What word can best describe the contemporary and practically global ritual of two hypothetically sane and rational individuals, commonly known as “parents”, blithely submitting to a state’s demand to hand over their child, usually to total strangers, for so-called “compulsory public education”; Strangeness or Insanity perhaps?
Further baffling matters would be to understand that these parents should be able to identify and thus sympathize with the experience, for they themselves hashed their own way through they very-same system not so long ago.
Whether individuals choose to discuss deeper and more significant matters such as this topic of compulsory education, especially when compared to prosaic subjects such as celebrity gossip or sports doesn’t matter much, for undeniably, at least a feeling that something is wrong permeates around us. Although, if one is lucky enough to get onto the topic with others, its often quite difficult to get beyond just scratching the surface of the subject amongst family, friends and neighbors because all too many have subscribed to dogmatic ideas along the lines of, ‘its not polite or allowed to discuss religion or politics’. What they really mean is anything that disrupts or makes an affront to their rigid set of beliefs.
Personally, I can look back with the information and cognitive facilities I now have and confidently say that quite early on in my youth I knew something was deeply wrong with America. Especially in relationship to what I could see as being ‘true’ about the society and culture and to what the education and popular belief systems were trying to tell me about it. I can recall and objectively examine, rather than repress, a good portion of the troublesome thoughts and feelings I struggled with as an adolescent.
The idea of it not being ‘polite’ to discuss religion or politics often comes to mind reminding me of how strange I thought it was at the time. I see now, that at that age and being under the influence of the educational system from my most malleable years onward, I was, by design, not given nor allowed the opportunity to develop the mental nor linguistic tools to express an argument against the absolute absurdity of the whole idea. How I’d love the ability to project my consciousness back in time to that young version of myself in order to counter the utterance of those infamous words with simple questions such as…
“Can’t you see this line of thinking as being an all-too-convenient coincidence for the creatures in perceived positions of authority? Could you just possibly imagine that this is something that has been intentionally designed and disseminated outward amongst the masses to keep us from examining the majority of our socioeconomic problem’s true source”?
This commonly held feeling that ‘something is wrong’ is shared amongst many in America. But, they would be largely mistaken if they thought that the problem was unique to America. It would be understandable however and a long list could be presented at this point that would illustrate nearly endless reasons. Notably, one reason that stands out to many is the fact that the majority of Americans have never had the opportunity and amazingly wonderful learning experience of traveling around the world or of living outside of America. Not only Americans but also the majority of people in this world couldn’t even clarify the differences between ‘tourism’ and ‘travel’ if they were presented with the question. Interestingly enough I’ve experienced too many military and ex-military people who have served abroad and ignorantly attempt to equate being stationed abroad as “travel”. This idea of tourism or being stationed abroad being similar to or the same as traveling is absurd, for the philosophical concepts and experiences involved are not even remotely connected, but in fact, are highly contradictory in their fundamental principals and goals.
In relation and for instance, many Europeans love to reference (often with a slight tone of arrogance) some vague statistic (usually ranging between 7%-20% depending on who is espousing it) about how only a fractional number of American citizens possess a passport and thus travel outside of the United States. What does this have to do with education? Well, its just one example that illustrates our educational problem is globally rooted and not just isolated to America or American society.
It shows us quite clearly that reason, deduction and critical observation skills are not seen as something to be developed and nurtured in students much outside the fields of advanced sciences and mathematics. If they were, then more, if not most of those that choose to be critical of many American’s ‘lack of travel’ would be able to deduce that people who live in Europe have a luxury that offers them the chance to experience many different countries, cultures, foods and languages all relatively in a day’s trip away as the European continent is very small and fits a lot of different countries into it. They would also be able to comprehend, again via reason and simple deduction, that it’s not just most Americans, but most people alive today on Earth that have never nor are ever likely to travel outside of their perceived ‘homeland’.
The innate abilities and urges which are deep-rooted in the essence of the human spirit to reason, deduce, conduct critical analyses, creatively think, discover and thus create and build rather than obey, follow and destroy being not only ignored and discouraged within our youth at the earliest ages of life and in the dismal learning environments known as our ‘schools’ is only a tiny hint at the vulgar incompetence of our educational systems. And again, the incompetence is not distinctive to any one region or nation but is in fact a problem of global pandemic proportions. What makes the whole realization even worse is when we discover that the incompetence is not unintentional or some sort of by-product of external factors, but actually by design!
Seek out someone who has had the experience of teaching public school or even university level classes in let’s say China for example (which I myself have). If they’ve taken the time to conduct any critical examination of the experience and of the system, they should be able to tell you that the rhetoric often heard in western countries about Chinese students (or Asians in general) scoring so highly on tests is in many ways a gross misrepresentation if not an absolutely meaningless and loaded statement. For in China its pure and simple rote learning, or, memorization drill tactics for standardized curriculum and testing. Sounds much like your child’s school or the school you trudged your own way through not so long ago? Well it should, because globally, and in essence, all of our schools today are based on the model of a rote learning system that was developed in the Kingdom of Prussia (now a part of modern day Germany) during the 18th century. A model and system that made Prussia one the first nations in the world to feature a compulsory education system or “Volksschule”.
Briefly, “rote learning” espouses learning via repetition and seeks to enable or in fact “prompt” individuals to quickly recall socially acceptable institutionalized answers and meanings. While rote learning is a logical approach and reasonably affective for things such as the mastering of an alphabet, development of reading skills and the memorization of mathematical equations, its a technique that avoids the deeper truths and deeper understandings of complex subject matters. Undeniably, that the method cripples imagination, discourages critical thought and creates a false view of what ‘learning’ is truly about.
The agenda in Prussia of instituting this system was to engineer a society (the public) that possessed not only a prescribed level of basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, but also a rigid belief-system towards duty, discipline, servitude and obedience to the state. To sell the system to the public, the proponents espoused numerous social benefits, materialistic ideologies and visions of a utopian future. Of course they kept the manipulative ulterior motives hidden, but with hindsight, critical analysis and a copious amount of documents available to study, it is of record today. It’s also been recorded that this ‘Prussian system’ almost immediately spring boarded into the United Sates and has by now been adapted to nearly all corners of the globe.
