Cultivating Capacities for Submission and Acquiescence to Power Needed to Drive Fundamental Change

As I go back and forth comparing what is being pursued and implemented now with the stated intentions for the policies in the past, a 1974 book from an economics professor at the New School for Social Research kept coming up as the source. So of course I went used book surfing again to get a copy of Robert L. Heilbroner’s An Inquiry into the Human Prospect. Heilbroner gave the rationale for governments to hype potential future crises like man-made catastrophic global warming. It gives a reason to revisit, out in the open or covertly, “present mechanisms of social control.” If the dangers being hyped are social problems then they “originate in human behavior and [are] capable of amelioration by the alteration of that behavior.” Since Daniel Bell who we have encountered numerous times now, Paul Ehrlich, and the current White House Science Czar John Holdren are all people Heilbroner thanks up front for their help in writing the book we need to pay close attention to what he sought.

Now of course altering and controlling other people’s behavior is what political and social radicals interested in fundamental transformation basically lust after every waking hour and in many of their post-midnight dreams so we cannot be surprised 21st Century skills wants to make such a focus of real-world relevant problem-solving. Now, Heilbroner, like the current director of UNESCO or the OECD, makes no pretense of his desire for what he calls “socialism with a humanist face” and he was upfront about the kind of “boldest and most far-reaching exercise of political power [that] will be unavoidable in the future.” That future of course is the 21st century and what we are living through now all over the world at local, state, national, and global levels except no one is really willing to be upfront about all the machinations lest we all rebel before they are fully in place.

Just my research over the last week led me to write this little ditty laid out to the tune of “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World” you may have learned from Vacation Bible School. “Red and Yellow, Black and White, You are All Just Serfs under Our Oversight” fits with this determination to use education to manipulate emotions and perceptions and limit knowledge and then use political governance arrangements to tell people what they cannot do or must do in the 21st century. These arrangements such as that Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas or all the real Common Core implementation pushes and the Regional Equity pursuits need to be implemented quietly until they can accomplish the needed changes in personality and values and attitudes and dispositions. Why the constant focus over the decades on these affective characteristics?

As Heilbroner pointed out, for “this exercise of power to be successful,” it must “be accepted by those over whom that power will have to be exercised.” That would be me and you and our children and most of our neighbors, especially if we happen to live in the reviled “affluent island suburbs.” Well, I happen to live in the Sandy Springs section of Atlanta, which turns out to be Ground Zero for targeting since in 1966 its voters decisively rejected being annexed by the City of Atlanta and thus supposedly set in motion Atlanta becoming the model of dysfunctional sprawl and turning its back on the needs of the Inner City. Didn’t know we had such a bullseye on us or that people like Heilbroner were writing about the need to foster “political obedience” if radicals wished to increase their political power. In fact, he calls on “the intellectual elements of Western nations” to:

“not only prepare their fellow citizens for the sacrifices that will be required of them but to take the lead in seeking to redefine the legitimate boundaries of power and the permissable sanctuaries of freedom, for a future in which the exercise of power must inevitably increase and many present areas of freedom, especially in economic life, be curtailed.”

Now, obviously if we were aware of such pursuits by our elected politicians and certain public sector employees and numerous Chambers of Commerce, we would likely tell them where they could go with such imperious plans and to “take their little dog Toto too” so such plans from the 60s on in the US always seem to come in through misunderstood education reforms and regional economic planning initiatives. Sometimes as now both at once. Education is always really after what Heilbroner called: “What values and ways of thought would be congenial to such a radical restructuring of things?” He proposed a shift “toward the exploration of inner states of experience rather than the outer world of material accomplishment” which certainly sounds like the focus on contemplative education and mindfulness training we keep encountering. Heilbroner also concluded that “the struggle for individual achievement, especially for material ends, is likely to give way to the acceptance of communally organized and ordained roles.”

