America has serious education problems, not just in how we score on tests or how well our math skills are compared to other countries, but in the general perceptions of the population about what is true. We have endured generations of lies and deception directed at us by our leaders, both public leaders and corporate leaders. This has happened for a variety of reasons that I have already gone over
Americans have been lied to for generations about our history, about economics in general, about the actions of our government and corporations, and about the ideologies that dictate our foreign agenda.
It is clear that American leaders operate in a totally different realm of information and understanding than average American citizens and it is clear that American leaders want to keep it that way so that it is impossible for the average Americans to ever truly understand the world around us and to truly understand their actions and motivations.
This is similar to the situation that Germany was in after World War II, though to a lesser degree, when the German people were deeply misled by the Nazi regime. The people were not aware of the concentration camps, they were not aware of the ways in which they had been manipulated. They were not aware of the activities of Nazi scientists. They were not aware of the fundamental worldview of the Nazi elite, which was anything but simplistic. No, they were believers in a simplistic good vs. evil worldview too.
The way that Germany handled this was through an educational deprogramming campaign that was not just a part of schools, but part of the entire society. And when it happened there were many bitter Germans, many that didn't want to believe that their government had lied to them. They protested, they complained, and they rejected the ideas at first, but as things became more clear the people came around and finally understood what had happened.
What has to take place in America, ultimately, is an educational revolution. At some point we will, as a society, have to take an honest reflection of our history and make sure that everyone really knows the truth about American history and how we have become so powerful. It is not until the myths that guide our society are dispelled that we will be able truly function as a democracy again.
Our textbooks need to be revised and our schools need to teach a more accurate view of the world, not just engage in the creation of American citizens. Right now our schools are creating American citizens, not creating people who have an honest understanding of reality, and that is why there is conflict and discontent in American society. American society is a world of confusion and information overload where few people agree on what is true and what is right and what is wrong.
In order to attempt fix the rebellion and discontent many Americans, ones that believe in the lies of our society, try to force the malcontents to believe in the lies as though that will provide a solution. That is no solution though. Not only is it dishonest and totally against the quest to improve the human condition by increased understanding, but all it does is make people less able to defend their own freedoms, which of course is why our leaders have promoted all of this in the first place.
Institutionalized religion in the hands of the government is one of the ways that American leaders are trying to continue to confuse and misguide the population, just as the Nazis used institutionalized religion to do the same thing in Germany. The first thing that we should all do as Americans, believers and non-believers alike, is keep religion out of the hands of government leadership, that is the very thing that the American founders left Europe because of and it was something that they voiced strong opinions about when they founded this country. It is why they created a secular government in the first place, to separate religion, which is based on the power of God and belief, and government, which is based on the power of man made law. It is when these two things join forces that serious problems happen, and it's why people are pushing is so strong to create a secular government in Iraq.
The Founding Fathers of America did believe in God, but they were also very adamant about why religion and government should not be mixed, as George Bush is trying to do today.
"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses."
-- John Adams
"When philosophic reason is clear and certain by intuition or necessary induction, no subsequent revelation supported by prophecies or miracles can supersede it."
-- John Adams
"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
-- Benjamin Franklin
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
Of course Theodore Roosevelt is not a founder, but he affirmed the views of the founders at the beginning of the 20th century, that religion has no place in public schools and that complete separation of Church and State is important to maintaining American liberty. These American leaders all held these ideas, not because they were against belief in God, but because they knew that when politicians and governments begin trying to use religion for their own purpose that nothing good can come of it because the use of religion to support political ideas is the sign that the political ideas are flawed in the first place. All ideas can be supported by facts if they are indeed worthy and true and that is what we must force our government to do, not use religion as George Bush has done to promote war, and not use religion as George Bush has done to promote his "faith based" initiative whereby he is incorporating public money into a religious system thereby bringing religion under a level of control of the government. And we must not bring religion into public schools either for the very same reasons. When a public school begins to teach religious views then we are on the road to the very problems that our Founding Fathers ran away from.
So, the first step in keeping America properly aware of what is going on is to oppose any union between Church and State. And as Thomas Jefferson put it in relation to Christianity, coercion in the name of producing uniformity will never work and only serves to degrade humanity. It is coercion that our leaders are trying to use to create a false idealistic uniformity in America as well, not religious uniformity, but a uniformity of political, historical, and economic ideas.
For 80 years this country has not allowed freedom of speech in relation to Communism, using coercion to create economic unity in America. This has to change. An idea that is truly flawed will be exposed as such upon honest review. If any of the ideas of Communism have merit then we should embrace them as a society. If they don't have merit then there should be no problem with discussing them openly and honestly.
