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Lately I have pondered the place of teachers in America, and especially intellectual independence.


Teaching cannot fail to be regarded, on the face of what it is, as a noble and worthwhile profession. It is the general populace, worldwide, that gives credit to the importance of teachers as axiomatic. Yet there is a crippling factor somewhere that is interrupting our work while we try to explode the limits of our students' minds. The impedence is powerful; it doesn't simply come down to the distractions young people have today. I'm thinking, on this occasion, about all the teachers a child has: parents, family, community, teacher, media, government, peers. Between all of these sources of education and information most American children are being intellectually stifled and brutally limited in their ability to objectively seek truth and challenge paradigms, to evaluate what is true or false, what sources are trustworthy and how objective they themselves are when they form an informed opinion.
I made the point of teaching my senior students a short unit on 'informed opinions'; they for the vast part had no idea what an 'informed opinion' was. I'm glad I mentioned it! I eventually had them writing 'informed opinions' after reading several different sources of information on single topics so they could learn to seek out information on their own volition and could determine for themselves what they would think, not the media. In that regard, I also discussed with them the quality of different entities in the media and their trustworthiness. This was one of the most successful and interesting lessons I've ever taught.
How many parents and teachers do this? I'm sure many consciencious educators touch on this - but the parent is the first teacher of any child. For a child to come to the twelfth grade and not understand these things IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is OBSCENE and possibly FATAL FOR THE NATION.


I point out that very recently, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has been making a name for itself as a news source in America; in fact the BBC now has a channel specifically for Americans. This is being lauded as an enriching contribution to American journalism, and I'm inclined to agree: people in Europe have so much more access to world opinion and knowledge of events than Americans, whose access is truly controlled: we get mostly sweet stuff, very little meat. In Asia, Europea, Africa, South America... anywhere, people expect to be informed objectively and expect to be enabled by free information to develop opinions on their own, in congress with an education of depth and breadth and a respect for the intellectuality of the media consumer.
In America, this is not always the case. This is a Nation with an anti-intellectual streak that has characterized its entire history, including all of the time before Independence. Americans have always talked loudly about thinking for one’s self, independence, standing up against the odds – all those things we like today to see in the heroes of our action movies. Yet, Americans, while naturally and correctly distrustful of government, are not attracted to intellectuality as a trait in any person, whatever their role. To Americans, intelligence is ‘geeky’; only recently, with the advent of the computer-driven information age, are ‘geeks’ seen as valued. Yet Americans do not typically choose ‘geeky’ or highly intelligent presidents. In fact, Americans will choose safety and ignorance over freedom and understanding, because understanding takes education, and that's too much work.


On can have the intelligence of a genius and sell himself short on the education necessary to use that intelligence. In fact, as I write this, I find myself behooved to define ‘intellect’ as a combination of intelligence and knowledge; untrained minds can boast raw power but without the focus and the analytical benchmarks provided by knowledge (which is gained by education of one kind or another), such minds will never meet their true potential.


The American People even fail to truly pursue intellectual independence in higher education. Many colleges are simply not much more than degree mills when students emerge from them proudly parroting the indoctrination society often promotes even at that level. With more Americans graduating from college than ever, are we seeing, yet, an increase in progressive thought? Not truly, considering the persistence of all the traditional problems America has continually faced and evaded.


Our society still looks like Jim Crow all too often, and we still have virtually all the social diseases of the past, sometimes in new forms.


Thus, while being herded through a college ‘grinder’, young Americans are still just being updated with work skills for a more technical workplace to benefit the ever-shrinking yet ever more-powerful Boss class. The mission of liberal arts institutions has largely failed.


How did this happen? It was easy to accomplish – the Bosses did not need to tailor these institutions to fit this purpose. The young people who matriculated to these schools chose only to internalize what was practical to increasing their future wage, as they had been trained to do in high school and before.


