In my last post I mentioned some of my experiences with that evil institution, modern school. However, until I had connected with people who had similar ideas to me, I’d always felt kind of crazy. Enter John Taylor Gatto.
This guy was a teacher who had “woken up” to what was going on in his work. As he wrote, anger for many years of his life was his fuel to get up in the morning and go to work. He was determined to uncover the history of schooling and the society we live in, and finally dedicated his life to getting the message out. His dedication is real – this is a man who is living his purpose in life.
I know the anger. I don’t know if you do. It’s horrible. To feel like you’re the only person who sees the truth – that we are being victimised, that people are being made slaves and robbed of their lives in a way that is worse than outright murder — is this a bit too harsh for you? Read on is all I can say. For many years the rage consumed me, crippled me. Now I am fairly at peace or I wouldn’t be writing this. The sheer vastness of the con that is taking place is still a bit of a hard pill to swallow, though.
I see Gatto as an explorer soul. I am too of course, which is why I write about truth. I love truth pretty much for its own sake, for its own beauty, for the way in itself that it reveals God. Someone who feels like that has to feel an outrage at the school system. How can you continue loving truth in a place that makes truth suffering?
You’re probably reading this site because you’re interested in living consciously. If so, the first, indispensable book I recommend to you would be one written by John Taylor Gatto about the school system. You will understand a huge amount about the blocks which have been put in your head to stop you living consciously. (As for which book, I’ll go into that below).
This song by Pink Floyd will help to set the mood for this article. Optional
I’ll rehash a few points he made in his books to give you a taste of the works. I will only scratch the surface here, but my intention is to pique your interest in questioning things further. If you don’t want to hear what I am about to say, it’s a fair bet you don’t want John Taylor Gatto’s books.
» When obligatory schooling was first introduced in America, parents fought and died to rebel against it. When they were defeated, it became normal for the government to march children to school with an armed guard. This practise ended when parents ceased resistence.
Why would they have fought so hard? Why is it necessary to force people to do what is said to be good for them? Is this coherent?
» Literacy rates were almost 100% before the introduction of the modern school system. Learning happened naturally: children learnt themselves, with help from their parents, when they desired to. Literacy rates in America are now steadily falling, each time provoking outrage that more money needs to be put into schools.
» The school system which is current throughout the western world originated in Prussia, one of the most warlike and regimented states ever to exist, where philosophers espoused the need to make people unthinkingly obedient to authority (no exaggeration). This is gone into deeply in The Underground History of American Education.
Gatto’s more extensive books cover the whole context of the education system, such that I’d recommend them as an introduction to the hidden workings of society in general. His research is extensive and very compelling; he doesn’t flatly make unsupported statements of his version of the truth like I do
If anyone is capable of reading through his stuff, they have to either block it out entirely or be changed. Most people who live normal lives, however, have a huge amount of resistance to reading this information. I myself struggled to get from page to page. I knew at some level that something was horribly wrong, but Gatto forced me to face this fact.
On top of that, he clarifies the hows and whys of it all with a solid historical perspective. Most of this history is history you’ve never heard, by the way, because it’s cultural history, social history, not the history of wars and events you hear in school. He outlines how people used to think, something which I’d personally always been interested in and never satisfied in my desire to hear about. As it turns out, the culture of the past is quite threatening to the modern status quo.
I consider the education system to be the key to the mess in which the world is today. The slave mentality that people carry to work every day is manufactured in schools. They are brainwashed into being controllable through schools. If you control what is taught to every child in the country, you control the culture! Good thing that the people in power only look out for our benefit, right?
John Taylor Gatto is THE man about the dark workings of the education system. I recommend his books to anyone who has even an inkling that there may be something fishy going on, or who wants to know how the education system can be improved (my answer: by destroying it as it stands today. To work on what we have is only to build up a castle that stands on a foundation of mud). I’ve read two: The Underground History of American Education and Dumbing us Down. I expect they are all good, but those ones I can specifically recommend. Also try his website, which has lots of free stuff.
Dumbing us Down is a good summary or introduction to Gatto’s work. It’s small, full of challenging historical facts, and packs a punch.
If you really want to get deep into it, though, The Underground History of American Education is the book to read. It’s a really big book, and goes over the whole context behind the education system and the society we live in. It even has a chapter where Gatto talks about his own childhood experiences. It’s a relaxing read (if uncomfortable to someone with mental programming to break) and very richly written, gently painting a picture, the ideas washing over you like waves at the beach. It’s also utterly earth-shattering.
You can read it for free online here.
However, I chose to buy a print version. It really is a bit long to read on the screen, and I don’t even like reading normal books like that. Go out and sit under a tree with it in your lap, feel the sun on your face, and blow your mind out.
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