“Resist much, obey little; once unquestioned obedience, once fully enslaved; once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this Earth ever afterward resumes its liberty.”
–Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
How do you make a nation of slaves–or obedient workers pacified enough to not resist seizing of their resources?
The most common way of facilitating such production is through means of direct force. This can be done by hauling them to factories and fields in chains or at gunpoint. Or, in a less obvious way, give them the choice of starving or wage slavery–where a person’s livelihood depends on wages or a salary (sound familliar?). You can also force them to pay taxes and purchase your products, thereby guaranteeing their entry into the cash economy; so, ultimately, they have to work in your factories or fields in order to gain cash. However, in these situations, the slave still is aware of his enslavement, thus, increasing the likelihood of a rebellion.
The best way is to have them believe they are free, so if they become unhappy, it isn’t anyone’s fault but their own. This is why an indoctrination into the educational system begins at such a young age. If you don’t start with them young enough, you’ll never be able to assimilate them sufficiently enough to disbelieve alternatives. By the time one is old enough to understand “school,” parents hammer it into their kids’ heads that they must go to school, make good grades to get into a good college, to get a good job, to make enough money, to have a happy life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Schools are intended to produce… formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled. To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this, but… in a national order in which the only ‘successful’ people are independent, self-reliant, confident, and individualistic… the products of schooling are irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on phones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal, but as human beings, they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves.”
–John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Instruction
We constantly hear that schools are failing in their mandate, but nothing could be further from the truth. Schools are succeeding all too well in their purpose. What is their purpose? To answer this we must look at what society values most, but seldom likes to talk about: money. Money represents power and gives us the illusion that we can get what we want. But in order to acquire money, one must give themself away to whomever has more to give in return–bosses, corporations, etc. Our culture lives based on the illusion that happiness lives outside of us, in material items, and in the hands of those with power.
The role of school is to institutionally indoctrinate one into being obedient and controlled; to conform. Gatto: “What shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to enslave docile and incomplete citizens–all in order to render the populace ‘manageable.'”
By the time a student graduates, Bruce Levine states that we “are ingrained to be passive; to be directed by others; to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authority; to pretend to care about things that [we] do not care about, and that one is impotent to change one’s dissatisfying situation.”
What we learn in school is how to wait and wish for the future, while simultaneously, how to give ourselves away. We sit at work watching the clock, wishing it was Friday, thus, working for the weekend. We learn how to not talk out of order, to not openly question authority for fear of losing privileges, how to mimic and regurgitate the opinions of teachers and “facts” within textbooks. We learn how to respect authority figures and give them what they want; as well as, how to faun and brownose. You learn how to give yourself away.
The educational system was never meant to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic in order for you to become an independent, free-thinking individual. Rather, it uses these tools as a way making you into someone’s bitch, and most crucial, how to accept the fact.
In elitist ideology, those who dominate the mainstream media and global corporations believe that the public masses are just too stupid to be abe to understand things. They believe that we would just cause trouble if we were to handle our own affairs, thus it would be immoral and improper to allow this. This is why parents can have their kids taken away if they do not attend school, and if homeschooled, the government is allowed to pop-in unannounced whenever they please to make sure the “correct” (or their) curriculum is being taught.
They believe that they must tame the ignorant herd and not allow them to rage and destroy things. Is this for the betterment of society, or to better the structualized institutions that benefit the wealthy elitist bureaucrats? This alone should lead us to question authority figures and determine the need for anti-authoritarian figures.
Anti-authoritarians hold a healthy dose of skepticism toward authority figures, resisting their commands if such authority proves corrupt and harmful to the well-being of society. They are the crucial protectors of a flourishing society, raising the alarm to awaken the sleeping masses to the corrupted power of authority. Yet, we have been conditioned to demonize those who think differently and ask questions, shunning them as outcasts to live on the fringe of society.
“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.”
–C P Snow, 1971
Crucial to a free and flourishing society are men and women who are willing to question and even resist authority when necessary. But few live by this, making blind obedience the norm. If public schools taught people how to think and promoted intellectual curiosity, then few would question their value.