It's Time To Rethink Education – Part 1 (Indoctrination)

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
– Mark Twain

As a father of two young children, my thoughts have increasingly started to center around their young lives and the future world they’ll inhabit. Such considerations quickly lead to stressful questions such as, what are the best schools in the area? Which option can provide the best environment in which to thrive? If the best options aren’t public, can we afford them? Is it worth the money? All these questions and more have filled the minds of my wife and I over the past couple of years, but lately we’ve started to ask even bigger questions, such as whether the compulsory education system as it exists in the U.S. in 2017 makes any sense in the first place. I’m increasingly starting to conclude that it doesn’t.

Before I get into that, let’s take a step back. A lot of what I do here at Liberty Blitzkrieg is highlight what’s perverse and destructive about human behavior at this time, and how things can be made dramatically better in the future. If I had to summarize my worldview concisely, I’d state that human beings at the moment are living under highly centralized, hierarchical power structures which are gamed by unethical, greedy and corrupt people at the top who exploit the masses ruthlessly.

Since the worst of humanity will always work hardest and most violently to attain power (this will always be the case), the only way to achieve lasting, positive change is to systemically move to a different model for human activity. Trying to get decent people at the top of a highly centralized power structure is counterproductive and merely a short-term solution if it can even be achieved in the first place. What we need to do is tear down and reduce centralized power as much possible in the first place. If power becomes distributed far more widely across the planet, the ability for mass control and consolidation becomes much more difficult, if not impossible.

The most significant theme of the next hundred years (at least) will be a dramatic shift toward decentralized networks in nearly all aspects of human affairs. We’ve already seen its profound impact in a dramatic decentralization of information/media content creation and distribution, and we’re starting to see its impact when it comes to currency/monetary systems. Without the arrival and viral adoption of the internet on the scene, none of this would’ve been possible. More importantly, only 50% of the planet is currently online and massive social media networks have only been going for a decade or so. If we assume the internet isn’t going anywhere, we’re only in the very, very beginning stages of how it’ll ultimately shape human affairs.

As I noted in the recent post, Bitcoin, Terence McKenna and the Future of the Internet:

I remain in awe of the implications of people across the world easily talking to one another in real time and forming global networks. We’ve become so accustomed to social media at this point many of us already take for granted how extraordinary and revolutionary it really is. Nothing like this has ever happened before in human history, and it’s hard for me not to be extremely optimistic about its impact on life here on earth over a longer time horizon.

One of the most remarkable things about humans across the world talking to one another, is it becomes increasingly difficult to manipulate distinct populations into hating each other and rallying around wars that only benefit elite sociopaths in the first place.

As things stand now, people from all over the planet are examining the way the world functions and coming to the conclusion that it’s completely insane and anti-human. We live in a world where we’re told to be slaves to authority and expert judgement, despite the fact that such figures are consistently and spectacularly wrong, with their proclamations often leading to massive levels of death, destruction and economic collapse all over the world. To summarize, the world as it’s currently organized is transparently insane and cannot stand up to even the slightly degree of scrutiny. As more and more people wake up to this reality, the world will change in unimaginable ways. The earth as it stands today will be recognizable in 25 years.

Although I’ve discussed what this means when it comes to governing institutions and monetary systems on many occasions this year, one area that I’ve only begun to explore is education. As our kids creep toward the age where most children enter the school system, my wife and I have started to examine what this system looks like, and if it’s as insane as everything else about the world today. The answer seems to be, yes.

Earlier this year, I came across a 1990 speech given by famed teacher and author, John Taylor Gatto, and it completely and totally blew my mind. I highlight a few excerpts below, but cannot stress enough how important it is to read the entire thing. It’s one of the most powerful pieces of information I’ve ever shared.