Now the little ditty I composed above got its impetus in part from what Heilbroner wanted but it also comes from the Atlanta Regional Competitiveness Strategy  that came my way last week as it spoke of the entire 10 county Atlanta region pursuing a common education policy and pushing transit oriented development and a “unifying theme of cooperative leadership across economic sectors.” I ran into mentioned people tied to the Equity Atlas and the accreditor AdvancED and higher ed transformation and a partner of the law firm that drafted the duplicitous conversion charter that also represents quite a few large metro school districts and reps from planned anchor institutions in the sought Good Society and sponsors of forums for elected officials telling them to defer to school supers. Just a few of the names or entities I recognized.

Hard not to think then of Heilbroner’s comment about submission to political power or Moises Naim’s declaration in his March 2013 book that we are all to adjust to being governed. Especially when the regional ed campaign obligates to “integrate best practices and innovative programs into PreK-12 classrooms throughout the region.” As we have seen innovation these days always actually means sociological innovation and ‘best practices’ is a term of art that means political or social theories thought to allow for fundamental transformation of a radical nature. Kind of like what Heilbroner intended. I have to admit I wasn’t excited either about the goal  to “adequately prepare the region’s students and workers for 21st century skills and careers.” How Corporatist and mindless that sounds.

I was tickled though by the idea of the best and brightest college and graduate students from the region’s institutions being encouraged to “network through public service.” Apparently all these planners see the public sector as providing the best job prospects in the 21st century. Now my mention above of the antipathy towards Sandy Springs and its 1966 vote and the hatred for affluent suburbs all came from a 2006 book by Matthew Lassiter that was part of the same series on 20th century American life as White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism.

The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South lays out precisely what was actually sought via desegregation and it was not limited to the South. Atlanta though is treated as being the “model of metropolitan divergence and regional fragmentation, emulating the national pattern of increasingly poor and heavily minority urban populations surrounded by overwhelmingly white and politically autonomous suburbs.” I think that regional plan above is what radicals want to use to get regional collaboration without the consent of the taxpayers while still keeping lots of school districts and cities and special tax districts in place to serve as lucrative jobs programs for people willing to push the desired programs. Of the kind Heilbroner and others had in mind.

Lassiter makes it clear it is socioeconomic integration that was and is really wanted. He ends the book talking about the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitanism program which is interesting as Bruce Katz addressed the ARC group that put out that report at its annual meeting in October 2012 and then came to Atlanta again last March as part of the Global Cities Network conference on economic development and Low Carbon Growth. Lassiter recommends “policymakers can use regional structures as leverage to overcome fragmented political governance and ameliorate persistent patterns of employment discrimination, housing segregation, and educational inequality.” Precisely what ARC and probably other similar entities in other cities plan to do as well. Largely out of sight. As a means of quietly ending “individual meritocracy and suburban consumer privileges and spatial separation.”

I read that in Lassiter’s book and remembered how many times at the rollout of the Equity Atlas I heard the term “spatial equity.”

If educational equity seems fair let’s add the ire that “children of privilege” in the suburbs are receiving the “advantage of the consumer affluence accumulated by their parents instead of competing on an egalitarian playing field.”

I am not done yet as I have another event to attend this week related to this but my point is what is being sought and how most of these relevant and binding activities affecting all of us are going on out of sight.

Unless you are like me and deliberately monitoring and watching and appreciating the significance of the language you encounter in official reports.

25 thoughts on “Cultivating Capacities for Submission and Acquiescence to Power Needed to Drive Fundamental Change

