Book Review: Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto

dumbingusdown

BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
January 11, 2017

John Taylor Gatto is an award winning teacher that isn’t afraid to buck the trend.

Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto is a masterly an in-depth view into how public schooling really works.

Sampling many of his best personal essays, Dumbing Us Down features the true reasons why education in our modern day system is failing: because it’s meant to be that way.

Gatto reinforces his main premise with a thorough examination of public schooling in America.  He carries this out rather incisively given his no holds barred approach to the matter, and this is very refreshing.

While many others have tippy toed their way around the issue, Gatto harpoons the heart of the matter with statements such as:

“…schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet.  No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.  The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

It is absurd and anti-life to be part of the system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class.  That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Such scathing statements leave no question to Gatto’s courageous stance, and helps the reader understand the plight we face rather cogently.

Another component of this ongoing public schooling issue is how vital the community is, and more importantly, the family unit, in helping foster a healthier, more independent, more curious, and ultimately more self-sufficient individuals through proper education.  While this might seem obvious in hindsight, it isn’t being employed that much at all in our modern environs.

Throughout the length of the book, Gatto fiercely touches upon the many different factors that have helped cause this growing dilemma.  Some of these include the overwhelming amount of television being watched by society in general, and more specifically by children, while other components have to deal with the inherent designs of schooling such as the fragmentation of education, the removal of the family from an individual’s education, the poor life tenets individuals are taught, and much more.

One of the best parts of the book is what Gatto calls ‘The 7-Lesson School Teacher’, where the author shows what teachers are truly expected to inculcate into students.  Once read, this particular lesson to the reader might seem facetious, but it’s really not.  When one views what Gatto is stating with an open mind –  while keeping cognizance of the fact that he worked decades for the system – then one completely gets to be aware of why failure in schooling isn’t the exception, but the rule.

In fact, more specifically, Gatto gets at the heart of why public schooling is destined to fail:

Mass education cannot work to produce a fair society because its daily practice  is practice in rigged competition, suppression and intimidation.  The schools we’ve allowed to develop can’t work to teach nonmaterial values, the values which give meaning to everyone’s life, rich or poor, because the structure of schooling is held together by a Byzantine tapestry of reward and threat, of carrots and sticks.  Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”[69][Bold Emphasis Added]

Gatto has unbounded a phenomenal book in the field of public schooling and more importantly, what true education should encompass.  Please keep in mind, schooling and education are not the same thing.  Particularly, this differentiation and what each means is one of the main gems of this book.

To finalize, this book is a veritable fountain of information that is intense in precision and thought-provoking in its implications given that they filter into all aspects of our lives, and ultimately seep into the future.  This is why it’s vitally important for individuals to become autodidacts, and help others become so through our interactions with our families and communities.  Self-teaching is more important now than ever, especially with the deteriorating effects of public schooling.

Because of all the reasons mentioned above, and myriad more, this book is definitely a must read for everyone.

As the author saliently notes:

“Aristotle saw, a long time ago, that fully participating in a complex range of human affairs was the only way to become fully human…”[47][Bold Emphasis Added]

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Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 21.
[2] Ibid., pg. 23.
[3] Ibid., pg. 24.
[4] Ibid., pg. 69.
[5] Ibid., pg. 47.

Book Review: LBJ & The Conspiracy To Kill Kennedy – A Coalescence Of Interests by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

lbjtheconspiracy
BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
November 22, 2016

LBJ & The Conspiracy To Kill Kennedy by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell is a landmark book into the conspiracy/coup d’etat that killed President Kennedy.

The main strength of this book is that it seeks to reverse engineer the threads of evil that wielded their ways in order to carry out one of the greatest conspiracies in modern times.

Without a doubt, this is a landmark book in every sense of the word.

In the nascent stage of this book Farrell makes it a point to lay the foundation for the methodology of the events that took place.  This helps the reader understand the angle he is going to take.

Beyond that, however, Farrell goes above and beyond what any average researcher does.  In his usual methodical, leave-no-stone-unturned fashion, Farrell not only analyzes the coalescence of interests that had a hand in the assassination – FBI, CIA, Banksters, Nazis, Masons, Mafia, Big Oil, The Military, The Secret Service – but further distills these to the deep core nexus that arguably played the most prominent roles in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Furthermore, and most importantly, Farrell, in harpoon-like fashion homes in on the most devious of all public players that played a notable role in the architecture of the conspiracy: Lyndon B. Johnson.

At minimum, the turn-coat and traitor Johnson cast his tentacles all over the official “investigation” derailing the possibility of any semblance of truth from rising to the foreground.

As Farrell notes:

“…it is certainly clear that Johnson, by his policies and behaviors after the assassination, acted as if he knew who was ultimately behind the murder, for at every turn, he acted in their interest as well as his own, in suppressing any evidence tending to incriminate him, or them.  Nowhere more did he do this more clearly than in his selection of those members of the Warren Commission itself.”[1]

What this book does is not only destroy the official story, which admittedly has been done by many other researchers, but also takes it a few steps beyond that into the realm of deeper and darker elements.  Elements that made it a point not only to carry out arguably the conspiracy of the century, but also transformed the consciousness of Americans and infused enough trauma into the social psyche the likes of which western society had not witness in modern times.  Such is the signature of those that slither behind the scenes.

With everything noted, and still so much left unsaid, everyone would be served well to read this book.  The value this book offers not only in understanding what took place that day, but the coup d’etat that took place  will help one understand why we are witnessing many of the issues we are in our society, and why things haven’t changed.  That alone should be reason enough, but the book offers countless more reasons for one to read it, as all of Farrell’s book do.

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Source:

[1] Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, LBJ & The Conspiracy To Kill Kennedy – A Coalescence Of Interests, pg. 285.