American society is deletionist, which is to say that it teaches a disregard for anything or anyone who doesn’t advance one into a ‘power loop’. For example, knowledge of a religious philosophy such as ‘liberation theology’ will not help one quickly become a billionaire, thus learning its precepts even for the purpose of debate is unimportant in the minds of most Americans. They would immediately ‘blacklist’ it from their own corollary as being ‘foolish’, ‘outmoded’, ‘subversive’, ‘propagandic’, ‘left-wing’, and ‘communistic’ because certain words typically used in any discussion or definition of ‘liberation theology’ pushes certain ‘buttons’ in the mind of the American who observes it. Who needs Big Brother when Americans are so highly imitative or self-censorious? The fact that Americans are also highly coercive is also a worthy topic of debate. Again, who needs the Agents of Big Brother when you’ll do it to yourself?
So, it's not hard to see what Americans really think of teachers. On one level of their minds they trust them to teach important skills to their children; on the other they are disrespected and ignored except at the minimal amount of attention necessary to deliver the most essential survival information; the teacher who tries to deliver enrichment is generally ignored. In its reporting of the challenges and problems present in America's educational system and community, the press has been, in general, unhelpful and even subversive. It has repeatedly attacked the educational community when the problem was happening in their end of town. They didn't want to criticize the politicians who have often gutted the educational system for funds for their other agendas and wouldn't do the leg work necessary to help schools find the sources of problems and solve them.
What will be the end result in the citizens we train in these schools, in their present and worsening condition?


I recently read a magazine interview wherein an American musician disparaged the work of Noam Chomsky because it was (paraphrased: ) ‘left-wing dribble’ and because it ‘made no sense to him’. Thankfully, the background I have in education and longtime exposure to the precepts of the Left provided me the prerequisite understanding to see that this man simply lacked the education level to comprehend Chomsky’s consistently scholarly writings. He was resistant to giving any credence or serious attention to Leftist ideas, largely due to indoctrination, which he even edified in himself via the reinforcement of seeking points-of-view strictly agreeing with his existing thought. Who left him like that? I read in the same interview that this man dropped out of school at sixteen. It's hard to say whether he had uninspiring teachers or the school was in a state of disarray or his family wasn't supportive. Still, who was there to teach him to diversify his sources of information and to guarantee openness in his mind to paradigms outside of America's Glass Box?


It seems Americans fail to teach their children much of anything once they are already conditioned to reject incoming information as ‘undesirable’ or ‘unworthy to know’. An example: by indoctrinating the American People into believing that Black Americans have made no contribution to America, while making contrary information difficult to obtain – or worse: mention a fact or historical event and the population complacently shows no interest in deeper knowledge – and no grand mechanism of indoctrination nor miseducation is necessary. It will be socialized into their intellectual complacency and therefore reinforce their intellectual slavery.


This describes America, and Americans. This is what I’m up against every day I teach, and in my relations with other citizens-on-the-street, sometimes even those in the Left.


How can this state of induced intellectual self-sublimation be reversed?


Unfortunately this characteristic – yes, not so much a phenomenon – is deeply rooted in Americans and is actually one of the values of the culture, so it would require Americans’ removal from the culture to effect a cure. (I give as an example immersion in the far Left via working class consciousness, or alternately, insulation from the mass media and social reinforcement from similarly diseased individuals.)


Interestingly, the people of privilege in America, as elsewhere, do not subject their children nor themselves to the unspoken/unpronounceable mantra of anti-intellectualism; they don’t hear the drone of anti-educational conformity and sociopolitical complacency and misplaced trust. These families eschew public schools and live in a completely different environment, isolated from the destructive effects of America’s culture, misguided schooling and poisoned media. Thus, a class of people has been perpetuated that holds the true freedom of information and can manipulate us for all time because of the multitudinal impedences working against all of us who try to keep our childrens' minds open and strong, with an ethic of objectivity and even-handed curiosity. It has come to the point where the children of the working class are being herded into a mentality that only appreciates the entertainment press; they're being entertained into intellectual oblivion while their future masters, the children of our current corporate masters, learn the techniques of their subvertive rule over everything and everyone.


