School’s Purpose

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Social Order / DeGate / DeSchooling / School’s Purpose /
2000 07 22

If you follow the magician’s patter you will very likely “see” what the magician wants you to see: that is, the illusion; and not the trick.
If, in contrast, you want to see the trick and not the illusion, a different kind, a higher level, of seeing and hearing must be practiced.

Government schooling is the explicit attempt to coerce people into
accepting their appropriate place in hierarchical, industrial capitalism.
Matt Helm

I’ll say off the bat that one of school’s prime (true) purposes (in harmony with other institutions in any modern kleptocracy — employing coercion: making its life easy via time-proven illusions, and riding under whatever banners fit effectively into the patter of illusion: civilization, order, Christianity, education, equality, democracy …) is to identify early those who see the trick (and are willing to say so) and to make sure that those individuals have additional obstacles strewn in their way and never advance: way being made for, preferment bestowed on, the least incompetent of the tractable.

No (ahem) democracy will allow a citizen promoted who says aloud, “Uh, if the Athenians murdered Socrates, what makes us latecomers believe that we’re fit for self-government?” Or: “Since the US Constitution is half-plagiarism and half-illiberal dilution of the Iroquois Great Law of Peace, how come we don’t pay half-royalites to the Five Nations?”

No Catholic will promote to priest let alone to bishop if he says out loud, “Uh, if man is fallible, is born to original sin, added new sins on top of that, railroading and torturing Jesus, for example, then how come Christians sit still and tolerate secular governments run by humans? Indeed, how can Christians sit still and tolerate a Church run by humans? Why don’t we all just sit down, shut up, and wait for God?”

Cognitive Dissonance

Society gives preference to those with the most flattering cognitive dissonances:
you don’t become president (or pope) by seeing that
the territory has been taken illegitimately.

And no school will make life easy for the young’un who asks the public school English teacher what novels she’s written, what their reception was … or asks the physics teacher what new principles she’s theorized. note

Understand, in a theater, the magician’s assistants, ushers, for example, don’t have to spot mere hecklers among the ticket-bearers: so long as they seem more belligerent than intelligent. It’s the reasonable skeptic who must be exhorted out to the alley way and forced (if necessary) to accept that his ticket is no good: wrong date, no Jews on Friday … whatever. Oh, and how’s this for a reason?

[punch to the gut]

The ushers will always outnumber the reasonable skeptics. The kleptocrats act as a pack; the reasonable woman or man, boy or girl, acts in isolation. (Few such boys or girls grow to adulthood: the dumpsters dispose of their corpses: in the extreme case where they didn’t just see that their bread could be buttered by just shutting up and agreeing, “Oh, yes the lady in tights is levitating.”

Alan Ginsberg wasn’t kidding when he howled about the best minds being destroyed by madness: he just didn’t list enough of the ways intelligence, imagination, honesty, knowledge, reason … are flushed from the culture.

Far more than to educate (whatever that means),
the purpose of school is to indoctrinate:
to civilize a candidate for a particular sect of kleptocracy:
like breaking a horse for a particular duty. In sum,
to domesticate us for purposes not our own.

thanx gitmotheresponse

Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society first came before the general public in an issue of NYR (c. 1970). At least an issue or two before that I’d read a piece reverse-engineering school’s purpose by Florence Howe and Paul Lauter. Their position was that if you follow the school’s magical mis-leads, you’ll believe that the schools’ purpose is to educate, to prepare citizens for democracy, to train the young in the tools of survival: finding food, building shelter, self- and group-protection … If so, they continued, the schools are miserable failures by any measure. Yet the schools continue to receive ever larger budgets, ever more personnel, ever more power … Can the advertised purpose be true? Howe and Lauter proceeded to reverse engineer the school system: what does it actually do? Perhaps its true “purpose” can be deduced not from its claims, but from its accomplishments.

The Illich testament was driven out of print (even as it sold well!), but I’ve mounted the text online. I have the text for the Howe and Lauter article and will try to mount it as well.

Meanwhile, my own scribbles on the subject (over and above offering FLEX (1970) as a potentially complete, non-managed, non-censored, free, open, public information clearing house: the first internet!) have collected in a data base, in scraps of paper here and there, and in a series of HTML files online in one form or another since I’ve been online regularly (1995) (on this internet). I hope soon to revise and restructure them, relating them to acknowledged lists of basic magicians’ tools for illusion: lying, switching trick properties for real …

Broken men are blind to what they should see.
Lorenzo Carcaterra

[Society’s] offspring,its sick conscience — a living reminder of all the hidden crimes we commit when we close ranks to live among each other The Alienist

I’m afraid that this important section still remains a botch this 2003 12 03: at least compared to what I intend to make of it. Then again, anything at all is infinitely better than nothing. I’m making good progress redocorating the files, making them visually more readable (I hope). I’m itching to spend more effort on content!


Physics Teacher:
An honest physics teacher, were there such a thing in school’s magical theater of illusion, would have to say, “I’m not a real physicist any more than I’m a real teacher, any more than you’re a real student. Now shut up, and let’s pretend.” (Or, it goes without saying, if you don’t keep mum about Santa Claus, and your church, and your government, and your leaders, and your school, and your teacher, then you won’t get your unfair share of what this kleptocracy has stolen: (even the further building on the theft being half-by theft!))

School’s Purpose

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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