, that system was soon shattered, too, a second tragic loss of security for the Germans. According to Quigley, they refused to accept this loss. For the next one thousand years, Germans made every effort to reconstruct the universal system, from Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire right up to the aftermath of Jena in 1806. During that thousand-year interval, other nations of the West developed individual liberty as the ultimate centre of society and its principal philosophical reality. But while Germany was dragged along in the same process, it was never convinced that individual sovereignty was the right way to organize society. Germans, said Quigley, wanted freedom from the need to make decisions, the negative freedom that comes from a universal totalitarian structure which gives security and meaning to life. The German is most at home in military, ecclesiastical, or educational organizations, ill at ease with equality, democracy, individualism, or freedom. This was the spirit that gave the West forced schooling in the early nineteenth century, so spare a little patience while I tell you about Prussia and Prussianized Germany whose original mission was expressly religious but in time became something else.

During the thirteenth century, the Order of Teutonic Knights set about creating a new state of their own. After fifty turbulent years of combat, the Order successfully Christianized Prussia by the efficient method of exterminating the entire native population and replacing it with Germans.

By 1281, the Order’s hold on lands once owned by the heathen Slavs was secure. Then something of vital importance to the future occurred–the system of administration selected to be set up over these territories was not one patterned on the customary European model of dispersed authority, but instead was built on the logic of Saracen centralized administration, an Asiatic form first described by crusaders returned from the Holy Land.

For an example of these modes of administration in conflict, we have Herodotus’ account of the Persian attempt to force the pass at Thermopylae– Persia with its huge bureaucratically subordinated army arrayed against self-directed Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans. This romantic image of personal initiative, however misleading, in conflict with a highly trained and specialized military bureaucracy, was passed down to sixty generations of citizens in Western lands as an inspiration and model. Now Prussia had established an Asiatic beachhead on the northern fringe of Europe, one guided by a different inspiration.

Between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Order of Teutonic Knights evolved by gradual stages into a highly efficient, secular civil service. In 1525, Albert of Brandenberg declared Prussia a secular kingdom. By the eighteenth century, under Frederick the Great, Prussia had become a major European power in spite of its striking material disadvantages. From 1740 onwards, it was feared throughout Europe for its large, well-equipped, and deadly standing army, comprising a formulaic 1 percent of the population. After centuries of debate, the 1 percent formula became the lot of the United States military, too, a gift of Prussian strategist von Clausewitz to America. By 1740, the mature Prussian state-structure was almost complete. During the reigns of Frederick I and his son Frederick II, Frederick the Great, the modern absolute state was fashioned there by means of immense sacrifices imposed on the citizenry to sustain permanent mobilization.

The historian Thomas Macauley wrote of Prussia during these years: “The King carried on warfare as no European power ever had, he governed his own kingdom as he would govern a besieged town, not caring to what extent private property was destroyed or civil life suspended. The coin was debased, civil functionaries unpaid, but as long as means for destroying life remained, Frederick was determined to fight to the last.” Goethe said Frederick “saw Prussia as a concept, the root cause of a process of abstraction consisting of norms, attitudes and characteristics which acquired a life of their own. It was a unique process, supra-individual, an attitude depersonalized, motivated only by the individual’s duty to the State.” Today it’s easy for us to recognize Frederick as a systems theorist of genius, one with a real country to practice upon.

Under Frederick William II, Frederick the Great’s nephew and successor, from the end of the eighteenth century on into the nineteenth, Prussian citizens were deprived of all rights and privileges. Every existence was comprehensively subordinated to the purposes of the State, and in exchange the State agreed to act as a good father, giving food, work, and wages suited to the people’s capacity, welfare for the poor and elderly, and universal schooling for children. The early nineteenth century saw Prussian state socialism arrive full-blown as the most dynamic force in world affairs, a powerful rival to industrial capitalism, with antagonisms sensed but not yet clearly identified. It was the moment of schooling, never to surrender its grip on the throat of society once achieved.

1Franklin’s great-grandson, Alexander Dallas Bache became the leading American proponent of Prussianism in 1839. After a European school inspection tour lasting several years, his Report on Education in Europe, promoted heavily by Quakers, devoted hundreds of pages to glowing description of Pestalozzian method and to the German gymnasium.

 2Brownson is the main figure in Christopher Lasch’s bravura study of Progressivism, The True and Only Heaven, being offered there as the best fruit of American democratic orchards, a man who, having seemingly tried every major scheme of meaning the new nation had to offer, settled on trusting ordinary people as the best course into the future.

3In Opposition to Centralization (1839).

4Quigley holds the distinction of being the only college professor ever to be publicly honoured by a major party presidential candidate, Bill Clinton, in his formal acceptance speech for the presidential nomination (My note. More on this later too.)

The Prussian Reform Movement

The devastating defeat by Napoleon at Jena triggered the so-called Prussian Reform Movement, a transformation which replaced cabinet rule (by appointees of the national leader) with rule by permanent civil servants and permanent government bureaus. Ask yourself which form of governance responds better to public opinion and you will realize what a radical chapter in European affairs was opened.

The familiar three-tier system of education emerged in the Napoleonic era, one private tier, and two government ones. At the top, one-half of 1 percent of the students attended Akadamiensschulen1, where, as future policy makers, they learned to think strategically, contextually, in wholes; they learned complex processes, and useful knowledge, studied history, wrote copiously, argued often, read deeply, and mastered tasks of command.

The next level, Realsschulen, was intended mostly as a manufactory for the professional proletariat of engineers, architects, doctors, lawyers, career civil servants, and such other assistants as policy thinkers at times would require. From 5 to 7.5 percent of all students attended these “real schools,” learning in a superficial fashion how to think in context, but mostly learning how to manage materials, men, and situations–to be problem solvers. This group would also staff the various policing functions of the state, bringing order to the domain.

Finally, at the bottom of the pile, a group between 92 and 94 percent of the population attended “people’s schools” where they learned obedience, cooperation and correct attitudes, along with rudiments of literacy and official state myths of history.

(My note. – The three paragraphs above ladies and gentleman are the education system of the whole “developed” world described to an absolute tee. – Which model of robot are you?)

This universal system of compulsion schooling was up and running by 1819, and soon became the eighth wonder of the world, promising for a brief time–in spite of its exclusionary layered structure–liberal education for all. But this early dream was soon abandoned. This particular utopia had a different target than human equality; it aimed instead for frictionless efficiency. From its inception Volksschulen, the people’s place, heavily discounted reading; reading produced dissatisfaction, it was thought. The Bell-school remedy was called for: a standard of virtual illiteracy formally taught under state church auspices. Reading offered too many windows onto better lives, too much familiarity with better ways of thinking. It was a gift unwise to share with those permanently consigned to low station.

Heinrich Pestalozzi, an odd2 Swiss-German school reformer, was producing at this time a non-literary, experience-based pedagogy, strong in music and industrial arts, which was attracting much favourable attention in Prussia. Here seemed a way to keep the poor happy without arousing in them hopes of dramatically changing the social order. Pestalozzi claimed ability to mould the poor “to accept all the efforts peculiar to their class.” He offered them love in place of ambition. By employing psychological means in the training of the young, class warfare might be avoided.

A curiously prophetic note for the future development of scientific school teaching was that Pestalozzi himself could barely read. Not that he was a dummy; those talents simply weren’t important in his work. He reckoned his own semiliteracy an advantage in dealing with children destined not to find employment requiring much verbal fluency.

Seventeen agents of the Prussian government acted as Pestalozzi’s assistants in Switzerland, bringing insights about the Swiss style of schooling home to northern Germany. While Pestalozzi’s raggedy schools lurched clumsily from year to year, a nobleman, von Fellenberg, refined and systematized the Swiss reformer’s disorderly notes, hammering the funky ensemble into clarified plans for a worldwide system of industrial education for the masses. As early as 1808, this non-academic formulation was introduced into the United States under Joseph Neef, formerly a teacher at Pestalozzi’s school. Neef, with important Quaker patronage, became the principal schoolmaster for Robert Owen’s pioneering work-utopia at New Harmony, Indiana. Neef’s efforts there provided high-powered conversational fodder to the fashionable Unitarian drawing rooms of Boston in the decades before compulsory legislation was passed. And when it did pass, all credit for the political victory belonged to those Unitarians. Neef’s influence resonated across the United States after the collapse of New Harmony, through lectures given by Robert Owen’s son (later a congressman, then referee of J.P. Morgan’s legal contretemps with the U.S. Army3), and through speeches and intrigues by that magnificent nineteenth-century female dynamo Scottish émigré Fanny Wright, who demanded the end of family life and its replacement by communitarian schooling. The tapestry of school origins is one of paths crossing and recrossing, and more apparent coincidences than seem likely.

Together, Owen and Wright created the successful Workingman’s Party of Philadelphia, which seized political control of that city in 1829. The party incorporated strong compulsion schooling proposals as part of its political platform. Its idea to place working-class children under the philosophical discipline of highly skilled craftsmen–men comparable socially to the yeomanry of pre-enclosure England–would have attracted favourable commentary in Philadelphia where banker Nicholas Biddle was locked in struggle for control of the nation’s currency with working- class hero Andrew Jackson. Biddle’s defeat by Jackson quickly moved abstract discussions of a possible social technology to control working class children from the airy realms of social hypothesis to policy discussions about immediate reality. In that instant of maximum tension between an embryonic financial capitalism and a populist republic struggling to emerge, the Prussian system of pedagogy came to seem perfectly sensible to men of means and ambition.

1I’ve exaggerated the neatness of this tripartite division in order to make clear its functional logic. The system as it actually grew in those days without an electronic technology of centralization was more whimsical than I’ve indicated, dependent partially on local tradition and resistance, partially on the ebb and flow of fortunes among different participants in the transformation. In some places, the “academy” portion didn’t occur in a separate institution, but as a division inside the Realsschulen, something like today’s “gifted and talented honours” programs as compared to the common garden variety “gifted and talented” pony shows.

2Pestalozzi’s strangeness comes through in almost all the standard biographical sketches of him, despite universal efforts to emphasize his saintliness. In a recent study, Anthony Sutton claims Pestalozzi was also director of a secret lodge of “illuminated” Freemasonry–with the code name “Alfred.” If true, the Swiss “educator” was even stranger than I sensed initially.

3During the Civil War, Morgan sold back to the army its own defective rifles (which had been auctioned as scrap) at a 1,300 percent profit. After a number of soldiers were killed and maimed, young Morgan found himself temporarily in hot water. Thanks to Owen his penalty was the return of about half his profit!

Travellers’ Reports

Information about Prussian schooling was brought to America by a series of travellers’ reports published in the early nineteenth century. First was the report of John Griscom, whose book A Year in Europe (1819) highly praised the new Prussian schools. Griscom was read and admired by Thomas Jefferson and leading Americans whose intellectual patronage drew admirers into the net. Pestalozzi came into the centre of focus at about the same time through the letters of William Woodbridge to The American Journal of Education, letters which examined this strange man and his “humane” methods through friendly eyes. Another important chapter in this school build-up came from Henry Dwight,1 whose Travels in North Germany (1825) praised the new quasi-religious teacher seminaries in Prussia where prospective teachers were screened for correct attitudes toward the State.

