Dumbing down – another angle

These are excerpts from a ‘Minding the Campus‘ article, which touches on some misconceptions. It’s written from the inside, by an educator:

My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.

He’s complimentary to the children:

[T]hey rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes. They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.


Some students, due most often to serendipitous class choices or a quirky old-fashioned teacher, might know a few of these answers. But most students have not been educated to know them. At best, they possess accidental knowledge, but otherwise are masters of systematic ignorance. It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.

This can’t be stressed enough. In my last decade, the constant theme at in-service days was that new is good, therefore right. Teachers are, on the whole, open to new developments coming out of the curriculum branch and when that presenter sets up his power point show, with its one line assumptions at the side of the pretty picture of some earnest students, not many question it, stop the presenter and say, ‘Hang on.’

These teachers really are trying to do the right thing by their lights, they’re not chuckling manically like the melodramatic baddy, they’re afraid – remember many of these are women – that they are missing out on something and want to get it. New! New! New! That’s the mantra.

And of course, the power point is accompanied by teaching materials, innit, which comprise texts and exam books, extension work – anything to get the school to buy three texts per child, not one. Let alone the teacher texts.

And inside those books are a complete political system, assumptions on glossy pages with big pics. So to know who was putting this out, you have to go to the curriculum branch – who does that [?] – thence to the authors and who hired them.  And that’s where you find the drivers of the new ideas.

Everyone below them, through the teachers, down to the children, simply fall in line. No one wishes to seem reactionary, racist, sexist.  Those who don’t buy the line gently mock but it’s more than your job’s worth to actually say anything.  After all, the head has brought these people in on this in-service day.

What they don’t see, the teachers, is that the head was approached by the company and he said, ‘Sounds good, let’s find out the latest.’  The critical examination of the values being transmitted is not carried out. Any in education know – there’s never any time, one is always struggling to keep up with the week’s allocated topics.

That’s how the values get in but the reason they find willing eyes and ears is that these values are also seen in any sit-com on TV, any soap, in the biased MSM news, in music, in medicine [see Bruce Charlton], in the law, in absolutely everything.  The people who make the running in all those things are not us.

Of late, people have started to wake up to the Beeb and what a load of luvvies it is but the damage has already been done – a generation ago it was done, to Generation X and Generation Y simply grow up with those assumptions taken as fact.

And voila, the culture of the 40s, 50s and 60s is not only gone, it’s mocked. A lady who was in a blog group I was in, in 2006/7, wrote to me that I sounded as if I were from the 50s. That was meant to be bad, that was meant to cut. It didn’t.

But to every kiddy, it would have. Fuddy duddy has nothing to say, just ignore and go with the repositories of agreed truth that one never sees. One only sees others down the line parrotting the PC.

The immense power therefore of the people controlling the materials others use is incalculable. And they’re always hidden.  I can tell you that they’re partly illiterate and innumerate, as our staff found multiple errors in texts, texts which were meant to be the be all and end all.

And any topic used to demonstrate, say, a relative pronoun, always contained embedded values. Every single excerpt, every single example, reinforcing, reinforcing.  So we need to rid ourselves of these people but how?

Back to Minding the Campus:

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide. The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West.

This is not an overreaction at the end – it really is the end of history. Being a sad case, I’ve always liked history books and when I was staying at a mate’s place, his son’s old history book was in the bookshelf. Took it out and it had the leather bound, hardback look which spelt gravitas.

Good, the old history, I thought. Several pages in and I was already muttering, then expostulating – the guff included as given truths were off the planet. Usually it’s the bias of selection and omission but this one included total porkies.  I looked at the date – mid-90s.

Oh my goodness – who was going to correct these things?  Well obviously people such as I. And just how was I going to do this? Track down the authors when I had a dozen things to do that day? And the son was now grown, out in the world.  You see the impossibility of the task. And who’s to say he’d even listen or see it as relevant to his own world these days?

Back to the teachers and how far can they be blamed? Those in charge are Gen X, the new teachers are Millennials – the process has already been done on them.

