Skip to comments.How to Pollute a Mind: Lessons from John Dewey and Van Jones
Posted on 03/11/2010 8:59:10 AM PST by This Just In
March 11, 2010 How to Pollute a Mind: Lessons from John Dewey and Van Jones By Chuck Rogér A new Ivy League "fellow" will soon have the opportunity to teach students his belief that white people are "steering poison into the people-of-color communities" and that America should give up its wealth to the American Indians. This June, Princeton University will welcome to its hallowed halls former Obama Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, a self-proclaimed communist. The story of how America started down a path leading to communist instructors in our classrooms begs to be told.
In 1899, Vermonter John Dewey unveiled his vision for remaking American education -- a vision swallowed whole by "progressive" educators and used to corrupt the themes and methods used to teach our young. In The School and Society, Dewey declared that education doesn't occur "between teacher and pupil, or between teacher and parent"[i]. Education is a responsibility that society must execute using techniques "previously ignored as trivial, futile, or even condemned as positively evil"[ii].
Characters like Van Jones have a way with technique. Jones endorsed a Maoist anti-police demonstration and believes that Marxists and anarchists are "spiritual people." Princeton's new communist has said that taxpayers fund "violence against people of color" and that without wisdom from people such as him, the human "locust" would "scour this planet to the bones." Jones's toolbox contains the "positively evil" techniques which Dewey demanded.
Dewey envisioned a society that assures "the full growth of all [of its] individuals," a society in which "individualism and socialism" become one[iii]. The notion that society must guarantee everyone's welfare would be pursued by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Carter, George W. Bush, and Obama. But the fact that a collective can never be an individual eludes hopelessly theoretical progressives.
No progressive can tolerate natural law. Blind to nature's way, Dewey told parents that only a "radical change in education" could fix their children's immodesty, irreverence, and disobedience[iv]. The likelihood that children just like 1899's troublemakers caused trouble in every generation throughout Homo sapiens' existence escaped Dewey. More amazingly, to address immodesty, irreverence, and disobedience, Dewey prescribed not structure, but squishy weirdness:
We must recognize our compensations -- the increase in toleration, in breadth of social judgments, the larger acquaintance with human nature, the sharpened alertness in reading signs of character and interpreting social situations, greater accuracy of adaptation to differing personalities, contact with greater commercial activities[v].
So looser morals, tolerance of slackers, and weaker judgment became central to the progressive's lesson plan. In 1899, moral relativism and "diversity" debuted in American education.
Following the principles of Friedrich Froebel, "inventor" of kindergarten, Dewey proclaimed that schools should condition children for the desired "social order"[vi]. Teachers must stress "mutually helpful living" in order to indoctrinate children in collectivism. Schools must deemphasize facts, knowledge, and real-world skills[vii]. Dewey changed the "whole conception of school discipline," thus birthing the noisy, disorganized classroom whose business is to fill children with "a spirit of social cooperation and community life"[viii]. The kids don't need to understand "economic value." They need "social power and insight"[ix]. Today's anti-competition, no-homework zealots, like The Homework Myth author Alfie Kohn and his groupies, go ga-ga over such baseless mush[x],[xi],[xii],[xiii],[xiv].
Dewey drafted educators in a war on traditional America, promising that when teachers ready each child for "membership" in society,
... saturating him with the spirit of service, and providing him with the instruments of effective self-direction, we shall have the deepest and best guaranty of a larger society which is worthy, lovely, and harmonious[xv].
With this proclamation 111 years ago, Dewey launched the progressive mission to erase individuality and breed automatons to "serve" society. It's hard to ignore the similarity between Dewey's "worthy" society and Barack Obama's call for "all students to engage in service" to America.
Not satisfied with simply envisioning a lovely society, Dewey cast one of his most destructive legacies when he made the otherworldly contention that the child must "play" to his heart's content in order to achieve his "supreme end," the "fulness [sic] of realization of his budding powers, a realization which continually carries him on from one plane to another"[xvi]. Dewey's silliness fired up the "self-esteem" movement. Stroke children. No pressure. Their "budding powers" will kick in eventually, maybe.
In One Nation under Therapy, Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel find that Dewey's kind of foolishness produces "overprotected children" who are "denied essential life lessons," instilled with unearned self-esteem, and duped into believing that "that they should be judged by no one's standards but their own"[xvii]. In his book Mexifornia, classicist Victor Davis Hanson observes that people gain "self-esteem in accomplishment rather than in therapeutic rhetoric"[xviii]. Self-esteem is a product of, not a motivator for, achievement. Progressives wave at such truth as it passes by.
Dewey ridiculed the learning of facts and ignored Psychology 101 in warning teachers against using grading, non-promotion, and after-school detention to get results. The child must specify his own "relevant material"[xix]. Because educators have increasingly embraced Dewey's rubbish, it would come as no surprise should today's government-schooled adult name John, Paul, George, and Ringo as the "dudes" on Mount Rushmore or identify the Civil War as "that nasty thing in the '60s."
To summarize, Dewey, and pseudo-intellectuals after him, employed moral relativism to excuse moral decay. Under the umbrella of "tolerance," progressive educators conditioned children to misidentify that moral decay as a sign of healthy "diversity." Tolerance festered into acceptance of students utterly deficient in basic knowledge such as America's history and founding principles. Dewey-influenced teachers now allow radical politicians to enlist students in radical agendas.