The most influential report, however, was French philosopher Victor Cousin’s to the French government in 1831. This account by Cousin, France’s Minister of Education, explained the administrative organization of Prussian education in depth, dwelling at length on the system of people’s schools and its far-reaching implications for the economy and social order. Cousin’s essay applauded Prussia for discovering ways to contain the danger of a frightening new social phenomenon, the industrial proletariat. So convincing was his presentation that within two years of its publication, French national schooling was drastically reorganized to meet Prussian Volksschulen standards. French children could be stupefied as easily as German ones.

Across the Atlantic, a similar revolution took place in the brand new state of Michigan. Mimicking Prussian organization, heavily Germanic Michigan established the very first State Superintendency of Education.2 With a state minister and state control entering all aspects of schooling, the only missing ingredient was compulsion legislation.

On Cousin’s heels came yet another influential report praising Prussian discipline and Prussian results, this time by the bearer of a prominent American name, the famous Calvin Stowe whose wife Harriet Beecher Stowe, conscience of the abolition movement, was author of its sacred text, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe’s report to the Ohio legislature attesting to Prussian superiority was widely distributed across the country, the Ohio group mailing out ten thousand copies and the legislatures of Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia each reprinting and distributing the document.

The third major testimonial to Prussian schooling came in the form of Horace Mann’s Seventh Report to the Boston School Committee in 1843. Mann’s Sixth Report, as noted earlier, had been a paean to phrenology, the science of reading head bumps, which Mann argued was the only proper basis for curriculum design. The Seventh Report ranked Prussia first of all nations in schooling, England last. Pestalozzi’s psychologically grounded form of pedagogy was specifically singled out for praise in each of the three influential reports I’ve recited, as was the resolutely non-intellectual subject matter of Prussian Volksschulen. Also praised were mild Pestalozzian discipline, grouping by age, multiple layers of supervision, and selective training for teachers. Wrote Mann, “There are many things there which we should do well to imitate.”3

Mann’s Report strongly recommended radical changes in reading instruction from the traditional alphabet system, which had made America literate, to Prussia’s hieroglyphic-style technique. In a surprising way, this brought Mann’s Report to general public attention because a group of Boston schoolmasters attacked his conclusions about the efficacy of the new reading method and a lively newspaper debate followed. Throughout nineteenth-century

Prussia, its new form of education seemed to make that warlike nation prosper materially and militarily. While German science, philosophy, and military success seduced the whole world, thousands of prominent young Americans made the pilgrimage to Germany to study in its network of research universities, places where teaching and learning were always subordinate to investigations done on behalf of business and the state. Returning home with the coveted German Ph.D., those so degreed became university presidents and department heads, took over private industrial research bureaus, government offices, and the administrative professions. The men they subsequently hired for responsibility were those who found it morally agreeable to offer obeisance to the Prussian outlook, too; in this leveraged fashion the gradual takeover of American mental life managed itself.

For a century here, Germany seemed at the centre of everything civilized; nothing was so esoteric or commonplace it couldn’t benefit from the application of German scientific procedure. Hegel, of Berlin University, even proposed historicism–that history was a scientific subject, displaying a progressive linear movement toward some mysterious end. Elsewhere, Herbart and Fechner were applying mathematical principles to learning, Müller and Helmholtz were grafting physiology to behaviour in anticipation of the psychologised classroom, Fritsch and Hitzig were applying electrical stimulation to the brain to determine the relationship of brain functions to behaviour, and Germany itself was approaching its epiphany of unification under Bismarck.

When the spirit of Prussian pelotonfeuer crushed France in the lightning war of 1871, the world’s attention focused intently on this hypnotic, utopian place. What could be seen to happen there was an impressive demonstration that endless production flowed from a Baconian liaison between government, the academic mind, and industry. Credit for Prussian success was widely attributed to its form of schooling. What lay far from casual view was the religious vision of a completely systematic universe which animated this Frankensteinian nation.

1Of the legendary Dwight family which bankrolled Horace Mann’s forced schooling operation. Dwight was a distant ancestor of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

2This happened under the direction of William Pierce, a man as strange in his own way as Pestalozzi. Pierce had been a Unitarian minister around Rochester, New York, until he was forced to flee across the Great Lakes to escape personal harm during the anti-Masonic furore just before the first Jackson election. Pierce was accused of concealing a lodge of Illuminati behind the facade of his church. When his critics arrived with the tar and feathers, the great educator-to-be had already flown the coop to Michigan, his tools of illumination safely in his kit and a sneer of superior virtue on his noble lip. Some say a local lady of easy virtue betrayed the vigilante party to Pierce in exchange for a few pieces of Socinian silver, but I cannot confirm this reliably. How he came to be welcomed so warmly in Michigan and honoured with such a high position might be worth investigating.

3The fact is Mann arrived in Prussia after the schools had closed for the summer, so that he never actually saw one in operation. This did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm, nor did he find it necessary to enlighten his readers to this interesting fact. I’ll mention this again up ahead.

Finding Work For Intellectuals

The little North German state of Prussia had been described as “an army with a country,” “a perpetual armed camp,” “a gigantic penal institution.” Even the built environment in Prussia was closely regimented: streets were made to run straight, town buildings and traffic were state-approved and regulated. Attempts were made to cleanse society of irregular elements like beggars, vagrants, and Gypsies, all this intended to turn Prussian society into “a huge human automaton” in the words of Hans Rosenberg. It was a state where scientific farming alternated with military drilling and with state-ordered meaningless tasks intended for no purpose but to subject the entire community to the experience of collective discipline–like fire drills in a modern junior high school or enforced silence during the interval between class periods. Prussia had become a comprehensive administrative utopia. It was Sparta reborn.

Administrative utopias spring out of the psychological emptiness which happens where firmly established communities are nonexistent and what social cohesion there is is weak and undependable. Utopias lurch into being when utopia happens best where there is no other social and political life around which seems attractive or even safe. The dream of state power refashioning countryside and people is powerful, especially compelling in times of insecurity where local leadership is inadequate to create a satisfying social order, as must have seemed the case in the waning decades of the nineteenth century. In particular, the growing intellectual classes began to resent their bondage to wealthy patrons, their lack of any truly meaningful function, their seeming overeducation for what responsibilities were available, their feelings of superfluousness. The larger national production grew on wheels and belts of steam power. The more it produced unprecedented surpluses, the greater became the number of intellectuals condemned to a parasitic role, and the more certain it became that some utopian experiment must come along to make work for these idle hands.

In such a climate it could not have seemed out of line to the new army of homeless men whose work was only endless thinking, to reorganize the entire world and to believe such a thing not impossible to attain. It was only a short step before associations of intellectuals began to consider it their duty to reorganize the world. It was then the clamour for universal forced schooling became strong. Such a need coincided with a corresponding need on the part of business to train the population as consumers rather than independent producers. In the last third of the nineteenth century, a loud call for popular education arose from princes of industry, from comfortable clergy, professional humanists and academic scientists, those who saw schooling as an instrument to achieve state and corporate purposes. Prior to 1870, the only countries where everybody was literate were

Prussia, its tiny adjacent neighbour states in Nordic Scandinavia, and the United States. Despite all projects of the Enlightenment, of Napoleon, of the parliaments of England and Belgium and of revolutionaries like Cavour, the vast majority of Europeans could neither read nor write. It was not, of course, because they were stupid but because circumstances of their lives and cultures made literacy a luxury, sometimes even impossible.

Steam and coal provided the necessary funds for establishing and maintaining great national systems of elementary schooling. Another influence was the progressivism of the liberal impulse, never more evident than in the presence of truly unprecedented abundance. Yes, it was true that to create that abundance it became necessary to uproot millions from their traditional habitats and habits, but one’s conscience could be saved by saying that popular schooling would offer, in time, compensations for the proletariat. In any case, no one doubted Francois Guizot’s epigram: “The opening of every schoolhouse closes a jail.”

For the enlightened classes, popular education after Prussia became a sacred cause, one meriting crusading zeal. In 1868, Hungary announced compulsion schooling; in 1869, Austria; in 1872, the famous Prussian system was nationalized to all the Germanies; 1874, Switzerland; 1877, Italy; 1878, Holland; 1879, Belgium. Between 1878 and 1882, it became France’s turn. School was made compulsory for British children in 1880. No serious voice except Tolstoy’s questioned what was happening, and that Russian nobleman-novelist-mystic was easily ignored. Best known to the modern reader for War and Peace, Tolstoy is equally penetrating in The Kingdom of God Is Within You, in which he viewed such problems through the lens of Christianity. The school movement was strongest in Western and Northern Europe, the ancient lands of the Protestant Reformation, much weaker in Catholic Central and Southern Europe, virtually nonexistent at first in the Orthodox East. Enthusiasm for schooling is closely correlated with a nation’s intensity in mechanical industry, and that closely correlated with its natural heritage of coal. One result passed over too quickly in historical accounts of school beginnings is the provision for a quasi-military non-commissioned officer corps of teachers, and a staff-grade corps of administrators to oversee the mobilized children. One consequence unexpected by middle classes (though perhaps not so unexpected to intellectual elites) was a striking increase in gullibility among well-schooled masses.

Jacques Ellul is the most compelling analyst of this awful phenomenon, in his canonical essay Propaganda. He fingers schooling as an unparalleled propaganda instrument; if a schoolbook prints it and a teacher affirms it, who is so bold as to demur?

The Technology Of Subjection

Administrative utopias are a peculiar kind of dreaming by those in power, driven by an urge to arrange the lives of others, organizing them for production, combat, or detention. The operating principles of administrative utopia are hierarchy, discipline, regimentation, strict order, rational planning, a geometrical environment, a production line, a cellblock, and a form of welfarism. Government schools and some private schools pass such parameters with flying colours. In one sense, administrative utopias are laboratories for exploring the technology of subjection and as such belong to a precise subdivision of pornographic art: total surveillance and total control of the helpless. The aim and mode of administrative utopia is to bestow order and assistance on an unwilling population: to provide its clothing and food. To schedule it. In a masterpiece of cosmic misjudgement, the phrenologist George Combe wrote Horace Mann on November 14, 1843:

The Prussian and Saxon governments by means of their schools and their just laws and rational public administration are doing a good deal to bring their people into a rational and moral condition. It is pretty obvious to thinking men that a few years more of this cultivation will lead to the development of free institutions in Germany.

Earlier that year, on May 21, 1843, Mann had written to Combe: “I want to find out what are the results, as well as the workings of the famous Prussian system.” Just three years earlier, with the election of Marcus Morton as governor of Massachusetts, a serious challenge had been presented to Mann and to his Board of Education and the air of Prussianism surrounding it and its manufacturer/politician friends. A House committee was directed to look into the new Board of Education and its plan to undertake a teachers college with $10,000 put up by industrialist Edmund Dwight. Four days after its assignment, the majority reported out a bill to kill the board!

