Most of us have a problem with educational system here in the US or elsewhere. Of course it is corrupted and won’t teach us nowadays anything useful or remotely beneficial when we embark on our own mission impossible, namely our young independent life. If it is even possible in the world of propaganda lies, which extend to the educational field as well. Where are the schools that would teach us how to lie to a judge, to the public, to congress or parliament, or how to steal or kill with immunity, skills widely used by those with political ambitions of power and affluence or just wanting to survive in a jungle under this veneer deep civilization.
But even after we said all those true words of condemnation against the current educational system it is likely still better than it was before, say 300 years ago when the only thing 99% of people bonded into serfdom were taught, before their painful death at the old age of thirty, was to work hard as their fathers, kneel low before their masters or priests and to somehow survive as many winters of famine as possible.
Throughout millennia as well as today, a concept of official education was and still is limited mostly to the religious or secular indoctrination or militarily useful training with few exemptions limited to the aristocratic circles. Higher education, devised mostly to kill boredom of young members of the ruling elites or to prevent mischief, were started in the west at Greek schools of Sophism which were dedicated to a quick political wit and other inconsequential endeavors for profit, resulting in varying levels of annoyance among rulers and inevitably led to their closures. Plato’s Academia, a cradle of the western intellectual tradition, after almost nine centuries of teaching countless generations of philosophers did not survive a Christian emperor, Justinian I, who decided to close the Academia as useless and “immoral” institution that “distinguished” itself with confusing young minds and questioning blessed revelations. In other words, in its particular form Academia was useless for the power elites of Byzantium.
Following imperial collapses, even remnants of any prior educational systems were utterly destroyed. However, during thousand years of European Dark Age, learning and teaching did not completely disappear. And I am not talking about monasteries, which in fact did not as much nurture the achievements ancient human mind but buried them instead. Thousands of volumes of masterpieces of the Greek and Roman philosophy and science were erased from books and parchments in order to replace them with half-pagan panegyrics directed toward contemporary religious or the local political authorities.
I am talking about millions of peasants as well remnants of the roman imperial middle class and their ancestors who in a face of death of much over 50% of the European population, learned how to survive the utter immorality led by Christians violating the canons of their Church, extreme brutality of the barbarian rulers, absolute lawlessness, utter desperation and the complete collapse of economy and agriculture.
It is remarkable that during these dark times, most of the breakthrough agricultural technological progress occurred despite the fact that educational system was virtually non-existent. Facing collapse of the peasant population massively killed by armed gangs of lords such as Windsors’ in England, stealing or destroying every crop or livestock, most of the peasant rejected violence and turned toward new methods of natural science and technology to improve their chances of survival.
The new inventions of wheeled iron plow, advanced crop rotation schemes and natural soil fertilizing, starch releasing fine mills, considerable improvements in the drainage system and many others inventions dramatically enhancing productivity of the surviving peasants, their food safety and security, the crop production yield. These new technologies enhanced the variety and nutritional/caloric value of produced foods as well as furthered development of the food storage technologies.
All of that came not from the educational system but individually from direct observation of nature by intelligent peasants working their land, and facing the almost impossible task of survival during the dark, perpetual war and mayhem it created. Those who rejected an intellectual courage, learning and practical intelligence died either from a sword or starvation. The progress and survival of the ordinary people during dark ages came not from a violence or domination but from the natural process of elimination of those rejecting the knowledge over aggression or brutality. A lesson applicable to the conditions of today.
The fruits of the technological revolution of dark ages were still being harvested in the XIX and early XX century throughout the US and Europe and still provide a simple, cheap and effective solution to alleviate famine in the third world today as an alternative to the West instigated debt spiral financing alternative of a “modern” biochemical and genetically engineered mass production agriculture.
Coming out of dark ages when consolidation of the distributed political power into no less brutal medieval kingdoms, under umbrella of the Christendom, was almost completed and following the re-discovery of ancient philosophical treatises, preserved in Middle East, new mostly Church run institutions of higher learning were slowly coming to life, unsurprisingly serving exclusively the contemporary power elites and clergy. What’s interesting is to realize that the official, formal knowledge was so concise that more gifted student could after just 5-8 years of study could simultaneously achieve a Doctorate as lawyer (Canonic law), physician (Medic), Engineer (Military Infrastructure), Physicists/Chemist (Alchemist), philosopher, astronomer and mathematician as long as he belonged to the ruling class. Copernicus and later Leonardo da Vinci and others were those renaissance people of the new age.
