“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this… But we tend to take the situation for granted… (the bullshitter) does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up… (Bullshitters) continue making assertions that purport to describe the way things are but that cannot be anything except bullshit.” ~ Princeton professor emeritus, Harry Frankfurt, 2005 Bestseller, On Bullshit
“[The] erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardised citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” ~ H.L. Mencken, 1924
Stephen Colbert’s 2005 two minutes on truthiness as bullshit’s brother (embedding forbidden by Comedy Central).
This 12-part series addresses an overarching fact about public education: its design of intentional curricular lies of omission and commission to keep our children and the general public powerless, relatively stupid, and controlled work animals.
Importantly, I do not blame education professionals working in good-faith effort to produce high-quality learning from our children; public education exists in a matrix of control for ongoing empires that I’ll explain in detail within the series’ sections. That said, anyone truly educated in one’s field gradually discovers that public education is a ridiculous substitute for what’s most important to teach and learn. This is Emperor’s New Clothes obvious when pointed to, with this paper’s content including factual assertions that no counterarguments exist outside of shallow and misleading bullshit.
The 12 sections (links to be added as the series progress):
US public education: Bullshit to train stupefied work animals:
- Introduction: defining ‘bullshit,’ demanding comprehensive, objective, and independently-verifiable factual accuracy everywhere in Life, along with freedom to authentically respond (1 of 12)
- ‘US History’ as easily-proved lies of omission and commission to hide the .01% rogue state empire, and cheer for stupefied American myth (2 of 12)
- ‘Government’ as promised design structure blind to destruction of all Constitutional Rights in a dictatorial neocolonial rogue state (3 of 12)
- ‘Economics’ as limited and flawed models while ignoring criminal looting fraud to call debt as ‘money’ and ‘good,’ ignoring game-changing reforms (4 of 12)
- Mathematics so-called ‘real-world’ problems are lie-conceived trivial puzzles condescending to professionals; totally failing to count what’s most important in quality, money, time (5 of 12)
- Student leadership/ASB as entertainment committee with occasional gestures toward real-world problems but never recognizing bullshit ‘Big Lies’ of US rogue state (6 of 12)
- Language Arts fails to communicate inspiration for humanity; losing the human spirit’s self-expression to slavish empire (7 of 12)
- Physical Education fails to declare US national emergency of unfit, unhappy humans in body and mind (8 of 12)
- Fine and Performing Arts limited almost exclusively for ‘pay to play;’ quietly crushing creative self-expression (9 of 12)
- Science captured by the US rogue state; demoted to bullshitting about research, and silenced in real solutions for a brighter future (10 of 12)
- Solutions: education for truth, technology, and love to embrace reality and unleash human freedom (12 of 12)
Student leadership/ASB as entertainment committee with occasional gestures toward real-world problems but never recognizing bullshit ‘Big Lies’ of US rogue state (6 of 12)
lead: to go before or with to show the way.
Public education for leadership is mostly an entertainment committee to manage dances and athletic rallies. When they address public service, their work becomes tragic-comic by:
- Misleading students to believe gestures such as annual food drives is the way to show leadership regarding poverty, or sending care packages is leadership to support our troops, and failing to recognize and act upon long-term solutions to problems they choose to address.
- Failing to recognize, articulate, and act upon “Big Lies” of their US rogue state centered in illegal Wars of Aggression, bankster looting that directly attacks school funding, and constant lying through official and corporate media sources that include their own texts.
Let’s consider the above points in detail.
Leadership focus on entertainment through dances and athletics
Please recall your personal public education experiences and what you may observe with current students. As a student I was my class’ president, and as teacher have been the ASB advisor. As you may know, students elect leaders for annual events that include pep rallies, dances, and community service. Usually these positions are honestly presented such as “Prom Committee,” “Pep Rally Commissioner,” “Commissioner of Community Service.” Please be clear that I’m in favor of our children (and adults) participating in athletics, dances, and community celebrations. Importantly, most adults would be happier and healthier with more athletic play, dance, and celebrations.
The bullshit aspect of ASB/Leadership is the high percentage of student attention on entertainment management rather than its declared purpose of leadership. Entertainment becomes a distraction from attention to what real leaders work on: what’s most important to recognize, articulate, and act upon. Because we live in a world of psychopathic empire that annually kills millions, harms billions, and loots trillions as we’ve explained, documented, and proved in our sections on US History, US Government, and Economics, real leaders engage in those related issues as the top priority rather than the majority of attention on entertainment.
