Schooling Children Out Of the Gene Pool
All Libertarians are not created equal. Not by a long shot.
John Taylor Gatto is my kind of Libertarian (the kind that doesn’t wear a necktie).
(I forgot how to tie a double Windsor knot two decades ago.)
John Taylor Gatto knows school sucks, and he knows John Locke( 1632-1704), the so-called Father of Liberalism, is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Cato Institute cookie-cutter Libertarians (the kind that wear neckties) disagree.
David Boaz (Libertarianism: A Primer, 1997) wrote …
“We can date the birth of liberalism to the time of the Glorious Revolution. John Locke is rightly seen as the first real liberal and as the father of modern political philosophy. If you don’t know the ideas of Locke, you really can’t understand the world we live in. Locke’s great work The Second Treatise of Government was published in 1690, but it had been written a few years earlier, to refute the absolutist philosopher Sir Robert Filmer, making its defense of individual rights and representative government that much more radical. Locke asked, what is the point of government? Why do we have it? He answered, people have rights prior to the existence of government — thus we call them natural rights, because they exist in nature. People form a government to protect their rights. They could do that without government, but a government is an efficient system for protecting rights. And if government exceeds that role, people are justified in revolting.”
That didn’t work out too well for the participants in either Shays’ Rebellion (1786-1787) or the Whiskey Rebellion (1791).
And, what about “natural rights, because they exist in nature?”
Does nature include slave-maker ants that enslave other ants?
Catherine Silk & John Silk (Racism and Anti-Racism in American Popular Culture, 1990) wrote …
“When the British Army declared free all blacks who fought with them, George Washington rescinded his earlier decision that no blacks were to be allowed into the American army. Many slaves ran away during the war years, understanding clearly the significance for themselves of this fight for freedom. It is estimated that in 1778, 30,000 slaves ran away in Virginia. The Declaration of Independence, however, remained silent on the issue of slavery, so that the very document which summed up the ideology of American individual liberty allowed the continuation of slavery — the freedom of the individual was to mean the freedom, if that person were white, to own another person.”
John Taylor Gatto (The Underground History of American Education, Revised Edition, 2006) wrote …
“The psychological manipulation of the child suggested by Plato had been investigated by Locke, raised to clinical status by Rousseau, refined into materialist method by Helvetius and Herbart, justified philosophically as the essential religion by Comte, and scientized by Wundt. One does not educate machines, one adjusts them.”
According to the same source …
“It [the whole problem with modern schooling] rests on a nest of false premises. People are not little plastic lumps of dough. They are not blank tablets as John Locke said they were, they are not machines as de La Mettrie hoped, nor vegetables as Friedrich Froebel, inventor of kindergarten, hypothesized, not organic mechanisms as Wilhelm Wundt taught every psychology department in America at the turn of the century, nor are they repertoires of behavior as Watson and Skinner wanted. They are not, as the new crop of systems thinkers would have it, mystically harmonious microsystems interacting with grand macrosystems in a dance of atomic forces. I don’t want to be crazy about this; locked in a lecture hall or a bull session there’s probably no more harm in these theories than reading too many Italian sonnets all at one sitting. But when each of these suppositions is sprung free to serve as a foundation for school experiments, it leads to frightfully oppressive practices.
“One of the ideas that empty-child thinking led directly to was the notion that human breeding could be enhanced or retarded as plant and animal breeding was — by scientific gardeners and husbandmen.”
According to the same source …
“Back in the beginning of the twentieth century, the monstrously influential Edward Thorndike of Columbia Teachers College said that school would establish conditions for ‘selective breeding before the masses take things into their own hands.’ The religious purpose of modern schooling was embarrassingly evident back when Ross and Thorndike were on center stage, but they were surrounded by many like-minded friends. Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about ‘the perfect organization of the hive.’ He said standardized testing was a way to make lower classes recognize their own inferiority. Like wearing a dunce cap, it would discourage them from breeding and having ambition.”
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH WELLNESS AND LONGEVITY? A LOT.
Christopher Peterson, Steven F. Maier, & Martin E.P. Seligman (Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control, 1993) wrote …
“Suppose that a white rat is placed in a steel chamber. A mildly painful electric shock is conveyed through the floor. The rat scrambles about frantically. Five seconds later, the shock is turned off. One minute later, the shock goes on again, and the rat again is frantic. In rapid succession, it rears up, climbs the walls, tears at the floor, and freezes. The pattern of shock coming on and going off regardless of what the rat does is repeated eighty times. By the end of the session, the rat huddles in the corner, and each time the shock comes on, the rat takes it, motionless.
“This experience of uncontrollable shock changes the rat. When it is later placed in a shuttlebox, in which merely running to the other side will turn off the shock, the rat will move very little, making no particular attempt to seek any relief. Furthermore, its biological defenses no longer work. If the rat had malignant tumor cells in its body before it became helpless, the tumor cells may now grow wildly. And its very biology may be radically altered. Its T lymphocytes may not reproduce themselves at a normal rate, and its natural killer cells may no longer kill invaders as actively.”