Ordinary peasants were left to self educate about most of practical matters by medieval rulers and with good results until the reformation came with all the religious rhetoric threatening dominant role of the Catholic Church in the establishing religious dogmas, state laws, European politics and economic affairs. The Church interest in education did not stem from wanting people to learn something useful but rather to prevent learning from the reformation heretics about an alternative, personal interpretation of the Holy Bible. As a response, newly established order of Jesuits, an order of pope’s Knights, wise, strong, beautiful and witty brothers of Christ were cast to establish a catholic educational system throughout the world from Europe to Americas and beyond often with deadly consequences.
Unfortunately, Jesuits together with their renaissance brothers, members of, newly reorganized, Holy Inquisition, a ”respectable” institution of morality and God’s law, instead of focusing on re-conversion of the misguided Lutheran/protestant brothers in faith, they focused on “conversion” to Catholicism from any faith as long as faithful were weak and defenseless. Countless thousands of orthodox Christians as well as native tribes in Americas were converted into Catholicism before they died but most after their deaths as Church reports indicated. They were much less successful in converting well armed Protestants and were even less successful in establishing an efficient school system ensuring popular voluntary support for the Catholic Church or else. A peasant child learned in those schools to be scared of Jesuits more than Jesus himself.
It took philosophy of enlightenment and development of the secular materialistic encyclopedia combined with underlying political awakening of the masses in XVII and XVIII centuries to bring into the fore questions of education of the ordinary people in the context of basic human right. The right to understand nature of the world as well as true economic, social and political system, ordinary people were subjected to. The American revolutionaries who demanded a separation of Church and State to contrast the unity of the state and church in England and elsewhere at that time provided an important argument in the debate. French revolutionaries picked up the idea in 1789 demanding also separation of the Church (Jesuit run system) from a national educational system, meaning establishment by the state a new educational system based of the principles of enlightenment and ideas of a nation-state but not to avail.
This was the beginning of our modern educational system of noble ideas and corrupted implementations. The egalitarian i.e. for ordinary people or citizen, a public system of uniform education was tasked with one basic mission: to propagandize an abstract notion of a nation-state to new generations and train them to fight and die for it. In the system citizens must be “educated” not to question the authority of a state but instead to defend the ruling class interests.
In other words the modern educational system was designed to prepare the ordinary citizen to contribute to national economy as well as to fight in the national army for a benefit of the ruling elites as a patriotic feat, both new historical concepts at that time. It was about then, when modern national anthems, hymn’s, flags, symbols, state borders and political maps or other nation-state paraphernalia were created only to give masses something of physical representation of an abstract concept of non-existing nation to rally around.
Every time rulers decided to wage a domestic or foreign war or economic destruction of the society in maddening race for profits or to satisfy capricious insane desires, they invoked the power of educational system to justify yesterday’s blasphemies into today’s virtues well before Orwell was born. No wonder that Germans, who developed the most advanced educational system in the World, from grammar schools to top universities, devised the word propaganda. Propaganda was meant as a necessary educational tool of communicating or lying to the ordinary German people, about ideas of a unified German nation which in reality was preparing the ordinary people to work hard toward coming WWI and die in it for glory of their illustrious national leaders.
The same cruel abuse of the propaganda based educational system by the power elites, in a variety of versions, was happening in the XIX and XX century in US and other European countries and beyond, under a guise of fake promise of social mobility or advancement. One of the most distinct examples of enhancing and employing national educational system to pursue the madness of ruling elites was early cold war era in late 1940-ties in US and Soviet Union. The elites of both countries, facing perceived, personal existential threat of annihilation, in a desperate move, overcoming previous fear of the masses and ideological prejudice, unleashed a human intellectual potential at the unprecedented scale in a misguided and extremely costly quest to gain an illusory, wonder weapon based, supremacy over their enemy.
