Modern schooling and the war against competition

Old-Thinker News | April 17, 2011

By Daniel Taylor

Competition is a sin” – John D. Rockefeller Sr.

In many respects we don’t have a free market economy. We have cartels, which are the escape from free market, not the natural progression of free market. They wage war against competition, not by the traditional means of attracting consumer confidence, but by taking the reigns of power in government itself and wielding it against its adversaries. The Rockefeller dynasty represents the epitome of cartels. Rockefeller’s partnership with Germany’s pharmaceutical giant I. G. Farben in 1929 formed the most powerful cartel in history.

Lecturer and Professor of Arts Education Sir Ken Robinson appropriately calls this system a “relic of the industrial age“.

Our modern schooling system was crafted as a tool of the Anglo-American Establishment in their quest to remake society. To monopolize thought and human potential is the ultimate form of domination. All of us are potential competition with untapped ability. The question at the forefront of the elite’s mind is this; How is this potential competition dealt with? As John D. Rockefeller Sr. famously proclaimed “Competition is a sin.” How will a pyramidal structure of society be maintained? How will society be standardized to meet the needs of an industrial nation? Our modern schooling system, in the elite’s minds, was an answer to these nagging questions.

One of the greatest open secrets of our modern society is that many household names have managed to squeeze out from under the thumb of the system – by dropping out of school or not receiving degrees – and have flourished. These people were able to discover their own personal strengths and weaknesses by testing themselves in the real world. The “one right way” schooling system didn’t dictate what lesson needed to be learned, and especially when. They didn’t wait their turn. The fact that the very architects of our modern schooling system (John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Andrew Carnegie in particular) were dropouts should tell us something. Let’s ask the question; Why would these men – who became the immensely wealthy captains of the industrial era – embark on a crusade to place the nations’ people under a schooling system that they obviously didn’t want or need, and ultimately escaped from?

One answer can be found by reading one of the first statements from the General Education Board (1906), founded by John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Fred T. Gates. In it, we read:

“In our dreams… people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply.”

The “supply” that is referred to in this statement are the individuals that have passed through the social sorting mechanism of modern schooling and are likely not a threat to the establishment. Ordinary people are the competition here; they are the target of the molding hands. French historian Alexis de Tocqueville, in his attempt to explain modern despotism, writes in Democracy in America (1835),

“The sovereign, after taking individuals one by one in his powerful hands and kneading them to his liking, reaches out to embrace society as a whole. Over it he spreads a fine mesh of uniform, minute, and complex rules, through which not even the most original minds and most vigorous souls can poke their heads above the crowd. He does not break men’s wills but softens, bends, and guides them. He seldom forces anyone to act but consistently opposes action. He does not destroy things but prevents them from coming into being. Rather than tyrannize, he inhibits, represses, saps, stifles, and stultifies, and in the end he reduces each nation to nothing but a flock of timid and industrious animals, with the government as its shepherd.”

Lecturer and Professor of Arts Education Sir Ken Robinson appropriately calls the modern schooling system a “relic of the industrial age“. Robinson recalls in his book The Element, “Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school. Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do – and who they really were – until they’d left school and recovered from their education.” Robinson is describing the natural response to the kind of “education” that the General Education Board sought in 1904, which has continued to the present day.

Another open secret that has festered in our institutions is the fact that eugenics molded and infiltrated the education system, along with the intelligentsia of 2oth century America. The very standards by which “intelligence” is often measured, namely IQ tests and SAT’s, were created and promoted by open eugenicists. Such individuals included Lewis Terman, member of the America Eugenics Society, and creator of the modern Stanford Binet IQ Test, and Carl Brigham, inventor of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Lewis Terman writes in the 1919 textbook The Measure of Intelligence, produced while he was a member of the faculty of Stanford University,

“Among laboring men and servant girls there are thousands like them feebleminded. They are the world’s ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water.’ And yet, as far as intelligence is concerned, the tests have told the truth…”

Nicholas Lemann explains the function of the “Great Sorting” – standardized testing – in The Atlantic Monthly,

Just as important as, or more important than, the effect of the Great Sorting on the composition of the American elite has been its effect on everyone else. We have a different social order now. Henry Chauncey–who, when ETS was beginning, privately compared the situation in testing to that of railroads in the 1850s–helped to create the human equivalent of the standard gauge, which nationalized and systematized the mobility of people instead of goods.”

