Jennifer Lake's Blog

October 28, 2013

School Days

Filed under: education,Eugenics,Rockefeller Science — jenniferlake @ 12:38 am
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“From the beginning, there was purpose behind forced schooling…forged out of what a highly centralized corporate economy and system of finance bent on internationalizing itself was thought to need… School was looked a branch of industry and a tool of governance…  By 1917, the major administrative jobs in American schooling were under control of a group referred to in the press of that day as ‘the Education Trust.’ The first meeting of this trust included representatives of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, and the National Education Association. The chief end, wrote the British evolutionist Benjamin Kidd in 1918, was to ‘impose on the young the ideal of subordination.’

…”Arthur Calhoun’s 1919 Social History of the Family notified the nation’s academics what was happening. Calhoun declared that the fondest wish of utopian writers was coming true: The child was passing from its family ‘into the custody of community experts.’ He offered a significant forecast, that in time we could expect to see public education ‘designed to check the mating of the unfit.’

…”The 1920s were a boom period for forced schooling… William Kirkpatrick boasted in Education and the Social Crisis that the whole tradition of rearing the young was being made over by experts.”

   “Meanwhile, at the project offices of an important employer of experts, the Rockefeller Foundation, friends were hearing from president Max Mason that a comprehensive national program was underway to allow, in Mason’s words, ‘the control of human behavior.’ This dazzling ambition was announced on April 11, 1933. Schooling figured prominently in the design.

   “Rockefeller had been inspired by the work of Eastern European scientist Hermann Muller to invest heavily in genetics. Muller had used X-rays to override genetic law, inducing mutations in fruit flies. This seemed to open the door to the scientific control of life itself. Muller preached that planned breeding would bring mankind to paradise faster than God… Muller would win the Nobel Prize, reduce his proposal to a 1,500-word Geneticists’ Manifesto, and watch with satisfaction as 22 distinguished American and British biologists of the day signed it. The State must prepare to consciously guide human sexual selection, said Muller. School would have to separate worthwhile breeders from those slated for termination…”

   “Thirty-odd years later, between 1967 and 1974, teacher training in the US was covertly revamped through coordinated..key state education departments..which in time, impacted every school in America… The Behavioral Science Teacher Education Project identified the future as one ‘in which a small elite’ will control all important matters, one where participatory democracy will largely disappear. Children are made to see through school experiences that their classmates are so cruel and irresponsible, so inadequate..and so ignorant that they need to be controlled and regulated for society’s good. Under such a logical regime, school terror can only be regarded as good advertising…”

–John Taylor Gatto, “Some Lessons From The Underground History of American Education” [pp274-287, Everything You Know Is Wrong, 2002]

   Using falling literacy statistics dating from 1840 and 1940, J.T. Gatto makes his point about the success of educational failure:   “…abundant data exist from states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to show that by 1840 the incidence of complex literacy in the United States was between 93 and 100 percent… According to the Connecticut census of 1840, only one citizen out of every 579 was illiterate… By 1940, the literacy figure for all states stood at 96 percent for whites [and] 80 percent for blacks… Six decades later..the National Adult Literacy Survey..say[s] 40 percent of blacks and 17 percent of whites can’t read at all. Put another way [since 1940], black illiteracy doubled and white illiteracy quadrupled… think of this: We spend three to four times as much real money on schooling as we did 60 years ago, but 60 years ago virtually everyone..could read…
   “If you have a hard time believing this…meet William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906… Harris standardized our schools and Germanized them… Listen as he speaks in 1906: “Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual… The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places… It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.’
…”Since Aristotle, thinkers have understood that work is the vital theater of self-knowledge. Schooling in concert with a controlled workplaceis the most effective way ever devised to foreclose the development of imagination… Hegel was sold to America in large measure by William Torrey Harris who made Hegelianism [the provoking of crises] his lifelong project, and forced schooling its principal instrument in its role as a peerless agent provocateur.
   “Harris was inspired by the notion that correctly managed mass schooling would result in a population so dependent on leaders that schism and revolution would be things of the past… The psychological tool was [is] alienation. The trick was to alienate children from themselves so they couldn’t turn inside for strength, to alienate them from their families, religions, cultures, etc. so no countervailing force could intervene…
   “Alexander Inglis, author of Principles of Secondary Education..wrote that the new schools were being expressly created to serve a command economy and command society, one in which the controlling coalition would be drawn from important institutional stakeholders in the future. According to Inglis, the first function of schooling is adjustive, establishing fixed habits of reaction to authority. This prepares the young to accept whatever management dictates when they are grown. Second is the diagnostic function. School determines each student’s ‘proper’ social role…to justify the next function, sorting. Individuals are to be trained only so far as their likely destination in the social machine, not one step beyond.

   “Conformity is the fourth function. Kids are to be made alike…so future behavior will be predictable, in service to market and political research. Next is the hygenic function…the health of the ‘race’… and last is the propaedutic function, a fancy word meaning that a small fraction of kids will slowly be trained to take over management of the system…
    “And there you have the formula: adjustment, diagnosis, sorting, conformity, racial hygiene, and continuity…”
“The Ultimate History Lesson”, 2011 interview
Hermann Joseph Muller (or H. J. Muller) (December 21, 1890 – April 5, 1967) was an American geneticist, educator, and Nobel laureate best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation (X-ray mutagenesis) as well as his outspoken political beliefs… In 1914, Julian Huxley offered Muller a position at the recently founded William Marsh Rice Institute, now Rice University; he hurried to complete his Ph.D. degree and moved to Houston for the beginning of the 1915-1916 academic year…
…1926 marked the beginning of a series of major breakthroughs. Beginning in November, Muller carried out two experiments with varied doses of X-rays, the second of which used the crossing over suppressor stock (“ClB”) he had found in 1919. A clear, quantitative connection between radiation and lethal mutations quickly emerged. Muller’s discovery created a media sensation after he delivered a paper entitled “The Problem of Genetic Modification” at the Fifth International Congress of Genetics in Berlin; it would make him one of the better known public intellectuals of the early 20th century. By 1928, others had replicated his dramatic results, expanding them to other model organisms such as wasps and maize. In the following years, he began publicizing the likely dangers of radiation exposure in humans…
In September 1932, Muller moved to Berlin to work with the Russian expatriate geneticist Nikolay Timofeeff-Ressovsky, a trip intended as a limited sabbatical stretched into an eight-year, five-country journey. In Berlin, he met two physicists who would later be significant to the biology community: Niels Bohr and Max Delbrück…  In 1933, Muller Leningrad…  In the USSR, Muller supervised a large and productive lab, and organized work on medical genetics. Most of his work involved further explorations of genetics and radiation. There he completed his eugenics book, Out of the Night, the main ideas of which dated to 1910… ”
The ideas Muller laid out for the development of a practical eugenics program differed from those of the American Eugenics Society, particularly his emphasis on ‘positive eugenics’ and the importance of a classless society as a precursor to a eugenics program. ‘Positive eugenics’ was Muller’s theory which promoted the perpetuation of good genes rather than the removal of bad genes from society (‘negative eugenics’).” [Galtonian eugenics was of this ‘positive’ type] Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory archives

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