94. The German/American Reichsbank:The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archve.org
The German/American Reichsbank
Sixty years later, amid a well-coordinated attempt on the part of industrialists and financiers to transfer power over money and interest rates from elected representatives of the American people to a "Federal Reserve" of centralized private banking interests, George Reynolds, president of theAmerican Bankers Association, rose before an audience on September 13, 1909, to declare himself flatly in favor of a central bank modeled after the German Reichsbank. As he spoke, the schools of the United States were being forcibly rebuilt on Prussian lines.
On September 14, 1909, in Boston, the president of the United States, William Howard Taft, instructed the country that it should "take up seriously" the problem of establishing a centralized bank on the German model. As The Wall Street Journal put it, an important step in the education of Americans would soon be taken to translate the "realm of theory" into "practical politics," in pedagogy as well as finance.
Dramatic, symbolic evidence of what was working deep in the bowels of the school institution surfaced in 1935. At the University of Chicago's experimental high school, the head of the Social Science department, Howard C. Hill, published an inspirational textbook, The Life and Work of the Citizen. It is decorated throughout with the fasces, symbol of the Fascist movement, an emblem binding government and corporation together as one entity. Mussolini had landed in America.
The fasces are strange hybridized images, one might almost say Americanized. The bundle of sticks wrapped around a two-headed axe, the classic Italian Fascist image, has been decisively altered. Now the sticks are wrapped around a sword. They appear on the spine of this high school text, on the decorative page introducing Part One, again on a similar page for Part Two, and are repeated on Part Three and Part Four as well. There are also fierce, military eagles hovering above those pages.
The strangest decoration of all faces the title page, a weird interlock of hands and wrists which, with only a few slight alterations of its structural members, would be a living swastika. 1 The legend announces it as representing the "united strength" of Law, Order, Science, and the Trades. Where the strength of America had been traditionally located in our First Amendment guarantee of argument, now the Prussian connection was shifting the locus of attention in school to cooperation, with both working and professional classes sandwiched between the watchful eye of Law and Order. Prussia had entrenched itself deep into the bowels of American institutional schooling.
14. Interestingly enough, several versions of this book exist — although no indication that this is so appears on the copyright page. In one of these versions the familiar totalitarian symbols are much more pronounced than in the others.