At this point, the question of why did the system spread so quickly and why are we still living with it may be asked and to answer the question with the simplest of answers, we can say that the whole ideology of the system was and still is quite conducive to the monetary system, industrialization and consumerism. Especially the current form we have today that began in the early 1800’s.
Accept the reality or choose to deny it, but it still stands that practically all of us alive today can universally be identified as existing in the construct of these functioning parameters and this is true regardless of what names your respective nation and its power structures choose to give it or to indoctrinate its masses into believing their so-called ‘culture’ and ‘nation’ represents. For after all, the dominant culture one is born into, is most typically the culture that one submits to and abides by.
To further understand how and why this Prussian ideology of compulsory education took root so rapidly and ultimately spread over a globe where public education was practically non-existent prior to it, we should first know that the collective history, or what I term the “collestimony” (collective + testimony) of our species’ developments and advancements is in fact incredibly similar and congruent across our physical geographies and cultures. As well, ‘culture’ for the most part doesn’t really exist because what many call “culture” is in fact nothing more than learned behavior and learned behavior is generally passed from one individual or generation to another. This happens via non-genetic means, namely via imitation and in biological terms we refer to this action as a “MEME”.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the human species was emerging into a global revolution that is commonly referred to by historians as the ‘Industrial Revolution’. Transitioning from an agrarian society into an industrialized society and culture was a perplexing issue to the elite classes and more significantly to the fairly new and emerging ‘intellectual class’ which started forming in the early 1700s and quite definably via today’s terminologies consisted of ‘utopianists’.The commonly held hypothesis of this new class was that the traditional aristocracies were overtly impulsive, egocentric, and of course authoritarian, while the ordinary people were en masse, an animistic sort possessing no sense of individuality as the group subsumed individualism. By drawing numbers from the merchant, manufacturing, and professional elements of society, the intellectual class grew and morphed into a larger group, which we shall call ‘strategic achievists. Essentially this new class of created a whole new cultural and behavioral MEME that gave humanity ideologies such as: Change is inherent and manageable in the grand scheme of things. Learning and utilizing the secrets of how things work can bring success and progress. The manipulation of resources and people gives comfort and convenience. Prosperity and success is mostly related to tangible and materialistic things attainable through competition and purchasing.
Not only did a whole new belief system and cultural MEME arise from this time period but a whole slew of new professions arose and were developed. We still see many of them today, yet some we’ve seen the disappearance of, i.e. the plantation overseer. Others we are debatably witnessing the disappearance of today, i.e. stock brokers, investment bankers, financial analysts, perhaps even politicians.
Yes, politicians for it is notable that more and more people around the world see politicians and political parties as utterly corrupt. They’re increasingly recognized as having nothing positive or beneficial to sell aside from fear and their myths of being some kind of self-proclaimed ‘expert’. More and more they are being publicly exposed for what the majority of them truly are. That is, individuals in possession of nearly zero in terms of creativity and problem solving or resource management skills. All this regardless of what shape, form, color, creed, party, system or ideology they supposedly represent.
To continue illustrating the truthful congruency and symbiotic nature of our industrial and technological developments as a species, and again our MEMEs, a deviation from examining the birth of the industrial revolution in Europe can be made to look at Japan for instance. Japan, because it is by many standards easily identifiable as the first Asian country to leap into its own industrial revolution.
With the decline of the shogunate and feudal system in the 1800s a huge rift existed between the Samurai class and for all intensive purposes, all the others. Internal and foreign pressure culminated into a civil war that brought about the “restoration of the Emperor” in 1868 and essentially wiped out the traditional Samurai that chose to retain the culture of living in rural manors and the donning of amour and swords. And once again with hindsight at our disposal, we can see that if they had uniformly adopted the urban lifestyle, with all of its ‘modern luxuries’, amenities and western style clothing, as a substantial number of their brethren did, then quite likely they too could have become Japan’s new bourgeois-industrialist class which would become known as the “Meji”.
The primary focus and drive of the newly emerged Meji class and their apparatus of government was to ‘modernize and westernize’ Japan. These vague concepts and stated intentions illustrate perfectly that fundamentally the Meji, just like their counterparts in other countries, were simply industrialists seeking wealth and power. Just as their foreign counterparts did, they too expressed and disseminated visions and ideologies of a utopian future. Whether they, the Europeans or those in North American actually believed in these visions or not can never really be known, for to know what another individual’s true beliefs and intentions are is nearly impossible for humans to grasp at this stage of our evolution and especially within our money-driven society.
Never the less, records show that the early Meiji government saw universal public education as a critical requirement for their modernization so researchers such as the Iwakura mission were sent abroad to study the education systems of what they perceived as ‘leading Western countries’. This culminated in the Ministry of Education being established in 1871 to manage a universal school system based closely on the American model that was largely formulated by education advocate and member of the U.S. House of Representatives Horace Mann from the Prussian model nearly two decades earlier. The newly formed ministry espoused utilitarian curriculum with a centrally controlled French style school administration and with assistance from foreign advisors, Normal Schools for “teacher education” were created. By 1872, elementary school was made compulsory.
Before breaking from Japan, it might be interesting to make the connection that as Japan was the first Asian nation to set-off into the industrial revolution, interestingly enough it also adopted the imperialist culture of seeking to gain and exploit resources via the barrel of a gun from its neighbors in the region. This essentially mirrored the dominant British Empire of the time, also an island nation of limited natural resources. Was it just a coincidence or a requirement of industrialization? Today, some may argue not so mach a “requirement” but more like an inevitable “requiem” to an approach that was and still is unsustainable.
To examine the task at hand of getting the masses ‘put to work’ so to speak during these early stages of the industrial revolution, this relatively new class of industrialists and intellectuals or what I call “strategist/achievists” set out on a mission of mass social reengineering. Formulaic plans were calculated and set into motion that were designed to give the masses just enough knowledge to operate and middle manage the machines and factories propelling humanity through this new age and supposedly towards an attainable utopia. Let’s not delude ourselves now, for of course they understood all too well that they would be empowered and enriched to a level never imagined before with this new social and economic direction being taken.
