Tyrants Seek a Dumbed-down Population

Tyrants Seek a Dumbed-down Population
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

It should come as no surprise that an aspiring tyrant or dictator would want poorly educated and docile subjects. His goal would be the creation of a “dumbed-down populace.” That some aspiring rulers of fellow man have instituted programs to assure minimal or non-existent challenges to their rule is a certainty.

“Crimes of the Educators” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman showcases how Utopians are using government schools to destroy America’s children. Available on ShopJBS.org.

Consider America’s John Dewey and his campaign to convert the population of his native country into an ill-educated horde unable to combat his scheme to steer the nation into socialism. He actually stated this very goal in a little-known 1898 essay entitled “The Primary Education Fetich.” As the late Samuel L. Blumenfeld wrote in Crimes of the Educators he co-authored with Alex Newman, Dewey’s plan “was to disparage high literacy and teach children to read by a method that would prevent them from achieving the kind of high personal literacy needed to develop their independent intelligence.”

The two authors of Crimes of the Educators cite the claim of the father of Progressive Education that “learning to read in early school-life … seems to me a perversion. It is simply superstition: it is the remnant of an outgrown period of history.” Gathering other socialists anxious to promote their attack on America’s well educated and independent-thinking people, they slowly and carefully set out to impose their new method of teaching the young. Of primary importance was their determination to prevent children from becoming independent thinkers. They accomplished their goal by inserting a new method of learning to read, away from phonics and into a technique marked by whole-word memorization and an inability to understand meanings and concepts that a properly educated student would figure out for himself.

The ultimate goal set by Dewey and his confreres was a system where government controls everything, people most certainly included. While Dewey and his confreres never shied away from admitting where they wanted to take the nation, they persuaded many to believe that their aims would benefit the general population. Crimes of the Educators correctly pointed out that the egalitarianism these socialists sought “is what Lenin gave to the Russians and Castro gave to the Cubans.” Stripped of all its grandiose promises, Dewey’s program assured that there would be “equal poverty for all.”

Where Dewey and his associates advocated a slow “dumbing down” of the populace, other well-known tyrants sought to speed up the process. Adolph Hitler’s faithful secretary, Martin Bormann, spelled out the Nazi plans for the people Hitler’s army had conquered. Of those in Poland, he wrote, “They are especially born for low labor.… It is necessary to keep the standard of life low in Poland and it must not be permitted to rise.” Obviously, if German youth were properly taught reading at an early age, the tyranny of the Third Reich would be more difficult to maintain. Turning his attention to the clergy, Bormann wrote that the Polish priests “will preach what we want them to preach. If any priest acts differently, we shall make short work of him. The task of the priest is to keep the Poles quiet, stupid, and dull-witted.”

Regarding the people of the Slavic nations, Bormann expressed Hitler’s utter contempt for justice when he cited the conquering dictator’s thoughts with  “Education is dangerous. It is enough if they can count up to 100 … Every educated person is a future enemy. Religion we leave to them as a means of diversion….”

Achieving control of the many by the few can be arrived at slowly through Dewey-style progressive education. It can be achieved speedily with tanks and guns. Always, the goal is creation of a dumbed-down population. In America, the government-run schools have been forced to introduce failing programs such as Outcome Based Education, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core Standards. The results continue to produce functional illiterates. Blumenfeld and Newman see all this as deliberate criminal activity. Who can disagree?

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Voting in Virginia: Your Vote Counts

Voting in Virginia: Your Vote Counts
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When assessing the voting preferences of the people in various states, a knowledgeable political watchdog will find that Virginia is always up for grabs. During its history of reliably choosing Democrats when Virginia’s Southerners were wary of the growing power of the federal government, the Virginians habitually chose Harry Byrd Sr. and then Harry Bryd Jr. for an important seat in the U.S. Senate. The trend in Virginia during the later decades of the 20th Century was full of electing conservatives for federal and state posts.

Image from pixabay by Maialisa, CC0 Creative Commons.

Things began to change over more recent decades when Virginia’s northern counties became home for large numbers of federal employees. These people have customarily voted mainly to keep their jobs, and they don’t vote as Virginians formerly did. Many of the good-paying jobs they fill are with completely unconstitutional departments and agencies (Education, Energy, Transportation, Health, Foreign Aid, etc.). The bureaucrats who fill them aren’t conservatives; they are reliably left leaning liberals and their choices on election days can be expected to be liberal Democrats. These government employees have enormous influence in Virginia’s statewide races such as those for President, Governor, and U.S. Senator.

Nevertheless, distaste for even larger government has kept the state’s legislature from falling into the hands of liberals. But the growing presence of federal employees has led to a shrinking of the conservative-leaning GOP’s once solid 32-seat advantage in the 100-seat House of Delegates. Also, no one can deny the negative effect for GOP candidates of President Donald Trump.

