Weapons of Mass Instruction

Weapons of Mass Instruction

A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

by John Taylor Gatto
Publisher: New Society
Hardcover, 192 pages
Current Retail Price: $24.95
Used Price: $15.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

The best revolt against the public education system, according to John Taylor Gatto, would be unorganized. It's not one system in place of another that we're after, it's an abolishment of the current system, and in its place—freedom. The public school system wields Weapons of Mass Instructionnot to educate its students, but to schoolthem, to train them to be complacent money-spending citizens.

There's a long and sordid history behind the American public school system. Its key players include proponents of selective breeding (in humans, not animals), monopolists, racists, and all kinds of other unpleasant persons. Socialists are there too, but in Gatto's version their aims are subservient to those of the industrialists, the hyper-capitalists intent on keeping the populace consuming.

Not only consuming, but blissfully (or not so blissfully) and entirely thoughtless. Students can't be allowed to think, because then they can't be herded and manipulated as easily. The routine, blind reliance on authority (the teacher's authority, which translates to the State's authority), lack of imagination, and flat-out boredomof public schools are all designed to keep children childish and incapable of self-knowledge or awareness.

If this sounds like a conspiracy theory, it's not. Gatto does an excellent job of keeping his arguments documented, logical and sane, never drifting into wild-eyed ramblings or trying to lift the veil on a masterminded plot. There is organization to the schemes of those controlling the public schools, certainly, but it's not the Illuminati or the Bilderberg Group.

In fact, it's everyone who allows the system to continue running. His unorganized revolt, if widespread enough, would result in the collapse of a corrupt educational program while simultaneously giving strength to those able to think for themselves. He sees the homeschool movement as this country's greatest hope to bring us back to virtue and progress, but homeschool movement with lower-case letters, as parents educate their kids according to their own conscience and their kids' true abilities.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviewshere.

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