This concept of exposing the masses to ‘just enough information’ was something these strategist/achievists viewed as a delicate undertaking. It was widely understood that if the masses were given the luxury of time and/or an environment, they would quickly develop the ability to philosophize about the deeper meanings and implications of things such as individualism, prosperity, development, freedom, democracy, past history and possibly emerging futures. Thus it would most likely lead to them quickly realizing that the so-called new and modernized direction their society was taking was in fact, fundamentally no different from their life of servitude under the aristocratic feudal system. They might have even realized that in many ways, the course they were embarking upon was even worse as they would now not only be forced to work for their basic sustenance, as they previously did, but now, they would also be required to actually pay for it and even compete for the jobs that would give them the financial resources to do so.
With the information we possess today, we see that the Meji, the industrialists, the strategic/achievists, or whatever other sort of names or descriptions we so choose to apply to them and even their successors essentially did succeed and are still largely succeeding in keeping the intrinsic motivations and goals of public education hidden from the general public. Sure, we’ve seen instances where the original concept has evolved, adapted and reformed itself in many ways, but since the industrial revolution and all the way up to today, the fundamentals have stayed true to the original idea and design.
Look to the inception of higher education. Prior to the industrial revolution, virtually no colleges or universities existed aside from a hand-full of schools that were utterly exclusive to the sons of aristocrats and a few other elite classes. Over the past few centuries, especially beginning around the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the establishment identified institutes of higher learning as something needed and reasonably saw that the establishment of them could serve as a method of appeasing the newer rising classes. Universities also became more common due to a newfound ‘sense of entitlement’ now held by the new social classes such as the “Nuevo Riche” which brought about a demand and a massive push for higher education to become more readily available and accessible to a wider range of people.
As a result, while the new universities and community colleges were coming into existence, the more traditional institutions became known as “Ivy Leagues”. Some Nuevo Riche regarded the new universities as still not good enough for them and even began to penetrate the Ivy League schools, and herein is where it can be hypothesized that the term and ideology of “Blue Bloods” began to surface and permeate more widely in usage. It might also be wise to point out the rise in and adherence by some towards the ideas of secret societies. For when, and to their utter horror, the traditionally wealthy saw that the new rich were beginning to encroach upon their coveted intuitions of learning, it reasonably stands that they saw a need to enter into or form secret societies to segregate and insulate themselves away from what they perceived as the “rift-raft”.
Today we have a long list of these ‘secret societies’ and many investigators and scholars have examined and identified “Skull and Bones” as being a predominant one. Many have shown quite clearly that a number of powerful and influential people from past to present were and perhaps still are members. Its also been shown that these societies exist heavily in institutions such as Ivy Leagues in order to further indoctrinate a select few into the culture and practices of power, greed and exploitation, or if preferred, ‘big business’ and ‘politics’.
I’ve seen and been a part of endless debates over the existence of these ‘secret societies’ and the degrees of influence they may or may not have. They usually ended up going nowhere as the ideas of ‘societies’ are in fact mostly formed from intangible concepts and one simply chooses to believe or disbelieve in intangible things. Instead of debating, perhaps it’s better to approach or view this topic with a simple point. And the point is that its common knowledge that in today’s university and college environments, being a part of a fraternity or sorority is of high importance to many people.
Ask yourself; did this idea and culture arise largely out of a perceived necessity for the Nuevo Riche and middle classes to counter the resentment and exclusive behavior of the Blue Bloods? Many people at least understand loosely the culture and workings of fraternities and sororities; does reason and logic not dictate that there must be even more extreme versions of them? Whether we choose to call them names like “Skull and Bones” or “Free Masons” should matter not in order for us to understand that they exist simply because our society breeds abhorrent forms of competition and secretiveness across the board of social stratifications.
Almost every person that has walked this earth and is walking it today has at one point or another formed into ‘pacts’ or ‘groups’ to share and maintain secrets or plans. We often see young children do it. We see it done in business. We see it done by laboratories and countless institutions. Why would a class or group of people who emanate from a long line of wealthy and powerful families not form groups to protect their perceived interests and hide away what they believe are deeper understandings and knowledge; things they see as tools or advantages to perpetuate and strengthen their ‘edge’ in order to compete?
Back to the topic at hand and upon shedding our institutionalized behavior of utilizing subjective, nationalistic, racist and classist approaches towards critical examination, we subsequently see the global intertwinedness of our educational systems. We can see that they are very much to this day precepts that were developed and maintained to fuel the age of industrialization and onwards into the more dominant culture of “moneyISM”. More pointedly, we increasingly recognize that our current approaches to education are antiquated and from a period whose time has come to pass. More and more, they are being seen as utter failures for not only our individual selves but for the youth of today and ultimately for our species’ future.
As a result, we find ourselves living in a society where dreaming of or striving for some implied, yet indefinable idea of ‘success’ is now more understood as being devoid of any real tangible or philosophical meaning beyond itself. As individuals, we have nothing but the perceived achievements and accomplishments of others to measure our own against. Our self-approval and self-worth seemingly depends on being recognized or appreciated by others while we totally avoid any sort of celebration in the uniqueness of individualism, diversity or perceived ‘oddity’.
Another consequence is that individuals and groups that in all probabilities possess ‘good’ intentions in their outset often talk about change and reform. Many believe in and advocate working from within the system to achieve the change. However, by always taking this approach there often arises the problematic situation in which during the onslaught of things, one must to many degrees become a conformist. Too often, the result is that it’s not the system that changes, but it is the system that eventually changes and ultimately corrupts the individual.
Not a timeless ideology to an indispensable institution as the system and its advocates would have us believe, but an out- dated, two-century-old system is what we have and are living with when we truly look at it with an open mind. Understand the history of it and take into account all the perceivably good and bad aspects as well as all the varying opinions towards it and we can see our educational systems as well as a number of other ingredients have brought us to an age where we are on the cusp of yet another global revolution.