Discontinue the Normal School experiment, it said, and give Dwight his money back:

If then the Board has any actual power, it is a dangerous power, touching directly upon the rights and duties of the Legislature; if it has no power, why continue its existence at an annual expense to the commonwealth?

But the House committee did more; it warned explicitly that this board, dominated by a Unitarian majority of 7–5 (although Unitarians comprised less than 1 percent of the state), really wanted to install a Prussian system of education in Massachusetts, to put “a monopoly of power in a few hands, contrary in every respect to the true spirit of our democratical institutions.” The vote of the House on this was the single greatest victory of Mann’s political career, one for which he and his wealthy friends called in every favour they were owed. The result was 245 votes to continue, 182 votes to discontinue, and so the House voted to overturn the recommendations of its own committee. A 32-vote swing might have given us a much different twentieth century than the one we saw.

Although Mann’s own letters and diaries are replete with attacks on orthodox religionists as enemies of government schooling, an examination of the positive vote reveals that from the outset the orthodox churches were among Mann’s staunchest allies. Mann had general support from Congregational, Presbyterian, and Baptist clergymen. At this early stage they were completely unaware of the doom secular schooling would spell out for their denominations. They had been seduced into believing school was a necessary insurance policy to deal with incoming waves of Catholic immigration from Ireland and Germany, the cheap labour army which as early as 1830 had been talked about in business circles and eagerly anticipated as an answer to America’s production problems.

The reason Germany, and not England, provided the original model for America’s essay into compulsion schooling may be that Mann, while in Britain, had had a shocking experience in English class snobbery which left him reeling. Boston Common, he wrote, with its rows of mottled sycamore trees, gravel walks, and frog ponds was downright embarrassing compared with any number of stately English private grounds furnished with stag and deer, fine arboretums of botanical specimens from faraway lands, marble floors better than the table tops at home, portraits, tapestries, giant gold-frame mirrors. The ballroom in the Bulfinch house in Boston would be a butler’s pantry in England, he wrote. When Mann visited Stafford House of the Duke of Cumberland, he went into culture shock:

Convicts on treadmills provide the energy to pump water for fountains. I have seen equipages, palaces, and the regalia of royalty side by side with beggary, squalidness, and degradation in which the very features of humanity were almost lost in those of the brute.

For this great distinction between the stratified orders of society, Mann held the Anglican church to blame. “Give me America with all its rawness and want. We have aristocracy enough at home and here I trace its foundations.” Shocked from his English experience, Mann virtually willed that Prussian schools would provide him with answers, says his biographer Jonathan Messerli.

Mann arrived in Prussia when its schools were closed for vacation. He toured empty classrooms, spoke with authorities, interviewed vacationing schoolmasters, and read piles of dusty official reports. Yet from this nonexperience he claimed to come away with a strong sense of the professional competence of Prussian teachers!


All “admirably qualified and full of animation!” His wife Mary, of the famous Peabodys, wrote home: “We have not seen a teacher with a book in his hand in all Prussia; no, not one!” (emphasis added)

This wasn’t surprising, for they hardly saw teachers at all.

Equally impressive, he wrote, was the wonderful obedience of children; these German kinder had “innate respect for superior years.” The German teacher corps? “The finest collection of men I have ever seen–full of intelligence, dignity, benevolence, kindness and bearing….” Never, says Mann, did he witness “an instance of harshness and severity. All is kind, encouraging, animating, sympathizing.” On the basis of imagining this miraculous vision of exactly the Prussia he wanted to see, Mann made a special plea for changes in the teaching of reading. He criticized the standard American practice of beginning with the alphabet and moving to syllables, urging his readers to consider the superior merit of teaching entire words from the beginning. “I am satisfied,” he said, “our greatest error in teaching lies in beginning with the alphabet.”

The heart of Mann’s most famous Report to the Boston School Committee, the legendary Seventh, rings a familiar theme in American affairs. It seems even then we were falling behind! This time, behind the Prussians in education. In order to catch up, it was mandatory to create a professional corps of teachers and a systematic curriculum, just as the Prussians had. Mann fervently implored the board to accept his prescription…while there was still time! The note of hysteria is a drum roll sounding throughout Mann’s entire career; together with the vilification of his opponents, it constitutes much of Mann’s spiritual signature.

That fall, the Association of Masters of the Boston Public Schools published its 150-page rebuttal of Mann’s Report. It attacked the normal schools proposal as a vehicle for propaganda for Mann’s “hot bed theories, in which the projectors have disregarded experience and observation.” It belittled his advocacy of phrenology and charged Mann with attempting to excite the prejudices of the ignorant. Its second attack was against the teacher-centred nonbook presentations of Prussian classrooms, insisting the psychological result of these was to break student potential “for forming the habit of independent and individual effort.” The third attack was against the “word method” in teaching reading, and in defence of the traditional alphabet method. Lastly, it attacked Mann’s belief that interest was a better motivator to learning than discipline: “Duty should come first and pleasure should grow out of the discharge of it.” Thus was framed a profound conflict between the old world of the Puritans and the new psychological strategy of the Germans.

The German/American Reichsbank

 Sixty years later, amid a well-coordinated attempt on the part of industrialists and financiers to transfer power over money and interest rates from elected representatives of the American people to a “Federal Reserve” of centralized private banking interests, George Reynolds, president of the American Bankers Association, rose before an audience on September 13, 1909, to declare himself flatly in favour of a central bank modelled after the German Reichsbank. As he spoke, the schools of the United States were being forcibly rebuilt on Prussian lines.

On September 14, 1909, in Boston, the president of the United States, William Howard Taft, instructed the country that it should “take up seriously” the problem of establishing a centralized bank on the German model. As The Wall Street Journal put it, an important step in the education of Americans would soon be taken to translate the “realm of theory” into “practical politics,” in pedagogy as well as finance. Dramatic, symbolic evidence of what was working deep in the bowels of the school institution surfaced in 1935. At the University of Chicago’s experimental high school, the head of the Social Science department, Howard C. Hill, published an inspirational textbook, The Life and Work of the Citizen. It is decorated throughout with the fasces, symbol of the Fascist movement, an emblem binding government and corporation together as one entity. Mussolini had landed in America.

The fasces are strange hybridized images, one might almost say Americanized. The bundle of sticks wrapped around a two-headed axe, the classic Italian Fascist image, has been decisively altered. Now the sticks are wrapped around a sword. They appear on the spine of this high school text, on the decorative page introducing Part One, again on a similar page for Part Two, and are repeated on Part Three and Part Four as well. There are also fierce, military eagles hovering above those pages. The strangest decoration of all faces the title page, a weird interlock of hands and wrists which, with only a few slight alterations of its structural members, would be a living swastika.1 The legend announces it as representing the “united strength” of Law, Order, Science, and the Trades. Where the strength of America had been traditionally located in our First Amendment guarantee of argument, now the Prussian connection was shifting the focus of attention in school to cooperation, with both working and professional classes sandwiched between the watchful eye of Law and Order. Prussia had entrenched itself deep into the bowels of American institutional schooling.

1Interestingly enough, several versions of this book exist–although no indication that this is so appears on the copyright page. In one of these versions the familiar totalitarian symbols are much more pronounced than in the others.

…By 1776 the theocratic utopia toward which such a principle moves, was well established in the Britain of the German Georges, as well as in the three North German states of Prussia, Saxony, and Hanover. Together with England, all three were to play an important role in twentieth- century forced schooling in America

Chapter nine

On the night of June 9, 1834, a group of prominent men “chiefly engaged in commerce” gathered privately in a Boston drawing room to discuss a scheme of universal schooling. Secretary of this meeting was William Ellery Channing, Horace Mann’s own minister as well as an international figure and the leading Unitarian of his day. The location of the meeting house is not entered in the minutes nor are the names of the assembly’s participants apart from Channing. Even though the literacy rate in Massachusetts was 98 percent, and in neighbouring Connecticut, 99.8 percent, the assembled businessmen agreed the present system of schooling allowed too much to depend upon chance. It encouraged more entrepreneurial exuberance than the social system could bear. – The minutes of this meeting are Appleton Papers collection, Massachusetts Historical Society

Frederick W. Taylor

The first man on record to perceive how much additional production could be extracted from close regulation of labour was Frederick Winslow Taylor, son of a wealthy Philadelphia lawyer. “What I demand of the worker,” Taylor said, “is not to produce any longer by his own initiative, but to execute punctiliously the orders given down to their minutest details.”

The Taylors, a prominent Quaker family from Germantown, Pennsylvania, had taken Freddy to Europe for three years from 1869 to 1872, where he was attending an aristocratic German academy when von Moltke’s Prussian blitzkrieg culminated in the French disaster at Sedan and a German Empire was finally proclaimed, ending a thousand years of disunion. Prussian schooling was the widely credited forge which made those miracles possible.

The jubilation which spread through Germany underlined a presumably fatal difference between political systems which disciplined with ruthless efficiency, like Prussia’s socialist paradise, and those devoted to whimsy and luxury, like France’s. The lesson wasn’t lost on little Fred.

Near the conclusion of his Principles of Scientific Management 1 (1911), published thirty-nine years later, Taylor summarized the new managerial discipline as follows:

A regimen of science, not rule of thumb.

An emphasis on harmony, not the discord of competition.

An insistence on cooperation, not individualism.

A fixation on maximum output.

The development of each man to his greatest productivity.

Taylor’s biographers, Wrege and Greenwood, wrote:

He left us a great legacy. Frederick Taylor advanced a total system of management, one which he built from pieces taken from numerous others whom he rarely would credit…. His genius lies in being a missionary.

After Taylor’s death in 1915, the Frederick W. Taylor Cooperators were formed to project his Scientific Management movement into the future. Frank Copley called Taylor “a man whose heart was aflame with missionary zeal.” Much about this Quaker-turned-Unitarian, who married into an Arbella-descended Puritan family before finally becoming an Episcopalian, bears decisively on the shape schooling took in this country. Wrege and

Greenwood describe him as: “often arrogant, somewhat caustic, and inflexible in how his system should be implemented….Taylor was cerebral; like a machine he was polished and he was also intellectual….Taylor’s brilliant reasoning was marred when he attempted to articulate it, for his delivery was often demeaning, even derogatory at times.”

Frank Gilbreth’s2 Motion Study says:

It is the never ceasing marvel concerning this man that age cannot wither nor custom stale his work. After many a weary day’s study the investigator awakes from a dream of greatness to find he has only worked out a new proof for a problem Taylor has already solved. Time study, the instruction card, functional foremanship, the differential rate piece method of compensation, and numerous other scientifically derived methods of decreasing costs and increasing output and wages–these are by no means his only contributions to standardizing the trades.

To fully grasp the effect of Taylor’s industrial evangelism on American national schooling, you need to listen to him play teacher in his own words to Schmidt at Bethlehem Steel in the 1890s:

Now Schmidt, you are a first-class pig-iron handler and know your business well. You have been handling at a rate of twelve and a half tons per day. I have given considerable study to handling pig-iron, and feel you could handle forty-seven tons of pig-iron per day if you really tried instead of twelve and a half tons.