What’s missing in a class on leadership, therefore, is actual leadership in human areas of greatest importance.
When student leadership classes address important issues, their actions are limited to gestures that ironically damage their leadership skills by pretending gestures that never understand and resolve issues, but participate in token and passing behaviors are somehow what real leaders do.
Please be clear: I do recognize that almost all our students and ASB advisors genuinely want to help with important issues. Part of the problem of bullshit, as I keep leading each and every one of these articles with quotation from Professor Frankfurt to emphasize, is that bullshit remains as bullshit because it’s “taken for granted,” unchallenged, and with no contrast with reality that reveals the bullshit with irrefutable Emperor’s New Clothes clarity.
I mean really, who could call themselves a “leader” when mostly preoccupied with managing dances and celebrating athletics while, for example, a million children die gruesomely slow deaths from preventable poverty every month from easily preventable poverty reneged by US political leadership since some of their grandparents were their age (1969), while US military is lied into illegal Wars of Aggression, and all this taking place at crumbling schools facing austerity as .01% oligarchs hoard ~$30 trillion in tax havens and withhold solutions such as Ben Franklin’s of operating government abundantly without taxes???
Student leaders often quote real leaders; I’ll end this article with three that might be re-read in light of expanded appreciation.
Gestures of community service without embracing reality
Leadership classes typically have fund-raisers and drives for food and toys with the essential purpose to ameliorate poverty. Those expressions demonstrate empathy, but are far from what leadership includes:
- Understanding causes with perspective to END the problem.
- Recognizing that ongoing drives lack command of the issue; that is, are insufficient leadership and/or insufficiently informed. And as we addressed in our Economics section, all solutions to end poverty are known, have already been promised by political “leadership,” and for global poverty would be realized within ten years for an investment of less than 1% of the “former” imperial nations’ GNI.
- Recognizing a historical environment of empires perpetuating lies that include keeping poverty, as we addressed in our US History section.
The current public education leadership classes exist in a bullshit environment of unthinking followers of ongoing rogue state empire. Even young school children are clear what real leaders do:
Go for the win.
Ongoing gestures to make a problem a little more tolerable is not leadership.
Leadership’s gift to embrace the big picture, understand it, and go for wins is one side of a coin, with the other being our next section: recognizing, addressing, and ending a rigged game that thwarts leadership.
Living the leadership of Gandhi, King, America’s Founders
“In every poker game, there’s a sucker. When you sit at the table, look for the sucker. If you don’t see one, get out of the game.” ~ Werner Erhard
Leadership to build a brighter future cannot exist in the current environment of US rogue state empire. Martin King was assassinated by this rogue empire in 1968 just before leaving for his Washington, D.C. million person occupation until that generation’s lie-started and illegal War of Aggression ended and with those funds redirected to end domestic poverty. This is the legal verdict of the King Family civil court case.
An obvious role of leadership in the present conditions is to live as Martin King did, as Gandhi, as America’s Founders: Clearly articulate and take action upon the gap between promised freedoms and the manipulated illegal reality.
For public education leadership classes to “support the troops” rather than powerfully factually assert the wars as illegal and lie-started is to act as minions rather than leaders.
For public education leadership classes to donate money and food to “end poverty” rather than demand US political “leadership” arrests for ongoing Crimes Against Humanity for intentional policy that has killed ~500 million human beings since presidential candidate Clinton was in the White House as First Lady is to act as “useful idiot” boot-lickers of psychopathic empire rather than leaders.
For public education leadership classes to hold mock presidential elections rather than recognize a “Bozo democracy” of unaccountable electronic voting machines with false-choice between Left and Right arms of a rogue state empire is Orwellian; the polar-opposite of leadership.
I can’t make this any more clear of the gap between real leadership to state the obvious and important versus bullshit to be distracted from and/or delusional to game-changing facts that are objective and independently verifiable for anyone caring to look.
Again: our children and good-faith teachers are not to blame; they’ve been thrown into this bullshit hidden-empire environment with naive trust of those in “leadership” positions in government, corporate media, and academics.
