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An American Affidavit

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

243. Epilogue: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org


Only one nation refused to accept the psychology of submission. The Chechens never 
sought to please, to ingratiate themselves with the bosses; their attitude was always 
haughty and indeed openly hostile.... And here is the extraordinary thing — everyone was 
afraid of them. No one could stop them from living as they did. The regime which had 
ruled the land for thirty years could not force them to respect its laws. 

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 

The history of the Hmong yields several lessons that anyone who deals with them might 
do well to remember. Among the most obvious are that the Hmong do not like to take 
orders; that they do not like to lose; that they would rather flee, fight, or die than 
surrender; that they are not intimidated by being outnumbered, that they are rarely 
persuaded that the customs of other cultures, even those more powerful than their own 
are superior; that they are capable of getting very angry.... Those who have tried to 
defeat, deceive, govern, regulate, constrain, assimilate, or patronize the Hmong have, as 
a rule, disliked them intensely. 

— Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down 

If they mean to have a war, let it begin here 

— Captain John Parker, commanding the American militia against the British. Said at 
first light, Lexington, Massachusetts, April 19, 1775 

I see two ghosts appear out of the mist on the morning river that runs into our green 
future, each wraith beckons me follow him down a different path. One I recognize by his 
arrogant bearing as the imperial spirit of Major General Edward Braddock calling all of 
us to follow him to the end of history just across the river. 

Braddock is a bold man, proud, indifferent to fear. He scorns danger because to him, all 
answers are already known; he demands to be our shepherd on this last regression to the 
royal destiny we escaped three lifetimes ago. If we go with him, the whole world will 
follow, and the British empire reconnected will be invincible. Come home, says 
Braddock, you are children who cannot care for yourselves properly. We shall give you a 
secure place in the bell-curve pyramid of State. Together we shall witness the final 
evolution of the favored races, though many will be unable to participate in the triumph. 
Still, there will be for them the satisfaction of serving the fortunate who have inherited 
the earth at the end of history. 

The other ghost is a familiar one, too. A tall, muscular Virginian, just as compelling as 
Braddock but without his haughtiness, a man dressed in the browns and greens of nature, 
a brace of pistols at his waist, on a horse he calls Blueskin. He stands straight as an 
arrow. His powerful presence in combination with the delicate feet of a dancer mark him 
unmistakably as Major George Washington. 

As a boy he learned the hard things: duty, piety, courage, self-reliance, to have a mind of 
his own, to refuse to accept the psychology of submission. His head was stocked with 

Cato, Fielding, Euclid, Newton, surveying, Caesar, Tacitus, the Testaments, 
horsemanship, dancing, how to tell a bawdy joke, how to comfort the weak, how to brace 
the strong, how to endure hardship, how to give men a reason to die, or one to live. 

Once this same colonial frontiersman rode in a dream together with the English general, 
across an angry green river they rode into the deeps of the further forest. Braddock and 
his army died on the Monongahela that day, but this American lived because he had 
learned to think for himself. The men who followed Washington lived, too, because the 
leader they chose was not a function of some greater abstraction. The loyalty they gave 
him was freely given, not imposed by intimidation or trickery. 

Washington's greatest mistake in judgment, I think, was remembering Braddock's army 
as the most brilliant thing his eyes had ever seen, for surely that must have been his own 
reflection in the mirror. In that first moment after he refused to become King George I of 
America, brilliance never lived inside a more brilliant human vehicle. Behind the heroic 
persona of Washington a real hero reposed. America is his legacy to us. Because of 
Washington we owe nothing to empires, not even to the one building in America today 
which seeks a reunion with Great Britain in order to dominate world affairs. The 
American people owe empires the same rude salute we gave Britain's at Bunker Hill, 
Saratoga, and Yorktown. 

John Pike, a defense analyst with globalsecurity.org, a policy think tank based in 
Alexandria, Virginia was quoted on this maker of empires in the Los Angeles Times. 
After noting the Pentagon's new expansions into Central Asia and Eastern Europe, he 
remarked that the United States military now spans the planet in a way unprecedented in 
history. "If you want to talk about suns never setting on empires, you know, the Brits had 
nothing compared to this," said Pike. 

Time to take our schools back. If they mean to have a war, let it begin now. 

John Taylor Gatto 
Oxford, New York 
July 4, 2003 

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