Friday, July 01, 2022

Disorienting America - the modern thinking behind abandoning True North

We've already noted the abundance of good intentions that patriots like Noah Webster, Dr. Rush, and Ben Franklin had when urging a 'New!' system of education upon us as a means to improve people and fit them to secure their new Republic, much of which sounded a lot like what 'conservatives' often say today. But were you aware that they also expressed some intentions which many would find to be not just at odds with the more liberty oriented ideals of our Founding Fathers, but which sounded more than a little bit like what we'd expect to hear from a Hillary Clinton or a (former) Gov McAuliffe?

I've picked on Noah Webster enough already, here're two quotes off the top from another one of our Founding Reformers, Dr. Rush:
"...Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property..."
, or of education for political and ideological purposes:
"...From the observations that have been made it is plain that I consider it as possible to convert men into republican machines. This must be done if we expect them to perform their parts properly in the great machine of the government of the state..."
, and similar statements can be found from Noah Webster, and Ben Franklin, though in their defense, it doesn't take much reading of the rest of what they had to say to realize that they didn't intend those statements to be as alarming as they are to anyone who knows the history that has followed in the wake of such statements, but the more important thing to note is how easily their good intentions concealed even from themselves, the radical nature of the unstated assumptions that are inherent in what they'd proposed. We, OTOH, don't have their excuse, as their theoretically potential future is our actually documented past (and present), and we should know that, and we should know its effects on our past, and present, and how it is likely to affect our future.

The fact is that despite the very American sentiments that were 'in the air' at the end of the 18th century, there was something else in the air that was exerting a more southerly pull upon the compass arrows of those who came within its influence, and though it had many sources, where they all first came together most prominently at, was through the celebrated scribblings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Despite the glowing captions you'll undoubtedly find around his smiling face in most of your kids Social Studies textbooks, where he's usually portrayed as a champion of 'Rights!' and a leader in 'The Age of Reason', it was Rousseau who infamously described the man who engages in the process of reasoning as being 'a depraved animal' (which should raise some questions about the rest of those textbooks as well).
"...a state of reflection is a state against nature, and that the man who meditates is a depraved animal..." Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau was a determinist, a 'necessitarian', believing that a person's life was not what results from the character, understanding, and judgement which their own choices had fashioned for them, but that 'free will' was an illusion and their lives were but the necessary products of the circumstances of their environment. While I can easily imagine why Rousseau would want to blame his own character & choices on the environment to explain why he prowled through the streets at night in search of young women to expose himself to, or to explain why he took each of his six infant children from their mother's breast and sent them off to certain death in a foundling hospital, but exactly which environmental issues would cause that sort of behavior against a person's will, escapes me.

What textbooks should instead be making known to students about Rousseau, is that he was one of, if not the first, major figure to denounce Western Civilization as being a mistake, and to glorify the primitivism of the 'noble savage' as being superior to it; and to deride property and property rights as mistakes that were the root of all evil, and to condemn the institutions of marriage and the family, and to promote a modern sense of Fascism wherein those who thought and spoke in disagreement with the General Will of the state - that they "...will be forced to be free..." (hence The Terror and the Guillotine of  Robespierre & Marat in the French Revolution), and he was one of the first to seek to radically reform the purpose and means of educating the young ('Emile; or, On Education') so that they'd better fit into his ideal mold for them. In short, he was more Marxist than Marx, before Marx was even born, and it is no stretch at all to say that without Rousseau, there would have been no Marx, as the German philosophers who Marx learned from, were rooted in the ill-reasoning mind of Rousseau.

Rousseau's darker intentions fed the roots of German philosophy via the likes of Immanuel Kant, who idolized him, and it was Kant's convoluted philosophy that declared that the problem with philosophy was that reality, 'the thing itself', was ultimately unknowable to man, and so Reason had to be destroyed to save appearances (more on that in coming posts). Another was Johan Gotleib Fichte, an influential follower of Kant's, who said that it wasn't really a problem that we couldn't know reality, because our own thoughts were the only reality that really mattered. And then there's his density himself, GWF Hegel, who scoffed at both reality and traditional philosophy's concerns over 'mere Aristotelian contradictions', as he claimed that the only 'reality' that really mattered was what emerged from his form of the 'Dialectic' begun by Kant & Fichte, for 'resolving' contradictions, a process that was popularized (by Fichte) as "Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis".

That 'new reality' of the German Method filled the philosophically charged atmosphere of the early 1800s, and young American scholars breathed it in deep while taking the popular 'European tour',
"...The impact of German university scholarship upon nineteenth-century American higher education is one of the most significant themes in modem intellectual history..." Higher education in transition: a history of American colleges and universities
and its innovations were everywhere, from the University of Berlin's (re)introduction of 'Phd' certifications, to the fashion of giving everything a more scientific air as men in lab coats were going about subjecting everything from poetry to history, and the classroom as well, to laboratory experimentation. Those results were compiled and quantified and analyzed into claims of having accurately measured people's thoughts and behavior (see Wilhelm Wundt) well enough, to be able to 'improve them' by 'scientifically' managing and improving every aspect of society (hello 'Social Science' and "...Social studies emerged as an attempt to use education as a vehicle to promote social welfare..."). Age-old wisdom, such as Aristotle's observation that:
"...it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs..."
, were shrugged off as 'old fashioned' fears whose contradictions to their new ideas, were being resolved through their Dialectical process, and synthesized into new more useful terminologies & practices (what Nietzsche's line has quipped into "They muddy the water, to make it seem deep.").

Few works will give you a clearer sense of the practical nature of these new ideas than a series of popular lectures that Fichte had given on education in 1810, his 'Addresses to the German People', in which he urged that schools be used to create a stronger and more secure state through a more scientific application of education, affirming that a:
"... new education must consist essentially in this, that it completely destroys freedom of will in the soil which it undertakes to cultivate, and produces on the contrary strict necessity in the decisions of the will, the opposite being impossible..."
Fichte wanted to establish a compulsory system of education that would destroy its student's free will, not because he intended to form the German nation into a people who would be the perfect tools for the rise of national socialism (though of course, it did help to do that), but as his solution to what he saw as the cause behind the recent humiliating defeats of the German states and Prussian army & society by Napoleon. He believed that students who were given a liberal education thought too much, and so were too likely to 'choose wrong' in the face of threatening situations. Fichte's solution to ensure that would happen never again, was to prevent them from 'thinking too much' by scientifically controlling what materials students were exposed to and forcefully filling their heads with what experts had pre-determined to be 'the right' ideas, answers, and responses, and testing and re-testing those results into habits of mind, so that they would not be able to make wrong choices in the future.

