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
Paperback Edition, ©2008, ISBN: 9780865716698
Perfectbound, 192 pages
Price: $19.99

The best revolt against the public education system, says John Taylor Gatto, would be unorganized. We're not after one system in place of another, but an abolishment of the current system, and in its place—freedom. The public school system wields Weapons of Mass Instruction not to educate students, but to school 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 manner of unpleasant persons. Socialists are there, 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 thoughtless. Students aren't allowed to think: thinking individuals can't be herded and manipulated. The routine, blind reliance on authority (the teacher's authority, which translates to the State's authority), lack of imagination, and flat-out boredom of public schools are 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 documentation. He's 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, 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, would end in the collapse of a corrupt educational program while strengthening 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's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary: Gatto calls on parents of all backgrounds to destabilize the mind-washing public school juggernaut by home schooling.

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