ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE IN THE COUNTRY
THE POST-APOCALYPTIC EDUCATION
by Jon Rappoport
April 15, 2012
“Artistic value is achieved collectively by each man subordinating himself to the standards of the majority.” — Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, 1943
It’s pretty hard to push Collectivism when you have 20 students sitting in a one-room schoolhouse in the country.
If, though, you’re teaching in a factory where a few thousand kids struggle to appear every morning, Collectivism is self-defense.
“Hi. We’re all in this together! Remember that!”
“Anybody packing heat?”
One would be less prone to elucidate Socrates or the agrarian vision of Thomas Jefferson in these industrial quarters.
John Mill’s covert-op principle of “greatest good for the greatest number” would tend to prevail. Or as they say in basic arithmetic: lowest common denominator.
The Collectivist ideal of education, as pursued and funded by the great Foundations—Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, Guggenheim—find their natural home in the factory-type school. I doubt, though, that even the most optimistic utopians in the early days of those organizations could have envisioned the Great Equality of the Brain Mush that has worked out to be, in the fullness of time, the ultimate style of THE GROUP.
There is no longer any need to obscure the principles of the Republic’s Founders. There is no need to hide the study of logic from children. There is no need to squash individualism. We are past that. The takeover was accomplished several generations ago. We are now in the post-blight. From here on out, it’s a matter of managing the clock. Keep them indoors until 3. After that, all bets are off.
In even the best secondary schools, the earnest and bright students are mainly exercising their minds in the service of A Better Societal Machine.
We lost the war. So now we have to pick up the pieces.
That entails, yes, home schooling, but I’m sorry to report this is not a magical solution. Families are not automatically perfect. In the home, teachers have to emerge who can actually equip what will become strong independent minds.
Make sure you know what “independent” means.
Make sure you understand that the overwhelming number of citizens consign themselves to a remoteness from the core of what is good and right and free and individual and powerful. And they learn to live without it.
I’d love the idea of introducing logic into what’s left of the US school system. Not only does it cut through all the fairy tales, it makes kids into detectives, investigators, private eyes. They already think adults are crazy, so why not let them prove it? If you teach logic the right way, you have kids sifting through (actually reading) long passages of text and analyzing them for logical flaws.
There are lists of logical fallacies you can use. They work. They allow a student to discover the varieties of deception in political speech, media speech, scientific speech, social speech.
Turning out thousands of private eyes is far from the worst thing you can do.
And with the right instructor, intelligent kids take to logic like barracudas to water.
Once they’re in the sea, they love it. They know they’re getting sharper.
Of course, I realize US school systems aren’t anxious to include logic as a part of their curriculum. It tends to cut through the seaweed of Collectivism. How? It’s more real than Collectivism. It inevitably feeds back to the individual mind, not the group.
Barely out of college, I taught mornings at a high-priced prep-school (aka nuthouse) in Connecticut. Every day, I’d take the train up to Greenwich from Grand Central Station, and I’d often ride with a very bright 13-year old who was in my math class.
I taught him logic by using the NY Times as a target, and by the end of the semester, having seen through that level of propaganda, he was ready to be unleashed on the world.
“Go easy on your parents,” I told him, “They’re civilians.”
He grinned. “My father’s a stock broker,” he said. “I’m going to take him to the cleaners.”
Logic makes private eyes out of kids, and it also gives them the tools to pursue justice—and not the mass social product sold by racists of various stripes. I’ve seen kids who were taught logic take apart the transcript of a murder trial and shred the attorneys and their witnesses. These kids were real lawyers. They were relentless. They chased down details that had escaped the jury. It was a sight to behold.
On one of the best days I ever had as a teacher, I took a group of wayward teenagers in my math class and guided them on a trip through the definition and meaning of Collectivism. Many questions arose, and when we had sorted it all out, they broke down that social/political system like a bunch of scholars. They ripped it from stem to stern, not because I’d poisoned the well, but because they saw through the empty generalities that prop up the system. They practically rewrote the Bill of Rights, though none of them had ever read it or studied it.
When I left school that day, I was in foul mood, because I realized how much intellectual capital we were wasting in the educational machine.
It might interest you to know—and you can see this unfold for yourself at YouTube, if you watch the extraordinary six-part 1982 interview Edward Griffin did with Norman Dodd (part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4) (part 5) (part 6), who investigated the big foundations for a Congressional committee in the early 1950s—it might interest you to know that the Carnegie Foundation, upon its inception, in 1908, decided that war was the best way to change a society. After World War 1, they settled on education as the next best way. So they, with their allies in the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, groomed a new generation of historians to block off the memory and knowledge of the American Republic and its principles. The ideal of the individual had to be excised from the record.
We now tend to think education of the young is fairly far down on the list of subjects we should be concerned about. That’s because, as I said, the war has already been lost. But lost wars present opportunities in the aftermath.
While bureaucrats are carving the system into finer and finer absurdities, we can create education wherever we are. As long as we know the mind is important and not simply a necessary adjunct to the living of daily life.
During the Cold War, there were two schools of thought about what American educators ought to do in the battle against Communism: teach The Manifesto so it could be understood, or hide it. The forces of concealment won, because the guiding social engineers realized that a thorough exegesis of Marx would expose all of Collectivism for what it was.
Of course, Communism, at the highest level, was only a prop in a much larger game of beefing up two opposing sides to effect a synthesis. The leading American foundations I’ve mentioned knew this. They also knew the product of that synthesis would be a global Collectivism. It was their mission to help accomplish it.
When we educate the young as and where we can, we have to know that logic is an indispensable instrument for analyzing and getting to be the bottom of the Collectivist philosophy. Each mind must see that philosophy for itself. It has taken over virtually all colleges and universities. It is a default position that edges its way in, after enough people give up on the primacy of the individual. It is the archetype of the Sloth.
To share everything everywhere with everyone at all times is Collectivism’s banner. But when you stretch out that flag and lay it flat on the table, you see there is nothing there. It’s a blank. It contains no distinctions. It was never anything more than a stimulating of the mind and spirit toward a vague All.
In practice, it levels minds. And as we all know, there are leaders at the top who view the whole business as a cynical and brutal con.
If young people are educated so their minds become bare deserts, they will gravitate toward Collectivism. It reflects their condition, and it allows them to continue to surrender up and abdicate the ideal of the free and powerful individual.
You want to do something worthwhile? Open a School of the Free Individual.
THE FREE INDIVIDUAL.
The free individual is moral in the sense that he chooses—as seen through his own eyes—the highest work possible.
This notion of “the highest work possible” doesn’t involve leaving one’s desires behind, in order to become the abject servant of a cause. One doesn’t suddenly develop an egoless and empty personality in order to “connect” with a goal that floats in an abstract realm.
The free individual isn’t shaped. He shapes.
The great psychological factor in any life is THE DESERTION OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. Afterward, the individual creates shadows and monsters and fears around that crossroad.
Freedom is the space from which the individual can generate the thought and the pulse of a great self-chosen objective.
This was the inner core of the American Revolution. It still is.
Yet the mandate of education is: we must omit mention of the individual in teaching children. We must say that now the nation is nothing more than an interconnected Whole. We must promote interdependency as the highest ideal.
This is the betrayal.
The author of an explosive new collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creativity to audiences around the world.