Fichte's ideas were more than simply new educational reforms, they were emblematic of those who were expert in the new ideas of a more malleable reality, one in which the modern man, the new man, had recast Metaphysics from the old Aristotelian study of what reality is, into convoluted assertions of modernity, that we cannot ever really know what is, or if anything really exists at all. Such views hammered away at reforming our understanding of how we know what is true, forming into competing epistemologies which, in the end, tend to conclude that ultimately we can know nothing beyond our own subjective opinions (if the relevance escapes you, pay attention to the footnotes, CRT would not, could not, exist as it does today without that as its foundation).

It should surprise no one that those who want to feel freed from the constraints of reality and its requirements for reasonable proof, will latch onto whatever 'reason' seems to justify demanding that other people accept their subjective whims as facts. For those who respect reality and value what is objectively true, the person making such claims as 'because it's true for you, doesn't mean it's true for me' reveal themselves to be unwise, and those seriously making such assertions can have no love for wisdom. But then again those willing to accept that reality can't really be known, are not concerned with wisdom, and aren't in the habit of questioning whether or not what they want to believe is actually true, and so when presented with arguments and evidence for what is 'objectively true', they'll wave if off with 'that's just like your opinion, man'.

Of course if those who disregard truth & wisdom actually believed their own words, they'd be dead, as 'your truth' that you can fly wouldn't save you from having leapt off of a cliff, but again truth was never their real concern, getting away with lies, was; and much like the child who, seeing that their parent is too occupied to punish them for the cookie they see them stealing, will reach into the cookie jar for yet another cookie. Sure, they'll get punished later, but for now they're eating cookies.

They aren't interested in reality or conforming to it, they are interested in change, and you are the reality that they want to see changed, not themselves, and certainly not what they so want to believe as being *true*. Modernity's new North is that what is valid is not measured by 'truth', but by having sufficient quantities of likeminded people to force others to change; that's the only measure of 'respect' for 'truth' they have (oh, hello political polling), and they'd do so without concern for whether or not 'the Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return' - maybe they will return, but in the meantime they're eating cookies.

Under such influences as those in the minds of 'those who know best' in society, the end of 'The Age of Enlightenment' brought an end to philosophy as 'the love of wisdom', as Hegel put it in the preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit,
“To help bring philosophy closer to the form of Science, to the goal where it can lay aside the title of ‘love of knowing’ and be actual knowledge — that is what I have set before me”
, whatever 'good' his intentions aimed at, he and his fellows transformed philosophy into a 'misosophy', the hatred of wisdom, and as society's compass needle wandered steadily further from True North, the ethical compasses of the well intentioned reformers of the period wandered right along with them, pleased to begin taking their own good intentions as newly fixed stars to steer by, and thrilled to teach their new stars as being reliable guides for generations yet unborn to use in navigating their lives by.

As the saying goes: "Thar be dragons".

How the new maps were made to reorient around their new more southerly (and sulphureous) headings, is what we'll begin looking more closely at next.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Foundations & Compasses - Books are never 'Just books'

From John Adams to John Quincy Adams, Philadelphia August 11. 1777:
I wish to turn your Thoughts early to such Studies, as will afford you the most solid Instruction and Improvement for the Part which may be allotted you to act on the Stage of Life.

There is no History, perhaps, better adapted to this usefull Purpose than that of Thucidides, an Author, of whom I hope you will make yourself perfect Master, in original Language, which is Greek, the most perfect of all human Languages. In order to understand him fully in his own Tongue, you must however take Advantage, of every Help you can procure and particularly of Translations of him into your own Mother Tongue...
"
The one thing that Americans' ideas of education today have in common with those Americans of the 1830's, are the good intentions of its education reformers. With the very best of intentions of wanting their kids to get a 'good education', they, as we, sent them to school while intending to:
  • ensure students know key facts,
  • teach students useful skills to get a good job,
  • boost the economy
  • track students' progress and test their comprehension,
  • give students an understanding of what being an American means,
  • solve social issues,
, and if you share those good intentions, then you too are part of the problem that is our 'educational system' of today.

Wait... what? Yep. And the sad truth is that in addition to the Marxist professors we're so eager to heap the blame upon (with good cause), much of your Chamber of Commerce and other well intentioned fellows also share in the blame for why so many students today not only can't read & write, but don't want to.

Sure, it is reasonable to want students to enjoy some or all of those benefits from having gone to school, but while those could be results of having been educated, they are not causes of, or purposes for, becoming educated, and treating them as purposes and causes can even work against that goal.

For instance, being able to identify what facts are key to great works such as those of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, is to be expected of a good education, but simply memorizing 'key facts' from a textbook's summary of such works, is not going to cause the modern student to become educated in the way that John Adams' son had been. It's not facts, not even 'key facts', that makes those great works great, and extracting those facts for students to memorize, instead of studying the works themselves (''Thucydides...make yourself perfect Master..."), keeps students from engaging with that greatness, and awarding them an 'A' for what they've memorized, misleads the student into thinking that they've mastered something worthwhile... and helps ensure that they never will. The popular summary phrase of "Dewey said that schools should teach children not what to think but how to think" may sound wise, witty & even cute, but without teaching students solid content to think with (which in many cases, especially with traditional content, Dewey preferred to be excluded, see coming posts, or read him), that phrase reveals itself to be a deceptive method for training students in exactly what to think (or not), and how to think it, by not engaging them with the very materials that are most worth thinking through.

Our 'well intentioned' pursuit of educational effects without regard for their causes, has played a significant role in turning our schools away from that which the Adams' had enjoyed; turned it away from what Alexis de Tocqueville had praised (see previous post) for finally breaking the elitist's monopoly over education by putting "within the reach of the people" the capacity for conceiving of and striving for liberty; and turned it into one who's answer to how a student is doing in school, will be a transcript certifying how well they've learned what their school district has determined to be those 'key facts' which establish a basic minimum competency, which - good or bad - any competent school administrator is also going to be able to use to influence parents and business leaders to expand their school system further still. The graded pursuit of such easily quantified, tested, and graded facts, as if they could cause what they are but a minor effect of, has transformed our system into one that is educational in name only, and that same system will, when it's discovered that not one in twenty 'straight 'A' students!' can explain what those 'key facts' were key facts of, or why they mattered, will loudly call for new reforms with better textbooks, increased testing, more homework, and of course more stringent teacher accountability.