Skeptical but willing, Schmidt started to work, and all day long, and at regular intervals, was told by the men who stood over him with a watch, “now pick up a pig and walk. Now sit down and rest. Now walk–rest,” etc. He worked when he was told to work, and rested when he was told to rest, and at half past five in the afternoon had his forty-seven tons loaded on the car.

The incident described above is, incidentally, a fabrication. There was no Schmidt except in Taylor’s mind, just as there was no close observation of Prussian schools by Mann. Below, he testifies before Congress in 1912:

There is a right way of forcing the shovel into materials and many wrong ways. Now, the way to shovel refractory stuff is to press the forearm hard against the upper part of the right leg just below the thigh, like this, take the end of the shovel in your right hand and when you push the shovel into the pile, instead of using the muscular effort of the arms, which is tiresome, throw the weight of your body on the shovel like this; that pushes your shovel in the pile with hardly any exertion and without tiring the arms in the least.

Harlow Person called Taylor’s approach to the simplest tasks of working life “a meaningful and fundamental break with the past.” Scientific management, or Taylorism, had four characteristics designed to make the worker “an interchangeable part of an interchangeable machine making interchangeable parts.”

Since each quickly found its analogue in scientific schooling, let me show them to you:3

1) A mechanically controlled work pace;

2) The repetition of simple motions;

3) Tools and technique selected for the worker;

4) Only superficial attention is asked from the worker, just enough to keep up with the moving line. The connection of all to school procedure is apparent.

“In the past,” Taylor wrote, “Man has been first. In the future the system must be first.” It was not sufficient to have physical movements standardized; the standardized worker “must be happy in his work,” too, therefore his thought processes also must be standardized.4

Scientific management was applied wholesale in American industry in the decade after 1910. It spread quickly to schools.

In the preface to the classic study on the effects of scientific management on schooling in America, Education and the Cult of Efficiency,5 Raymond Callahan explains that when he set out to write, his intent was to explore the origin and development of business values in educational administration, an occurrence he tracks to about 1900.

Callahan wanted to know why school administrators had adopted business practices and management parameters of assessment when “Education is not a business. The school is not a factory.”

Could the inappropriate procedure be explained simply by a familiar process in which ideas and values flow from high-status groups to those of lesser distinction? As Callahan put it, “It does not take profound knowledge of American education to know that educators are, and have been, a relatively low-status, low-power group.” But the degree of intellectual domination shocked him:

What was unexpected was the extent, not only of the power of business-industrial groups, but of the strength of the business ideology…and the extreme weakness and vulnerability of school administrators. I had expected more professional autonomy and I was completely unprepared for the extent and degree of capitulation by administrators to whatever demands were made upon them. I was surprised and then dismayed to learn how many decisions they made or were forced to make, not on educational grounds, but as a means of appeasing their critics in order to maintain their positions in the school. [emphasis added]

1The actual term “scientific management” was created by famous lawyer Louis Brandeis in 1910 for the Interstate Commerce Commission rate hearings. Brandeis understood thoroughly how a clever phrase could control public imagination.

2Gilbreth, the man who made the term “industrial engineering” familiar to the public, was a devotee of Taylorism. His daughter wrote a best seller about the Gilbreth home, Cheaper By The Dozen, in which her father’s penchant for refining work processes is recalled. Behind his back, Taylor ran Gilbreth down as a “fakir.”

3List adapted from Melvin Kranzberg and Joseph Gies, By the Sweat of Thy Brow.

4Taylor was no garden-variety fanatic. He won the national doubles tennis title in 1881with a racket of his own design, and pioneered slip-on shoes (to save time, of course). Being happy in your work was the demand of Bellamy and other leading socialist thinkers, otherwise you would have to be “adjusted” (hence the expression “well- adjusted”). Taylor concurred.

5Callahan’s analysis why schoolmen are always vulnerable is somewhat innocent and ivory tower, and his recommendation for reform–to effectively protect their revenue stream from criticism on the part of the public–is simply tragic; but his gathering of data is matchless and his judgment throughout in small matters and large is consistently illuminating.

The Adoption Of Business Organization By Schools

In 1903, The Atlantic Monthly called for adoption of business organization by schools and William C. Bagley identified the ideal teacher as one who would rigidly “hew to the line.” Bagley’s6 ideal school was a place strictly reduced to rigid routine; he repeatedly stressed in his writing a need for “unquestioned obedience.

Before 1900, school boards were large, clumsy organizations, with a seat available to represent every interest (they often had thirty to fifty members). A great transformation was engineered in the first decade of the twentieth century, however, and after 1910 they were dominated by businessmen, lawyers, real estate men, and politicians.

Business pressure extended from the kindergarten rung of the new school ladder all the way into the German-inspired teacher training schools. The Atlantic Monthly approved what it had earlier asked for, saying in 1910, “Our universities are beginning to run as business colleges.”

Successful industrial leaders were featured regularly in the press, holding forth on their success but seldom attributing it to book learning or scholarship. Carnegie, self-educated in libraries, appears in his writings and public appearances as the leading school critic of the day; echoing Carnegie, the governor of Michigan welcomed an NEA convention to Detroit with his injunction: “The demand of the age is for practical education.” The State

Superintendent of Public Instruction in Michigan followed the governor:

The character of our education must change with the oncoming of the years of this highly practical age. We have educated the mind to think and trained the vocal organs to express the thought, and we have forgotten the fact that in four times out of five the practical man expresses his thought by the hand rather than by mere words.

Something was cooking. The message was clear: academic education had become a strange kind of national emergency, just as had been prophesied by the Department of Education’s Circular of Information in 1871 and 1872. Twenty years later Francis Parker praised the elite Committee of Ten under Harvard president Charles Eliot for rejecting “tracking,” the practice of school class assignment based upon future social destination. The committee

had come down squarely for common schools, an ideal that Parker said was “worth all the pains necessary to produce the report. The conclusion is that there should be no such thing as class education.” Parker had noticed the start of an attempt to provide common people with only partial education. He was relieved it had been turned back. Or so he thought.

The pronouncements of the Committee of Ten turned out to be the last gasp of the common school notion apart from Fourth of July rhetoric. The common school was being buried by the determination of new tycoon-class businessmen to see the demise of an older democratic-republican order and its dangerous libertarian ideals. If “educators,” as they were self-consciously beginning to refer to themselves, had any misunderstanding of what was expected by 1910, NEA meetings of that year were specifically designed to clear them up. Attendees were told the business community had judged their work to date to be “theoretical, visionary, and impractical“:

All over the country our courses are being attacked and the demand for revision is along the line of fitting mathematical teaching to the needs of the masses.

In 1909, Leonard Ayres charged in Laggards in Our Schools that although these institutions were filled with “retarded children,” school programs were, alas, “fitted…to the unusually bright one.” Ayres invented means for measuring the efficiency of school systems by computing the dropout/holdover rate–a game still in evidence today.

This was begging the question with a vengeance but no challenge to this assessment was ever raised.

Taylor’s system of management efficiency was being formally taught at Harvard and Dartmouth by 1910. In the next year, 219 articles on the subject appeared in magazines, hundreds more followed: by 1917 a bibliography of 550 school management-science references was available from a Boston publisher. As the steel core of school reform, scientific management enjoyed national recognition. It was the main topic at the 1913 convention of the Department of Superintendence. Paul Hanus, professor of education at Harvard, launched a series of books for the World Book Company under the title School Efficiency Series, and famous muckraker J.M. Rice published his own Scientific Management in Education in 1913, showing local “ward” schooling an arena of low-lives and grifters.

Frederick Taylor’s influence was not limited to America; it soon circled the globe. Principles of Scientific Management spread the efficiency mania over Europe, Japan, and China. A letter to the editor of The Nation in 1911 gives the flavour of what was happening:

I am tired of scientific management, so-called. I have heard of it from scientific managers, from university presidents, from casual acquaintances in railway trains; I have read of it in the daily papers, the weekly paper, the ten-cent magazine, and in the Outlook. I have only missed its treatment by Theodore Roosevelt; but that is probably because I cannot keep up with his writings. For 15 years I have been a subscriber to a magazine dealing with engineering matters, feeling it incumbent on me to keep in touch but the touch has become a pressure, the pressure a crushing strain, until the mass of articles on shop practice and scientific management threatened to crush all thought out of my brain, and I stopped my subscription.

In an article from Izvestia dated April 1918, Lenin urged the system upon Russians.

6His jargon-enriched Classroom Management (1907) was reprinted thirty times in the next 20 years as a teacher training text. Bagley’s metaphors drawn from big business can fairly be said to have controlled the pedagogical imagination for the entire twentieth century.

The Ford System And The Kronstadt Commune

“An anti-intellectual, a hater of individuals,” is the way Richard Stites characterizes Taylor in Revolutionary Dreams, his book on the utopian beginning of the Soviet Era. Says Stites, “His system is the basis for virtually every twisted dystopia in our century, from death under the Gas Bell in Zamiatin’s We for the unspeakable crime of deviance, to the maintenance of a fictitious state-operated underground in Orwell’s 1984 in order to draw deviants into disclosing who they are.”

Oddly enough, an actual scheme of dissident entrapment was the brainchild of J.P. Morgan, his unique contribution to the Cecil Rhodes–inspired “Round Table” group. Morgan contended that revolution could be subverted permanently by infiltrating the underground and subsidizing it. In this way the thinking of the opposition could be known as it developed and fatally compromised. Corporate, government, and foundation cash grants to subversives might be one way to derail the train of insurrection that Hegelian theory predicted would arise against every ruling class.

As this practice matured, the insights of Fabian socialism were stirred into the mix; gradually a socialist levelling through practices pioneered in Bismarck’s Prussia came to be seen as the most efficient control system for the masses, the bottom 80 percent of the population in advanced industrial states. For the rest, an invigorating system of laissez-faire market competition would keep the advanced breeding stock on its toes.

A large portion of the intellectual Left jumped on Taylor’s bandwagon, even as labour universally opposed it. Lenin himself was an aggressive advocate:

The war taught us much, not only that people suffered, but especially the fact that those who have the best technology, organization, discipline and the best machines emerge on top; it is this the war has taught us. It is essential to learn that without machines, without discipline, it is impossible to live in modern society. It is necessary to master the highest technology or be crushed.

But even in Russia, workers resisted Taylorish methods. The rebellion of the Kronstadt Commune in 1921 charged that Bolsheviks were “planning to introduce the sweat labour system of Taylor.” They were right.

Taylor distilled the essence of Bismarck’s Prussian school training under whose regimen he had witnessed firsthand the defeat of France in 1871. His American syntheses of these disciplines made him the direct inspiration for Henry Ford and “Fordism.” Between 1895 and 1915, Ford radically transformed factory procedure, relying on Taylorized management and a mass production assembly line marked by precision, continuity, coordination, speed, and standardization. Ford wrote two extraordinary essays in the 1920s, “The Meaning of Time,” and “Machinery, The New Messiah,” in which he equated planning, timing, precision, and the rest of the scientific management catalogue with the great moral meaning of life:

A clean factory, clean tools, accurate gauges, and precise methods of manufacture produce a smooth working efficient machine [just as] clean thinking, clean living, and square dealing make for a decent home life.