Segueing from an industrially themed monetary based system into a resource-based economy is now upon us and in what could be called a ‘transitional stage’. This emerging system is shaping up to be based on a much more holistic and humanist approach to the management and distribution of the Earth’s abundant resources and looks as if it will greatly improve everyone’s life on the whole planet if its allowed to. Though predictably enough, this emerging ‘revolution’ has been and still is met with great resistance from old and entrenched interests. “Predictably” because it’s realized that they have deep- rooted and highly vested interests, mostly in regards to profit, power and control and it’s only natural they adopted an opposing modus operandi.
Regardless of opposition efforts, the massive change that will make the ‘new age’ known to us all will be when clean, renewable and abundant energies are made a reality and you better believe that they inevitably will be soon. Take this issue of energy that affects our societies so deeply and at innumerable levels and add the idea that we have been in what many call the ‘information age’ for quite some time now. Whether individuals or institutions still trapped in the old and traditional ways of going about things chose to accept it or not, the utterly destructive and unsustainable ideologies residing in today’s narrow frameworks and mindsets of business and political models are more rapidly becoming seen as insignificant and utterly useless to a great number of people.
Nay Sayers can take the time, open their minds and start by examining the emergence of open source. Software programs that are communally available and free for all to download via the Internet are called “open source’. Those doubtful of the emerging new economic system will quickly learn that open source is not for profit in a sense of monetary gain, but simply for human gain. They can continue onward with the information, data and research that’s leading us to the inevitable future of energy becoming free-flowing and imagine what areas of our daily lives and necessities will be massively affected. As the abundance of energy, resources and technology is created and unleashed from the fiction of scarcity, becoming things that hold less motivation to seek profits from, the list of everyday products we consume will, as reason and logic dictate, become free from being manufactured purely and primarily for monetary gains.
How about the relatively new emergence of NGOs, the plethora of non-profit organizations as well as grass-roots organizations? Online communities, networks and services are literally emerging daily that are not structured to be profit driven but sustainable and modeled to serve the greater good of humanity rather than share-holders and a board of directors. As I write this, one of the newest examples I can think of and one of my favorites is CouchSurfing.org, which is a non-profit organization that assists people to travel around the world by connecting fellow world travelers that are willing to allow people into their homes or on to their couches letting them stay for free. The organization and the website is supported entirely by member donations that help pay for the many costs of running the organization such as server hosting, storage, database maintenance, mapping software, and other costs making it an organization and service that is not for profit.
These examples and currently developing trends are prime illustrations of the fact that we as a species are emergent rather than the utterly unnatural ideas of static, traditional or developed. If we as adults living today or as children currently in the education system were encouraged to, we all would have had the ability to reason through and understand things such as this. If it weren’t for our schooling, mass media and politicians filling our heads with bald-faced lies or at best, whitewashed and biased histories and half truths, we would be able to collectively realize these realities rather than living in this mundane world of daily drudgery that is glossed over with facades and fantasy worlds of fashion and entertainment. We would understand that it is not ‘reform’ that is needed for or educational systems, but rather a whole new approach to and understanding of what learning is really about.
As a teacher in China I’ve seen this fact illustrated quite quintessentially. China is yet again another shinning example of an out-dated, monetary driven state with its own varying degrees of authoritarianism (as all states are inherently possessing) that implemented the “western style” or in reality the Prussian system of rote learning. Around twenty years ago the compulsory or public education system in China began adopting the curriculum of English as a second language being a mandatory subject. This historically time framed instance should now indicate what age groups of people have had or are currently in the process of receiving English classes that in many places now begins as early as the first grade. Nice little books are provided by the state and teachers are directed to and instructed (via political education) on how to pass on formulaic processes of studying English in order for the students to pass standardized tests. The approach takes the absolute unnatural approach of language learning by teaching reading, writing, spelling and grammar from the onset.
Its ‘unnatural’ because why must it be so difficult to comprehend or observe that language is in fact not about grammatical classifications or spelling rules so much but simply more about understanding. As children we don’t immediately start studying the mechanics of our first language, or in the case of bilingual families the mechanics of our dual-linguistic environment. Why would it be contrived to start a second language with this approach? Could it be because we need to give a set of people, commonly known as “academics”, a purpose or role in this society that we’ve constructed along the lines of hierarchical elitism and authoritarianism?
Needless to say, China’s algorithm for implementing English as a second language has been, and is still to many degrees, an utter failure. Especially if you look at it in terms of actual proficiency levels towards speaking, listening and understanding. Oh sure, the students ultimately all get passing marks on the tests. Many even score highly. Although, the highly un-admitted or discussed dirty little secret remains, and its just like what I recall from my years as a student under the American education system, the students do a lot of cheating and so do the majority of the teachers. Sure we can chose to apply more nice sounding terms to what goes on such as “coaching” or the utilization of “creative math” to arrive at the test scores mandated by the state, but it still remains, there is not much else going on other than a lot of short term memory drills that don’t result in any level of actual comprehension.
As a result of this totally inept approach towards language learning, a massive and highly profitable industry emerged not so long ago in the country known as “private learning institutes”. Essentially these are English language schools that are privately owned and for profit businesses. Some of these ‘name branded’ schools are wholly owned and operated Chinese ventures and others are quite large and internationally spread brands emanating from English speaking Western countries. However, these facts really have no pertinent relativity as essentially they all operate in the same manner and upon the same basic approach. As someone whose had a good amount of experience in both the environments of private institutes and within the public school system, I can state that the private institutes do currently possess a slight advantage and offer a bit more of a natural approach to language learning. Now in order to summarize this point and move on, a few observations can be made that illustrate the advantages they have over the public system.
One element is that the institutes don’t focus on standardized testing procedures so heavily. Secondly, they focus more on developing oral and auditory English skills rather than linguistic aspects such as grammar and spelling. Conclusively, the private institutes understand the reality that ideas and feelings are expressed more along oral procedures by most, as most people don’t write in-depth analysis or essays these days. So yes, these institutes are meeting a demand and are increasingly profitable, as they require tuition fees. However, I foresee that ultimately this fact will be their own self-imposed instrument of demise as more people awaken to the idea that learning should not nor have ever been a profit-based industry in our society.