It should be no surprise that just as our Founding Reformers' good intentions led America down a very different path than that which they'd intended, those same good intentions are likely to lead us and our progeny down more ominous paths than we can imagine. Why do the good intentions we share with them, lead so very far from where they, we, intend them to lead us? Because they reorient the 'N' on their, our, your, educational compass, from True North, as if locked onto a glittering anomaly which wanders increasingly south of where True North truly lies.

Now if you were to ask me how I know that (apart from what this ongoing series of posts has and is still to answer to that), I'd try to resist asking you what it is about our schools that causes you to doubt it, and instead suggest that if we sight between what can be seen of education on the ground, and what it aimed towards before these good intentions became the norm, and where both are and aim towards now, it will at least be clear that they point in two very different directions. Which, if either, is True North, we'll work through in subsequent posts.

With that in mind, we can see that where education aimed at in our Founder's era (Dr. Johnson defined it as ranging from forming manners, to developing reason for judging '...rightly between truth and error, good and evil.'), can be got at from the direction of education's etymological roots in educere, educare, and educatus, roughly meaning “to learn”, “to know” and “bring out, lead forth” (I took a 'short' dive here, and a loOong dive here, into that), so that a liberal education sought the light of truth in an understanding of what in reality is objectively true, and so served to liberate a person from the shackles of ignorance & falsehood, so as to bring clarity and order to their lives.

For a prime example of what education looked like on the ground in that era, I'll submit the letter linked to at the top of this post, from John Adams' to his son John Quincy.

For the objector's part, I think it's generally accepted that what education aims at today are those bullet points above, which are what most people do answer, Left & Right, when asked why they send their kids off to school to get an education. And we get a prime example of what that sort of education looks like on the ground today, is what this undoubtedly smart student describes in his strategy for efficiently skimming for answers in the 'Grade A!' scavenger hunt:
"...Joe O’Shea was president of the student government at Florida State and a Rhodes Scholar. At a lunchtime gathering for leaders to the university he boasted:
I don’t read books per se. I go to Google and I can absorb relevant information quickly. Some of this comes from books. But sitting down and going through a book from cover to cover doesn’t make sense. It’s not a good use of my time as I can get all the information I need faster through the web. (As quoted in Jacobs 72)
Professor Jacobs comments that Joe O’Shea was “obviously a very smart guy” and “has an excellent strategy”; however, his viewpoint suffers from thinking of reading simply “as a means of uploading data.

That said, the ability to upload data is often precisely what the educational world wants students to do. This can be indicated by the nature of the tests that are given at the end of a unit. If students have successfully uploaded the relevant information, they will pass these tests, no matter how they did so...”
Clearly Adams & O'Shea describe two very different approaches to education, and I think it's a safe bet to say that O'Shea is just the type of 'scholar' which caused Albert Jay Knock's visiting Italian nobleman to ask why he'd met no educated people in America born after the 1890s. To skim for 'relevant information' in books, textbooks, and the like, rather than bothering with attentively reading books, is the very thing that Charles Dudley Warner had warned against as the folly of taking literature too lightly, believing that "... this most important former of the mind, maker of character, and guide to action can be acquired in a certain number of lessons out of a textbook!...". Warner's essay from the 1880s, "The Novel and the Common School", foresaw that the (then) new idea of 'progressive education' would transform 'education' into what it is today:
"...The notion that literature can be taken up as a branch of education, and learned at the proper time and when studies permit, is one of the most farcical in our scheme of education. It is only matched in absurdity by the other current idea, that literature is something separate and apart from general knowledge. Here is the whole body of accumulated thought and experience of all the ages, which indeed forms our present life and explains it, existing partly in tradition and training, but more largely in books; and most teachers think, and most pupils are led to believe, that this most important former of the mind, maker of character, and guide to action can be acquired in a certain number of lessons out of a textbook!..."
Along those lines, it's worth noting that while understanding does require information, simply recalling information does not require understanding, and equating the two will lead you down two very different paths. In what way does our schools path of educational good intentions, as exemplified by O'Shea's hunter-gatherer approach to information, have something in common with the approach of either Warner's or Adams' day? I think it's painfully clear that these two paths are oriented towards very different ideas of where True North lies, and they do so because they have very different destinations in mind.

When those who value information over understanding run the schools (such as these so-called 'English teachers' who aren't interested in reading books), the educational path that they're going to want to lead students down, is one that tells them which 'key facts' they are to accept as acceptable answers, and which ones to reject, without ever fully understanding why - which is a system that info hunter-gatherers such as O'Shea will likely thrive in. OTOH, students who've learned to habitually root their knowledge in what they understand to be true, are going to notice when those in authority give them information that doesn't 'add up'. Of those two, those who're in charge of selecting the information they teach because they see it as being useful for 'the greater good' of the society that they're so intent upon reforming, are not spending millions of our tax dollars on building and expanding our school systems so that they'll produce more of the latter types of students who'll question them on what doesn't 'add up', what they do want, are the former types of students who'll seek and accept the approved information as being useful, and there are few better ways of encouraging more of those types of students, than by tying bullet points from textbooks, to grades, and test scores, and diplomas.

As Hannah Arendt put it:
"The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any."[The Origins of Totalitarianism]
, that ability to destroy the capacity to form convictions, is what has transformed modern educational systems into the power tool of choice for those seeking the power to say what is, and is not, for 'the greater good' of a more stable State (with themselves in power over it).

The process of moving an educational system away from the pole star of what is good and true, is accomplished through having school reformers selling ever more 'useful answers!' which gradually nudge its lessons further into the orbit of utility until that society's educational system is no longer providing the form of education (that of developing the reasoning for judging '...rightly between truth and error, good and evil.'), which sound convictions can be formed through. Possibly the most important lesson to be learned from the history of school reform in America, is that the very first reforms of our Founding Reformers, whose good intentions we still share in today, began altering our understanding of what Education is, and is for, which began fracturing the foundations which America was understood to be founded upon. The subsequent cycle of school reforms that have each promised to 'fix' whatever was visibly seeping in through the cracks that could be seen, drove those unseen fractures ever deeper into the foundation, and each new reform, each built upon the last, layer after layer after layer, has studiously built it up into a veritable leaning ivory Tower of Babel.