By the 1920s, the reality of the Ford system paralleled the rules of a Prussian infantry regiment. Both were places where workers were held under close surveillance, kept silent, and punished for small infractions. Ford was unmoved by labour complaints. Men were disposable cogs in his machine. “A great business is really too big to be human,” he commented in 1929. Fordism and Taylorism swept the Soviet Union as they had swept the United States and Western Europe. By the 1920s the words fordizatsiya and teilorizatsiya, both appellations describing good work habits, were common across Russia.

The National Press Attack On Academic Schooling

In May of 1911, the first salvo of a sustained national press attack on the academic ambitions of public schooling was fired. For the previous ten years the idea of school as an oasis of mental development built around a common, high-level curriculum had been steadily undermined by the rise of educational psychology and its empty-child/elastic-child hypotheses. Psychology was a business from the first, an aggressive business lobbying for jobs and school contracts. But resistance of parents, community groups, and students themselves to the new psychologised schooling was formidable.

As the summer of 1911 approached, the influential Educational Review gave educators something grim to muse upon as they prepared to clean out their desks: “Must definite reforms with measurable results be foresworn,” it asked, “that an antiquated school system may grind out useless produce?” The magazine demanded quantifiable proof of school’s contributions to society–or education should have its budget cut. The article, titled “An Economic Measure of School Efficiency,” charged that “The advocate of pure water or clean streets shows by how much the death rate will be altered with each proposed addition to his share of the budget–only a teacher is without such figures.” An editorial in Ladies Home Journal reported that dissatisfaction with schools was increasing, claiming “On every hand signs are evident of a widely growing distrust of the effectiveness of the present educational system…” In Providence, the school board was criticized by the local press for declaring a holiday on the Monday preceding Decoration Day to allow a four-day vacation. “This cost the public $5,000 in loss of possible returns on the money invested,” readers were informed.

Suddenly school critics were everywhere. A major assault was mounted in two popular journals, Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal, with millions each in circulation, both read by leaders of the middle classes. The Post sounded the anti-intellectual theme this way:

“Miltonized, Chaucerized, Vergilized, Shillered, physicked and chemicaled, the high school ….should be of no use in the world–particularly the business world.”

Three heavy punches in succession came from Ladies Home Journal: The case of Seventeen Million Children–Is Our Public-School System Providing an Utter Failure?” This declaration would seem difficult to top, but the second article did just that: “Is the Public School a Failure? It Is: The Most Momentous Failure in Our American Life Today.” And a third, written by the principal of a New York City high school, went even further. Entitled “The Danger of Running a Fool Factory,” it made this point: that education is “permeated with errors and hypocrisy,”

While the Dean of Columbia Teachers College, James E. Russell added that “If school cannot be made to drop its mental development obsession the whole system should be abolished.” [emphasis mine]

The Fabian Spirit (My Note. I cover the Fabian Society again at the beginning of book three)

To speak of scientific management in school and society without crediting the influence of the Fabians would do great disservice to truth, but the nature of Fabianism is so complex it raises questions this essay cannot answer. To deal with the Fabians in a brief compass as I’m going to do is to deal necessarily in simplifications in order to see a little how this charming group of scholars, writers, heirs, heiresses, scientists, philosophers, bombazines, gazebos, trust-fund babies, and successful men and women of affairs became the most potent force in the creation of the modern welfare state, distributors of its characteristically dumbed-down version of schooling. Yet pointing only to this often frivolous organization’s eccentricity would be to disrespect the incredible accomplishments of Beatrice Webb and her associates, and their decisive effort on schooling. Mrs. Webb is the only woman ever deemed worthy of burial in Westminster Abbey.

What nineteenth-century Transcendentalists and Muggletonians hoped to be in reordering the triumvirate of society, school, and family, twentieth-century Fabians actually were. Although far from the only potent organization working behind the scenes to radically reshape domestic and international life, it would not be too far out of line to call the twentieth century the Fabian century. One thing is certain: the direction of modern schooling for the bottom 90 percent of our society has followed a largely Fabian design–and the puzzling security and prestige enjoyed at the moment by those who speak of “globalism” and “multiculturalism” are a direct result of heed paid earlier to Fabian prophecies that a welfare state, followed by an intense focus on internationalism, would be the mechanism elevating corporate society over political society, and a necessary precursor to utopia. Fabian theory is the Das Kapital of financial capitalism.

Fabianism always floated above simplistic politics, seeking to preempt both sides. The British Labour Party and its post-WWII welfare state are Fabianism made visible. This is well understood; not so easily comprehended are signs of an aristocratic temper–like this little anti-meritocractic Fabian gem found in a report of the British College of Surgeons:

Medicine would lose immeasurably if the proportion of such students [from upper-class and upper-middle-class homes] were to be reduced in favour of precocious children who qualify for subsidies [i.e., scholarship students].

Even though meritocracy is their reliable cover, social stratification was always the Fabian’s real trump suit.

Entitlements are another Fabian insertion into the social fabric, even though the idea antedates them, of course.

To realize the tremendous task Fabians originally assigned themselves (a significant part of which was given to schooling to perform), we need to reflect again on Darwin’s shattering books, The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), each arguing in its own way that far from being blank slates, children are written upon indelibly by their race of origin, some “favoured” in Darwin’s language, some not. A powerful public relations initiative of recent years has attempted to separate Darwin from “social Darwinism,” but it cannot be done because Darwin himself is the prototypical social Darwinist. Both books taken together issued a license for liberal upper classes to justify forced schooling. From an evolutionary perspective, schools are the indoctrination phase of a gigantic breeding experiment. Working-class fantasies of “self-improvement” were dismissed from the start as sentimentality that evolutionary theory had no place for.

What Darwin accomplished with his books was a freeing of discussion from the narrow straitjacket it had worn when society was considered a matter of internal associations and relationships. Darwin made it possible to consider political affairs as a prime instrument of social evolution. Here was a pivotal moment in Western thought, a changing of the guard in which secular purpose replaced religious purpose, long before trashed by the Enlightenment.

For the poor, the working classes, and middle classes in the American sense,7 this change in outlook, lauded by the most influential minds of the nineteenth century, was a catastrophe of titanic proportions, especially for government schoolchildren. Children could no longer simply be parents’ darlings. Many were (biologically) a racial menace. The rest had to be thought of as soldiers in genetic combat, the moral equivalent of war. For all but a relative handful of favoured families, aspiration was off the board as a scientific proposition.

For governments, children could no longer be considered individuals but were regarded as categories, rungs on a biological ladder. Evolutionary science pronounced the majority useless mouths waiting for nature to dispense with entirely. Nature (as expressed through her human agents) was to be understood not as cruel or oppressive but beautifully, functionally purposeful–a neo-pagan perspective to be reflected in the organization and administration of schools.

Three distinct and conflicting tendencies competed in the nineteenth-century theory of society: first was the empirical tendency stemming from John Locke and David Hume which led to that outlook on the study of society we call pragmatism, and eventually to behaviouristic psychology; the second line descended from Immanuel Kant, Hegel, Savigny, and others and led to the organic theory of the modern state, the preferred metaphor of Fabians (and many later systems theorists); the third outlook comes to us out of Rousseau, Diderot, d’Alembert, Bentham, the Mills, and leads almost directly to the utilitarian state of Marxist socialism. Each of these postures was savagely assailed over time by the development of academic Darwinism. After Darwin, utopia as a human-friendly place dies an agonizing death. The last conception of utopia after Darwin which isn’t some kind of hellish nightmare is William Morris’ News from Nowhere.

With only niggling reservations, the Fabian brain trust had no difficulty employing force to shape recalcitrant individuals, groups, and organizations. Force in the absence of divine injunctions is a tool to be employed unsentimentally. Fabian George Bernard Shaw established the principle wittily in 1920 when he said that under a Fabian future government:

You would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you have not character and industry, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner. – The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism

 Fabianism came into existence around the year 1884, taking its name from Roman general Fabius Cunctator8 who preserved the Roman state by defeating Hannibal, chipping away at Hannibal’s patience and will to win by avoiding combat. Darwin was the weird holy man Fabians adored, the man who gave them their principle, a theory inspirationally equal to god-theory, around which a new organization of society could be justified.

Society, after Darwin, was incontrovertibly about good breeding. That was the only true goal it had, or scientifically could have. Before Darwin, the view of historical development which fit best with Anglo/American tradition was a conception of individual rights independent of any theory of reciprocal obligations to the State; the duty of leaders was to Society, not to Government, a crucial distinction in perfect harmony with the teachings of Reformation

Christianity, which extended to all believers a conception of individual duty, individual responsibility, and a free will right to decide for oneself beyond any claims of states. John Calvin proclaimed in his Institutes that through natural law, the judgment of conscience alone was able to distinguish between justice and injustice. It’s hard for secular minds to face, but the powerful freedoms of the West, unmatched by any other society at any other time, are rooted deeply in a religion so radical, so demanding it revolts the modern temper.

For Protestant Christians, salvation was uniquely a matter between God and the individual. The mind of northern Europe had for centuries been fixed on the task of winning liberties for the individual against the State. Notable individual freedoms were taken from the State beginning symbolically at Runnemede9 in 1215. By 1859, six and a half centuries later, in the Age of Darwin, individual rights were everywhere in the Anglo-Saxon world understood to transcend theories of obligation to the State. Herbert Spencer embodies this attitude, albeit ambiguously. For Spencer, Darwinian evolution promised rights only to the strong. It is well to keep in mind that his brief for liberty masks a rigorously exclusionary philosophy, particularly when he sounds most like Thomas Paine. The first and second amendments of our own constitution illustrate just how far this freedom process could carry. Say what you please before God and Man; protect yourself with a gun if need be from government interference.

Spencer was the reigning British philosopher from 1870 to 1900. In the Westminster Review of January 1860, he wrote: “The welfare of citizens cannot rightly be sacrificed to some supposed benefit of the State, the State is to be maintained solely for the benefit of citizens.10 The corporate life in society must be subservient to the lives of its parts, instead of the lives of the parts being subservient to the corporate life.” Spencer had an even greater vogue in America, influencing every intellectual from Walt Whitman to John Dewey and becoming the darling of corporate business. Early in 1882 a grand dinner was held in his honour by the great and powerful who gathered to hear scientific proof of Anglo-Saxon fitness for rule–and a brief for moral relativism. This dinner and its implications set the standard for twentieth-century management, including the management of schooling. A clear appraisal of the fateful meal and its resonance is given in E. Digby Baltzell’s The Protestant Establishment, a well-bred look at the resurgence of the Anglican outlook in America.

This attitude constituted a violent contradiction of German strong-state, state-as-first-parent doctrine which held that interests of the individual as individual are without significance. But derogation of individual rights was entirely consistent with Darwinian science. The German authoritarian preference received an invigorating restorative with Darwin’s advent. Natural selection, the operational principle of Darwinism, was held to reach individuals only indirectly–through the action of society. Hence society becomes a natural subject for regulation and intervention by the State.

