188. The Illusion Of Punishment: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org
The Illusion Of Punishment
What Western spirituality says is paradoxical — rather than avoiding these hardships, it asks you to embrace them. It taught the counter-intuitive response that willing acceptance of these burdens was the only way to a good, full life, the only way to inner peace. Bending your head in obedience, it will be raised up strong, brave, indomitable, and wise. Now let me go through the list of penalties from this perspective.
About labor, the religious voice says that work is the only avenue to genuine self-respect. Work develops independence, self-reliance, resourcefulness. Work itself is a value, above a paycheck, above praise, above accomplishment. Work produces a spiritual reward unknown to the reinforcement schedules of behavioral psychologists like B.F. Skinner, but if you tackle it gladly, without resentment or avoidance, whether you're digging a ditch or building a skyscraper, you'll find the key to yourself in work. If the secular aversion to work is a thing to be rationalized as schools do, requiring only minimal effort from children, a horrifying problem is created for our entire society, one that thus far has proven incurable. I refer to the psychological, social, and spiritual anxieties that arise when people have no useful work to do. Phony work, no matter how well paid or praised, causes such great emotional distortions that the major efforts of our civilization will soon go into solving them, with no hint of any answer in sight.
In the economy we have allowed to evolve, the real political dilemma everywhere is keeping people occupied. Jobs have to be invented by government agencies and corporations. Both employ millions and millions of people for which they have no real use. It's an inside secret among top-echelon management that should you need to cause a rise in stock value, this can be engineered by eliminating thousands of "useless" jobs; that is done regularly and, I would presume, cynically.