No further reforms - leftist or conservative - added onto that fractured foundation, can hope to steady its structure or prevent its inevitable collapse. It's not possible to 'fix' the swaying of a tower built upon a fractured foundation, without first fixing the foundation, but such an obvious fact is too easy to ignore, as is ignoring the fact that ignoring that will also increase its instability and hasten its ultimate collapse. No further educational reforms - no, not even 'educational choice' (how can either choosing a private school that more effectively teaches the same errors, or insinuating govt oversight into what had been sound schools, be helpful?) - can help, unless first its foundation are fixed and its lessons are realigned with True North.

The choice we need to face up to making today, is to discard those good intentions which cause more harm than good, and restore the proper purpose and content of education - then, with a stable foundation to stand upon, we can look at reclaiming what we can of what has been built upon it. If we don't do that first, the relentless pull of intellectual gravity will eventually succeed in collapsing our educational system, and how such a colossal structure as that can avoid collapsing into a black hole from which no light can escape, is hard to imagine.

To succeed in repairing that foundation, we need to inspect its cracks and determine what caused (and still causes) them, and the reorienting of our educational compass, which we'll begin looking closer at in the coming posts.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Remembering Memorial Day, once more and evermore

American war dead, Flanders Field, Belgium
Remembering, once again... Memorial Day... it is enough to remember today those who have fallen in defense of our nation. But it's not all we can do, for them or for us, and to leave it there, I think, deprives them, and you, of an important part of what they died for. It seems to me that you can remember them even more completely if you will remember what it was that they gave their lives in defense of. If you remember why it was that their lives came to be remembered on this day, then you can in some sense repay them and also deepen your own position in your own life.

Do you remember what Memorial Day was designated for you to remember? It has changed over the years, but it began as 'Decoration Day', back in 1868, on May 30th, a day chosen because it didn't mark the anniversary of any battle - an important point - as a day to officially mark, what people had unofficially been doing across the land on their own for some while, decorating the many, many graves of those who had 'died in the late rebellion'. After WWI, when many more graves were dug, the day was changed to Memorial Day to remember all of those who have died in service of their country, in all of its wars.

But what does it mean to remember? What can it do? Remember... the members of our lives who were lost can never be re-membered... those who are gone are gone forever, but in the service of... what? Why did they give their lives? Why decorate the graves of soldiers, those who have gone before their time, lives which were violently lost... why? Family and friends will remember their fallen family and friends, they have no need of a national holiday to do that, there is no use for you who they do not know to pretend to remember those you never knew - but that is not what we pause this day to remember.

What did their untimely deaths have to do with your life here and now?

Does their death have any relevance to your life? Asking another question might put us closer to the trail, what relevance can your life have to your nation without remembering why they lost theirs?

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who gave their lives, the 'last full measure of devotion' in the service of the United States of America, but not just to their homeland - any country can do that, and they do - nothing exceptional there.

But we are an exceptional nation, and simple remembrance will not do, because simply defending their homeland is not what they did or why they did it.

Why did they do it? What did it mean?

Maybe it'll help by looking at it from the perspective of the Oath which led them into the military life which put their own lives at risk for yours,
"I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
That is what they risked and lost their lives for, was it worth it? Do you grant their lost lives a value in yours? And that is the heart of it isn't it? Does the life they lost have value in yours?

Well, if you can say the words "your life", as something you live, something which you value and have some measure of control over, then yes, their lives were lost in service of your being able to think of your life as yours, and that - that is something which should cause you a spasmed breath, one abruptly caught in your chest in reverence and awe... that another's last breath was let go as 'darkness veiled his eyes' not just so that you could draw your previous, current and next breath as you wish, but so you could do so in a state of liberty.

Now I think we're getting closer to re-membering them and memorializing their life, through yours. Let's chase that a little further.

What does it take to say 'your life'? What does it take to live your life? What must you do, absent simply having others take care of you, what must you do to live? First off, you must use your head, you must think... but just thinking isn't enough to continue living, after all, you could very well choose to think that by imagining very clearly and distinctly that your shoe would become a salmon if you declare it so, but such thinking would do nothing to advance your life. For your thinking to benefit your life, it must be productive, and to do that it must reflect reality... your life will continue on only if at least some of your ideas help you to transform the reality you face on a daily basis into those materials and conditions which benefit your life... food, shelter, etc, IOW 'nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed'.

For your life, to be lived, you must be free to think, for your thoughts to benefit your life you must see to it that they respect reality - cherish truth -  for your freedom of thought to be anything other than a mockery, you must be free to put them into action, and again, for your thoughts and your actions to be a benefit to you, rather than a mockery, you must be free to retain and use that which your thoughts and actions have produced, and what they produce is called property.

Today, for the lives we remember having been lost, to have meaning and value to us, your life must be able to be lived in the spirit which they gave their own lives up for, that of liberty; the liberty to live your life in the pursuit of happiness in your life.

Those we memorialize today gave their last full measure of devotion in service of the document which makes that possible, the Constitution of the United States of America, a document which outlines the ideas necessary for ensuring your ability to live your life, in liberty and pursuing happiness. They gave their life for the ideas which best reflect the reality of life and the requirements of man living in liberty so that in his life, if he applies his thoughts to actions which serve to produce the materials he needs, that will enable you to live your life and pursue the happiness you seek in life, secure in that property which you expend the actions of your life in producing.

The Constitution was designed to do just that. It was worth fighting and risking death for, because it was seen as the means to securing a life worth living for, for themselves, their families, and their posterity - you.

The Constitution, was designed with a profound understanding of human nature in mind, and was structured in such a way as to give voice to the major perspectives of life so that:
  • - the people at large, concerned in the issues of the moment, shall have a voice in the House of Representatives
  • - the states shall have a voice through those people who have lived successful will have a perspective favorable for preserving everyone's property through their voice in the Senate
  • - these two perspectives shall be combined to use create legislation operating for the benefit of the people, within certain enumerated powers
  • - when both houses agree upon laws, the nation has a voice in the President as chief executive, to reject or sign legislation into law and see to it that the laws of the land are faithfully executed
  • - the law itself has a voice in the Judicial branch which is concerned that laws are applied justly to the people in whose name they were written
These branches are structured in such a way, utilizing the famous checks and balances, so as to have just enough interest in the other branches as to wish to see them function well, as well as to wish to preserve their own branches from becoming slighted and unbalanced.

