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Saturday, April 8, 2017

238 Empty Children: The Underground History of Amercian Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

Empty Children 

Not far to go now. Here is my recipe for empty children. If you want to cook whole 
children, as I suspect we all do, just contradict these stages in the formula: 

1. Remove children from the business of the world until time has passed for them to 
learn how to self-teach. 

2. Age-grade them so that past and future both are muted and become irrelevant. 

3. Take all religion out of their lives except the hidden civil religion of appetite, and 
positive/negative reinforcement schedules. 

4. Remove all significant functions from home and family life except its role as 
dormitory and casual companionship. Make parents unpaid agents of the State; 
recruit them into partnerships to monitor the conformity of children to an official 

5. Keep children under surveillance every minute from dawn to dusk. Give no 
private space or time. Fill time with collective activities. Record behavior 

6. Addict the young to machinery and electronic displays. Teach that these are 
desirable to recreation and learning both. 

7. Use designed games and commercial entertainment to teach preplanned habits, 
attitudes, and language usage. 

8. Pair the selling of merchandise with attractive females in their prime childbearing 
years so that the valences of lovemaking and mothering can be transferred intact 
to the goods vended. 

9. Remove as much private ritual as possible from young lives, such as the rituals of 
food preparation and family dining. 

10. Keep both parents employed with the business of strangers. Discourage 
independent livelihoods with low start-up costs. Make labor for others and outside 
obligations first priority, self-development second. 

11. Grade, evaluate, and assess children constantly and publicly. Begin early. Make 
sure everyone knows his or her rank. 

12. Honor the highly graded. Keep grading and real world accomplishment as strictly 
separate as possible so that a false meritocracy, dependent on the support of 
authority to continue, is created. Push the most independent kids to the margin; do 
not tolerate real argument. 

13. Forbid the efficient transmission of useful knowledge, such as how to build a 
house, repair a car, make a dress. 

14. Reward dependency in many forms. Call it "teamwork." 

15. Establish visually degraded group environments called "schools" and arrange 
mass movements through these environments at regular intervals. Encourage a 
level of fluctuating noise (aperiodic negative reinforcement) so that concentration, 
habits of civil discourse, and intellectual investigation are gradually extinguished 
from the behavioral repertoire. 


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