Some saw it and tried to fight back by producing alternative materials:

E.D. Hirsch even worked up a self-help curriculum, a do-it yourself guide on how to become culturally literate, imbued with the can-do American spirit that cultural defenestration could be reversed by a good reading list in the appendix. Broadly missing is sufficient appreciation that this ignorance is the intended consequence of our educational system, a sign of its robust health and success.

Heads would look at it – hmmmm, interesting angles but reactionary, racist, every other -ist. And that was that. Those values were never going to be reintroduced by us. The only real chance is that some bright kids start to see something’s wrong, something’s missing and start exploring.

It’s not unlike The Who’s song 905:

In suspended animation
My childhood passed me by
If I speak without emotion
Then you know the reason why
Knowledge of the universe
Was fed into my mind
As my adolescent body
Left its puberty behind

And everything I know is what I need to know
And everything I do’s been done before
Every sentence in my head
Someone else has said
At each end of my life is an open door/a>

I have a feeling deep inside
That somethin’ is missing
It’s a feeling in my soul
And I can’t help wishing
That one day I’ll discover
That we’re living a lie
And I’ll tell the whole world
The reason why.

Until then …

Chilling, yes? The point made over and over is that none of this is random, the rising and falling wave of civilization – this is quite deliberately introduced and it has succeeded. These are very patient people.

The earliest confirmed example was long ago, called the Lincoln School in America, Rockefeller funded and embracing what’s known as Wundtian philosophy. I’ll leave you to explore Wilhelm Wundt who might have died an obscure experimenter, were it not for his inclusion in the genesis of the new education.

There are just too many articles on education but one good one, on research methods, was reprinted here on my former blog:


Further reading here.

The theme of deliberate intervention in order to dumb down, when I posted that in 2006, was largely seen as tinfoil hat, despite august educators writing the pieces. Today, it’s seen as part of the fightback against dumbing-down which most have now observed in all its ingloriousness.

And it’s fine finally nailing what it has been and who the muvvers are who have done this but most are now dead or dying and can’t be prosecuted. Of those pushing these things today, most are simple followers of the narrative. They truly believe in what they’re doing. If you tried to prosecute, they’d ask: ‘For what? A difference of opinion?’

If a Generation X teacher, already part-dumbed-down, has a teacher’s manual before her and has directed the kids to either the terminals or their laptops, then education is out of her hands and in the hands of those preparing those materials.

And that’s the big change.

The big issues today? One is how to get out of the EU and its perniciousness, despite the howls of the dumbed-down, casting us as interferers in our own right.

Yuri Bezmenov said we can’t do it in our own time, us old fogies. It will be after the current primary school children grow up and have a 905 moment.

The failsafes

However, built into the programming of kids are the failsafes, ways to prevent codgers like us interfering. We saw a prime example in the outcry from the kids over Brexit, an outcry against ‘the old’. Never mind that it was  small proportion, under the control of leftwing teachers, this was how the MSM took it up.

We saw it at Missouri State, with the infamous Professor Melissa Click:

melissa click

However did THAT get to be a professor? And the only way we got to know of it was 1. the presence of a disruptive element against their game, the photographer and 2. Click’s OTT reaction, bringing a threat to the quiet propagation of the game.

She was dismissed but for what reason?  Moral standards or because she was a threat to the agenda?

This post could go on much longer, there is copious material but perhaps the point of the article author has been made – there is nothing accidental in what has happened to education.

9 comments for “Dumbing down – another angle

  1. Stonyground
    July 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    A radio ad. has just popped up with a series of kiddiwinks telling us all about a future squeeze on food supplies. The ad. ends with an invitation to visit a government website. Said kiddiwinks would be well advised to google the doomsday predictions of Paul Erlitch from the nineteen seventies first.

  2. Stonyground
    July 6, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    There you go:

    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    – Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, (New York: Ballentine Books, 1968), p. 13.

    Ok it was 1968 not the 1970s and I apologise to Paul Ehrlich for spelling his name wrong.

  3. Hereward Unbowed.
    July 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I laughed, I laughed out loud. History rewritten for telly and then think, when does poetic licence become – science fiction fantasy?

    But for not much longer who will be able to tell the difference?


    Female coppers in uniform in the 50s!? That’s funny.