The founders knew well that most states fall into ruin not under promises of harm but under promises to better the conditions of one group or another for the betterment of all. And so our system is designed to keep each branches desires to 'do good' in check, by the other branches benefit as well, and that none gains power over the others - each must see 'their point' of the other and work together, securing a state that enables you to live your life in pursuit of happiness.

But the people who ratified the constitution didn't think that the original document, which united government into balanced cooperation, was enough to secure the liberty and freedom of the governed, and so they insisted that it also specifically uphold and defend a few key rights, Rights which long experience as Englishmen... and then as Americans deprived of those rights, knew would be required to prevent a new tyrant from turning their government against their liberty 'for their own good'. They demanded the Constitution be amended to secure the peoples liberty to live their own lives, secure in their property and associations and activities which seemed to them to best hold the promise of pursuing happiness through, and that produced the Bill of Rights.

This foundation of government was and is an ordering of ideas, designed to enable each persons actions the liberty to act and secure their property without violating others rights in pursuit of the same, so that each person can have the incredible gift of being able to live their own lives as they see fit.

This is the Constitution which was, and still is, worth fighting for, and risking dying for, because it makes possible the kind of life worth living, lives in which each person might choose to pursue; and the idea of living in service to that, of making not only your own, but others lives livable... is a glorious pursuit, and those in the military who offered up their life in service of it... they are truly worth our pausing on at least one day a year, in solemn remembrance of the life they offered up to make your life a possibility.

Remember them, thank them, and with them in mind demand the liberty to live your life secured under, and securing, those laws which they gave up their life defending, do that, and you will truly be memorializing their lives and making their sacrifice worthwhile.

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields, Moina Michael replied with her own poem for Memorial Day:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
 That grows on fields where valor led,
 It seems to signal to the skies
 That blood of heroes never dies.


In Flanders Fields John McCrae, 1915.
 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
 Between the crosses, row on row
 That mark our place; and in the sky
 The larks, still bravely singing, fly
 Scarce heard amid the guns below.
 We are the Dead. Short days ago
 We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
 Loved and were loved, and now we lie
 In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
 The torch; be yours to hold it high.
 If ye break faith with us who die
 We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
 In Flanders fields.

Monday, April 04, 2022

The election is upon us - Tuesday, April 5th, get out and vote for Adam Bertrand and Randy Cook!

UPDATE - Both Adam Bertrand and Randy Cook won in FHSD, and also Izzy Imig in Rockwood! Congratulations candidates and citizenry!
Even if you haven't paid close attention, you've heard about the issues surrounding education and school boards, locally and across the nation, concerning key issues, curriculum, and various excuses and evasions made for them. What triggered the controversy, was when shortly after remote learning began, parents were shocked to overhear what was being taught to their kids, in their schools. Unbeknownst to them, such ideological lessons and activities have been pervasive in our classrooms for years, with the knowledge and consent of the establishment educational system and supporting political figures (Left & Right), who had been confident that parents and the wider community would never find out, or wouldn't take much notice of them if they did. Why? Because they either personally agreed with those practices and policies, or they aligned with them because of what the pretense of them did for their own image.

The four establishment candidates in FHSD, one of whom has been on the Board of Education for 12 years, have no substantial concerns with how things have been run, or with how little parents have been informed of what they've been doing. When pressed to voice some concern about the turmoil in our district and districts across the nation, they'll answer that maybe they should've explained it better to the public, who they think should be grateful that the 'experts' (themselves) know best, and continue supporting them. If you like the way things have been going, there's not much I can say at this hour to change your mind.

For those who are not so satisfied with the current state of our educational system, there are two candidates in the Francis Howell School District race, Adam Bertrand, and Randy Cook, who do recognize that there have been problems, educationally and fiscally, and who will do their best to return responsible oversight to our entire school system.

I suggest visiting each candidate's website to get their views on the issues, perhaps beginning with their priorities for FHSD:
Adam Bertrand:
Randy Cook:

If you're in the Francis Howell School District, I very much hope you'll cast your vote for Adam Bertrand and Randy Cook.

 
Outside of FHSD, there are two candidates which I strongly support:
For  Lindbergh School District, David Randelman,
For Rockwood School District, Izzy Imig
Elsewhere in Missouri, those concerned parents and community members who have been paying close attention, are supporting these candidates:



Friday, April 01, 2022

What the establishment candidates agree upon is why I'm voting for Bertrand & Cook in the FHSD School Board Election April 5th!

What the establishment candidates running for FHSD school board are in agreement with each other upon, are why I'm voting for Adam Bertrand & Randy Cook in the Francis Howell School Board elections, on April 5th. If you watch our FHSD School Board Candidate Forum, there were at least three points which the four establishment candidates were of one mind on, and those are themselves reason enough, IMHO, for voting them out of office ASAP:
  1. 'We just need to explain things better'
  2. 'I'm opposed to banning books'
  3. 'We don't teach *that* class in our schools'
Let's take a closer look at those:
  1. "We need to explain things better" Well of course they do, because it couldn't possibly be the case that the public actually does understand what FHSD has said and is doing - in everything from cost over runs to promoting divisive policies - no, it simply must be the case that the public is so unable to comprehend their wisdom, that they need things *explained* again and again and again to them until they finally 'get it' and submit to their way of thinking. No thank you.

  2. "I'm not for banning books" What an easy, and thoroughly disingenuous thing to say (no school board has the power to ban books). Our school libraries remove hundreds of books every year, and recently through policies such as "decolonizing the stacks", FHSD school libraries have quietly been removing books such as 'The Federalist Papers' from our school libraries, such as with Francis Howell Central HS, whose Book Search portal page shows no copies of it remaining in its library (I didn't find it in other schools that I checked either). Does that mean that 'The Federalist Papers' have been banned?! No... but it does mean that this book, which is fundamental to understanding our nation's form of government, has been 'Weeded Out of the stacks' under the watch of FHSD's current administration, which the establishment FHSD BOE candidates, one of whom has been on the BOE for 12 years, are in support of.

    To emphasize that point: Missouri's public schools were created by Article IX of the Missouri Constitution, to ensure the:
    "...diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people..."
    , and FHSD's administration and BOE believes that purpose is better served by the presence of revoltingly crude and pornographic books such as 'Crank', or 'Not all Boys are Blue' and the like which they have been adamant about retaining, over books such as 'The Federalist Papers', which have been quietly removed from school libraries under their oversight and without the knowledge of the public, and they don't want parents or anyone else questioning their judgement or submitting such choices in reading materials to public scrutiny.