The ruling class has created the perpetual Privy Circle of Rulership. They have all the money and power to maintain this insulation; they are thus able to transmit to their successors a more pro-active and truth-privileged mental paradigm. Thus they continue to have all the money and power, and it continues ad infinitum until they either finally screw it up or we find a way to overturn it.


In other words:


(Of course, you’ve already heard this from George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Malcolm X and many others – now start listening to your true teachers and break the Privy Circle of Rulership - )



OVERTHROW THE COMMERCIAL MEDIA AND YOU WILL POWERFULLY UNDERMINE THE GOVERNMENT.



TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE WORKING-CLASS CONSCIOUS, INDEPENDENT THINKING OF THE RADICAL LEFT AND YOU WILL SOON MOBILIZE THE PEOPLE.



GET EVERYONE TO STOP WORKING FOR THE BOSSES AND PAYING TAXES TO THE GOVERNMENT OR SERVING IN THE MILITARY OR POLICE AND YOU WILL SOON OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT AND THE BOSSES.



If the people are, by then, educated enough to work together as a class, we will successfully rebuild society into something we’ll all control and live in prosperity and peace - because we will be thinking for ourselves without a coercive, deceitful institution doing everything for us while yet parisitising us instead of leading society to betterment.

http://iww.org

Go see Fahrenheit 9/11 !!!


------
The Alienist
jhfurnish@yahoo.com


Related Items

Comments

The following comments are for "The Privy Circle of Rulership"
by The Alienist

leftward leaning
I can resonate completely with so much of what you are saying. Dumbing down is culturally hip, or movies like Animal House and Dumb and Dumber wouldn't be so successful. Naturally, acting stupid leads to being stupid. I also suspect you are too right when you mention that the elite circles receive their education, while the"masses"(that tired old expression)get a watered down version of a quality education. Part of the problem, IMHO, is our desire to educate everyone equally. I think it is a lofty but unrealistic goal, and especially so when we pretend we want EVERYONE to be proficient in maths and sciences. This is pretense of course, what with vouchers being shoved down our throats at breakneck speed, which will lead to defacto discrimination and gut the public school system. You have covered much of this quite well, and as a cynical but politically centered person, it is strange that I can share so many of your sentiments. This seems to defy the Rep/Dem formula that has a deathgrip on our nation right now.
As always, I must disagree that radical change is a good thing. It brings about unpredictable results, undesirable ones. Change should be slow, forceful, deliberate, and stable, however impatient we are to see improvement. It is always good to read your well considered opinions.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: June 20, 2004 )

LEFT LEFT LEFT!!!
Left, always Left!

Even into one-way streets, turn LEFT!

LEFT!

LEFT!

The Left shall rise again!

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: June 20, 2004 )

The Alienist RE: http://iww.org
Monday, June 21, 2004

Very interesting article. For sure, we all need to learn to think more for ourselves. I turned off CNN and some of the other news stations a long time ago, and went to FOX and BBC myself because they are not part of American's One-Voice Moguls (yet). Americas news companies are almost all partnered together (except FOX, I think). They feed America One Enemic Diet: Their opinion. I'm going to read this article again and again to make sure I hear what you meant by what you said.

However, I'm confused! Why am I confused? Because I actually went to the site you posted at the end of this article:
http://iww.org

That site seems in total opposition to the ideas in your dissertation, "The Privy Circle of Rulership." The larger we grow, the smaller our circle of rulership grows, as can be clearly see at the site you suggest.

Seems we're caught in a social conundrum: What grows large enough to feed off itself?

Organization!

In the early 1900's there were few, if any, labor unions, and they were sorely needed: many voices to represent the little guys' needs against individual big businesses (my mini-opinion of the events).

Then, "the mob" stepped in and took over the unions, made a multi-billion dollar a year business of it to line their own pockets, and ALLOWED "the unions" to give the crumbs from organized-crimes provision-table to the workers in little increments of the dollar-an-hour, as higher wages. The kick-back to the little guy? Every worker got to take a brick a day home in his lunch box! Some took enough to build homes!