The educational systems in both countries grew at least ten fold through massive investments in science and education as well as through the government inspired social policies such as GI bill, NSF grants, financial support or outright abolishment of the tuition fees for state-run universities like in California in 1960. Most of the graduates found an employment in the bloated government or military preparing for the WWIII. When tensions subsided somewhat in the late 1960-ties it was the military, police and finally national educational system that had to deal harshly, with the side effects of millions young highly educated people, who figured out the scam of the nation-state politics. It was accomplished by firing thousands of the faculty, students, social workers, activists and blacklisting them permanently.
In the core of our modern educational system is an extreme nationalism, national chauvinism and statism. It is true in the US, in China and it was true in the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. Just examine history books of any two neighboring countries; contradictions of the facts as well as interpretations are shocking even about well-documented historical events that occurred centuries ago between current political allies.
Why is that? Simply because every country’s mostly illegitimate elites can’t afford changing their false, fantastic narratives about grandiosity of their nations, fearing the total rejection of their rule. So for example, Germany slowly becoming a victim of Adolph Hitler, an Austrian by birth, and Japanese became victims of the China’s communist plot and bad circumstances. Whitewashing of the history taught in our educational systems from kindergarten to graduate schools in every country on Earth is shocking and unbelievable unless we understand the true purpose of educational system.
Another objective of the education system is to train us to be useful militarily against the enemies of ruling elites, domestic and/or foreign. In order to do that more and more advanced knowledge is needed to design, produce and operate deadly weapons. The foundation of necessary knowledge is kindly provided by the secondary educational system run by the military as well as by the public/private educational institutions.
The militarization of our nation-states is appalling and is increasing with the increased imperial domination of globalization processes. Claims of the 2% GDP spending for military is a joke no one believes. In the US more the 40% and up to 60% of the economy is driven by the military and government spending respectively. The “retired” generals are practically running MIC and their cronies are running “disruptive innovations” of the internet and the social media madness as a NSA or the other surveillance agency’s pet projects. The former military or their cronies take majority of positions in the local governments, especially in local police or SWAT teams or other government or quasi-governmental agencies.
The military cronies or their patsies run most of the government contracting. Military extended “families”, and their often illegitimate children, take all kinds of cushy positions including the leading positions in the public utilities, public school systems and university systems, public or private, and additionally serve a purpose of the propaganda of upward social mobility. The former military people are everywhere and often hold the critical positions, put there only to do their duties when orders come.
Tens of millions of good Americans working for governments of every level as well as in the state-fused corporate institutions of death and war propaganda such as main stream media of corporatist state, the so-called health/death systems, public utilities, commodity and the energy sector and the remains of manufacturing industry are all the product of a nation-state run educational system preparing everyone to do their deadly duties for a sake of our nations or more precisely to defend the ruling elites with our blood.
Those who escaped the physical prowess in military schools are pushed into the sports by our educational system, devised to instill in young people a motivation through physical and mental training or as a spectator of sports nurturing primitive instincts of belonging to a tribe, misleading notion of the national unity, greatness and physical superman-like abilities of the compatriots. All those are efforts entail a propaganda concocted fairy tale that killed too many gullible snipers or misguided football players.
Infiltration of military culture into the civilian life is unprecedented in the history and only comparable to the massive militarization process in last century before the collapse of Roman Empire.
But what is the role of education for the rest of us, not a party to the militaristic courtier class of power. In simple words the rest of us are being propagandized to believe that the education would get us ahead in our lives, that advancement in such a heavily stratified society is at all possible. We are expected to pay a lot for this daydream not only in the monetary terms but through total submission to the depravity of this particular totalitarian command and control system, masquerading as democratic chaos of unlimited opportunities.
Those who first submitted to their role in the nation-state educational system were teachers of K-12 turning schooling into the prison guard duties as well as professors of colleges and universities who under threat of loosing their academic position, retirement or livelihood, condemned their students to a torture of offensive cacophony, wrongly called teaching, while raping any remains of a reason or logic lingering in the young minds, every step of the way of their unintelligible utterances, wrongly called lectures.