    That does not reflect the type of judgement that I'm comfortable with overseeing the teaching of students in my community.

  3. "... We don't teach *that* class in our schools..." What this says about what they think of the public, speaks volumes. Would you ever dream of saying that a college student who becomes passionate about a class they studied in college, Logic for instance, would be unlikely or unable to think or teach logically, in any of the classes they later went on to teach? If you're honest and have some grasp of logic yourself, no, you wouldn't. Note that the issue with this statement isn't even about CRT, but about the foolishness of saying that an all encompassing method of thinking and behavior (whether of logic, ethics, or an ideology such as CRT), could not and would not be taught by those who believe in it, without a formal class specifically designed for teaching the entire college level subject to students. The people repeating the statement that 'CRT is a college class only and therefore is not taught in FHSD Curriculum', have either a) not bothered giving the matter any thought for themselves, or b) don't understand what a set of concepts are or how to apply them, or c) they assume that no one in the public does, and so they can get away with misleading them.

    Critical Race Theory entered into standard Teachers College courses in 1995, through the deliberate and publicly stated purposes of one of the most popularly assigned course authors of the last several decades, Gloria Ladsen-Billings, who first wrote an influential paper called "Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education", and many others followed her lead as well. If you have any responsible concern for the students of FHSD and your community, you'll look that up before voting. If not... I hope the future is kinder to you, than it will be to the students who're subjected to this divisive ideology in our schools. Hint: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, are concepts derived from CRT, and they are present in, and are influencing, numerous classes and policies in FHSD, and when FHSD tells you that '...equity means things are fair...', as with the other two statements above, that is simply not true.

Vote Adam Bertrand & Randy Cook April 5th!

Remove this dangerous technology from the classroom: Textbooks

The fact that even with twelve plus years of schooling, many of our students today can't or won't read, or write, or count, says all that should need to be said about the methods of modern schooling in general and of public education in particular. What more does need to be said, is that it's not the students, or even the teachers, who are most to blame for our modern 'educational system', but 'We The People' who've failed them by continuing to perpetuate this phenomenally failed political experiment known primarily as 'public education' (more on that to come). One of the central tools in this process is related to the concerns that many today have about technology in the classroom, but although their concerns tend to focus on technologies that students have some control over, such as smartphones and apps like Instagram and Twitter, their concerns would be better placed if they'd give more thought to the most prevalent tech of all in our schools, that particular piece of modern technology which controls what and how they learn, and which was singled out for condemnation as early as 1893: Textbooks.

I don't mean those technical compendiums of references & standards that you might find in an engineering textbook, but those which digest volumes of literature down into the dense matter which 'Social Studies', 'English', and other such textbooks are formed from. This bit of unassuming tech was one of the earliest products of our endless 'education reforms', and one which Noah Webster particularly helped advance towards its modern format of providing 'brief essays of fact', with the good intentions that students would then begin learning from:
"...A selection of essays, respecting the settlement and geography of America; the history of the late revolution and of the most remarkable characters and events that distinguished it, and a compendium of the principles of the federal and provincial governments, should be the principal school book in the United States. These are interesting objects to every man; they call home the minds of youth and fix them upon the interests of their own country, and they assist in forming attachments to it, as well as in enlarging the understanding..."
Once again (see previous post), as good as that might sound on the surface, what did he mean by it, and how do you know that? Consistent with his disdain for students 'wasting time' reading that literature which he and his fellow reformers had themselves been educated from, he wanted to have nameless people skilled in summarizing selected topics in a format which students could more quickly study and be quizzed and tested upon.

Impatient to produce the desired results in students - knowing important facts - he sought the effects of an educated understanding, without attending to its cause: having enough familiarity with the material and the ideas and methods involved within it, so that you would be able to state a brief summary of it along with its key facts. But memorizing the facts without having the understanding which enabled them to be sifted out and cited, was, and is, an empty sham.

Or how about his assumption that a textbook of these essays would or could be interesting to the minds of youths - have you found that youths are typically interested in reading or committing lists of features, names, dates, and rules to memory? Are textbooks what you see people bringing to the beach to read for personal benefit and enjoyment? On the contrary, our experience with such materials is that the 'pre-chewed' information that textbooks provide, are inevitably poorly and unimaginatively written - typically by committee - and are less likely to put down roots of interest in a student's mind, than to turn them away from, and even against, any whiff of such subjects in their future (say hello to: "I just hate history!").

This textbook processing of education shortchanges students of worthy materials, while at the same time giving them the impression that they know something that is important about a subject, thanks to the metrics of quizzes & tests that *prove* that they know what is important to know. But their confidence comes at the price of never having understood what was valuable about the subject which those facts were extracted from,
  • Yes, Athens and Sparta defeated the Persians, and then warred with each other. And...?
  • Yes, Cicero wrote many legal arguments, speeches and popular essays, and was a Consul... and? He matters... why?
  • Yes, the (a) Magna Carta was signed and sealed by King John at Runnymede in 1215. And...? What of it?
The textbook can inform the student that "Cicero wrote important texts such as 'On The Laws', 'On Duty', and the 'Philippics'", and can even tell them what they were about, but those students will never gain any sense at all of what it was about his reasoning and eloquence that inspired those, like John Adams, who had their lives not only enriched, but the courses of their lives changed because of the experience they found in their consideration of them.

Students are not educated through textbooks into an understanding of a subject, they aren't led into developing the habit of considering various perspectives and vantage points to enable them to "See things as they are", the technology of the textbook reduces a mass of literary text to a few condensed facts, and trains the student to mistake the skill of skimming for, recalling, and repeating other people's opinions of what those facts are facts of, as their own understanding, while never actually coming into contact with what was valuable in them, themselves. Absent such active contact, those facts can make no deeper impression upon their minds than the short-term memory needed to pass the next test, and the dimness of their understanding is inversely proportional to the impression of brightness that the student is given of their own abilities via their test scores. The dangerous side of technology has always been that we become distracted by its benefits, and fail to notice that when technology is doing what it does for us, it's at the very same time taking something else away from us, and the textbook is a... well... a textbook example of that. Textbooks, factual or not, are someone else's narratives, scenic postcards given out in lieu of hiking through the actual landscape, and our students are given grades and diplomas as merit badges for having hiked a landscape they've never set foot within.