Our school crisis is a reflection of this greater social crisis. We seem to have lost our identity. Children and old people are penned up and locked away from the business of the world to a degree without precedent – nobody talks to them anymore and without children and old people mixing in daily life a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present. In fact, the name “community” hardly applies to the way we interact with each other. We live in networks, not communities, and everyone I know is lonely because of that. In some strange way school is a major actor in this tragedy just as it is a major actor in the widening guilt among social classes. Using school as a sorting mechanism we appear to be on the way to creating a caste system, complete with untouchables who wander through subway trains begging and sleep on the streets.


I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my twenty-five years of teaching – that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers do care and do work very hard, the institution is psychopathic – it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to different cell where he must memorize that man and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.


Our form of compulsory schooling is an invention of the state of Massachusetts around 1850. It was resisted – sometimes with guns – by an estimated eighty per cent of the Massachusetts population, the last outpost in Barnstable on Cape Cod not surrendering its children until the 1880’s when the area was seized by militia and children marched to school under guard…


Here is another curiosity to think about. The homeschooling movement has quietly grown to a size where one and a half million young people are being educated entirely by their own parents. Last month the education press reported the amazing news that children schooled at home seem to be five or even ten years ahead of their formally trained peers in their ability to think.


I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools anytime soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what is rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution “schools” very well, but it does not “educate” – that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent, it’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing.


Schools were designed by Horace Mann and Barnard Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.


To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic – because the community life which protects the dependent and the weak is dead. The products of schooling are, as I’ve said, irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on the telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal but as human beings they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves…


It is absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety, indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, scaling you to a continuous present much the same way television does…

I could name a few other conditions that school reform would have to tackle if our national decline is to be arrested, but by now you will have grasped my thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Either schools have caused these pathologies, or television, or both. It’s a simple matter [of] arithmetic, between schooling and television all the time the children have is eaten away. That’s what has destroyed the American family, it is no longer a factor in the education of its own children. Television and schooling, in those things the fault must lie.


What can be done? First we need a ferocious national debate that doesn’t quit, day after day, year after year. We need to scream and argue about this school thing until it is fixed or broken beyond repair, one or the other. If we can fix it, fine; if we cannot, then the success of homeschooling shows a different road to take that has great promise. Pouring the money we now pour into family education might kill two birds with one stone, repairing families as it repairs children.


Genuine reform is possible but it shouldn’t cost anything. We need to rethink the fundamental premises of schooling and decide what it is we want all children to learn and why. For 140 years this nation has tried to impose objectives downward from the lofty command center made up of “experts”, a central elite of social engineers. It hasn’t worked. It won’t work. And it is a gross betrayal of the democratic promise that once made this nation a noble experiment. The Russian attempt to create Plato’s republic in Eastern Europe has exploded before [our] eyes, our own attempt to impose the same sort of central orthodoxy using the schools as an instrument is also coming apart at the seams, albeit more slowly and painfully. It doesn’t work because its fundamental premises are mechanical, anti-human, and hostile to family life. Lives can be controlled by machine education but they will always fight back with weapons of social pathology – drugs, violence, self-destruction, indifference, and the symptoms I see in the children I teach…


Independent study, community service, adventures in experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships, the one day variety or longer – these are all powerful, cheap and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force the idea of “school” open – to include family as the main engine of education. The Swedes realized that in 1976 when they effectively abandoned the system of adopting unwanted children and instead spent national time and treasure on reinforcing the original family so that children born to Swedes were wanted. They didn’t succeed completely but they did succeed in reducing the number of unwanted Swedish children from 6000 in l976 to 15 in 1986. So it can be done. The Swedes just got tired of paying for the social wreckage caused by children not raised by their natural parents so they did something about it. We can, too.


