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.


What Is Fascism?

What Is Fascism?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Hardcore Leftists don’t like President Trump, so they hurl names at him. The favorite epithet chosen by dozens who signed a full page ad placed in the New York Times is “fascist.” Anyone can contact these people and their organization via the internet: “REFUSEFASCISM.ORG.” Leftist bomb thrower Bill Ayers is one of the more well-known signatories. Another is over-the-hill actor Ed Asner who rarely misses an opportunity to bang his drum for something way over on the Left.

Hitler was a fascist by controlling major industries (Image from Wikipedia).

Hitler was a fascist who didn’t own major industries outright. He just controlled them (photo by By Ladislav Luppa (Own work) [CC0, CC BY-SA 3.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

That ad, appearing two weeks before the inauguration, called for resistance to Trump becoming President, and action “outside of normal channels” if his inauguration weren’t prevented. For readers who didn’t know what fascism is, these far left-wingers tossed in the name of Hitler to ensure widespread hatred for the incoming President. The goal expressed in the ad was to create “a situation where the Trump/Pence regime is prevented from ruling.” In saner days, no newspaper would publish such a screed. It might also have led to prosecution for encouraging violence.

For the sake of sanity, however, let’s look at the word “fascism.” According to the 2,478-page Random House Unabridged Dictionary (Second Edition, 1987), fascism belongs in the category known as economics. This thick reference tome tells us fascism is a system characterized by “regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism, and often racism.”

A fascist doesn’t seek to own the means of production. He wants to control it. His preference sets him apart from a communist who owns everything. What the fascist does is tell producers what to produce, when to produce, how much to produce, whom to hire, whom to fire, what price to charge, etc. He is indeed a totalitarian, but he differs markedly from a communist who, remarkably, is more honest – though still freedom’s deadly foe.

Hitler was a fascist who didn’t own major industries outright. He just controlled them. Same with Italy’s Mussolini. But is Trump a fascist? Not even close. His campaign repeatedly included pledges to do away with government-imposed regulations. He promised to unleash America’s productive sector by getting government and many of its unnecessary and burdensome regulations out of the picture. On the other hand, an honest observer seeking to label Barack Obama’s economic practices should have hung the fascist label on him. His determination to regulate industry can hardly be denied. But there’s so little unwillingness in Leftist circles, and so much dishonesty that relies on public ignorance of definitions, that one American leader can be wrongly labeled fascist and another, who deserves the tag, gets completely spared.

Further, is hanging the odious charge of racism on Trump accurate? Ask black American Ben Carson, or Indian American Nikki Haley, or Jewish American Jared Kushner. Disagree with Trump’s choices for high government posts if you want, but skip the dishonest charge of racism.

Only “aggressive nationalism” fits Trump.  But his “Make America Great Again” campaign ought to be praised, not condemned.

The real problem here is the woeful awareness of the average American, especially those who “benefit” from higher education. Most of the teachers at the collegiate level spout nonsense, not only about economic groups, but also about a great deal more. As has often been said, “Somebody ought to do something” to counter widespread issuance of misinformation. Happily, someone did do something when Robert Welch created The John Birch Society in 1958. Yet this organization has for decades been falsely labeled fascist and racist. Why should anyone be surprised?

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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.