Less understood is the fact that textbooks efficiently perform their dis-educational effects, no matter what pedagogy or reforms might currently be guiding their use. Whether it's the '1619 Project' textbook, or whatever textbook moderates and conservatives would rather have being used in schools, they all tell students what to think, and keep them from having the experience of actually thinking such matters through - such an education does not part or even thin the shadows, but thickens them, begetting less wisdom & virtue in students, than folly & bravado from the feeling of knowing what they in fact know little to nothing of. The textbook is the modern technology that projects shadows on the walls of The Cave, and blinkers the eyes of those who might have noticed their thinness. The fact is that Textbooks, and the schools which rely upon them, are veritable engines of Dunning-Kruger-ism, whose products are then graduated into our society, year after year, after year.

Putting skills to the test - que bono? Who benefits?
Our Founding Reformers wanted to focus education on more 'useful skills', to benefit the working man and the economy, but they failed to consider what benefit such a focus would actually bring, or who would benefit most from trading those 'elitist works' away for more utilitarian skills. Alexis De Tocqueville noted in his 'Democracy in America' in 1835, in Book One, Introductory Chapter, he notes that once
"... the exercise of the intellect became the source of strength and of wealth, it is impossible not to consider every addition to science, every fresh truth, and every new idea as a germ of power placed within the reach of the people. Poetry, eloquence, and memory, the grace of wit, the glow of imagination, the depth of thought, and all the gifts which are bestowed by Providence with an equal hand...."
, it was through a liberal education that the people as a whole gained access to the valuable and powerful qualities of mind that had once been the real advantage which the elites had always had over the 'working man', and that education,
"...even when they were in the possession of its adversaries they still served its cause by throwing into relief the natural greatness of man; its conquests spread, therefore, with those of civilization and knowledge, and literature became an arsenal where the poorest and the weakest could always find weapons to their hand....."
Far from being 'elitist material' of little worth, that literature is what first alerted and armed the working man against the predatory tendencies of those with more wealth and influence than they had. A person armed with such an education is generally able to not only respect and recognize threats to the quality and maintenance of justice, but is competent enough to learn the skills of most any trade as need arises for whatever time and circumstance they find themselves at in life.

But how easily can someone who's been trained mainly in vocational skills, 'pick up' the ability to free themselves from the darkness of popular opinion, ignorance and prejudice, which are 'skills' that a republican form of governance relies upon 'We The People' having? Those skills are best developed during school age, and can't easily be picked up later in life - not even in college. As reported by those few remaining professors who have something worthwhile to profess, our new educational dark age of useful skills has even elite college students demonstrating their skills along with an utter lack of what an education should have, and should be, providing them:
"...The students in his Shakespeare class undoubtedly boast a median verbal SAT score in the upper 700s (out of 800). The large majority probably received a perfect score of 5 on the AP (Advanced Placement) English exam. If any group of college students should be capable of deciphering complex texts, writing incisive expository prose, and constructing compelling analytic arguments, it is they. But apparently they’re not.

To understand how this predicament came to pass, one needs to understand how students manage to get into places like Harvard or the Claremont colleges in the first place. It is not by learning how to read, write, or think. It is by jumping through the endless series of hoops that elite college admissions offices have developed over the decades to winnow down their skyscraper stacks of application folders.

To win a place at such a school, students most receive top grades in a broad range of AP courses, show evidence of participation in a dozen or more extracurricular activities—sports, arts, student government, et al.—demonstrate “leadership”, engage in “service”, and gather experiences, often through purpose-built programs, to write about on their personal essays, statements designed to convince the admissions officer of the existence of an actual human being beneath the credentials. To do all this, they will work without cease for years on end, sleeping little and foregoing the freedoms of adolescence.

This is not a system that’s designed to foster intellectual engagement. Students learn to skip and skim, not just their assigned readings, but everything. Everything is done at maximum speed and with the least possible effort. Curiosity and passion must be actively suppressed. Students become experts, not so much in subjects as in working the system..."
[emphasis mine]
Today, when both 'working man' and college elite have spent their valuable school-age years learning 'skills', whether mechanical, narrative, or 'critical', rather than a deeper understanding of the nature of life and reasonings most effective role in it, what happens when the world changes and those 'skills' become less or no longer useful? What happens is what has happened, whether their economic plight comes from those skilled jobs having gone over seas, or from 'anyone but liberal arts degree!' students getting hired, they are left defenseless against the language and designs of demagogues seeking to transform their plight into power over them, for the demagogue's advantage.

Who it is that benefits most from an 'education' of Textbook centered schooling, are those in positions of power, or seeking to gain power over their fellows - they have a vested interest in having 'skilled students' who know little or nothing of what enabled our Founding Fathers to establish this nation, which is the one thing that our schools are successful at producing.

The slow-motion trainwreck of our educational transformation was accomplished by building upon the good intentions of our Founding Reformers 'adding' some useful skills to the educations that they themselves had received, and that turn towards the 'skills & facts' view of education, began a gradual process of eliminating that form of Education which had not only distinguished the West from the rest of the world, but which when properly taught (logic through grammar, the method of reasoning through the consideration of plot and theme, the ability to discover and communicate the essentials through rhetoric, an appreciation of truth and beauty through the contemplation of style, structure and meaning of a story, and the lessons that nature to be commanded must first be logically understood) that form of education is what established the Greco/Roman-Judeo/Christian West, and made it possible for America to be founded in the first place.

Webster's 'brief essays of fact', although a boon for the publishing world and to those 'educators' who write the textbooks that the schools which students are required to attend, require their students to buy, have progressively devolved into the standard form of 'Textbook' used today, which are segmented, often non-sequential (especially in History/'social studies'), poorly written, boring and expensive tomes for testing a fleeting appearance of knowledge of what students actually know very little about - a self-reinforcing system for the mass production of Dunning-Kruger-ism which is one of the deadliest fruits of our modern educational system, and something which the Pro-Regressive Administrative State could not exist without.

