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.


New SAT Announced by Architect of Common Core

New SAT Announced by Architect of Common Core
by JBS President John F. McManus

The College Board has long provided the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). For aspiring college entrants, winning acceptance by the institution of one’s choice has depended to a large degree on how well he or she scored on the three-hour SAT. Preparatory instruction seminars designed to help students do well on the test became a fixture in many communities.

SAT has faced competition from a rival known as ACT (American College Test). Tutoring prior to taking its test has also flourished. Where SAT had always dominated the field, its grip on testing high schoolers has shrunk. In 2013, ACT counted 1.8 million takers while SAT slipped to second place with 1.7 million.

In 2012, Common Core Standards architect David Coleman left his federal post and accepted the presidency of College Board, the parent of SAT. He indicated he was leaving his work with the highly criticized and controversial Common Core program in order to improve the SAT which, he claimed, “had become disconnected from the work of our high schools.” Common Core has already demonstrated that its goals will substitute technical and procedural education for traditional and classical studies in the fields of literature, math, science, etc. In other words, the new Common Core program will revolutionize education.

Unfortunately, approximately 45 state education boards have signed on to the new Common Core Standards. That they were bribed to do so by federal education handouts is key to understanding their speedy and ill-advised acceptance. It would now seem that David Coleman’s newly announced plans to revise SAT will accommodate the work he has already done as a Common Core architect. Because various state education boards have already committed to Common Core, they will of necessity stay with or revert back to SAT. Rival ACT will obviously have to adapt to what students are being given by Common Core.

Lost in the discussions about SAT being reworked is the chilling news that educational quality in the United States continues to plummet. Now anywhere from 17th to 25th in national ratings, our country doesn’t need a revised SAT as much as it needs the federal government out of education. Try to find authorization for federal involvement in education in the Constitution. One doesn’t need a high score on either SAT or ACT to see it doesn’t exist, Which leads to the conclusion that tinkering with the tests given to aspiring college entrants isn’t what’s needed. Getting fedgov out of education and letting communities across the nation manage their own schools is far more important, if the plunge into mediocrity and worse is to be reversed.