Pamela Geller reports that Obama's "Organizing for America" recruits children for indoctrination in Marxism, the teachings of Pentagon bomber William Ayers, global warming alarmism, and pro-illegal immigration propaganda. Obama's recommended reading for the kids includes Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and leftist Rinku Sen's Stir It Up. Brainwash a child in militant anti-Americanism, and maybe he'll be a future Van Jones.
A century of Dewey has swept the likes of communist Jones into our classrooms and put fear in educators to label Jones's venom as venom. Corrupted techniques and dumbed-down curricula have normalized ignorance of America's unique goodness and brought forth a characteristic exhibited by all socialistic societies: massive dependence on government handouts. Though the current recession contributed to a rise in dependence, it was progressivism itself and Dewey-saturated education that crushed both the economy and Americans' resolve.
How much is Dewey still embraced today? Run a Google search on "John Dewey." A scan of the two million hits will reveal schools of every kind smitten by Dewey dogma. Brussels Journal member and Pope Center for Higher Education Policy contributor Thomas Bertonneau tells me that Dewey's theories form a "kind of currency, which people take for granted, and which has a certain 'buying power' in institutions." Sadly, English Professor Bertonneau is correct. Culturally toxic Deweyism is American education's legal tender, a worthless currency backed only by a long-dead Vermonter's sermonizing.
A physicist and former high tech executive, Chuck Rogér was a columnist for a Phoenix newspaper and now blogs at chuckroger.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org [i] John Dewey, The School and Society and The Child and the Curriculum, BN Publishing, 2008, p. 5.
Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America. At Mrs. Nordman's request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following "Current Communist Goals," which she identifies as an excerpt from "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen: [From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen] CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS 1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war. 2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war. 3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength. 4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war. 5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites. 6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination. 7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N. 8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N. 9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress. 10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N. 11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.) 12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party. 13. Do away with all loyalty oaths. 14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office. 15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States. 16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights. 17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks. 18. Gain control of all student newspapers. 19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack. 20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions. 21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures. 22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms." 23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art." 24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press. 25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV. 26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy." 27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch." 28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." 29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis. 30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man." 31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over. 32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc. 33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus. 34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI. 36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions. 37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business. 38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat]. 39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals. 40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce. 41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents. 42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems. 43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government. 44. Internationalize the Panama Canal. 45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.
"Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, speaks [lovingly] about Green Job Czar, Van Jones, at the Netroots Convention on August 12, 2009. Then Van Jones speaks about [a COMMUNIST] transforming [of] the whole society."
"Jones was the leader and founder of a radical group, the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. That group, together with Jones' Elle Baker Center for Human Rights, led a vigil Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif.
STORM's official manifesto, titled, "Reclaiming Revolution," surfaced on the Internet."--via TheObamaFile
VAN JONES SHOCK ADMISSION [in his own words]: "Goal is Complete Revolution"
Here is the transcript of the above YouTube video:
Right after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat if the civil rights leaders had jumped out and said OK now we want reparations for Slavery, we want redistribution of all the wealth, and we want to legalize mixed marriages. If wed come out with a maximum program the very next day, theyd been laughed at. Instead they came out with a very minimum. We just want to integrate these busses
But, inside that minimum demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1964 to 1968 complete revolution was on the table for this country.
And, I think that this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages.
Right now we say we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism where at least were not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it wont be enough. We want to go beyond the systems of exploitation and oppression all together. But, thats a process and I think thats whats great about the movement that is beginning to emerge is that the CRISIS is so severe in terms of joblessness, violence and now ecological threats that people are willing to be both pragmatic and visionary.
So the green economy will start off as a small subset and we are going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.
SOURCE for this transcript (it matches the video):
Here's the original source for the Van Jones quote about the time he spent in jail following the Rodney King/LA riots (Jones was arrested in "peaceful" protests in San Fran). It was in a 2005 interview he did with East Bay Express. They of course (what else?) claim he "renounced his rowdy Black Nationalist ways" since then (yet he's calling for "complete revolution" in Aug 2009! ...see above):
But in jail, he said, "I met all these young radical people of color -- I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.'" Although he already had a plane ticket, he decided to stay in San Francisco. "I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary." In the months that followed, he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. "I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist."
The 1992 LA/Rodney King riots were instigated by the Revolutionary Communist Party...
From David Horowitz's FrontpageMag.com /DiscoverTheNetworks.org:
"Throughout its history, one of RCP's [Revolutionary Communist Party] principal objectives has been to foment civil unrest in the United States. The most notable example of such efforts occurred on April 29, 1992, when RCP members looted and trashed the downtown and government districts of Los Angeles, triggering the infamous Rodney King riots. During the days immediately preceding the violence, RCP -- which maintained close ties to the L.A. gangs known as the Crips and the Bloods -- had circulated throughout South Central Los Angeles a leaflet featuring a statement by RCP National Spokesman Carl Dix, titled 'It's Right To Rebel' -- a quote popularized by Mao Zedong.
Encouraged by Dix, RCP activists helped lead the riots that would leave 58 people dead, more than 2,300 people injured, some 5,300 buildings burned, and $1 billion in property damaged or destroyed. On the ten-year anniversary of the rioting, RCP member Joseph Veale fondly recalled the violence as 'the most beautiful, the most heroic civil action in the history of the United States.'"
Dewey was one of the 34 signatories of the Humanist Manifesto I in 1933.