Family is the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents – and make no mistake, that has been the central function of schools since John Cotton announced it as the purpose of the Bay Colony schools in 1650 and Horace Mann announced it as the purpose of Massachusetts schools in 1850 – we’re going to continue to have the horror show we have right now. The curriculum of family is at the heart of any good life, we’ve gotten away from that curriculum, time to return to it. The way to sanity in education is for our schools to take the lead in releasing the stranglehold of institutions on family life, to promote during school time confluences of parent and child that will strengthen family bonds. That was my real purpose in sending the girl and her mother down the Jersey coast to meet the police chief. I have many ideas to make a family curriculum and my guess is that a lot of you will have many ideas, too, once you begin to think about it. Our greatest problem in getting the kind of grass-roots thinking going that could reform schooling is that we have large vested interests pre-emptying all the air time and profiting from schooling just exactly as it is despite rhetoric to the contrary. We have to demand that new voices and new ideas get a hearing, my ideas and yours. We’ve all had a bellyful of authorized voices mediated by television and the press – a decade long free-for-all debate is what is called for now, not any more “expert” opinions. Experts in education have never been right, their “solutions” are expensive, self-serving, and always involve further centralization. Enough. Time for a return to democracy, individuality, and family. I’ve said my piece. Thank you.

This above excerpts are from a speech by John Taylor Gatto accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990. Please read the entire thing and share it with the following link: Why Schools Don’t Educate.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss the concept of unschooling and why it’s captured my attention recently.

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LetThemEatRand Cognitive Dissonance Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:53 Permalink

I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure there's an app for that.The internet is a huge double-edged sword.  It contains all of the information any human could possibly want to digest, but it also contains a lot of pre-packaged information that you don't have to digest at all.  Facebook is an example of one side of the sword where the thinking is done for the user.   Unfortunately, I'd say most young people choose an app to do their thinking for them.

In reply to by Cognitive Dissonance

Ignatius Cognitive Dissonance Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:09 Permalink

I came acoss Gatto not long after realizing that 9/11 was definitely a fraud in '04.Here's the thing.  What Gatto demonstrated pissed me off more than 9/11!  9/11 happened 3,000 miles away in NYC, but my education affected me directly.  It's selfish in a way, but the knowledge that my parents innocently sent me to school assuming that I would get something resembling their education, only to find out that it was purposely being dumbed down year after year really spun me around.Classic lecture by John Taylor Gatto

In reply to by Cognitive Dissonance

lew1024 techpriest Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:56 Permalink

I liked Alfie Kohn, e.g. Unconditional Parenting. "Don't do anything that hurts your relationship with your child".Not long after reading that, we stopped trying to make the kid do anything. We told him what we thought, told him when and why we thought he couldn't have good judgment in a particular matter, let him decide. Not a perfect solution, but it ended the family arguments and stopped his rebelliousness.So he stopped going to school at the end of 7th grade, stayed home and played Minecraft and other games, did experiments, built things, brewed beer and wine, read a lot of books, especially historical novels, watched lots of Youtube videos. Took dance, music, language lessons, played soccer. Works on his cars, has many friends.He has worked since he was 17 in the same company, beginning as their solderer and assembler, has been a manager of 10 people doing production. The company wants to keep him, and is making it easy for him to go to college part-time.He finished his GED this year (highest scores, which doesn't mean that much) and is enrolled in college. He continues to become civilized, clean, neat, self-disciplined, saves his money, has a nice college fund.He speaks 4 languages, reads 3, writes English very well. He reads or listens to serious history books. He is very coherent in explanations, and knows way more than his friends who went through high school, including those now in their 3rd year of college. He is honest, of excellent character. Everyone who spends any time talking to him is impressed.Not perfect, but tall, handsome and intelligent. Not ambitious yet, spends too much time playing games."Summerhill" by O'Neill is another good read, and gave us the info to let us do this expeirment with our kid, the one that everyone said would ruin his life. But he is 5 years ahead of his peers in work experience and knows a lot.