To illustrate how reverberant a drum the innocent-sounding locution “natural selection”11 can really be, translated into social practice, try to imagine how denial of black dignities and rights and the corresponding degradation of black family relationships in America because of this denial, might well be reckoned an evolutionarily positive course, in Darwinian terms. By discouraging Negro breeding, eventually the numbers of this most disfavoured race would diminish. The state not only had a vested interest in becoming an active agent of evolution, it could not help but become one, willy-nilly. Fabians set out to write a sensible evolutionary agenda when they entered the political arena. Once this biopolitical connection is recognized, the past, present, and future of this seemingly bumbling movement takes on a formidable coherence. Under the dottiness, lovability, intelligence, high social position, and genuine goodness of some of their works, the system held out as humanitarian by Fabians is grotesquely deceptive; in reality, Fabian compassion masks a real aloofness to humanity. It is purely an intellectual project in scientific management.

Thomas Davidson’s History of Education seen through this lens transmutes in front of our eyes from the harmlessly addled excursion into romantic futurism it seems to be into a manual of frightening strategic goals and tactical methods. Fabians emerged in the first years of the twentieth century as great champions of social efficiency in the name of the evolutionary destiny of the race. This infused a powerful secular theology into the movement, allowing its members to revel privately in an ennobling destiny. The Fabian program spread quickly through the best colleges and universities under many different names, multiplying its de facto membership among young men and women blissfully unaware of their induction. They were only being modern. H.G. Wells called it “the open conspiracy” in an essay bearing the same title, and worth your time to track down.

As the movement developed, Fabians became aristocratic friends of other social-efficiency vanguards like Taylorism or allies of the Methodist social gospel crowd of liberal Christian religionists busy substituting Works for Faith in one of the most noteworthy religious reversals of all time. Especially, they became friends and advisors of industrialists and financiers, travellers in the same direction. This cross-fertilization occurred naturally, not out of petty motives of profit, but because by Fabian lights evolution had progressed furthest among the international business and banking classes!

These laughing gentry were impressively effective at whatever they turned their hands to because they understood principles of social leverage. Kitty Muggeridge writes:

If you want to pinpoint the moment in time when the very first foundation of the Welfare State was laid, a reasonable date to choose would be the last fortnight of November in 1905 when Beatrice Webb was appointed to the Royal Commission on the Poor Law, and she convinced her protégé, Albert Beveridge, to join a committee for dealing with employment.

During Mrs. Webb’s tenure on the Royal Commission, she laid down the first blueprint of cradle-to-grave social security to eradicate poverty “without toppling the whole social structure.” She lived to see Beveridge promulgate her major ideas in the historic Beveridge Report, from which they were brought to life in post-WWII Britain and the United States.

Fabian practitioners developed Hegelian principles which they co-taught alongside Morgan bankers and other important financial allies over the first half of the twentieth century. One insightful Hegelianism was that to push ideas efficiently it was necessary first to co-opt both political Left and political Right. Adversarial politics–competition–was a loser’s game.12 By infiltrating all major media, by continual low-intensity propaganda, by massive changes in group orientations (accomplished through principles developed in the psychological-warfare bureaus of the military), and with the ability, using government intelligence agents and press contacts, to induce a succession of crises, they accomplished that astonishing feat.

7In the British sense, middle classes are a buffer protecting elites from the poor; our own statistical income-based designation leads to a more eclectic composition, and to somewhat less predictability of attitudes and values. 8The origins are disputed but it was an offshoot of Thomas Davidson’s utopian group in New York, “The Fellowship of the New Life”–an American export to Britain, not the other way around. The reader should be warned I use the term “Fabian” more indiscriminately with less concern for actual affiliation through the rest of the book than I do here. Fabianism was a zeitgeist as well as a literal association, and thousands of twentieth-century influentials have been Fabians who might be uncomfortable around its flesh and blood adherents, or who would be puzzled by the label.

9The spelling preferred by baronial descendants of the actual event. See Chapter Twelve.

10Contrast this with John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” Inaugural of 1960 which measured the distance we had retreated since the Civil War. It’s useful to remember, however, that Spencer reserved these feelings only for the Elect.

11 1900, Sidney Sherwood of Johns Hopkins University joined a host of prominent organizations and men like Andrew Carnegie in declaring the emergence of the corporate system as the highest stage in evolution. Sherwood suggested the modern corporation’s historic task was to sort out “genius,” to get rid of “the weak.” This elimination is “the real function of the trust,” and the formation of monopoly control is “natural selection of the highest order.” Try to imagine how this outlook played out in corporate schooling.

12The most dramatic example of abandoning competition and replacing it with cooperation was the breath-taking monopolization of first the nation’s, then the world’s oil supply by Standard Oil under the personal direction of John D. Rockefeller Sr. Rockefeller despised the competitive marketplace, as did his fellow titans of finance and industry, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. Rockefeller’s negotiating team was instructed to accommodate any company willing to enter his cartel, to destroy any that resisted.

The Open Conspiracy

 When I speak of Fabianism, or of any particular Fabians, actual or virtual like Kurt Lewin, once head of Britain’s Psychological Warfare Bureau, or R.D. Laing, once staff psychologist at the Tavistock Institute, I have no interest in mounting a polemic against this particular conceit of the comfortable intelligentsia. Fabian strategy and tactics have been openly announced and discussed with clarity for nearly a century, whether identified as Fabian or not. Nothing illegal about it. I do think it a tragedy, however, that government school children are left in the dark about the existence of influential groups with complex social agendas aimed at their lives.

I’ve neglected to tell you so far about the role stress plays in Fabian evolutionary theory. Just as Hegel taught that history moves faster toward its conclusion by way of warfare, so evolutionary socialists were taught by Hegel to see struggle as the precipitant of evolutionary improvement for the species, a necessary purifier eliminating the weak from the breeding sweepstakes. Society evolves slowly toward “social efficiency” all by itself; society under stress, however, evolves much faster! Thus the deliberate creation of crisis is an important tool of evolutionary socialists. Does that help you understand the government school drama a little better, or the well-publicized doomsday scenarios of environmentalists?

The London School of Economics is a Fabian creation. Mick Jagger spent time there; so did John F. Kennedy. Once elitist, the Economist, now a worldwide pop-intellectual publication, is Fabian, as is The New Statesman and Ruskin Labour College of Oxford. The legendary Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, premier mind- bending institutions of the world, are Fabian. Theodor Adorno, an important if barely visible avatar of the therapeutic state, and a one-time eminence at Tavistock, travelled the Fabian road as well. (My Note. Can you see things pulling together here?)

You needn’t carry a card or even have heard the name Fabian to follow the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing flag.

Fabianism is mainly a value-system with progressive objectives. Its social club aspect isn’t for coalminers, farmers, or steam-fitters. We’ve all been exposed to many details of the Fabian program without realizing it. In the United States, some organizations heavily influenced by Fabianism are the Ford Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation,

the Stanford Research Institute, the Carnegie Endowments, the Aspen Institute, the Wharton School, and RAND. And this short list is illustrative, not complete. Tavistock underwrites or has intimate relations with thirty research institutions in the United States, all which at one time or another have taken a player’s hand in the shaping of American schooling.

Once again, you need to remember we aren’t conspiracy hunting but tracking an idea, like microchipping an eel to see what holes it swims into in case we want to catch it later on. H.G. Wells, best known of all early Fabians, once wrote of the Fabian project:

The political world of the Open Conspiracy must weaken, efface, incorporate and supersede existing governments….The character of the Open Conspiracy will then be plainly displayed. It will be a world religion. This large, loose assimilatory mass of groups and societies will definitely and obviously attempt to swallow up the entire population of the world and become a new human community….The immediate task before all people, a planned World State, is appearing at a thousand points of light [but]…generations of propaganda and education may have to precede it. (emphasis added)

Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote his famous signature book “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era” in 1970, a piece reeking with Fabianisms: dislike of direct popular power, relentless advocacy of the right and duty of evolutionarily advanced nations to administer less developed parts of the world, revulsion at populist demands for “selfish self-government” (homeschooling would be a prime example), and stress on collectivism.

Brzezinski said in the book:

It will soon be possible to assert almost continuous control over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date files containing even the most personal details about health and personal behaviour of every citizen, in addition to the more customary data. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.

Power will gravitate into the hands of those who control information.

In his essay, Brzezinski called common people, “an increasingly purposeless mass.” And, of course, if the army of children collected in mass schooling is really “purposeless,” what argument says it should exist at all?

13The government-created crisis, masquerading as an unexpected external provocation, is elementary Hegelian strategy. If you want to take Texas and California from Mexico, first shoot a few Americans while the press disinforms the nation that Mexican depredations against our nationals have to be stopped; if you want Cuba as a satrapy, blow up an American battleship and pin it on the Cubans. By this strategy, a nation which has decided to suspend its democratic traditions with a period of martial law (under which permanent social reordering would occur) might arrange a series of “terrorist” attacks upon itself which would justify the transformation as a defence of general public safety.

14In the “world peace” phenomenon so necessary to establish a unitary world order lies a real danger, according to evolutionists, of species deterioration caused by inadvertent preservation of inferior genes which would otherwise be killed or starved. Hence the urgency of insulating superior breeding stock from pollution through various strategies of social segregation. Among these, forced classification through schooling has been by far the most important.

An Everlasting Faith

 Fabianism was a principal force and inspiration behind all major school legislation of the first half of the twentieth century. And it will doubtless continue to be in the twenty-first. It will help us understand Fabian influence to look at the first Fabian-authored consideration of public schooling, the most talked-about education book of 1900, Thomas Davidson’s peculiar and fantastic History of Education.

 The Dictionary of American Biography describes Davidson as a naturalized Scot, American since 1867, and a follower of William Torrey Harris, federal Commissioner of Education–the most influential Hegelian in North America. Davidson was also first president of the Fabian Society in England, a fact not thought worthy of preservation in the biographical dictionary, but otherwise easy enough to confirm. This news is also absent from Pelling’s America and The British Left, although Davidson is credited there with “usurping” the Fabians.

In his important monograph “Education in the Forming of American Society,” Bernard Bailyn, as you’ll recall, said anyone bold enough to venture a history of American schooling would have to explain the sharp disjunction separating these local institutions as they existed from 1620 to 1890 from the massification which followed afterwards. In presenting his case, Bailyn had cause to compare “two notable books” on the subject which both appeared in 1900. One was Davidson’s, the other Edward Eggleston’s.

Eggleston’s Transit of Civilization Bailyn calls “a remarkably imaginative effort to analyze the original investment from which has developed Anglo-Saxon culture in America by probing the complex states of knowing and thinking, of feeling and passion of the seventeenth century colonists.” The opening words of Eggleston’s book, said Bailyn, make clear the central position of education in early America. Bailyn calls Transit “one of the subtlest and most original books ever written on the subject” and “a seminal work,” but he notes how quickly it was “laid aside by American intelligentsia as an oddity, irrelevant to the interests of the group then firmly shaping the historical study of American education.”

