147. Divinely Appointed Intelligence: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org
Divinely Appointed Intelligence
All through the British colonial history of America, the managerial class of these colonies was drawn from Church of England gentry and aristocrats. As you might expect, this leadership shared the British state church's creativedistaste toward education — for the underclasses. And underclass then was a term for which the customary narrow modern usage is quite unsuitable. Every class not included in the leadership cadre was an underclass. The eye-topped pyramid on the back of our one-dollar bill catches the idea of such an episcopate beautifully: divinely appointed intelligence ruling the blind stones beneath.
The episcopal rule of British America is well enough documented, yet it remains largely unremarked how many revolutionary leaders were still communicants of the Church of England — Russell Kirk estimated twenty-nine of the fifty- five delegates attending the Constitutional Convention of 1787. They may have been willing to push the mother country away, but their own attitude toward popular sovereignty was ambivalent. Little- known even today is the long private effort of Ben Franklin to induce British royal government to displace the Quaker Penns of Pennsylvania and take command of the state. Between 1755 and 1768, Franklin labored mightily at this, reluctantly abandoning his dream and jumping ship to the revolutionary conspirators just in time to save his own position. 1 After Braddock's defeat, Franklin joined forces with the influential Anglican priest William Smith in a venture they called "The Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge among Germans settled in Pennsylvania." This association, a harbinger of government schools to come, had nothing much to do with reading and counting, but everything to do with socializing German children as English.
Braddock's defeat on the Monongahela was the straw that tipped America's influential Quakers into the Anglican camp; it joined two influential, socially exclusionary sects in bonds of mutual assistance. When the great explosion of elite private boarding academies took place in the late-nineteenth-century period when hereditarian societies were also forming (and for the same purpose), Episcopalian schools made up half the total of such schools, a fraction many times greater than their denominational share of population would have warranted. They still do. And Quakers, at present just 1/2,600 of the American population (.04 percent), control 5 percent of the inner circle of elite private boarding schools (many elite day schools, as well). This constitutes 125 times more participation than bare Quaker numbers would seem to warrant! A managerial class was circling the wagons, protecting its own children from the epic social conditioning yet to come, and perhaps from the biological menace Darwin and Galton had warned about.
1 As little known as Ben's skullduggery is the fact that his only son was the Royal Governor of New Jersey, a loyal Church of England man who fled to England during the war and never spoke to his father again (until Franklin's life was nearly over) because of gentle Ben's treachery. Even then the breach between father and son could not be healed.
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