School Becomes a Dangerous Place
In the new workplace, most Americans were slated to work for large corporations or large government agencies, if they worked at all.
This revolution in the composition of the American dream produced some unpleasant byproducts. Since systematic forms of employment demand that employees specialize their efforts in one or another function of systematic production, then clear thinking warns us that incomplete people make the best corporate and government employees.
Earlier Americans like Madison and Jefferson were well aware of this paradox, which our own time has forgotten. And if that is so, mutilation in the interests of later social efficiency has to be one of the biggest tasks assigned to forced schooling.
Not only was the new form of institution spiritually dangerous as a matter of course, but school became a physically dangerous place as well.
What better way to habituate kids to abandoning trust in their peers (and themselves) than to create an atmosphere of constant low-level stress and danger, relief from which is only available by appeal to authority? And many times not even then!
Horace Mann had sold forced schooling to industrialists of the mid-nineteenth century as the best "police" to create moral children, but ironically, as it turned out in the twentieth century, big business and big government were best served by making schoolrooms antechambers to Hell.
As the twentieth century progressed, and particularly after WWII, schools evolved into behavioral training centers, laboratories of experimentation in the interests of corporations and the government. The original model for this development had been Prussian Germany, but few remembered.
School became jail-time to escape if you could, arenas of meaningless pressure as with the omnipresent "standardized" exams, which study after study concluded were measuring nothing real.
For instance, take the case of Bill Bradley. . . and George W. Bush,
two of the four finalists in the 2000 presidential race. Bradley had a horrifying 480 on the verbal part of his own SATs, yet graduated from Princeton, won a Rhodes Scholarship, and became a senator; Bush graduated from Yale, became governor of Texas, and president of the United States — with a mediocre 550.
If you can become governor, senator, and president with mediocre SAT scores, what exactly do the tests measure?
Perhaps they sort out good scientists from bad? If so, how is it that both the scientists principally involved in the Human Genome Project have strange scholarly backgrounds to say the least!