In Virginia’s 2017 election, GOP domination advantage disappeared and the hotly contested race for the seat in the House of Delegates sought by Republican David Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds became the cliffhanger of cliffhangers. What was at stake was control of the lower House of Virginia’s government. If the Democrat prevailed, there would be a 50-50 split in the House, and the newly elected liberal Democrat governor would get to choose House leaders and set the House’s agenda.

The result on election day initially saw Democrat Simonds prevail by a single vote. A recount found another vote for Republican incumbent Yancey – which meant a tie and the winner could not be named. Each candidate had won exactly 11,607 votes. So Virginia did what its law called for. That law stipulated the creation of a non-vote drawing where the names of the two candidates are written on separate pieces of paper, put into a bowl, and the election winner is chosen when an official of the Virginia State Board of Elections selects one slip of paper. On January 4th, David Yancey’s name was on the slip pulled from the bowl. The Republicans had won and their margin in the House would be 51 to 49.

So, unless some other challenge is made, incumbent David Yancey will return as the elected representative of the district where a slip of paper, not a plurality of even one vote, made him the winner. A few more federal employees in the district would have resulted in a Democrat victory, not only for the single seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, but for expanding Medicaid, approving a call for a federal Constitutional Convention, and a lot more.

Whoever says his vote doesn’t count should be made aware of what recently happened in Virginia.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


National Debt a Serious Threat

National Debt a Serious Threat
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Only recently, rioting broke out in Venezuela when supermarkets had nothing on the shelves. A few years earlier, the people of Zimbabwe found their supermarkets empty and their hope to obtain basic necessities vanished. In both of these cases, people turned to the American dollar as something of value that could restore a semblance of normality. But, is the U.S. dollar’s reliability unshakable? Could its value shrink to nothingness as did the Venezuela Bolivar and the Zimbabwean Dollar?

Image from pixabay by Rilsonav, CCO Creative Commons.

Money isn’t something to fool with. Where there are reliable pieces of paper that signify honest value, commerce thrives, goods and services are readily available, and next to nobody worries about the future. The key here is the complete meaning of “reliable.” In the United States today, the reliability of our currency continues to shrink. The rise in popularity of “virtual” currency such as Bitcoin provides evidence of trouble ahead.

During the 20th Century, the almighty U.S. dollar descended from being “good as gold,” to being “good as silver,” to being as good as the promises of most politicians. American currency went from history’s most reliable money to currency backed by nothing. The value of the “almighty dollar” continues to shrink. Venezuela and Zimbabwe, here we come.

Never one to miss an opportunity to trash her Republican opponents, former House Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi (now downgraded to House Minority Leader itching to get back to being Speaker) told the press recently that the current Republican-controlled Congress is “robbing from the future by increasing the national debt.” While her statement is correct, she completely ignored her own complicity in steering the dollar toward worthlessness.

When she served as House Speaker from January 2007 until January 2011, the national debt rose $5.3 trillion – more than $1.3 trillion per year. After the Democrats lost majority status at the start of 2011, Republicans took over and the national debt rose from $14 trillion to $20 trillion. In other words, the debt continued to rise, not as fast as when Pelosi led the House but still substantially. So, Nancy Pelosi who points only at Republican profligacy, is correct when she claims that GOP management of the nation’s finances is miserable. But she managed to ignore that it was even more miserable when she held the House’s most powerful post.

Any argument between Democrats and Republicans about whose leaders are more guilty of ongoing fiscal suicide is meaningless. The focus should be on the indisputable fact that our politicians are indeed taking the nation to the edge of a fiscal cliff. So the Republican response just enacted is a tax cut. But what the country needs is realistic consideration of the debt. Allowing the people to keep more dollars that are steadily decreasing in value – because of adding to the debt with freshly printed unbacked currency – doesn’t solve the major problem. It may even speed up the arrival of what happened in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. It has happened over and over again throughout the course of history when fiat money (make-believe money that is unbacked) becomes a substitute for honest backed currency that is exchangeable for the valuable commodity on which it is based.

Pelosi is wrong to target Republicans while essentially giving herself and her Democrats a pass. But also wrong are Boehner and Ryan her two successors. For their failure to take the nation away from “good as gold” currency, so are former presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama. And let’s not leave out of this list of shameful leaders the current president who seems unwilling to break the pattern of adding to the nation’s indebtedness. As his predecessors did, he is ignoring the escalating debt – the elephant in the nation’s living room – and continuing down the path that will make what happened in Venezuela and Zimbabwe resemble child’s play.

America needs a return to honest money – and that means money backed by a valuable commodity such as gold or silver, or both.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.