Diverting away for a moment from our educational systems and their extensive problems, lets examine something that is quite connected and highly related to the new age we are emerging into and the global consciousness that’s coupled to it. Think for a moment about how most of us have surely heard words expressing a feeling that world is “getting so crazy”. Yes, its usually expressed by what we refer to as the “elderly” but this feeling is universal and in my travels and conversations around the world, I’ve heard it and have understood the idiomatic translation in various languages other than English. What many may be unaware of is that younger individuals and not just the elderly are more frequently expressing these words and feelings.
Before I started examining things more deeply, I used to say, “Elderly people have always been feeling this way and saying these things, what’s new”. Now I’ve arrived at the conclusion that this is in fact not the case. Looking back over the cognitive developments of humanity, I have ascertained that this feeling and the expression of it is actually a relatively ‘new world-view’ that manifested in more recent times. In examining just the past few hundred years we can see that overall, social and technological advancements and ‘change’ were in fact much slower coming to past generations. I haven’t taken it upon myself to research, but I’d not be surprised to learn that say two hundred years ago there existed no marketing strategies utilizing phrases such as “In today’s fast moving business world…” however, we should all be aware it is all too common in today’s marketing spiels.
How many people say in North America or in Europe see it as they are “losing their country”? I’ve heard that statement expressed thousands of times. How many people in China have expressed to me that they feel they are “losing their culture” and even their language due to increasingly rapid changes and developments across a kaleidoscope of social and technological matters? It seems to many that change and advancements come and go so quickly now, that they don’t even have time to evaluate any possible impacts and ramifications before a new change or development comes along and makes the previous changes forgotten, obsolete or irrelevant. I’ll bet our Grandparents weren’t this aware of, or exposed to this level of radical change as we currently are and I can only begin to fathom the rate of change and the perceptual passage of time we and our children will be struggling to make sense of in the not too distant future.
Is it that difficult to comprehend that the children of today as well as all the other coexistent generations, will, in the very near future, quite possibly be unable to perceive or make sense of the rapidly morphing environment without a radically new and wider world view, higher state of consciousness or perhaps even a massive biological evolution that just might be conjoined with a massive technological leap forward? Why are the majority of people not aware that our species is fastly approaching a point where many people will quite reasonably be choosing to merge technology into their very bodies in order to better function and compete in this society that is structured to produce such an abundance of negative competition and other forms of abhorrent behaviors?
A giant leaping forward is exactly where we are at now in this stage of our development and simple powers of observation and reason should illustrate to all of us that it is something rapidly and immanently approaching. Something of high importance is the fact that a growing number of individuals now possess more highly evolved or evolving consciousnesses, more humanistic ideas and broader world-views. And by the way this ‘higher state of consciousness’ has emerged into individuals that aren’t viewed as being “educated” or as “having an education” when we utilize the classist traditional definitions.
To accompany the knowledge of this higher global awareness, an analogy can be made in regards to our collective consciousness and how we attain information or knowledge. Currently, our level of consciousness is still much like a body of water behind a damn. Now we know that naturally, water wants to spread while seeking the path of least resistance, but damned water is caged much like institutions, cultures, belief systems and traditions cage our minds. However, when a ‘rupture’ in the damn occurs the foremost water molecules find the hole, or path of least resistance and seep through it. Others simply follow suit. So just as water molecules act, so in many ways, so does the consciousness of our collective minds. The human mind is meant to be viscous and emerging rather than stagnant or in a state of coagulation even though and sadly enough, stagnant and/or coagulated is exactly what the global mass mind control systems want the mass consciousness to be!
Seeing as radical revolutions in their initial onsets have never really been endeavors the masses have taken upon themselves, but have rather been brought about by ‘a numerical critical mass’, enough people understand today that absolutely nothing should be accepted at face value as being “true” just because some supposed teacher, expert or authority said its true. More of us understand that the ‘truth’ is to be arrived at by the individual and is something that should always be growing and changing within the individual. And
here arises the conflict between the emerging systems and world-views as opposed to the traditional ones, and to quote the late Karl Sagan “The old appeals to racial, sexual, religious chauvinism and to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed”.
Right now, at the close of the first decade of this twenty-first century, more people now understand that usually there is no ‘truth’ outside the truth within one’s self and that ‘individual truth’ is a feeling to hold on to and express rather than repress in order to “fit-in”. It’s also more greatly understood that while individuality and ‘inner truth’ is of great importance, the greater consciousness tells us that everything and everyone is connected. We realize that nothing and no one aside from ourselves should pull us from our paths no matter how fiercely they try. Many even understand that the individuals and groups that try to manipulate us for their own benefit and personal gain are just providing us a service that further validates the quest for higher levels of consciousness by challenging us to formulate deeper understandings and to gain more information.
So, I say “kudos” to the manipulative and overtly authoritarian mindset and the cultural MEME of it! Without it, today’s emerging consciousness may have been much slower in coming. Oh sure, there are still many misguided and uninformed individuals alive today in the world who still believe as their masters would have them, that being disciplined and adherent to a baseless sense of duty to nation as “good” law-driven obedient citizens should be some sort of highly respected attributes in the character of an individual. Regardless, these self-proclaiming conservatives, centrists, liberals, socialists, communists, democrats, republicans, libertarians and so forth are of no consequence to a positively emerging consciousness.
For those who are awake, thinking and watching, it can be seen that our education systems were from the beginnings of their incarnations specifically and altruistically designed to create disposable human cogs in the machines of industry within our monetary economic system. It’s seen that they were designed and are still structured today to feature aspects that condition populaces to hold rabid levels nationalism and to live obediently and in service of the state. Looking at the system and the whole so-called ‘culture’ behind it , we can see that really no new significant philosophical approach has developed since then, aside from the subculture of entrepreneurialism. So we ask what are we left with?