    “I’m good m’lud” – Americanisms in Downton – DOH! funny huh?

    I watched some crap the other day on the beeb, Edwardian Ghost thing, the lady of the house was declaiming the benefits of machinery and lo! a steam driven plough was materialized with lady of the Manor at the wheel I laughed and laughed.
    Any number of stylized cop shows etc [Young Morse] imprinting the mores and stulted PC newspeak in the mouths, thoughts and feelings of people supposedly ‘existing’ in the Sixties. I do laugh and laugh long.

    Arabs are still heavily involved in the slave trade – no one cares to notice, where PC post modern history books ignore their 1400 years long role in slaving – I laugh and laugh.

    Mary Seacole a black scullion PC rewrite – is now championed as, the new Nightingale if you please! – she was nothing of the sort. That, makes me laugh!

    Then think of ‘Brave Heart’ and ‘The Patriot’ [oh fucking hell], and Hollywood ‘how the US single handed won WWII’ or Tinkerbell-land and ‘Avatar’ and then laugh and laugh and laugh.

    The funniest thing, people don’t know the difference.

    Here in dear old Englandland, they, most, don’t even know why ‘Dad’s Army’ is the, is still THE most beautifully scripted, depicted framed report on life in an English Town during the war, you can almost taste it,. And if you will, can still travel to some obscure English coastal resorts in the South or even Yorkshire then, there are still poignant echoes of it [England] yes fading but yet existing.

    God, I bleed for those who will never know it and glad that most could never find it.

    Also, what has gone, country pub, a couple of strangers and three, friendly banter and an intellectual clash of opinion over guessing of church and local buildings, its historical architecture, philosophy, writing, critique, poets, cricket, landscape, geology, geography, language, politics – over a proper pint or two.

    When it is gone as it surely is, I will not care to laugh.

  4. Voice of Reason
    July 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    The old Heinlein quote about malice and incompetence comes to mind.

    The US educational system has been dominated for decades by administrators whose basic measure is pass rates. That immediately leads to grade inflation, and the de-emphasis on Mathematics and other hard subjects, to be replaced by a plethora of courses in subjects such as communication, in which Professor Click was an ‘expert’.

    And it was driven by the best of intentions, following the work of John Dewey, who quite rightly saw education as the avenue for social mobility. Quite wrongly, he assumed that the mere awarding of education credit was the same thing as being educated, and the rot began.

  5. Bruce Charlton
    July 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    James – ” It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.”

    Well, it IS their fault, actually: 1. It is orders of magnitude easier and quicker to learn about this stuff than at any time in the history of the world. 2. They *choose* to do what is asked of them in this respect – but they choose to ignore what is asked of them in most other respects. 3. Ultimately, we are each responsible for our own life – if not us, then nobody will be.

    With pervasive atheism in public discourse enforced; people might have been expected to take their one-and-only-life ending-in-extinction seriously, and not to waste it in hedonic distractions. But it turns-out that without the frame of deity, life beyond death, and transcendental Goods – people merely revert to expedient nihilism and fill-in tie pleasantly until they die (or – by expressed preference – are humanely murdered by a state-medic with a syringe full of morphine long before they need to experience any suffering).

    • July 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      My intent was not to absolve them but to show forces going on behind education intended to dumb down and substitute PC gobbledegook for proper research, a knowledge base and the ability to think clearly and logically.

      The one which I find most dismaying is lack of knowledge outside their bubbles. As you say, it’s now available like never before.

  6. Stonyground
    July 6, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Don’t parents have any responsibility for their progeny’s world view? If you point intelligent kids in the right direction, easy access to information can be very productive. As for the less intelligent, well unfortunately they will always be with us and no amount of education or internet access will change that. Witness the recent vox pops interview with a girl who gave her three favourite things about the EU as: 1) The NHS. 2) Free plane tickets to France. And 3) Everyone having the same opinion.

  7. Errol
    July 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I’ve a student under my wing at work. They’re very full of anger and aggression, insults and abuse for Conservative politicians and Right wingers generally yet; they know nothing. Their lack of awareness, of reality, of the damage big government does is horrific.

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