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An American Affidavit

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

139. The Poison Of Democracy: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Poison Of Democracy 

The spring used to classify the U.S. population in an unprecedented and very radical way 
as WWI. Prior to the war, eugenicists evaluated racial and national groups by comparing 
numbers of one group or another on "lists of distinction," 8 but they had no way of 
penetrating the secret inner spaces of consciousness. On the verge of the world war the 
new social discipline of psychology, struggling to attain a status of hard science, claimed 
to be able to change all that. It boasted of a power to go deep into the hidden regions of 
the brain. The new techno-miracle of the day was the invention of a mysterious 
"intelligence test," an "IQ" score which allegedly could place secrets of intellectual power 
at the disposal of managerial science. 

The just assembled American army of WWI was soon subject to mass intelligence 
measurement under the direction of Robert M. Yerkes, president of the American 
Physiological Association, an organization recently invented by Wundtian protege G. 
Stanley Hall. Results published after the war showed remarkable correlation with similar 
tests on American school children. While Yerkes was reporting these findings to the 
National Academy of Sciences, famous psychologist Dr. William McDougall was 

summarizing the civilian studies for the general public in his book, Is America Safe for 
Democracy? Latins and Slavs in fair mental competition scored significantly lower than 
native whites, he said. How, then, could they be given a vote equal to white men? 

McDougall claimed that hard data unmistakably revealed that a racial interpretation of 
history was the correct one. In his bookyl Study of American Intelligence, psychologist 
Carl Brigham concluded in 1923 that "the intellectual superiority of our Nordic group 
over Alpine, Mediterranean and Negro groups has been demonstrated." 

After 1922, racism was a truth of science. Word quickly spread into every corner of 
Europe; but particularly in defeated Germany, ancient Teutonic barrier against Slavic 
incursion, these new truths were enthusiastically discussed. General agreement confirmed 
Nordic superiority. The popular writer Kenneth Roberts {Northwest Passage) took up the 
cry. One of America's foremost novelists, he lectured American book dealers from the 
pages of the specialist journal Bookman that "the Alpine school of fiction" spread the 
poison of democracy through the whole culture. School texts were appropriately adjusted. 
Roberts identified himself, as you may already have guessed, as 100 percent Nordic. 

Now intelligence tests were huckstered in school district after school district; fortunes 
accrued to well-placed pedagogical leaders and their political allies. Every child would 
now be given a magical number ranking it scientifically in the great race of life. School 
grades might vary according to the whim of teachers, but IQ scores were unvarying, an 
emotionless badge of biological honor or shame, marking innate, almost unchanging 
ability. Millions of tests administered annually to primary and secondary students would 
prove the "value rank" of the American peoples. Mental ages were dutifully entered on 
permanent record cards with as much assurance as Horace Mann, Barnas Sears, 
WilliamTorrey Harris, John Dewey, and G. Stanley Hall had accepted skull maps drawn 
by their favorite phrenologists. 

Every day science seemed to make it clearer and clearer that forcing everyone to fit the 
Anglo-Saxon mold was indeed doing humanity a mighty favor. If children couldn't be 
biologically Anglo/Nordic, they could be so acculturated at least partly that way, through 
regular drill. After all, hadn't psychology proven how malleable human nature was? 
Henry Fairfield Osborn stepped forward from his duties at the American Museum of 
Natural History to announce portentously that Christopher Columbus — always a choking 
point (as a Latin) for America's cultural leadership — was actually Nordic. 

8 An invention of Galton. 

The American Protective League 

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