If everyone followed the directives of the education establishment line for line from gradeschool onward, our society would undoubtedly be totally stagnant. If everyone complied totally with the “one right way,” “one size fits all” method, invention, innovation and development would be stifled completely. Some of the most significant developments that contributed to the creation of our modern society were created by individuals who had little to no formal schooling. Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, had around three months of formal schooling. Henry Ford, most famous for his assembly lines and Ford motor company, dropped out in 8th grade.

Our system of schooling is good for social sorting and command and control, but the dynamic human spirit and the kaleidoscope of diverse intelligence that inhabits it is absolutely crushed under its dead weight. Everyone knows this intuitively. That’s why there are always individuals within the structure of the system who kick sand into the gears of the machine. Again, this is not by accident. The pyramidal structure of society cannot survive unless the masses are schooled in this way. Economically speaking, it doesn’t make much sense to stifle this untapped potential in humanity. It does make absolute sense, however, when viewed from the eyes of the elite who want to freeze society in order to maintain dominance regardless of the cost. If a true scientific monopoly over human thought and potential were ever created, its founders would wield immense power. Bertrand Russell succinctly explained this scientific method of control through the schooling system in his 1954 book “The Scientific Outlook.” Russel wrote,

“…the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.”


As the political world is trembling and paradigms are shifting, an awareness of the true power structure of the world is spreading. The schooling industry is not immune to the effects of these paradigm shifts. Homeschooling is growing exponentially while warnings of another bubble about to burst in the American economy are sounding – this time from the college industry. The National Inflation Association is warning that 2011 could be the year that the college bubble is set to burst, stating, “College education could possibly be the largest scam in U.S. history.” The sheer number of people that are now going to college has dramatically dropped the value of college degrees, while tuition is skyrocketing. The NIA “…believes that any recent high school graduate with $30,000 saved for college who invests that money into silver and becomes a minimum wage apprentice for the next 4 years, will likely have enough money in 4 years to buy a median priced U.S. home.”

As with any entrenched system and ideology, it will fight to stay alive. Students are being fitted with GPS tracking technology to ensure no one is unaccounted for. Inattentiveness and rebellion is medicated into passive  acceptance with Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. Because this system goes against the grain of humanity, it is by its very nature easy to beat. There are plenty of solutions. In seeking these solutions, we must be wary of establishment initiated “reform” that attempts to fix a “broken system” that is doing exactly what it is meant to do. A recent article from the California Teachers Association pointed out the significant influence of large foundations like the Gates Foundation in “reforming” the school system. As the article explains, the funding from these groups comes with strings attached that demand more “…top-down, authoritarian style…” administration and more standardization.

John Taylor Gatto is a former award winning schoolteacher from New York. His many books, including The Underground History of American Education and Dumbing us Down, explain from a teachers perspective the modern “schooling” industry. His latest book, Weapons of Mass Instruction lays out a step by step action plan for students to take part in. It’s called the Bartleby Project (available in PDF form here); Its target – Standardized Testing. If we can begin to make cracks in the system, Gatto explains, one of the best places to start is the standardized testing industry. Gatto writes simply,

“Let a group of young men and women, one fully aware that these tests add no value to individual lives or the social life of the majority, use the power of the internet to recruit other young people to refuse, quietly, to take these tests. No demonstrations, no mud-slinging, no adversarial politics – to simply write across the face of the tests placed in front of them, “I would prefer not to take this test.”

The Bartleby Project should allow no compromise. That will be the second line of defense for management, a standard trick taught in political science seminars. Don’t fall for it. Reject compromise. No need to explain why. No need to shout.

An old man’s prayers will be with you.”

2 Comments on "Modern schooling and the war against competition"

  1. Fred Ermlich | May 4, 2013 at 1:41 am | Reply

    We are setting up a website (it’s taking time and donations to do it properly), a website where articles like this one can be published, refined if needed, and published, e.g, through Amazon’s Kindle…. But yes, the edu system is amazingly corrupted. The ratio of population to geniuses is so lopsided now; look at the thinkers in the U.S. just 120 years ago, or those in Athens 2500 years ago. Fierce intellect flourished at times, in populations so small that many famous scientists and artists knew each other! And now, I meet people who share _my_ polymathy and genius almost never. Fred Ermlich, Lompoc, CA

  2. And we wonder why the economy is in shambles. Get the government out of it!

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