For that group, the book of books was Davidson’s History of Education. William James called its author a “knight-errant of the intellectual life,” an “exuberant polymath.” Bailyn agrees that Davidson’s “was a remarkable book”:

Davidson starts with “The Rise of Intelligence” when “man first rose above the brute.” Then he trots briskly through “ancient Turanian,” Semitic, and Aryan education, picks up speed on “civic education” in Judaea, Greece, and Rome, gallops swiftly across Hellenistic, Alexandrian, Patristic, and Muslim education; leaps magnificently over the thorny barriers of scholasticism, the mediaeval universities, Renaissance, Reformation, and Counter-Reformation, and then plunges wildly through the remaining five centuries in sixty-four pages flat.

It was less the frantic scope than the purpose of this strange philosophical essay that distinguished it in the eyes of an influential group of writers. Its purpose was to dignify a newly self-conscious profession called Education. Its argument, a heady distillation of conclusions from Social Darwinism, claimed that modern education was a cosmic force leading mankind to full realization of itself. Davidson’s preface puts the intellectual core of Fabianism on centre stage:

My endeavour has been to present education as the last and highest form of evolution…. By placing education in relation to the whole process of evolution, as its highest form, I have hoped to impart to it a dignity which it could hardly otherwise receive or claim…when it is recognized to be the highest phase of the world-process. “World process” here is an echo of Kant and Hegel, and for the teacher to be the chief agent in that process, both it and he assumes a very different aspect.

Here is the intellectual and emotional antecedent of “creation spirituality,” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s assertion that evolution has become a spiritual inevitability in our time.

Suddenly mere schooling found itself elevated from its petty, despised position on the periphery of the known universe into an intimate involvement in the cosmic destiny of man, a master key too important to be left to parents.

By 1906, Paul Monroe of Teachers College could write in his Text-book in the History of Education that knowledge of the “purpose of education” was to supply the teacher with “fundamentals of an everlasting faith as broad as human nature and as deep as the life of the race.”

This History of Education, according to Bailyn, “came to be taught as an introductory course, a form of initiation, in every normal school, department of education, and teachers college in the country”:

The story had to be got straight. And so a few of the more imaginative of that energetic and able group of men concerned with mapping overall progress of “scientific” education, though not otherwise historians, took over the management of the historical work in education. With great virtuosity they drew up what became the patristic literature of a powerful academic ecclesia.

The official history of education: grew in almost total isolation from the major influences and shaping minds of twentieth-century historiography; and its isolation proved to be self-intensifying: the more parochial the subject became, the less capable it was of attracting the kinds of scholars who could give it broad relevance and bring it back into the public domain. It soon displayed the exaggeration of weakness and extravagance of emphasis that are the typical results of sustained inbreeding.

These “educational missionaries” spoke of schools as if they were monasteries. By limiting the idea of education to formal school instruction, the public gradually lost sight of what the real thing was. The questions these specialists disputed were as irrelevant to real people as the disputes of medieval divines; there was about their writing condescension for public concerns, for them “the whole range of education had become an instrument of deliberate social purpose.” (emphasis added) After 1910, divergence between what various publics expected would happen, in government schools and what the rapidly expanding school establishment intended to make happen opened a deep gulf between home and school, ordinary citizen and policymaker.

Regulating Lives Like Machinery

The real explanation for this sudden gulf between NEA policies in 1893 and 1911 had nothing to do with intervening feedback from teachers, principals, or superintendents about what schools needed; rather, it signalled titanic forces gathering outside the closed universe of schooling with the intention of altering this nation’s economy, politics, social relationships, future direction, and eventually the terms of its national existence, using schools as instruments in the work.

Schoolmen were never invited to the policy table at which momentous decisions were made. When Ellwood P. Cubberley began tentatively to raise his voice in protest against radical changes being forced upon schools (in his history of education), particularly the sudden enforcement of compulsory attendance laws which brought amazing disruption into the heretofore well-mannered school world, he quickly pulled back without naming the community leaders–as he called them–who gave the actual orders. This evidence of impotence documents the pedagogue status of even the most elevated titans of schooling like Cubberley. You can find this reference and others like it in Public Education in the United States.

Scientific management was about to merge with systematic schooling in the United States; it preferred to steal in silently on little cat’s feet, but nobody ever questioned the right of businessmen to impose a business philosophy to tamper with children’s lives. On the cantilever principle of interlocking directorates pioneered by Morgan interests, scientific school management flowed into other institutional domains of American life, too. According to Taylor, application of mechanical power to production could be generalized into every arena of national life, even to the pulpit, certainly to schools. This would bring about a realization that people’s lives could be regulated very much like machinery, without sentiment. Any expenditure of time and energy demanded rationalization, whether first-grader or coalminer, behaviour should be mathematically accounted for following the new statistical procedures of Galton and Karl Pearson.

The scientific management movement was backed by many international bankers and industrialists. In 1905, the vice president of the National City Bank of New York, Frank Vanderlip, made his way to the speaker’s podium at the National Education Association’s annual convention to say:

I am firmly convinced the economic success of Germany can be encompassed in a single word–schoolmaster. From the economic point of view the school system of Germany stands unparalleled.

German schools were psychologically managed, ours must be, too. People of substance stood, they thought, on the verge of an ultimate secret. How to write upon the empty slates of empty children’s minds in the dawning era of scientific management. What they would write there was a program to make dwarf and fractional human beings, people crippled by implanted urges and habits beyond their understanding, men and women who cry out to be managed.

The Gary Plan

 Frederick Taylor’s gospel of efficiency demanded complete and intensive use of industrial plant facilities. From 1903 onwards, strenuous efforts were made to achieve full utilization of space by forcing year-round school on society. Callahan suggests it was “the children of America, who would have been unwilling victims of this scheme, who played a decisive role in beating the original effort to effect this back.”

But east of Chicago, in the synthetic U.S. Steel company town of Gary, Indiana, Superintendent William A. Wirt, a former student of John Dewey’s at the University of Chicago, was busy testing a radical school innovation called the Gary Plan soon to be sprung on the national scene. Wirt had supposedly invented a new organizational scheme in which school subjects were departmentalized; this required movement of students from room to room on a regular basis so that all building spaces were in constant use. Bells would ring and just as with Pavlov’s salivating dog, children would shift out of their seats and lurch toward yet another class.

In this way children could be exposed to many nonacademic socialization experiences and much scientifically engineered physical activity, and it would be a bonus value from the same investment, a curriculum apart from so-called basic subjects which by this time were being looked upon as an actual menace to long-range social goals.

Wirt called his system the “work-study-play” school, but outside of Gary it was referred to simply as “the Gary Plan.” Its noteworthy economical feature, rigorously scheduling a student body twice as large as before into the same space and time, earned it the informal name “platoon school.”

While the prototype was being established and tested on children of the new industrial proletariat in Gary, the plan itself was merchandised from newsstand, pulpit, and lecture circuit, lauded in administrative circles, and soundly praised by first pedagogical couple John and Evelyn Dewey in their 1915 book, Schools of Tomorrow. The first inkling Gary might be a deliberate stepchild of the scientific management movement occurred in a February 1911 article by Wirt for The American School Board Journal, “Scientific Management of School Plants.” But a more thorough and forceful exposition of its provenance was presented in the Elementary School Teacher by John Franklin Bobbit in a 1912 piece titled “Elimination of Waste in Education.”

Bobbit said Gary schools were the work of businessmen who understood scientific management. Teaching was slated to become a specialized scientific calling conducted by pre-approved agents of the central business office.

Classroom teachers would teach the same thing over and over to groups of travelling children; special subject teachers would deliver their special subjects to classes rotating through the building on a precision time schedule.

Early in 1914, the Federal Bureau of Education, then located in the Interior Department, strongly endorsed Wirt’s system. This led to one of the most dramatic and least-known events in twentieth-century school history. In New York City, a spontaneous rebellion occurred on the part of the students and parents against extension of the Gary Plan to their own city. While the revolt had only short-lived effects, it highlights the demoralization of private life occasioned by passing methods of industry off as education.

15Bobbit was the influential schoolman who reorganized the Los Angeles school curriculum, replacing formal history with “Social Studies.” Of the Bobbitized set of educational objectives, the five most important were 1) Social intercommunication 2) Maintenance of physical efficiency 3) Efficient citizenship 4) General social contacts and relationships 5) Leisure occupations. My own favourite is “efficient citizenship,” which bears rolling around on the point of one’s bayonet as the bill is presented for payment.

The Jewish Student Riots

Less than three weeks before the mayoral election of 1917, rioting broke out at PS 171, an elementary school on Madison Avenue near 103rd Street in New York City which had adopted the Gary Plan. About a thousand demonstrators smashed windows, menaced passersby, shouted threats, and made school operation impossible.

Over the next few days newspapers downplayed the riot, marginalizing the rioters as “street corner agitators” from Harlem and the Upper East Side, but they were nothing of the sort, being mainly immigrant parents. Demonstrations and rioting spread to other Gary Plan schools, including high schools where student volunteers were available to join parents on the picket line.

At one place, five thousand children marched. For ten days trouble continued, breaking out in first one place then another. Thousands of mothers milled around schools in Yorkville, a German immigrant section, and in East Harlem, complaining angrily that their children had been put on “half-rations” of education. They meant that mental exercise had been removed from the centre of things. Riots flared out into Williamsburg and Brownsville in the borough of Brooklyn; schools were stoned, police car tires slashed by demonstrators. Schools on the Lower East Side and in the Bronx reported trouble also.

The most notable aspect of this rioting was its source in what today would be the bottom of the bell-curve masses…and they were complaining that school was too easy! What could have possessed recently arrived immigrants to defy their betters? Whatever it was, it poisoned the promising political career of mayoral incumbent, John Purroy Mitchel, a well-connected, aristocratic young progressive who had been seriously mentioned as presidential timber. Although Teddy Roosevelt personally campaigned for him, Mitchel lost by a two-to-one margin when election day arrived shortly after the riots were over, the disruptions widely credited with bringing Mitchel down. In all, three hundred students were arrested, almost all Jewish. I identify their ethnicity because today we don’t usually expect Jewish kids to get arrested in bulk.

To understand what was happening requires us to meet an entity calling itself the Public Education Association. If we pierce its associational veil, we find that it is made up of bankers, society ladies, corporation lawyers and, in general, people with private fortunes or access to private fortunes. The PEA announced in 1911 an “urgent need” to transform public schools into child welfare agencies. (emphasis added) Shortly afterward, Mitchel, a member of the PEA, was elected mayor of New York. Superintendent Wirt in Gary was promptly contacted and offered the New York superintendency. He agreed, and the first Gary schools opened in New York City in March 1915.

Bear in mind there was no public debate, no warning of this radical step. Just seventy-five days after the Gary trial began, the financial arm of New York City government declared it a total success, authorizing conversion of twelve more schools. (The original trial had only been for two.) This was done in June at the end of the school year when public attention was notoriously low. Then in September of 1915, after a net one hundred days of trial, Comptroller Prendergast issued a formal report recommending extension of the Gary Plan into all schools of New York City! He further recommended lengthening the school day and the school year.