Learning to fail the test
But how did a once educated people sell themselves on this course? Why, they followed the 'science!', of course - or at least the scientistic appearance of its methods, quantifications, and statistics of test scores, that frauds in lab-coats use to reassure the unwary that all is well. The wary, OTOH, weren't as easily misled, those like Charles Dudley Warner noted in an earlier post, or as mentioned in the previous post, Albert Jay Knock and the Italian nobleman he spoke of in 1931, who'd wondered why he'd met no educated Americans under 60 years of age. BTW - how do you suppose Knock's Italian nobleman determined that? Do you suppose that he quizzed each person he met on their recall of Social Studies facts & conclusions? As the Positivist 'science' of 'Social Studies' didn't exist at all prior to the 1800's, and didn't become commonly accepted until into the 20th Century, my bet is that Social Studies wasn't the yardstick he used to measure the educations of Americans by.

Or do you imagine that he tested them on their 'Critical Thinking' skills? Well... seeing as their conversation occurred prior to 1931, and 'Critical Thinking' wasn't concocted until 1945 (by a student of John Dewey), I'm going to go with 'no' on that one as well.

How do you tell whether or not someone is educated? More to the point, what if how you test their level of education, doesn't in fact test their level of education... what might be done to students by using false tests to guide them in their education?

To turn the uncomfortable questions towards what might be seen as 'my side' with traditional literature, do you suppose that he buttonholed hapless Americans and quizzed them on their knowledge of the Great Books of the Western World? Tallied up their dismal scores on 'key facts' of Dante & Milton and exclaimed 'Momma Mia are these American's uneducated!'?

While I'm a huge fan and proponent of most of the works typically categorized within GBWW, using those works as a database for quizzing people on what they know of them, runs contrary to the nature of what The Great Conversation which those works are a part of, is - such conversation isn't judged by the facts found in it, but by the depths of understanding confronted and revealed through it. It is a mistake to view what is available to be learned from, as being just as, or more, valuable than what there is to be learned - the evidence of an education is found in indications that a person has left The Cave, not in tallying up how much they've stuffed into their cave!

To put an education to such a quantifiable test as to presume that those who know more facts, are better educated, presumes that the student making a perfect score on an ACT/SAT exam, must be better educated than Shakespeare, or Cicero, or Aristotle, could have been, as they came along before most of the facts known to us were able to be known to them. How would such a view as that, view Plato, who when teaching his young student who was named Aristotle, knew nothing of the works which Aristotle would later go on to write? Or of Cicero who knew nothing of Petrarch, who in turn knew nothing of either Shakespeare, or much else of what we now refer to as 'The Great Books'? And of course though most of them understood Geometry well enough, those past masters could have known nothing of calculus, or even algebra, let alone 'Social Studies' or 'What are the 12 causes of the Civil War?'... are you getting the picture?

The notion that a standardized test could tell you something worthwhile about a person's education, is the modernist's view of asserting that everyone born prior to our time, knew only '...outmoded ideas of an agrarian people...', which, for anyone who cares to give it a moment's thought, it's a blitheringly idiotic notion. I strongly suspect that if you devised a test for Knock's Italian nobleman to take regarding his knowledge of the 'facts' of the GBWW, he'd recognize you as having been born long after the 1890's, shake his head and wander away, much like Prometheus did in Richard Mitchell's "The Gift of Fire".

So if all of our popular 'Educated Tests' fail the test as a test of a person being educated, how did our Italian nobleman conclude this about our great grand parents? He did it the old fashioned way, he talked to them. It wasn't because they lacked a recall of facts or skills, but because in conversing with them, he witnessed their habits of repeating the statements that others had made, the shallow reasonings they gave for them, and the ineloquent language they used to state them. As they demonstrated their lack of the habit of adequately questioning, assessing those ideas that they mechanically talked about in an unthinking repetition of follow-the-dots talking points, with the flow-chart imitation of logic that ties them together. Through the test of conversation, it became clear to him that they literally didn't know what they were talking about, which is a tell-tale sign of someone who is still dwelling comfortably deep within The Cave, and lacks the ability to see their way out of it (AKA: an education).

It's not just a matter of can they reason, but do they? As a matter of course? It's not just a matter of reciting the virtues, but of working at applying and living them. Getting a good education is not just about checking boxes of facts to know, or passing a test upon this or that collection of them, but on being able to observe, inquire, and relate the new, to the past, looking for what their contrasts can bring to light, and considering how best to go forward in light of both, and perhaps even imagining things anew. It's about the ability to be 'self-directed' by what is in reality true, and being able to do so while living in society with others.

If that's what you want for your child, and I would be amazed to hear the reasons of those who might not want that, the standard establishment schools are not where you're going to find it. Instead, you will find students who are being processed through a textbook education, who will spend more than a decade in them being trained to skim for, and memorize facts for recalling on quizzes and tests so they can get a good job and 'succeed in life!'... with little or no attention given to understanding what a successful life is, and depends upon. They might know about great works, but without actually knowing those great works, their minds will not have been challenged to pursue any depth of knowledge of what life could, and should be, or how and why to seek out and question the depths of their own knowledge - and politically ambitious men are taking note of how useful such minds as theirs will be to their own ambitions.

One of the more astounding things to me about our Founding Reformers, is that despite Webster and his fellows knowing first hand the danger of power having sway over the minds and actions of a people, nearly all of them wanted to empower legislatures in providing their idea of education, to the public. Even as Webster noted that,
"...In despotic states, Education, like religion, is made subservient to government...."
, as did John Adams with observations such as,
“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.”
, somehow they managed to square the circle in their minds as they nearly all came together in sentiments similar to Webster's statement, that:
"...Education should therefore be the first care of a Legislature; not merely the institution of schools, but the furnishing of them with the best men for teachers. A good system of Education should be the first article in the code of political regulations;..."
Somehow they expected that we'd somehow escape the consequences of putting the process of educating future voters, under the political control of progressively more ambitious and ideological men. And sadly we have not. And as more and more Americans have been raised with progressively less and less familiarity with what had once been commonly understood, we've lost our grip upon what Jefferson had described as the common 'expression of the American mind', which has had profoundly dangerous ramifications to everything that our Founding Fathers had valued, cared about, sacrificed, fought and died for.

To our Founding Fathers' credit, it did take nearly two centuries for their good intentions to bring us down to the level we are at today, while in the birthplace of those endarkened ideas in Europe, those lessons began to bear their horrific fruit of slaughter and terror within just a few decades. But now that we've nearly caught up in the West's race to the bottom, it would be worth it to look at the nature of the education which we're being told will 'take it to the next level' by turning away from truth and towards power; and what a society looks like which condones and supports that - which we'll do in the next post.