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Friday, March 3, 2017

203. The Release From Tutelage: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Release From Tutelage 

What kind of schools do we need to extricate ourselves from the conspiracy to be much 
less than we really are? Why, enlightened schools, of course, in the sense Immanuel Kant 
wrote about them. "Man's release from a tutelage," said Kant, "is enlightenment. His 
tutelage is his inability to make use of his understanding without guidance from another." 
Tutelage is the oppressor we must overthrow, not conspiracy. Eva Brann of St. John's 
College saw the matter this way: the proper work of a real self, she said, is to be active in 
gathering and presenting, comparing and distinguishing, subjecting things to rules, 
judging. The very notion of America is a place where argument and self-reliance are 
demanded from all if we are to remain America. Annoying as it often is, our duty is to 
endure argument and encourage it. "Would the world be more beautiful were all our faces 
alike?" wrote Jefferson. "The Creator has made no two faces alike, so no two minds, and 
probably no two creeds." 

The first Enlightenment was a false one. It merely transferred the right to direct our lives 
from a corporate Church and a hereditary nobility to a pack of experts whose minds were 
(and are) for sale to anyone with a checkbook. In the second Enlightenment we need to 

correct our mistakes, using what schools we decide upon to help us strive for full 
consciousness, for self-assertion, mental independence, and personal sovereignty — for a 
release from tutelage for everybody. Only in this way can we make use of our 
understanding without guidance from strangers who work for a corporate state system, 
increasingly impatient with human beings. 

Chapter Seventeen 

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