For last few decades, schools and Universities refused to teach under political and economic pressure of the corporatist cancer devouring academia and stemming from that an adoption of the neoliberal, market competition driven views on the education aimed to destroy it and to betray the student body in the process.
Those who opposed the betrayal of their students were fired, disappeared from the teaching profession and often were persecuted. Most of the sold out opportunists from Ivy leagues to provincial community colleges are simply apparatchiks of the academic cliques with no true professional qualifications in their fields but bullying their ways through the academic hierarchy and salary ladder.
Moreover, most of them have no skills or desire to teach anyone, despite their PhDs, medals or Nobel prices which are given to the courtiers of the national/international academic establishment or to political/military hacks. Majority of faculty in the academia are preoccupied solely with the research contracts, on a side, financed by their government or corporate sponsors.
Truely talented students are exploited, their ideas, their work stolen by those professorial and “moral” authorities they trusted and at the end many students are being discarded with no recognition or work credit of any kind and no means to subsistence. There are few places where totalitarianism is more visible than in a slave-like academic relationship between professor and adjunct, post doc or student.
There are probably only few things left which were not recently tried or used by academic administration to discourage young minds of serfs to study our environment, society or liberal arts perhaps due to the fear of discovering the truth of ruling elite role in a grand plan of sacrificing ordinary people on the altar of domination and war.
The US educational system is returning back to massive campaigns directed to discourage sons and daughters of the ordinary people from achieving higher level of education, by means of MSM propaganda, manipulation of recruitment process, absurd tuition hikes or by piling up fake administrative fees while the robust system of student grants, developed just few decades ago, has been shrank into invisibility.
In our condition of quasi permanently depressed economy, lack of student jobs or other sources of income, forcing many students, into a crime and/or gay or strait prostitution, sometimes thinly disguised as “sugar daddy” sponsorship to pay a student loan, a carefully hidden from the family, sexual exploitation often lasting years after the graduation. The colleges starved for money, did away with any objective criteria of recruitment, replacing them by rankings based predominantly on the ability of students to pay exorbitant fees and potential donations to the school from their parents, leaving tens of thousand of poor but talented young people behind.
The outrageous cost of books, software or media that are being paid by the students forcing them into an extreme poverty, and can only be characterized as a theft or extortion, is a scandal openly tolerated by the school administration loaded with costly and incompetent cliques and cronies.
The massive propaganda of degrading virtues of truth-seeking through a scientific inquiry and denying academic freedoms combined with the collapse of relative salary levels in the socially beneficial professional fields due to the monopolization or outsourcing of jobs, took its toll already.
The academia turned into a conveyor belt for unaware victims of the Wall Street financial crimes in a form of so-called student loans, debt traps leading to a lifetime of enslavement, as planned by the new version of nation-state educational system. In contrast, courtiers of the elite are able to easily recoup exuberant educational costs through a living trust, cushy job or a wealthy sponsor.
As a result the original scientific and technological research into socially beneficial fields has been practically halted since late 1970-ties. During last four decades all the technological progress was done through an efficient implementation of the “old” technologies developed by governments for sole benefit of the private capital and government surveillance agencies.
Nothing new or breakthrough is going on in the science and technology only re-heating old, repeatedly discarded wrong ideas or off the wall nonsensical theories backed by the Hedge Fund illiterate bosses and as a consequence, the technological development indicators show that the fundamental scientific research is dead.
This is mainly due to the calcified body of academic or research faculties who are prohibited to teach new talent where it could be found, namely among broad pool of talented young people from every social class. The young elites are intellectually corrupted, impaired and exhausted, incapable of anything but a gluttonous dream of power, money and celebrity that propagated through the media.
After over two centuries of egalitarian leanings, the education system again assumed role of a reinforcer of old social casts rendering the upward mobility of most of the young educated people virtual impossibility.
Perhaps, there are true teachers, still left alive outside the academia, possessing knowledge and moral faculties that would benefit the ordinary young people, improve their lives in an alternative society of human value and may even enhance their chances to ultimately survive inevitable collapse of deadly scheming of the global lords of war. Can we create an alternative form of the educational system that would serve people’s needs instead of fueling division and enabling people’s mental enslavement? Or should we be grateful for the blessings of enlighten serfdom?