At the very time this astonishing surprise was being prepared for the children of New York City in 1915, a series of highly laudatory articles sprouted like zits all over the periodical press calling the Gary Plan the answer to our nation’s school prayers. One characteristic piece read, “School must fill the vacuum of the home, school must be life itself as once the old household was a life itself.” (emphasis added)

Like Rommel’s Panzer columns, true believers were on the move. At the same time press agents were skilfully manipulating the press, officers of the Rockefeller Foundation, a body which supported the Gary Plan wholeheartedly, were appointed without fanfare as members of the New York City Board of Education, compliments of Mayor Mitchel.

Immediately after Prendergast’s report appeared calling for total Gary-ization of public schooling, a book written by a prominent young protégé of John Dewey directed national attention to the Gary miracle “where children learn to play and prepare for vocations as well as to study abstractions.” Titled The Gary Schools, its author, Randolph Bourne, was among the most beloved columnists for The New Republic in the days when that magazine, product of J.P. Morgan banker Willard Straight’s personal patronage, took some of its editorial instruction directly from the tables of power in America.

In light of what happened in 1917, you might find it interesting to have your librarian scare up a copy of Bourne’s Gary Schools so you can study how a well-orchestrated national propaganda campaign can colonize your mind. 

Even as Bourne’s book was being read, determined opposition was forming. In 1917, in spite of grassroots protest, the elite Public Education Association urged the opening of forty-eight more Gary schools (there were by that time thirty-two in operation). Whoever was running the timetable on this thing had apparently tired of gradualism and was preparing to step from the shadows and open the engine full throttle. A letter from the PEA director (New York Times, 27 June, 1917) urged that more Gary schools must be opened. An earlier letter by director Nudd struck an even more hysterical note: “The situation is acute, no further delay.” This Hegelian manufactured crisis was used to thaw Board of Estimate recalcitrance, which body voted sufficient funds to extend the Gary scheme through the New York City school system.

School riots followed hard on the heels of that vote. European immigrants, especially Jews from Germany (where collectivist thinking in the West had been perfected), knew exactly what the scientific Gary Plan would mean to their children. They weren’t buying. In the fallout from these disturbances, socialite Mitchel was thrown out of office in the next election. The Gary schools themselves were dissolved by incoming Mayor Hylan who called them “a scheme” of the Rockefeller Foundation: “a system by which Rockefellers and their allies hope to educate coming generations in the ‘doctrine of contentment,’ another name for social serfdom.”

The Rockefeller Report

 The Gary tale is a model of how managed school machinery can be geared up in secret without public debate to deliver a product parents don’t want. Part One of the Gary story is the lesson we learned from the impromptu opinion poll of Gary schooling taken by housewives and immigrant children, a poll whose results translated into riots. Having only their native wit and past experience to guide them, these immigrant parents concluded that Gary schools were caste schools. Not what they expected from America. They turned to the only weapon at their disposal– disruption–and it worked. They shrewdly recognized that boys in elite schools wouldn’t tolerate the dumbing down their own were being asked to accept. They knew this would close doors of opportunity, not open them.

Some individual comments from parents and principals about Gary are worth preserving: “too much play and time-wasting,” “they spend all day listening to the phonograph and dancing,” “they change class every forty minutes, my daughter has to wear her coat constantly to keep it from being stolen,” “the cult of the easy,” “a step backwards in human development,” “focusing on the group instead of the individual.” One principal predicted if the plan were kept, retardation would multiply as a result of minimal contact between teachers and students. And so it has.

Part Two of the Gary story is the official Rockefeller report condemning Gary, circulated at Rockefeller headquarters in 1916, but not issued until 1918. Why this report was suppressed for two years we can only guess. You’ll recall Mayor Hylan’s charge that the Rockefeller Foundation moved heaven and earth to force its Gary Plan on an unwitting and unwilling citizenry, using money, position, and influence to such an extent that a New York State Senate Resolution of 1916 accused the foundation of moving to gain complete control of the New York City Board of Education. Keep in mind that Rockefeller people were active in 1915, 1916, and 1917, lobbying to impose a Gary destiny on the public schools of New York City even after its own house analyst pointed to the intellectual damage these places caused.

The 1916 analytical report leapfrogged New York City to examine the original schools as they functioned back in Gary, Indiana. Written by Abraham Flexner,16 it stated flatly that Gary schools were a total failure, “offering insubstantial programs and a general atmosphere which habituated students to inferior performance.” Flexner’s analysis was a massive repudiation of John Dewey’s shallow Schools of Tomorrow hype for Gary.

Now we come to the mystery. After this bad idea crashed in New York City in 1917, the critical Rockefeller report held in house since 1916 was issued in 1918 to embarrass critics who had claimed the whole mess was the idea of the Rockefeller project officers. So we know in retrospect that the Rockefeller Foundation was aware of serious shortcomings before it used its political muscle to impose Gary on New York. Had the Flexner report been offered in a timely fashion before the riots, it would have spelled doom for the Gary Plan. Why it wasn’t has never been explained.

The third and final part of the Gary story comes straight out of Weird Tales. In all existing accounts of the Gary drama, none mentions the end of Superintendent Wirt’s career after his New York defeat. Only Diane Ravitch (in The Great School Wars) even bothers to track Wirt back home to Gary, where he resumed the superintendency and became, she tells us, a “very conservative schoolman” in his later years. Ah, what Ravitch missed!

The full facts are engrossing: seventeen years after Wirt left New York City, a government publication printed the next significant chapter of the Wirt story. Its title: Hearings, House Select Committee to Investigate Certain Statements of Dr. William Wirt, 73rd Congress, 2nd Session, April 10 and 17, 1934. It seems that Dr. Wirt, while in Washington to attend a school administrators meeting in 1933, had been invited to an elite private dinner

party at the home of a high Roosevelt administration official. The dinner was attended by well-placed members of the new government, including A.A. Berle, a famous “inner circle” brain-truster. There, Wirt heard that the Depression was being artificially prolonged by credit rigging, until little people and businessmen were shaken enough to agree to a plan where government must dominate business and commerce in the future!

All this he testified to before Congress. The transformation was to make government the source of long-term capital loans. Control of business would follow. Wirt testified he was told Roosevelt was only a puppet; that his hosts had made propaganda a science, that they could make newspapers and magazines beg for mercy by taking away much of their advertising; that provided they were subservient, leaders of business and labour would be silenced by offers of government contracts for materials and services; that colleges and schools would be kept in line by promises of federal aid until such time as they were under safe control; and that farmers would be managed by letting key operators “get their hands in the public trough.”

In the yellow journalism outburst following Wirt’s disclosure, Berle admitted everything. But he said they were just pulling Wirt’s leg! Pulling the leg of the one-time nationally acclaimed saviour of public education. Time magazine, The New York Times, and other major media ridiculed Wirt, effectively silencing him.

Of Wirt’s earlier New York foray into the engineering of young people, New York City mayor Hylan was quoted vividly in The New York Times of March 27, 1922:

The real menace to our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation…. It has seized in its tentacles our executive officers, our legislative bodies, our schools, our courts, our newspapers, and every agency created for the public protection…. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests.

Like many of the rest of you, I was conditioned early in adult life to avoid conspiracy talk and conspiracy takers by the universal scorn heaped upon the introduction of such arguments into the discourse. All “responsible” journalistic media, and virtually all of the professoriate allowed public access through those media, respond reflexively, and negatively, it seems, to any hint of a dark underside to our national life. With that in mind, what are we to make of Mayor Hylan’s outburst or for that matter, the statements of three senators quoted later on this page?

Don’t expect me to answer that question for you. But do take a deep breath and make the effort to read Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, written back in the 17th century but easily located in every library of any size in the USA, for some enlightenment in your ruminations.

During the crucial years of the school changeover from academic institution to behavioural modification instrument, the radical nature of the metamorphosis caught the attention of a few national politicians who spoke out, but could never muster enough strength for effective opposition. In the Congressional Record of January 26, 1917, for instance, Senator Chamberlain of Oregon entered these words: 

They are moving with military precision all along the line to get control of the education of the children of the land.

Senator Poindexter of Washington followed, saying: 

The cult of Rockefeller, the cult of Carnegie…as much to be guarded against in the educational system of this country as a particular religious sect.

And in the same issue, Senator Kenyon of Iowa related:

There are certain colleges that have sought endowments, and the agent of the Rockefeller Foundation or the General Education Board had gone out and examined the curriculum of these colleges and compelled certain changes….It seems to me one of the most dangerous things that can go on in a republic is to have an institution of this power apparently trying to shape and mould the thought of the young people of this country. 

Senator Works of California added:

These people…are attempting to get control of the whole educational work of the country.

If it interests you, take a look. It’s all in the Congressional Record of January 26, 1917.

16A man considered the father of twentieth-century American systematic medicine and a longtime employee of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Prussian education system  –  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

The political motivations of the King of Prussia

Seeking to replace the controlling functions of the local aristocracy, the Prussian court attempted to instil social obedience in the citizens through indoctrination. Every individual had to become convinced, in the core of his being, that the King was just, his decisions always right, and the need for obedience paramount.

The schools imposed an official language, to the prejudice of ethnic groups living in Prussia. The purpose of the system was to instil loyalty to the Crown and to train young men for the military and the bureaucracy. As the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a key influence on the system, said, “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.” [1]

1 ^ Addresses to the German Nation, 1807. Second Address : “The General Nature of the New Education”. Chicago and London, The Open Court Publishing Company, 1922, p. 21

So there you have it my friend, Prussia gave us more than a just country name that rhymes with Russia. They produced obedient slaves through their education system and by doing so they in fact gave us our modern concept of the “State”.

It was an idea that had probably not been seen to be acted out with such fervour and on such a scale since the time of Sparta, but it was one embraced wholeheartedly by these German’s, and in turn also by the American’s and even the Brit’s. We all coveted and emulated their education system. (Which is the Hindu caste system as you will soon see).

I will cover the goings on in this region of Germany later on in this work as it is I feel both an area that has been largely glossed over by most of the mainstream recorder’s of Western history, and yet at the same time it is also a piece of land, that on many occasions, plays a pivotal and critical role in my tale… An odd anomaly you might think, unless of course that is, you think like me… I have observed that quite often our true history, (or to be more specific the parts of history that REALLY matter) is more often about what has been purposefully omitted or glossed over in our history books, than about the history that was included. – Religion does the same kinda thing whenever people point out that “their” custom, symbol, or practise in fact belongs to an older culture… They just don’t mention it.

I chose to start with this piece because it neatly encapsulated many of the theme’s covered in this group of chapters. It discussed education which is the key to controlling the mind of a large group of people. It discussed the idea of making the state more important than the people who make it up. And it also discussed psychology which is the subject we will be looking at next. As I said at the beginning of this, you probably won’t realise Prussia’s true significance until you have either read all of this work, or perhaps even only once you have read it for a second time. – In truth it’s a region that has had a less than subtle effect on almost EVERYTHING of importance for over 300 years. But you need to see that for yourself.


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