Communist and socialist parties have previously been outlawed, and socialist ideas have been demonized. How can we claim as a society to support freedom of ideas and speech when this is true? There is no foreign Communist threat today so open discussion of the ideas of Communism must resume in order to promote understanding. Hundreds of millions of people around the world have identified with the goals of Communism, which is to create a better society where people have more freedom and more equality. Their hopes have often turned to dismay when tyrant leaders have abused their trust and taken advantage of their desires to serve themselves, but the desires of the people have never changed.
It cannot be ignored that so many people have supported the goals of Communism. True progress for humanity can only be helped by understanding why so many people have supported Communism and what it was that they were hoping to achieve. Communism was a rejection of the problems that many people felt were a part of capitalism. "Defeating" Communism has not addressed those people's concerns.
What we must do is find ways to address those concerns, not simply to defeat people and keep them down and suppress their desires to find a better way to do things.
Communism may well be a flawed system, I myself believe that it is flawed, but that in no way excuses our society from learning about something that has been so powerful and had such a profound effect on the world and human society.
Many of the world's leading thinkers of the 20th century were Communists and this country systematically silenced all of the ones in America and many of the ones over seas, ruining their careers, marginalizing their ideas, and sometimes worse. That's not freedom of expression and that that's not beneficial to our society because keeping people from expressing ideas only serves to prevent the possibility of finding solutions.
We need to pressure the government to release classified documents, something that the Bush administration is opposing and that the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act are making more difficult, and we need to make information learned from those documents part of public knowledge and part of our public school education. Information like the Northwoods Project where a large part of the American establishment was prepared to kill Americans and terrorize the country in order to prompt a war with Cuba.
Can anyone tell me how we are protecting our own freedom by ignoring these truths?
Education has to change in America. The goal of education needs to be the promotion learning and knowledge and understanding, not the promotion of patriotism. When patriotism is promoted at the expense of knowledge or when it is promoted in the absence of understanding it can only be called one thing, and that is tyranny. When you convince people to support a system and you convince them to give their lives to a system and you don't tell them the truth about how that system works what that system really does, then that is tyranny and there is no other way to see it.
And aside from the tyranny, a system without honest education can only lead to failure because future American leaders have to come from the population. The less informed the population is about how things really work and how our country has really achieved its success the fewer people there will be that are capable of leading the country in the future. Perhaps that's why we have the son of a former president in office today, that is what aristocracy is all about after all. When only a small minority are aware of what is going on then only members of that small minority are capable or likely to take positions of leadership.
We claim that the country is one where anyone can be elected to run it, but look at the facts. Eisenhower was a general who was urged to run for president by a wealthy American minority because of his anti-Communist views. Nixon was part of his administration, and Ford and Reagan were part of Nixon's administration, and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were part of Ford's administration, and George Bush Sr. was part of Reagan's administration and the son of a Senator, and Dick Cheney was again part of Bush Sr.'s administration and Bush Jr. is of course the son of Bush Sr. and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are again a part of his administration.
Is this country of 260 million people really so poor of talent and leadership that the same people have to stay in office for essentially 40 years? No, that's not the case. The case is that a small group of insiders have knowledge that they refuse to share with the American people and they have a perspective on world events that they do not share with the American people and they have an agenda that they do not share with the American people, and they have a high level of wealth and power.
American isn't creating new leaders through its education programs, its creating people that are not given the knowledge they need to be able to lead a country like the United States because a select group of insiders does not want any competition in its ability to maintain leadership control.
Part of the "American Dream" that we are all supposed to share, the dream that our parents have when they send us off to school, the dream that we had when we did our book reports and gave speeches in front of our classmates in school, is the dream that anyone of us can be the President of the United States. How many people have been filled with that dream? It certainly is a dream, because since Eisenhower was president every president except Carter and Clinton has been an insider. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush are all part of an elite clique.
President George Bush likes to tout his education program ideas. His ideas are "getting back to basics", focusing on reading, writing, and arithmetic. Yes, I'm sure that he does want to promote a program that reduces attention to history and economics and science and critical thinking, which is really what he is saying. He wants to take focus off of more complicated subjects and focus on the basics, because the basics don't encourage children to question or understand.
Funding for education needs to be increased. Pay for teachers needs to be increased. A culture of educational awareness needs to be cultivated. Teachers need to be returned to a position of high status in society, which will happen as pay increases. Our society has got to commit to education, open, honest, progressive, and challenging education. I think that children should also be given more real world experiences during the education process through field trips to places like manufacturing plants and slaughter houses and shipping companies. People need to be exposed to the nuts and bolts that make the country work. We see meat in the grocery store, how does it get there? Children should be exposed to those things so that they will respect the things we have by seeing the work that goes into producing them. School years can certainly also be increased, but children still need time to spend with family too of course.