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An American Affidavit

Thursday, May 23, 2019

144. A New Collectivism: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

144. A New Collectivism: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

A New Collectivism  

     By 1919 a deluge of state legislation appeared, specifically designed to counteract  rampant Bolshevism. Idaho and Utah established criminal penalties for failure to attend  Americanization classes. Fifteen states ordered English to be
the only language of  instruction in all schools, public and private. Nebraska demanded that all meetings be  conducted in English. Oregon required every foreign language publication to display  prominently a literal English translation of its entire contents. In 1922, Oregon outlawed  private schools for elementary school children, a decision reversed by the Supreme Court  later in the Pierce vs. Society of Sisters case (1925).  

      At the same time, or just a bit later, a new biology began to emerge — a molecular vision  of life under the direction of the Rockefeller Foundation, a vision in which scientific     interventions could and should be used deliberately, by the best people, to control  biological and social evolution. With Rockefeller as a principal engine, the shared social  view of corporate thinkers was comprehensively imposed, bit by bit, on academic  science. Elite universities, with Caltech as leader, became sites for implementation of the  Rockefeller project. It was, in the words of Lily Kay in {The Molecular Vision of Life), "a  potent convergence of social agendas and scientists' ambitions." 

      Eugenic goals played a significant role in conception and design of the new Rockefeller  biology, to such a point that open discussion of purposes had eventually to be kept under  wraps as a political liability, particularly when the great dictators of Europe appeared to  be taking some of their cues from America. Molecular biology promised a politically  safer, and even a more certain path to an eventual Utopia of social planning by elites, and  one now properly "scientific," completely free of the embarrassing candor of eugenic  selection. 

      The experience of these times gave reformers a grand taste for blood. Government  intervention everywhere was proclaimed the antidote for dissent. Intervention took many  unexpected shapes. For instance, the "Athlete's Americanization League" agitated  intensely to provide free sports equipment for every public school with its battle cry:  "Sports are the logical antidote for unrest." By the time national passion cooled, in every  nook and cranny of American life new social organizations with powerful government or  private sponsorship flourished. All fed on intervention into families for their  nourishment, all clamored to grow larger, all schemed to produce political testimony of  their value. A new republic was here at last, just as Herbert Croly'" had announced, and  government school was to be its church. 

 10. The new republic we were driving toward, according to Croly, bore little resemblance to either a republic   or a democracy. It was to be an apolitical universe, a new Utopia of engineers and skilled administrators, hinted at by Bellamy, spun out further  by Veblen in The Engineers and the Price System, and The Theory of Business Enterprise. A federal union of worldwide scope was the target, a  peculiar kind of union of the sort specified in Cecil Rhodes' last wills, which established the Rhodes Scholarships as a means to that end.  Politics was outdated as a governing device. Whatever appearances of an earlier democratic republic were allowed to survive, administrators  would actually rule. A mechanism would have to be created whereby administrators could be taught the new reality discreetly so that continuity  and progress could be assured. De Tocqueville's nightmare of an endlessly articulating, self-perpetuating bureaucracy had finally come to life.  It was still in its infancy, but every sign pointed to a lusty future.  

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