This said, once educated, one must become a rebel in the right way to call bullshit if one is to lead in any direction virtuous. In just 90 seconds, former US Marine Ken O’Keefe powerfully states how you may choose to voice “very obvious solutions” (video starts at 20:51, then finishes this episode of Cross Talk):
Three of history’s strongest voices on leadership
First: Marcus Tullius Cicero, Rome’s leading political figure who stood for their constitutional republic as would-be dictators and paid-off Senators sought to subvert their government to an oligarchic dictatorship. Cicero rejected an offer of money and power to silence his criticism of Rome’s move toward unconstitutional dictatorship. He felt it was his duty to voice the long-term costs and benefits of the choice between citizen responsibility to stand for their constitutional rights or to submit to dictatorial tyrants.
One of the most important lessons of history is to understand that Cicero and his colleagues failed, as had similar statesmen defending Greece from internal subversion to dictatorship four hundred years earlier. More of Roman historians documenting this fall, that the US Founders deeply considered in creating our Constitution, is here.
The American Founding Fathers read and embraced Cicero in consideration of how to create a US Constitution with the best hope to survive tyranny from within our own country. They understood the danger that the United States must have competent citizens in recognizing emerging facts of ongoing “current events,” or else suffer similar self-destruction as Greece and Rome’s democratic republics into dictatorial and war-mongering empires, and then collapse.
Cicero wrote to encourage his fellow citizens to embrace the responsibility of defending their constitutional republic from dictatorial forces, and the fragility of freedom if they chose short-term pleasures:
“We denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero, On Duties: The Extremes of Good and Evil, 44 BCE, translated by H. Rackham (1914).
Rome’s faction that wanted oligarchic/dictatorial power rather than a constitutional republic targeted Cicero, assassinated him, then publicly displayed his dismembered body.
Second: Mohandas Gandhi was an attorney who acted for realization of the civil rights in the rhetoric and religion of the British Empire. When the empire refused to recognize those civil and Christian rights, Gandhi led the movement for Indian independence from British imperialism. As an attorney, Gandhi had the academic training and professional experience to powerfully voice the hypocrisy of the Empire’s promises of democracy, civil rights, and rule of law versus the reality of denying the public their power of vote, crushing civil rights, and then using the law to criminalize the public’s voice for those rights. Gandhi also shone light upon the hypocrisy between the British’ declared religious values of Christianity versus their brutal attacks and public enslavement. Gandhi asked British Christians to honor the one commandment Jesus gave them: love.
Gandhi asked that the British show their love by granting full political and civil rights to all, and with equal protection under just laws. The British response was propaganda and force to retain their dictatorial and unlawful control.
Gandhi communicated to the public through speech, media that would accept his voice, and his own newspaper. He found that he had to address that “current events” as propagandized by the British government was very different from the actual facts:
“One thing we have endeavoured to observe most scrupulously, namely, never to depart from the strictest facts and, in dealing with the difficult questions that have arisen during the year, we hope that we have used the utmost moderation possible under the circumstances. Our duty is very simple and plain. We want to serve the community, and in our own humble way to serve the Empire. We believe in the righteousness of the cause, which it is our privilege to espouse. We have an abiding faith in the mercy of the Almighty God, and we have firm faith in the British Constitution. That being so, we should fail in our duty if we wrote anything with a view to hurt. Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not, and it is by placing them constantly before the public in their nakedness that the misunderstanding… can be removed.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian Opinion (1 October 1903)
Another quote you’ve probably heard that is attributed to Gandhi but unsourced, explains the British government’s strategy to stop activists’ work for recognition of their rights:
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then you win.”
Regarding your opportunity to earn extra credit, I invite you to watch and then do some kind of review of the 1982 movie, Gandhi. It won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. For the HD official trailer, view here.
Need an excuse to ask someone you like in our class on a date? You’re welcome 🙂
Third: Dr. Martin Luther King stood for civil rights and equal protection under American laws for all. Dr. King learned from Gandhi, and powerfully communicated the 100 years of American hypocrisy between the legal promises of citizenship and rights versus the reality of brutal segregationist oppression by government. For the last year of his life, Dr. King addressed the Vietnam War. His plan for the summer of 1968 was to lead a march, and then camp-in at Washington, D.C. until the US government ended the Vietnam War, and directed war resources to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure. He was assassinated after his last speech before beginning the march to D.C. in April, 1968.
Dr. King also had to address Americans’ difficulty to look their “Wizard” in the eye; to address their government directly and without fear:
“‘A time comes when silence is betrayal.’ That time has come for us… The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world.
… A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. … A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. … A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. …We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.
… These are revolutionary times.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”
An excerpt from Dr. King’s article, The Purpose of Education:
“Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”
Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences (and here). I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.
Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu
Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).