Could we reasonably ascertain that it’s not reform or new laws that are needed at all, but rather a ‘clean break’ from the whole thing and the mental damns it builds up keeping us locked into left-brain behavior? Think about the numerous other senses that we need to unleash from the right-brain region as individuals and as interconnected beings in this symbiotic universe. Intuition, creativity, critical thought, the sense of self and the ideology of ‘just being’ are only a few of the natural powers that we possess and need to let surface as the primary driving forces behind us all.
So again, what are we left with or perhaps we can ask where are we now? First lets examine the commonly held idea that an “education” is somehow a thing that we can attain or reach usually by purchasing it via tuition. This idea that people either have or don’t have an education or that some are either “educated” or “uneducated” is a divisionary and classist ideology that infects our societies so deeply and in so many aspects it should make us all question just how sick can we possibly be to view the amazing joy and experience of learning as something as such? Especially when we admit to ourselves just how funny and juvenile the cultish ritual of rewarding people with some silly little paper known as a degree. I mean come on really; people who get so giddy over their degrees are quite similar to a child that’s just been rewarded for behaving and has been given a cookie. Let’s not even mention how so many come to feel some sense of false entitlement and thus become arrogant as all hell.
Firstly, the majority of people on the face of this earth do not have the financial resources or even the luxury of time to “get educated”. And yet, we have too many in this world that feel they are somehow above and more deserving of rewards and successes over this majority. Secondly, if one is in fact fortunate enough to have the resources to attend an institute of higher learning, they will inevitably be forced to conform and follow the system or “program” laid-out by the university as it operates under it’s corporately structured, for-profit business model.
Lastly, from the very foundation of it, the whole construct, approach to and culture of the system is corrupt. let’s also face the truth, it breeds and institutes massive amounts of abhorrent behavior and discrimination as well. It breeds competitive “dog eat dog” ideologies and the acceptance of a “haves and haves not” society and when we think about just how many people in the world live on only $2.00 US Dollars a day, and about the number of children and young adults who must work in a sweatshop to do their part in support of the family, it surely stands to reason, that education and the system of it overlooks, passes over or even totally ignores far too great a pool of human potential.
How many new revolutionary ideas could have been brought to fruition? How many works of art and engineering wonders have been lost in the annals of time simply because an individual didn’t have the cash to attend a university to develop their abilities and thus share their creations with the world simply because they were of the wrong economic stratification or the wrong skin tone or the wrong ethnicity or the wrong religion or the wrong social class? How much has been lost because our primary education systems don’t understand how to, or seek to allow, for individual expression, individual thought or even an individualized approach to the learning process?
Some, perhaps many, will try and argue against the history, the views and the truths laid out here thus far, and that’s simply because, they don’t realize that their “identity” and what they think are their own original “thoughts” have largely been given to them. Given by the system that they know has problems but from their institutionalized perspective, probably just needs a few reforms to fix it al up nice and tidy. These sorts of people really don’t know who they are but if they took the time to really think about it and think about what they truly value and prioritize, they’d see that the system couldn’t exist without it separating them from their true identity. They’d gain a deeper sense of what ‘being’ actually means and then there would be no way the system could push it’s exploitive and classist agenda upon them. Others will look at new ideas and try to find hypocrisy or a ‘hate motivation’. This is simply ignorance and related to a fear of their ‘belief system’ or ‘comfort zone’ becoming shattered. I say that while it can be vast, ignorance and fear can always be overcome via the sharing of information and knowledge, especially when the sharing comes about with holistic and symbiotic intentions rather than the manipulative and exploitive intentions that most of our educational systems maintain.
So with that said it may be time to layout some ideas and solutions now. But before we begin, please understand that the ideas and concepts expressed herein are in no way to be viewed as something totally original or as some sort of proprietary intellectualism. The majority of the ideas are stemming from works and studies of past and present scholars that simply motivate me to think more deeply about more important subjects. Without the words and ideas of so many that have come before, It would not have been able to present these ideas and solutions let alone gather the informative histories. Also bear in mind that yours truly is an “uneducated peasant” with no high Masters or PHD degree. So I may not be as eloquent as a so-called “expert” might be in the field. I’m simply someone who is going about the construction of ideas and solutions based on my various experiences and as someone who has examined the history and mechanisms of what we live with in our societies of today.
Firstly, and we have touched on this briefly before, the whole idea of education should be turned on it’s head. We as individuals and as a society should look at learning as a perpetual journey and something to pursue throughout our entire lives rather than something to attain or buy. Connect this with the concept (that some have learned) that one should always go about life as both a teacher and a student regardless of age, ethnicity, color, sexuality, education or so-called social status and we can see that a lot of harm has been done to people because the current system is very ‘separatist’ in it’s entire nature.
So, perhaps a better approach would be something that breaks down all these old devices and totally does away with the idea of separating people into grade levels but instead welcomes all ages and levels of understanding into a single environment. A single environment that is connected and fluid in its design and functionality that groups subjects of study or areas of learning into naturally fitting areas that are not walled off with closed doors or barriers.
The concept being illustrated here could be called a ‘public learning center’ rather than a school. It could consist of eight domes laid out in a circular pattern and intersected by a connecting ring or passageway. One dome would act as an entrance or perhaps some sort of reception hall or even an exhibition hall. The other seven, again, would not feature traditional class rooms but simply open, inviting areas which would be broken down as follows; linguistics and communications, contemporary and emerging social studies / theories, collective testimonials and theoretical history, applied / theoretical sciences and mathematics, applied / theoretical medicine and health sciences, design and engineering, arts and entertainment.
Take the idea of what we know as the libraries or museums of today and do away with the whole for-profit and indoctrinating educational system and you would arrive at a pretty good picture of what’s trying to be show here. It would be a place where children, adults and elderly explore and interact together sharing information and ideas and the absolutely magical experience of learning rather than being “educated” by creatures who have neither the right, the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. Imagine an environment of social and holistic interaction free from being controlled, watched, inspected, spied upon, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, checked, estimated, valued, and censured.
