Tuesday, October 8, 2013

THE PROGRESSIVE LOSS OF HISTORY

This is an article written by George Guzzardo Life founder.

I hope you truly take the time and read it thoroughly and find the truth that is with in it.
Thank you, Scott Johnson
Being a subscriber to LIFE Leadership I learned to ask questions and then begin the quest to seek out answers. I recently asked some questions after listening to the recentFreedom CD by Orrin Woodward called Leadershift and the Power Pendulum, “Where is our history?” How could a sovereign nation with $Billions tied up in the education system have a result of so many people knowing so little about their roots? I hear from hundreds of people that they are too busy to read. I’ve been told by hundreds of people that all they remember about their history was the snoring from a fellow student. James Rees, Executive Director of Mount Vernon, wrote, “In my opinion, we have created a vicious cycle that is truly dangerous to our nations future.”  This lack of knowledge begins in the classroom and is reinforced in the media. There has been a progressive decrease of time and attention to our history. Rees writes, “295 million Americans are not being exposed to American history.”
I traced the beginning of this development to the University of Chicago where John Dewey became the head of the department of philosophy, psychology, and education. There, he created the famous Laboratory school. He tested philosophical and psychological ideas with real live children. As a result, in 1904 the Teachers College became the undisputed training center for the new scientifically basedprogressive education. The graduates fanned out across America to become deans and professors of teaching colleges and superintendents of entire public school systems. As a result, there was a major shift from a classical curriculum to a more modern program of studies. The classicists however warned that discarding Latin and Greek would only serve to undermine the cultural foundations of our civilization. Interestingly, mass compulsory schooling got its start in the United States between 1905 and 1915. Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909, “We want one class of persons, a very much larger class, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal (Liberty) education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”
Speed forward to Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Lippmann who delivered a speech to the Association for the Advancement of Science in 1940,  “During the past forty years those who are responsible for education have progressively removed the Western culture from the curriculum which produced the modern democratic state… the schools and colleges have therefore been sending out into the world men who no longer understand the creative principle of society in which they must live…deprived of their cultural tradition, the newly educated Western men no longer possess in the form and substance of their own minds and spirits and ideas, the premises, the rationale, the logic, the method, the values of the deposited wisdom which are the genius developed of Western civilization…the prevailing education is destined, if it continues, to destroy Western civilization and is in fact destroying it.  I realized quite well that this thesis constitutes a sweeping indictment of modern education. But I believe the indictment is justified and their is a prima facie case for entering this indictment.”  I then read Harry Elmer Barnes’ book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace,  “George Orwell in his book 1984 points out that what makes it possible for those in authority to maintain the barbarities of the police state is that nobody is able to recall the many blessings of the period which preceded that type of society…Many have come to accept it as normal.”  This is exactly what happens when we forget our past. A great example is the fact that in 1913 there was no income tax and yet we accept it today as the way it has always been .
In Orrin Woodward’s recent Freedom CD he points out how government gets out of control. As government increases, individual freedom decreases. Today we see government guided by economists that appear to be wanderers in a desert without a compass. We, being without a working knowledge of history have no understanding of cause and effect. For example, we don’t question the idea of printed money. But, who would remember the experience of John Law in 1716?  Almost 80 years later, the inflationary process resulted in the French Revolution. Professor Milton Friedman writes of the event, “to cure a disease temporarily in its character a corrosive poison was administered, which ate out the vitals of French prosperity…It ended in the complete financial, moral, and political prostration of France.” Continuing the course of history we find Professor Hans F. Sennholz who compares the cycle of France with the great stock market crash. He writes,  “In each case, Government had generated a boom through easy money and credit, which was soon followed by the inevitable bust…The spectacular crash of 1929 followed five years of reckless credit expansion by the Federal Reserve System.”
Today, very few of us would recollect such events. I wonder why? In 1994, the National History Standards were published. A content analysis of the standards done by Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai found that what was most important for the American student did not mention Daniel Webster, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison, or Albert Einstein but did include the Speckled Snake, Wovoka, Ellen Levine, and Madonna. We are no longer familiar with the principles of Locke and Montesquieu.  This would be the case according to what was important to John Dewey who writes in his Liberalism and Social Action, “Natural rights and liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological and social zoology.” Most of us have been taught that history is just a list of names and dates. Because our past is in disarray, our future is unclear.
Further, without a literary culture or knowledge of the past, we are doomed to repeat the failures of history. Fortunately, the LIFE Leadership subscriptions create the opportunity to develop the habits of reading in small increments. Mortimer Adler writes, “Every book should be read no more slowly than it deserves, and no more quickly than you can read it with satisfaction and comprehension.” Without our ability to read, the time to read, and what we are taught to read, we will repeat the past unless an independent movement takes place. What if the student was motivated from being compensated? There could be a national literary movement. There could be an awakening. There could be an answer to the question, “Where is our history?” There is no need to look any further, just into LIFE Leadership. God Bless, George Guzzardo