In reply to by techpriest

Diatom Ignatius Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:12 Permalink

"the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic – because the community life which protects the dependent and the weak is dead."I want to know Gatto's definition of individualistic, dependent and weak. I'm pretty sure that Gatto is a fucking eugenicist motherfucker who believes that he was chosen to protect the Earth from "inferior human specimens"

In reply to by Ignatius

NoPension zorba THE GREEK Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:23 Permalink

55 yo here.
Graduated from high school in 1980. I'll tell you ALL when it started going downhill.
In my hometown of Baltimore ( yeah, I know ) tptb started desegregation in about 1974, actively. I consisted of " busing " , where they MADE you go to a school that was NOT in your neighborhood.
At the time , Baltimore was heavily racially segregated. White neighborhoods and neighborhoods and schools. This caused some shit, let me tell you.
Here is the fact....Black kids can't keep up with white way, now how. Not then, not now. Can't fucking hang. So what is the administration to do? Fail the black kids? ( who magically passed in their all black schools).
No. Lower the standards. And keep lowering them to the point the black kids don't even need to show up, and they pass.

End of story. Can't fix the problem...if you don't accurately identify it.
That's why home school kids are doing so well, relative to public school.
You can't make up for 70 or 85 average IQ. ( they arbitrarily raised the black average to 85, when they realized 70 is considered retarded.) Remember this...if the average is 70!!!, half are lower!!

Not exactly Mark Twain...but I'd love to hear his take on this foolishness.

In reply to by zorba THE GREEK

Omen IV NoPension Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:41 Permalink

with 70 they are not educable but the fraud creates a problem for the teaching establishment - they want the retirement benefits - so they continue to push them outNYC $24,500 per pupil spend / 86% graduation rate - with 5.5% pass rate for math and english - NYC has highest concentraiton of private schools in USA - best and brightest go there - public is black and brownhuge baby sitting operation - total fraud for profit

In reply to by NoPension

Rusty Shorts NoPension Tue, 12/12/2017 - 22:01 Permalink

NEGROESAnd at the fag-end of the procession was a long double file of the proudest, happiest scoundrels I saw yesterday--niggers. Or perhaps I should say "them damned niggers," which is the other name they go by now. They did all it was in their power to do, poor devils, to modify the prominence of the contrast between black and white faces which seems so hateful to their white fellow-creatures, by putting their lightest colored darkies in the front rank, then glooming down by some unaggravating and nicely graduated shades of darkness to the fell and dismal blackness of undefiled and unalloyed niggerdom in the remote extremity of the procession. It was a fine stroke of strategy--the day was dusty and no man could tell where the white folks left off and the niggers began. The "damned naygurs"--this is another descriptive title which has been conferred upon them by a class of our fellow-citizens who persist, in the most short-sighted manner, in being on bad terms with them in the face of the fact that they have got to sing with them in heaven or scorch with them in hell some day in the most familiar and sociable way, and on a footing of most perfect equality.- "Mark Twain on the Colored Man," Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, July 1865 COMPLEXIONSNearly all black and brown skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare....Where dark complexions are massed, they make the whites look bleached-out, unwholesome, and sometimes frankly ghastly. I could notice this as a boy, down South in the slavery days before the war. The splendid black satin skin of the South African Zulus of Durban seemed to me to come very close to perfection....The white man's complexion makes no concealments. It can't. It seemed to have been designed as a catch-all for everything that can damage it. Ladies have to paint it, and powder it, and cosmetic it, and diet it with arsenic, and enamel it, and be always enticing it, and persuading it, and pestering it, and fussing at it, to make it beautiful; and they do not succeed. But these efforts show what they think of the natural complexion, as distributed. As distributed it needs these helps. The complexion which they try to counterfeit is one which nature restricts to the few--to the very few. To ninety-nine persons she gives a bad complexion, to the hundredth a good one. The hundredth can keep it--how long? Ten years, perhaps.The advantage is with the Zulu, I think. He starts with a beautiful complexion, and it will last him through. And as for the Indian brown--firm, smooth, blemishless, pleasant, and restful to the eye, afraid of no color, harmonizing with all colors and adding a grace to them all--I think there is no sort of chance for the average white complexion against that rich and perfect tint.- Following the Equator - Mark Twain

In reply to by NoPension

what happened NoPension Wed, 12/13/2017 - 07:38 Permalink

 I have looked at the data and it also suggests environmental factors play a critical role in the development of the brain and learning.  If you are born in the inner cities, subjected to poor parenting, government intrusion, murder and drugs, you will be traumatized as a child.  Trauma radically affects brain development.