Now you may have noticed the term or grouping entitled “collective testimonials and theoretical history” and some may be asking why not utilize the term “history”. That would be a very good question and an argument shall be presented here as to just why the traditional word and its meaning, as well as the ideology of it, needs to be immediately dispelled with as any meaningful area of study.
So-called history, especially the version that all states sanitize, whitewash, spin and then cellophane wrap and send out into the educational system with the state’s seal of approval is one of the biggest tools utilized to condition populaces. It serves as a highly affective tool to get the masses inline and into following their government and believing that it actually possesses some semblance of benevolence towards them. Many people are familiar with the old adage of “history is written by the victor”, yet with this idea in mind, there seems to be a massive cognitive disconnect towards understanding that ‘victor’ is ruling our states and our very lives.
Worldwide, history is probably one of the most neglected and disliked areas of study and the majority of people are really not interested in it. I can even say that while living in China, when I’ve gotten onto the subject, I more often than not have a much deeper knowledge of it than the average Chinese person. This even goes for Chinese history and not just world history. Of course this could be because history and geography have always been subjects that that have peaked my interest, but could this also be because on the subconscious level, most people know the history being
fed to them is in fact a load of false information and pure propaganda? A reasonable hypothesis could be that most people worldwide hold this sense, especially in the area of their right- brain, but since propagandized rhetorical history is presented to stimulate left-brain activity as it tosses out a lots of useless dates, names and supposed “facts”, history also becomes some sort of rote learning exercise rather than a topic of debate and something students should be able to express and be encouraged to express different perspectives on.
Now of course we can see that if the subject of history were to be presented in this fashion and focus more on right- brain activity, which in fact it should be, an opposition to the state would most likely arise in many. Thus, states keep the subject of history focused on left-brain learning and this results in the majority of people forgetting a lot of history as soon as they have passed a test. As well, most will come to perceive having knowledge of history as something that’s not very useful for getting a job, becoming successful and for making lots of money. This is all by the design of the state and its need for control. As well (and I’ve touched on this in other writings), in many ways it even mirrors the teaching approach towards one’s own native language.
Deeper understandings of history and especially linguistics have timelessly been viewed as “an enemy of the state”. Have you ever asked yourself why is that those who choose to study subjects such as history and language and pursue higher degrees of learning in them literally have no “job prospects” outside of state-controlled institutions serving as professors and teachers? Its because authority recognized long ago that people who develop deeper understandings of history, language and philosophy are the greatest enemies to their system of control and their established society, for you see, all states need to perpetuate a myth that society is somehow “established” and “fixed”. Fixed in terms of some geographical locale and in the temporal scheme of things. If the masses understood
that so-called society and culture was in fact continually emerging and a symbiotic aspect of the world and the greater universe, the sate would become irrelevant. Not good for those high up above in the ivory towers ya see!
States know these facts all too well. So the system is designed to incorporate individuals who pursue these subjects of higher thought and house them in institutions. If any professor or teacher dares to present ideas to students that contradict the state and its system too much, then they usually face the likelihood of becoming ostracized and blacklisted from the system itself. This would inevitably lead to the teacher having no means to earn a ‘livelihood’ and would most likely accumulate into a multitude of resulting consequences such as depression, poverty and even the loss of family and friends.
We don’t even need to mention the demonization that would be concerted against them with a campaign of smear tactics and name-calling. Simply put, within our authoritarian states, people are just too afraid to voice their thoughts due to a fear of being labeled a “problem child”, an outcast, a terrorist, an anti-something or another or whatever other ‘negative word flavors’ exist at the moment. I for one remember being called into the Principal’s office and being told that I had a “problem with authority” because I was asking too many questions. They called me an “anarchist”. I believe “punk” was also used.
Sadly, but not surprisingly enough, I’ve seen this same sort of paradigm here in China with the few students that are actually bold enough to think outside the box and dare to question the often illogical and hypocritical state dogma the dumb- downed teachers feed them. Students who pose questions and illustrate being deeper in thought patterns rather than being attentively hypnotized and fixed on the Teacher’s dictations are marginalized and viewed as having a “bad attitude” or as being “poor students”.
While teaching young kids English as a second language, the student’s I found to be quick thinkers and able to express arguments and ideas in opposition to my words and thoughts, essentially exhibiting that they actually had an understanding of the language and its mechanisms, were usually the students that the politically indoctrinated Chinese Teachers would display signs of distaste for. They usually would say something such as; “well I don’t like that student, she questions too many things I say and she thinks she’s special”. Or something like, “That boy has problems with paying attention to me because he likes reading his own books”.
Now before pressing back into the subject of establishing learning centers instead of schools, I’d like to illustrate something else about how “history” is used as a mind-control tool by states and I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to utilize China once again as an example. By no means do I intend for readers to feel I am singling out China, America or any other country for that matter as being “guilty” of anything that others are not or have not been “guilty” of. I simply utilize the U.S. and China a lot because I grew up in America and am thus highly familiar with it. I’ve been living in China for nearly five years now and am thus familiar with it as well.
So we see that states write their own ‘history’ and write it so that their past actions reflect the current power structure in a positive light so that its citizens believe their state is somehow “good” or even the “best” while other states are at best “ok” and at worst, “bad” or perhaps even “evil”. In China now, the state goes about utilizing “past history” as a justification for their contemporary belligerent chauvinism and policies. Essentially what this consists of is the state instructs the masses to believe that the Taiwan, Tibet and Xingjian issues are not “issues” at all. For past history supposedly tells them that these regions of the planet belong to “China”. As I hold no value in statist ideologies, nationality, politics and patriotism but rather just consider my self a world citizen and simply human, I really don’t have any strong opinions towards these issues. What I do have an opinion on is the use of “history” by the Chinese establishment as a control mechanism to bring about and manufacture consent amongst its citizens towards their rhetoric and behavior.
