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An American Affidavit

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

149. Soldiers For Their Class: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

149. Soldiers For Their Class: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

Soldiers For Their Class  

     These buried seeds sent up no more than stunted shoots until the late nineteenth century,  when skillfully induced mass immigration — cheap Catholic labor by the boatload —  triggered a perceived need for emergency social action
on an Anglican model. At that  moment, casting about for a blueprint of order in the disturbing period of mass  immigration, the new industrial and commercial elites discarded existing American  models: the tentative intellectual meritocracy of the Unitarians, the rude nepotism of the  Presbyterians, the libertarian democracy of the General Baptists, the proud  communitarianism of Congregationalists and Quakers, the religiously centered  communities of the pietists; all had to give way since all were both local and particular  forms. None could accommodate a general habit of rule from afar very well. None was  able to maintain tight enough class discipline. Congregationalists were closest to this  ideal, but even they had radically weakened their own theological discipline with the  Half-Way Covenant and then thoroughly liberalized themselves in the Second Great  Awakening after 1795. None of these forms would do as a universal blueprint of stable  government. 

      Only one acceptable discipline had for centuries proven itself under fire, able to bend  diverse, distant, and hostile peoples to its organization, and that was the Anglican  Communion. In India, Africa, Asia, Canada, wherever the British flag flew, it had been  capable of the hard decisions necessary to maintain a subordinated order and protect the  privileges which accrue to those who manage the subordinate classes. 

      Peter Cookson and Caroline Persell cast a great deal of light on the Anglican temper in  their book Preparing For Power: America 's Elite Boarding Schools, particularly the  turn-of-the-century period, which saw the creation of almost all of the 289 boarding  schools that matter:   

      The difference between a public school and an elite private school is, in one sense, the  difference between factory and club. Public schools are evaluated on how good a product  they turn out, and the measure of quality control is inevitably an achievement score of  some kind.. ..[but] to compare public and private schools in terms of output really misses  the point. 2  

     Cookson and Persell, searching for reasons to explain the need for total institutions to  train the young, concluded: "The shared ordeal of the prep rites of passage create bonds  of loyalty that differences in background cannot unravel."  

     Collective identity forged in prep schools becomes the basis of upper-class solidarity and  consciousness, but sharing alone will not preserve or enhance a class's interest. As a  group, members must be willing to exercise their power: 

      The preservation of privilege requires the exercise of power, and those who exercise it  cannot be too squeamish about the injuries that any ensuing conflict imposes on the  losers. ...The founders of the schools recognized that unless their sons and grandsons were  willing to take up the struggle for the preservation of their class interests, privilege would  slip from the hands of the elite and eventually power would pass to either a competing  elite or to a rising underclass.  

     Private school students are enlisted as soldiers for their class, like Viking rowers, tough,  loyal to each other, "ready to take command without self-doubt." Cookson and Persell  say currently, "Boarding schools were not founded to produce Hamlets, but Dukes of  Wellington. The whole point of status seminaries is the destruction of innocence. ..not its  preservation." 

      I hope this illuminates those esoteric membership requirements of the Daughters a bit.  Whatever your personal outlook on such matters, you need to take seriously the creation  of over a hundred new hereditary associations, associations with all the birthmarks of  secret societies, which gestated and came to term in the decades froml870 to 1900 (or  just outside that narrow compass), each designed that it might in a perfectly orderly, fair  way, free of any emotional bias, exclude all unwanted breeding stock by the application  of hereditary screening and at the same time concentrate biological and social excellence.  In the same time frame, five of the Seven Sisters — the female Ivy League — opened their  doors for the first time, concentrating the future motherhood of a new race for its class  inoculation.   

2. "The inner ring of these schools, which sets the standard for the rest, includes these eighteen: Groton, St. Paul's, Deerfield, Gunnery, Choate,  Middlesex, Lawrenceville, Hotchkiss, St. George's, Kent, Hill, Episcopal High (not Episcopal Prep!), Andover, Exeter, Culver Military, Milton  Academy, St. Marks, Woodberry Forest, and perhaps one or two more. About 52 percent of the elite boarding schools are connected with the  Episcopal Church and 5 percent with the Quaker faith. 

 Organizing Caste 

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