In reply to by NoPension

ThePhantom Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:52 Permalink

somehow, I think whoever wrote the intro might need to go back to school..."the world will change in unimaginable ways. The earth as it stands today will be recognizable in 25 years."".. the world as it’s currently organized is transparently insane and cannot stand up to even the slightly degree of scrutiny."

TheEndIsNear ThePhantom Tue, 12/12/2017 - 22:48 Permalink

Yes, he lost me at "...where he must memorize that man and monkeys derive from a common ancestor."

There is voluminous physical archeological evidence to back this up. Religion is a mental disorder. "God" is no answer to anything since this postulation explains nothing, in fact it is nothing but a red herring used to avoid rational thought.

In reply to by ThePhantom

tion TheEndIsNear Tue, 12/12/2017 - 23:02 Permalink

>It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to different cell where he must memorize that man and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.Your accusation of a red herring is both a strawman and a red herring. Extra credit points for throwing in an ad hominem and appeal to emotion.Also, I've got some evidence that the climate changes.  It serves as voluminous physical evidence that manmade climate change is real.  After my concussion heals I would be glad to debate this with you.  We could have a party.  I will be sure to invite a Texas sharpshooter and appeal to his authority while falsely equivalating him to a true scotsman and simultaneously leaping logic. Bring your own beer.The kettle above you couldn't even bother to capitalize his sentence. Participation ribbons for all ;)(ps I didn't neg you)

In reply to by TheEndIsNear

Lordflin TheEndIsNear Tue, 12/12/2017 - 23:04 Permalink

It is an interesting thing about a man who lacks a spiritual connection... he simply cannot grasp it. I remember those days as I was there myself many years ago, convinced of a material basis for all reality...

Such a man often makes a fool of himself as he attempts to find rational, and explanation for that with which he is in total ignorance of.

In reply to by TheEndIsNear

TheEndIsNear Lordflin Wed, 12/13/2017 - 01:31 Permalink

You need to take some physics, chemistry, biology, and other science classes, and then you will begin to understand how everything works. "Spirits" are undetectable by any and all instruments, and therefore are for practical purposes non-existent, just the same as the tooth fairy, Zeus, Thor, Santa Claus, etc. Belief in non-existent things is a crutch that leads to insanity and very poor judgement.

How can you prove that Harvey, the six foot rabbit that accompanies me everywhere and that only I can see and is totally undetectable by all means possible and only talks to me does not exist? Why is your imaginary "God" more real than my Harvey?

In reply to by Lordflin

wisehiney Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:48 Permalink

Corrupt weak and immoral cannot be fixed.Only destroyed.The sowing has been done.Time for the reaping.When all of the bad seed is gone.We can plant anew.

LetThemEatRand Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:50 Permalink

Give a man a book, and he has a way to start a fire or increase the height of his seating position.  Give a man the ability to read and critically understand the book, and he'll write his own.  Or something like that.

TBT or not TBT koan Wed, 12/13/2017 - 01:12 Permalink

A disparity in rates of reproduction between high IQ people and low IQ people was the cause of the advanced state of stupidity in the movie called Idiocracy.    Low IQ people and their descendants outbred smarter humans.   Take a look at Turkey, where dumbasses outbred secularists for long enough to hand the possibly mending shithole right back to Islam.   Sub Saharan Africa is an even more special place, where science and technology not from there has permitted a burst of population growth that's insane.  The smart self controlled people aren't the ones multiplying down there. 

In reply to by koan

serotonindumptruck Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:56 Permalink

During the past 25 years or so, the desire to give public school attendees a passing grade has become tantamount to protecting public school teachers' jobs.Giving a sub-standard or delinquent student the failing grade that they deserve has become a major detriment to the continued employment of any teacher who would dare to do such a thing.Every student must be given at least a C average, even if they only attend class 25% of the time, or are disruptive when they do attend.The dumbing down of amerika should be considered complete, when the average Millenial can barely write out their own name without resorting to a spellcheck function.