Now you (through this website) want to give that mob structure total control? And only one voice for American workers? Who's the "free thinker" here?

I worked as a blue collar seamstress for one of the best bosses I ever had: Bar non. When the union sent men to meet his workers (in the mid 1970's) on the way to work, he gave them a few days to think it over and then he came to the main indoor platform and made an announcement:

"I see the union guys are working you girls over. So, I want you to make a decision for me today. Do I let you keep your good paying jobs, with the employer paid benefit programs or do I close the doors of the factory I built with my own blood, sweat and tears and retire early? Your choice!" We voted FOR our jobs!

“Government” is taking too much authority over individuals’ lives already. I see the value in unions: and the danger! Eventually, and soon I think, there will be a one-world government, with one King Rat having been handed his ruler-ship by all the pack-rats of his provinces. He'll rule the industries, crops, news, laws, churches, and the unions! Is that really what you want? No freedoms at all?

The unions are just once icon of many being established in the name of "The New World Order." And that site is just one of the little ways That New Order will take over.

Teach tomorrows leaders to think for themselves, yes! Do that. But tell them that not every seemingly good choice brings good results. They’ll have to learn to look at the really big picture to begin to understand where they fit in.

It’s a terrible thing to get to the end of your life and realize you wasted your one chance defending the wrong thing.

MaxiiJ

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: June 20, 2004 )

Ah, you didn't read throroughly
The IWW charges almost no dues in comparison with the Mob unions. It's also completely democratic, with unpaid officers except for a very modestly-paid secretary-treasurer, and we have no paid organizers.

There's no money in the IWW. We deliberately keep the union poor and leave the money in the workers' pockets so this same thing can't happen. The Mob never took over the IWW, and in revenge the Mob, when it had the opportunity, helped the Government smash us where it could.

There's no money in the IWW, so there's no place for the fatcats to get in and start siphoning. There's nothing to siphon.

You need to actually READ the site, friend.

In our first 100 years (this is our anniversary), we've never been taken over by the Mob. We've been infiltrated by the Government, but never the Mob.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: June 21, 2004 )

MM
When did I say anything to give you the idea I had any tolerance for MM? I don't think anything of him more than any of these other bad pop paradigms.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: June 21, 2004 )

Two Questions
Dear Alienist... I read it right.

Question one: since I haven't seen the movie you talk about, who the heck is "MM"?

Question two: Who says the mob hasn't infiltrated your union? Are you sure?

There's more than one way to work a union, you know it and so do I. If there's power to be had (and there is), you can bet you last breath they're there!

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: June 22, 2004 )

Ugh.
Why would the mob infiltrate a union that keeps itself deliberately dirt poor and has no money, and is labelled a 'subversive organization' by the US Government and is routinely infiltrated and, if Uncle Sam deems necessary, crushed by illegal police action?

If you have so little faith in the ability of an organization of people to keep their identity clean of things like organized crime, then you lack certain life experiences and knowledge necessary to help you understand it. You know little about the IWW and didn't take much time to learn from the source I offered.

No, the mob has never been there. The Mob goes where it smells cash. The IWW has always focused on revolution and worker education. The Mob can't profit from that.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: June 23, 2004 )

Americans vs Labor History
Americans don't really know about nor bother to learn about certain topics: one of these is LABOR HISTORY.

They're content to learn history from the Boss' perspective but never the workers'.

This is just like learning American history from the perspective of people like Col. Custer instead of from the Native American people, such as Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, Sequoyah, and many others who doubtless will give you a much more down-to-earth and truthful reflection on American history.

But don't take my word for it. Go to a reservation where the culture is still relatively intact and find someone who will teach you _real_ American history, in regard to how the land was 'won'.

Perhaps then you'll be more willing to learn about the history of America's working class - 99% of the nation - through a working class perspective on American history rather than the one the Boss prefers you to learn so he doesn't seem quite a sinister as he really is.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: June 26, 2004 )





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