Compulsory Education Spoils Success

We all want to live our dreams. What gets in the way, more often than not, is our education—or actually, the lack of one. Schooling is not education. In fact, in many ways it is the opposite. According to John Dewey of Decimal System fame, one of the founders of American education policy:

“Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of heaven.” — Dewey, Pedagogic Creed (1897)

Is this education or religion? Dewey’s messianic vision was foundational to American education. John Taylor Gatto explains:

“Somehow out of the industrial confusion which followed the Civil War, powerful men and dreamers became certain what kind of social order America needed, one very like the British system we had escaped a hundred years earlier. This realization didn’t arise as a product of public debate as it should have in a democracy, but as a distillation of private discussion. Their ideas contradicted the original American charter but that didn’t disturb them. They had a stupendous goal in mind. The end of unpredictable history; its transformation into dependable order.” — John Taylor Gatto,The Underground History of American Education

The educational system is not designed to produce successful people, but industrial drones trained to work in factories and offices. And there is more:

“The first goal, to be reached in stages, was an orderly, scientifically managed society, one in which the best people would make the decisions, unhampered by democratic tradition. After that, human breeding, the evolutionary destiny of the species, would be in reach. Universal institutionalized formal forced schooling was the prescription, extending the dependency of the young well into what had traditionally been early adult life. Individuals would be prevented from taking up important work until a relatively advanced age. Maturity was to be retarded.

So the industrialists’ need for compliant workers, standardized replaceable parts for the machine of business, overshadowed any concept of benefit for the workers being trained. This was the birth of adolescence, delayed childhood at an age when preindustrial children customarily entered adulthood.

This is why we find it so difficult to live our dreams: we have been conditioned by experts to require a class and a teacher to learn anything. We are trained to need permission for everything, even to go to the bathroom. Initiative and creativity are punished, conformism is enforced by authority a peer pressure. Shaming and bullying begin with the educational administration and teachers. No wonder children are so cruel; they learn it every day in school. The result is a sociopathic society where only the privileged get to live independently, as they desire.


Published by

Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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