This article is part three of three and was written by guest-author Will Porter.

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Essentials of Real Education

So far in this discussion we have examined how man, from the dawn of his self-awareness, has always been a truth seeker. We have looked at how institutionalized compulsory schooling has made its way through Classical Greece, to the Reformation period, to the military-state of Prussia, and all the way to the United States in our modern age. Along we way, we brought fourth examples of how efforts have been made in various branches of science and philosophy to discover the most efficient and effective way of decimating the life-long cognitive function of young human beings, and some possible key forces driving this initiative.

But we’ve yet to broach the question; what is real education then?

First of all, education is a phenomenon that never truly ends anywhere in our lifetime. Throughout the span of our lives, we constantly are learning whether we mean to do so or not.

But in direct response to this inquiry, I will put forth explicitly a 3-stage process, a fundamental method for the attainment of knowledge and truth that was touched upon vaguely in the first section. The three stages are Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, and they comprise a model that many call “The Trinity Method”.[i]

Grammar is first about understanding definitions, but also looking for the “Who, What, When, and Where”, the basic facts about any given topic. This could be considered the “input” section of this method, also known as “The Law of Identity”.

Logic is the “processing” stage, making valid connections between the plain facts and discarding contradictory or conflicting notions, looking at the “Why”. This is arguably the most important step; paraphrasing Richard Grove, “Literacy can be used to enslave the un-critical mind”.

If all you have is “input” and no way to sort out the facts from fallacies and fictions, you will be a slave to whatever you are told. Who or whatever you read or listen to becomes an unquestioned authority for you if you don’t employ your reason. Part of determining what is a contradiction is the identification of logical fallacies, or errors in logic made during the course of an argument.[ii]

The final step is Rhetoric. After meshing the facts with a sound process of reasoning, it emerges as an integrated piece of knowledge; Rhetoric is eloquently establishing that truth for another mind to fathom. It is the “output”, if you will.

If Grammar is the bricks, Logic the concrete that seals them together, then Rhetoric is the design or architecture, speaking metaphorically, of course.

This method, when used in the exact order established above, is a highly valuable tool for developing habitual critical thinking. Certainly there are other ways to look at it, but this has been a known process of reasoning that dates back to antiquity, and is precisely the kind of process that is being indoctrinated out of children through compulsory schooling.

Another vital aspect of free education aiming toward developing free minds is the concept of the primacy of parents, as opposed to the state, in the rearing of their own children. This comes down to the right of the individual, of both the parent, who is the natural creator and caretaker of their child, and the child him/herself, who deserves his rightful place with his parent or official guardian. The history of compulsory education has been one of trying to separate child and parent from one another, breaking the parental bond with the child.

Continuing on the topic of individualism, there is ultimately a major diversity between every individual, both child and adult. This fact alone makes mass-formalized-instruction immediately undesirable, as every person learns in some slightly different way. Standardized curriculums only serve to confuse the dull and to hold back the bright. There is no such thing as a “standard” child, so why should all education have one universal standard not only in content, but in method as well?

As Murray N. Rothbard stated in “Education: Free & Compulsory”:[iii]

“Each person is unique in his tastes, interests, abilities, and chosen activities. Animal activities, routine and guided by instinct, tend to be uniform and alike. But human individuals, despite similarities in ends and values, despite mutual influences, tend to express the unique imprint of the individual’s own personality. The development of individual variety tends to be both the cause and the effect of the progress of civilization.”

The goal of compulsory mass-instruction is to reduce our civilization down to the level of thinking of animals. They wish to, through Pavlovian-Skinnerian “Operant Conditioning”[iv], create people who don’t think as individuals, but as a mass of uncritical antennas, ready to receive whatever input that is given to them.

Between “stimulus” and “response” is our freedom to think and ask questions, the efforts made on behalf of public schooling are to eliminate that variable from the equation.

Ideally then, every child should be taught on an individual basis with a curriculum that is grounded in the individuality and diverse qualities that vary so much from child to child. The teacher should be the person who knows the child best, the parent, but at the very least a family member or family friend. A 3rd party teacher for-pay is certainly an option but they must fulfill the needs of the child as an individual, as stated above. The parents should get to know well the teacher and the child should be comfortable with them.

The entire so-called “civilized world” is now accustomed to handing their own children over, at the ripest of ages, to complete and total strangers. In what other context would we do this? We have been conned into surrendering the most valuable things in our lives to a vicious institution hell-bent on eviscerating the very part of the child that most constitutes their humanity, their mind and their capacity for reasoning.

As mentioned on many different occasions by critically acclaimed, award-winning former New York teacher, John Taylor Gatto[v], it isn’t just the teachers, the principal or other administrators, or even the parents, it is the institution itself, a bureaucracy that reaches high up into American political and corporate power with almost zero accountability to any concerned party whatsoever.

Anyone who the parent might have some direct contact with has no control over what occurs in their school. Teachers are in a position where they are to make reports to their superiors, the Administrators, who are also under the same obligations, and so on up into the machine of corporate-dominated politics that has no mechanism for recourse.

A major injustice is done when every tax-payer is forced to subsidize this system whether they have children or not. If a parent wishes to put their children in a private school, they are compelled to pay twice, imposing a severe burden on the lower and middle classes who already struggle to pay their ever-increasing tax-bill as it is.

