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AnAmerAffidavit

Sunday, February 19, 2017

190. The Game Is Crooked: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Game Is Crooked 

Hannah Arendt's analysis of the remarkable banality of Nazi-era organizational character 
calls attention to its excessive orderliness, unfailing courtesy, neat files, schedules for 
everything, efficient supply procedures, and the dullness and emotional poverty of Adolf 
Eichmann, who supervised the destruction of many lives without any particular malice. 



He even liked Jews. That he was part of a company dedicated to the conversion of 
animate into inanimate on a wholesale basis wasn't his fault. It was just a job. His 
rational duty was to do his best at it. Unless mankind is allowed to possess some peculiar 
godlike dignity, a soul perhaps, Eichmann had a right to say to his critics — what 
difference between what I do and the slaughter of British beef to prevent mad cow 
disease? Nothing personal. Is it a shortage of people that makes you so angry? 

That's the real point, isn't it? Once a mission is defined with pure objectivity, 
psychopathic procedure makes perfect sense. If men and women can think about 
genocide that way, you can understand why merely screwing up children wouldn't 
trouble the sleep of school administrators. Their job isn 't about children; it's about 
systems maintenance. The school institution has always had a strong shadow mission to 
refute the irrefutable fact that all kids want to learn to be their best and strongest selves. 
They don't need to be forced to do this. 

School is a tour deforce designed to recreate human nature around a different premise, 
constructing proof that most kids don't want to learn because they are biologically 
defective. School succeeds in this private aim only by failing in its public mission; that's 
the knuckle-ball school critics always miss. Only a delicate blend of abject failures, 
midrange failures, and minor failures mixed together with a topping of success 
guarantees the ongoing health of the school enterprise. School is as good an illustration of 
the work of natural selection in institutional life as we have. The only drawback is, the 
game is crooked. Like an undertaker who murders to boost business or a glazier who 
breaks glass in the stillness of the night 2 to stimulate trade, schools create the problems 
they seem to exist to solve. 

2 This particular form of rational psychopathy has been an epidemic in the Northeast for decades, and it has struck my own life more than once. 
Some think that auto-glass installers send agents through lines of parked cars late at night to crack their windshields on the sensible supposition 
that in a trade without many practitioners, a decent proportion of new work will go to the creators of the need. Or perhaps the entire guild 
underwrites the trade, who knows? 

Psychopathic Programming 

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