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An American Affidavit

Thursday, April 30, 2015

20.How Hindu Schooling Came To America (I): The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

How Hindu Schooling Came To America (I)

By the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, a form of school technology was
up and running in America's larger cities, one in which children of lower-class customers
were psychologically conditioned to obedience under pretext that they were learning
reading and counting (which may also have happened). These were the Lancaster
schools, sponsored by Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York and prominent Quakers
like Thomas Eddy, builder of the Erie Canal. They soon spread to every corner of the
nation where the problem of an incipient proletariat existed. Lancaster schools are
cousins of today's school factories. What few knew then or realize now is that they were

also a Hindu invention, designed with the express purpose of retarding intellectual

How Hindu schooling came to America, England, Germany, and France at just about the
same time is a story which has never been told. A full treatment is beyond the scope of
this book, but I'll tell you enough to set you wondering how an Asiatic device

specifically intended to preserve a caste system came to reproduce itself in the early
republic, protected by influentials of the magnitude of Clinton and Eddy. Even a brief
dusting off of schooling's Hindu provenance should warn you that what you know about
American schooling isn't much. First, a quick gloss on the historical position of India at
the time of the American Revolution — for Lancaster schools were in New York two
decades after its end.

India fell victim to Western dominance through nautical technology in the following
fashion: When medieval Europe broke up after its long struggle to reconcile emergent
science with religion, five great ocean powers appeared to compete for the wealth of the
planet: Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and England. Portugal was the first to
sail for treasure, leaving colonies in India, China, and South America, but its day in the
sun was short. Spain emerged as the next global superpower, but after 1600, her character
decayed rapidly from the corrupting effects of the gold of the Americas, which triggered
a long national decline. The Netherlands turn followed because that nation had the
advantage of a single-minded commercial class in control of things with one aim in mind:
wealth. The Dutch monopolized the carrying trade of Europe with globe-trotting
merchant ships and courageous military seamanship, yet as with Portugal before it, the
Dutch population was too small, its internal resources too anemic for its dominance to
extend very long.

Beginning in the seventeenth century, England and France gradually built business in the
East, both balked for a time by the Dutch who controlled the spice trade of the Indies.
Three naval wars with the Dutch made the Royal Navy master of the seas, in the process
developing tactics of sea warfare that made it dominant for the next two centuries. By
1700, only France and England remained as global sea powers with impressive fighting
capability, and during the last half of that century these giants slugged it out directly in
Canada, India, and in the territory which is today the United States, with the result that
France went permanently into eclipse.

In India, the two contended through their commercial pseudopodia, the British and
French East India Companies: each maintained a private army to war on the other for tea,
indigo, turmeric, ginger, quinine, oilseeds, silk, and that product which most captivated
British merchants with its portability and breakaway profit potential — opium. At Plassey,
Chandernagor, Madras, and Wandiwash, this long corporate rivalry ended. The French
abandoned India to the British. The drug monopoly was finally England's.

Out of this experience and the observations of a wealthy young Anglican chaplain in
India, the formula for modern schooling was discovered. Perhaps it was no more than
coincidence this fellow held his first gainful employment as a schoolteacher in the United

States; on the other hand, perhaps his experience in a nation which successfully threw off
British shackles sensitized him to the danger an educated population poses to

How Hindu Schooling Came To America (II)

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