If schooling were not mandated by law, every parent would have the freedom to place their child in whatever educational institution or environment they wish, no longer forced to pay for a system built and rigged to the utter disadvantage of every child who comes in contact with it.

Even if elite tax-exempt foundations still had a hand in manipulating some curriculum for some school(s), there would be the liberty for every individual to remove their child from that institution and either find a school that properly reflects their values, or to home-school them as was done for the majority of early American history.

Illiteracy was well on its way to being eliminated in colonial America; evidence shows that Americans then were more literate than Americans today (adjusted in proportion to the increased population), as literacy rates stagnate.[vi] It seems that after over a century of public “education”, people have not, in general, gotten smarter. Some say literacy has actually significantly lowered, at least in the past decade or so, despite millions of tax-dollars poured into government education.[vii]

Also, according to John Taylor Gatto, from various talks including a 2001 lecture aired on C-SPAN2[viii], standardized testing has zero correlation to intelligence in children. Some of the most famous, successful, wealthy, and powerful people in America today have been college, even high school drop-outs. There is nothing whatsoever connecting high marks in public schooling with success or knowledge of an individual. Gatto goes on to talk about how the school environment and the standardized grading system are tailored to create a class-system in America similar to the one in Britain.

Finally, Gatto goes into the concept of Extended Adolescence, where children are to be managed into a state of permanent childhood as to keep them easily ruled and controlled. Gatto found in his 30+ year experience in education that there is no such thing as adolescence; children are just human beings, simply young adults in need of experience and knowledge.

They should be challenged to the furthest extent of their abilities, and sometimes even further. Of course supervision is to be given, but a person learns nothing if they are constantly coddled and everything is done for them.

I mention standardized testing and the latter concept of Extended Adolescence to illustrate what doesn’t constitute good education, what turns a child’s mind to mush. Any efforts made to escape this deliberate agenda of dumbing down children is a step in the right direction.

The type of education that has produced some of the world’s most successful people has been one specific to the diversity and uniqueness of the individual, challenging them to the utmost of who they can be, and relevant to the experiences of the real world. Sometimes this hasn’t involved schooling at all. We must learn to distinguish schooling from genuine education.

Conclusion

For far too long, not only the people of America, but the people of the entire civilized world have been complacent in their duty as parents and as members of their own communities to ensure their children are being cared for and educated in the best ways possible. Instead, children are handed over en masse to the jurisdiction of the state. As I believe has been documented thoroughly here, this has been a complete and utter disaster. From its very inception, compulsory public schooling has had sinister roots, pushed forward by tyrants of both today and centuries-passed.

If we as human beings are ever to escape the bondage of compulsory state indoctrination, we absolutely must understand the history of the institutions we’ve come to see as “normal” and “necessary”. We must make it a high priority to take steps in the direction of true education to liberate the infinite potential of every human mind.

If we continue on the path we are on, we will surely march directly into a dystopian world, the likes of which was only fathomed as fantastical only a few decades ago. The road to serfdom has been paved; it is up to the free-thinking individuals of the world to blaze new trails, to chart new ground for our descendants, to make the leaps and bounds necessary to ensure cognitive liberty for the masses of people that will live on long after us.

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
–George Orwell


[i] I am deeply indebted to the tireless, relentless, quest for truth that figures such as Richard Grove of “Tragedy & Hope” (http://www.tragedyandhope.com/), Mark Passio of “What on Earth is Happening” (http://www.whatonearthishappening.com/), Jan Irvin of “GnosticMedia” (http://www.gnosticmedia.com/), James Corbett of “The Corbett Report” (http://www.corbettreport.com/), and finally, James Even Pilatto of “Media Monarchy” (http://mediamonarchy.blogspot.com/) and “Food World Order” (http://foodworldorder.blogspot.com/).The Trinity Method is mostly touched upon by Grove, Irvin, and Passio, but is employed none the less by the other names mentioned. I highly recommend visiting some of the links provided. If you’re anything like me, it may give you a life-changing experience and may mark the beginning of a comprehensive understanding of the human condition, history, economics, politics, and especially, philosophy.
[ii] Wikipedia List of Logical Fallacies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallaciesMaster List of Logical Fallacies from University of Texas at El Paso: http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm
[iii] Murray N. Rothbard – “Human Diversity & Individual Instruction” –“Education: Free & Compulsory” P. 5.

[iv] B.F. Skinner – “Science & Human Behavior” – Concept of “Operant Conditioning”.

[v]Works by John Taylor Gatto, an incredible man and one of my intellectual heros:“The Underground History of American Education”: http://mhkeehn.tripod.com/ughoae.pdfWeapons of Mass Instruction”: http://antioligarch.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/john-taylor-gatto-weapons-of-mass-instruction.pdfDumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling”: http://iwcenglish1.typepad.com/Documents/Gatto_Dumbing_Us_Down.pdf
The Ultimate History Lesson” – A 5-Hour Long Interview with Gatto conducted by Richard Grove from Tragedy & Hope: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxCuc-2tfgk[vi] Literacy in Colonial America: http://freakonomics.com/2011/09/01/were-colonial-americans-more-literate-than-americans-today/Also “The 7-Lesson-Schoolteacher” – John Taylor Gatto: http://www.newciv.org/whole/schoolteacher.txt

[viii] John Taylor Gatto 2001 C-SPAN2 Lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws4a-GMQ1MI