This is quite similar with the conditioned mind-set that the U.S. installs into its masses about the U.S. being the “freest” country on earth. How many times have I heard arguments where people will blurt out the line of, “well ya we have problems, but we still live in the best and most free country in the world”. I always love this particular rhetoric and love to say; “Well, you may very well be correct. You may even be wrong. More than likely, you are neither wrong nor right. But let me ask you, have you ever traveled or lived outside of America? No you say? Well, how can you be so bold to say such things when you possess absolutely zero in terms of personal experience to make such a statement? Aren’t you just regurgitating what your teachers, leaders, family and peers told you about America”? Same as in China, this sort of reasoning is all too often met with anger and some line about how I am so bad and anti-whatever. Quite shocking as these sorts of questions are in no way aggressive in tone or are not meant to uphold or degrade any state, but are simply reasonable questions.
Apparently, a good number of states seem to be doing a pretty good job at conditioning their masses to respond in this manner when faced with questions that force them to think outside their nationalized belief system and comfort- zone. So as we can see, this brings us back to the need for something new and utterly different from the systems we are living with today. The current practice of instituting nationalized belief systems needs to be totally eradicated if we are to better prepare ourselves, our children and our futures and the resource economy we are emerging into. To further explore this whole new approach towards learning, we can get into more detail regarding the building of more holistic and non-competitive learning environments.
Rather than traditional schools with all their standardized tests and their practice of forcing individuals to conform and submit to some authoritarian idea of what and how they should be learning, holistic ‘learning environments’ will better enable our species to segue into this next stage of cognitive and social evolution. Face it, we no longer need “leaders” and games of follow the leader. With the levels of automation we have attained thus far and which is exponentially increasing day by day, we will need less and less laborers. This is something that we can call ‘technological unemployment’. Oddly enough, this whole factual concept is something that politicians, economists, so-called experts and the media aren’t even touching upon. And why aren’t they? Why aren’t they telling people that really this whole “global financial crisis” is a total myth and not due to some “mismanagement” of the economy, but is in fact, the end of the whole outdated and unsustainable nature of the entire system itself? This is a rhetorical question of course.
To cite just one example, too many of us “regular people” are now highly aware that there is absolutely no reason, aside from sick and twisted motivations of seeking monetary profits, for a single person let alone a whole society to suffer through manufactured food shortages. We understand that we have the ability feed and clothe every person on the face of this earth and even more if it weren’t for our wasteful approaches to production, distribution and consumption. All these advancements as well as the countless other ones that will come put us all in a temporal crisis that must be met with immediate change.
Immediate changes that make us all reassess what we value and see as important. Be we children, young adults, students, teachers or parents, we need to understand that its not more obedient little “worker ants”, politicians, lawyers, police, prison guards, marketing professionals, business managers, financial analysts, laborers or even farmers that we need, for a lot of these jobs will become unnecessary due to the automation process or simply because they will be socially irrelevant in the near future. Rather, its technicians, engineers, scientists, communicators, designers, artisans, thinkers and problem solvers that we need now for our new resource economy.
The old cultural MEMEs and behavior patters may have been necessary when we did live in a world of scarcity where humans did need to compete and fight for the resources and means of survival. But those days are over and the only reason we still find ourselves living in a competitive world of hierarchies is due to pure and simple greed and a need by some to be seen as some sort of authority. So in the spirit of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s words…
“Its time to do way with the old norms, the old patterns and the ancient traditions, for with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, and aggressive behavior, we are still as we have been. We are still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive and negatively competitive and our societies exist and operate along these lines”.
Again, it’s not “education” we need, but a whole new culture that understands what learning is really about. We need holistic environments that promote and welcome a mix of all sorts of people and ages into a free-flowing and fluid learning environment. An environment that makes learning the joyful experience that it was when we were children before we were subjugated by the state’s system.
Now realize, this effort must be taken upon ourselves instead of waiting for any system to do it or for politicians to do it. The reality of an approach-to and the building-of environments such as this will not be brought about by the current system and its outdated elements. They surely will not take on the task because they know it will lead to their ultimate demise. No folks, this is something that must result from people willing and wanting this change from the bottom upwards and a grass-roots movement that excludes the state and its meddlesome tendencies is the only we can achieve this. It’s the only way for us common people, us average, everyday people to survive and persevere through the currently collapsing system or what we ca refer to as the ‘final failure’ of it.
I know that the majority of people on this earth today will not wake up to these larger truths and understandings and sadly enough will probably suffer greatly because they couldn’t escape the old ways and the old belief systems. The not too distant future of the ‘final failure’ will probably be very “dark” for many people since they would rather hold onto the ideas they’ve been led to believe as ultimate and fixed truths instead of choosing to think and reason for themselves. Regardless, many people will continue on with the joy of learning and dispel the concept of “being educated”. Many of have learned to let their children find their own paths and approaches to learning and will not submit to any state or authority’s demand to hand over their child for indoctrination.
It just seems more natural and justified for us to make our own ways in the world and no state’s laws should be able to tear us away from a path of acting as conscious and compassionate human beings that hold concerns for all the world’s peoples and it’s environment. So, we will choose to apply scientific and more natural methods to building society. No amount of pressure will persuade us into being patriotic and into holding the limited world-view that was established by generations past. We will make the better world with the consideration of the caring capacity of our environment and we will do it on our terms and not the terms dictated by authority or money.
This is the inevitability of things to come as we begin to understand more that we are in constant evolution and not separate from anyone or anything but in fact, connected with the entire universe in symbiosis. This is what the current monetary system and it’s institutions will come to understand when the find themselves simply irrelevant.
Related Must Read Book
the Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship
An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century.
In the past, the elite manipulated the population through a more mystical belief system. In particular, there was the institution of Sun worship (typified by deities such as Osiris and Set). However, as antiquity gave way to modern history, this system of control began to lose its effectiveness. During the sixteenth century, the ruling class managed to co-opt a relatively new methodology of truth discernment science. Over the years, they would contaminate this institution with their own virulent strains of thought metaphysical naturalism, radical empiricism, Malthusianism, Darwinism, behaviorism, radical environmentalism, etc. Many of these paradigms were derivative of their own occult doctrines, thinly veiled to appear as objective science. All of these concepts correlate in some way and, at some point, coalesce. Together, they are gradually paving the way for the re-introduction of the hidden god of the Ancient Mysteries.