  1. Robin,
    Thank you. The essence of your final comment could not be more accurate…folks are not getting it, especially in communities like MidWest America, where loyalty is deemed more important than wisdom. In “conservative” in name only, Indiana, where the same public educator that teaches a child creationism on Sunday, then teaches Darwin on Monday…communities are failing to acknowledge the realities of what their children are being programmed for: widget’s to produce more effective widgets in the systems engineer of “change” and “innovation” and more self-sustaining peer network reinforcement loops based on Student Outcomes..blah blah blah.
    As we labor to educate a Stepford Wives mentality of citizens in the Midwest, ie. Indiana who has been contracted with PBIS , for at least 4 years, as well as using the NUA interventions much longer…..we must ask: Do you have a Video or a You-tube of yourself available for us to present this to groups of parents, etc. As eyes continue to focus on Indiana and it’s advertised but not implemented “pause” on common core implementation, millions are pouring in from those NGO’s who stand to gain by continued emptying of minds and souls via nationalized affective education.
    Indiana schools have largely transformed to techno villages, where learning is virtual, IPADs rule, Assessment blood draws are at increasing intervals and Principals monitor the continuous stream of data in the every growing pipeline, like Gestapo agents, crop in hand, beating the Hitler Youth to spout the generals’ bios with rigorous posture and collective volume.
    A video presentation from you connecting these realities would be most appreciated as we labor to educate the sheeple before the flock is shorn and headed for the locker.
    We’d also appreciate your elaborating on the FRAUD that calls itself Teacher Certification, as this is a huge deception in the eyes of mr. and mrs. trusting parents…Credentialled to play Skinner and Pavlov, might be an appropriate Title for such an expose’.
    Ongoing gratitude to you and yours. As the daughter of an immigrant (my mother grew up as an ethnic German in the Balkans, under socialism, communism and Hitler’s Third Reich) and the mother of one as well..(daughter adopted from Eastern Europe), our family has seen first hand what Nationalized Education does to nations. And so we too, labor on, and come up with little ditties that rhyme with “Jesus loves me”….because He does and its why we keep laboring to shepherd the sheep back to Him.
    dawn and family
    Author: Time To Choose, Growing Up Under Hitler and Watching History Repeat Itself…mom’s biography connecting then… now. A primer in de ja vu.

    • Hi Dawn.

      I let your comment through last night but had no time to comment. Atlanta and the ability of the suburbs to go their own way and the desire to seek metropolitan solutions quietly to avoid past outcrys is the model for what is sought in the Midwest and Northeast and West. Lassiter’s book says so. Basically there is a desire to dictate what people can know and be and should value and it is to be quite collectivist as the next post will make clear. It’s about an economy once again thoroughly controlled by political power and transitioning from a consumer economy around personal choices to a needs economy where governments provide economic well-being. Except governments are not good at that and this vision tens to turn into kleptocracy among politically connected individuals and politically connected capital.

      What makes this so dangerous is the desire to have governance stealthily with no effective opt out and all the intended mind arson to get the needed political power. That’s permanent and why this all needs to be discussed on the front end. Those involved with this in most areas are an amalgamation of lusters after the public trough, well-intentioned but naive people, and a few I have met who have the intellectual capacity of an amoeba and will push whatever they are told to push.

      Treating ed reforms like Common Core in isolation is a real mistake because the desire is to remake systems that have never functioned as systems before. Your comment on IPads recalls the use of the term “socio-technical systems” to describe people in at least one National Academy of Sciences report I have written about. And the presence of an IBM executive of that ARC Strategy with Big Blue’s vision of making the world a system of systems. I use their own reports to talk about that in the book and I recently discovered the keynote address at the 2011 International Society of Systems Sciences which still pushes Kenneth Boulding’s work was also citing Big Blue’s system of systems vision of the 21st century. None of this is coincidental.

      Welcome to ISC.


      • Thank you Robin, for finding the dots and shining the light on them as we all attempt to connect what is happening, present it in a form folks can assimilate, equip folks to think themselves…and teach several generations at once why individual Liberty matters, Who grants it, and the costs to reclaim it…and keep it !
        Looking forward to reading your book and your much needed posts.
        Still would love a video of you to present and get folks to acknowledge the need to lead a parent led reform.

        • Dawn,

          Maybe this winter. There is only so much time in the day. As you see I am still uncovering important aspects but it all fits with what the book laid out and the blog has also discovered.

          If you download that report as I recommend notice all the push around justice and equality as fundamental tenets when the Founding Fathers would have recognized the dangers lurking. Illich makes the repeated point he is a Social Reconstructionist as are quite a few I describe in the book. A co-sponsor of the report James Banks who merits his own post if you can bear it used to be President of the AERA. In the last 10 years the AERA has redefined social reconstructionism as “justice-oriented citizenship.”

          Also remember the report is from a February 2013 conference. That is the same month the sponsoring entity behind the Common Core standards quietly put out those College, Career and now Citizenship Ready Dispositions. I wrote about that Framework and the adding of that 3rd citizenship criteria. No way is this coincidental.

        • The first step in loss of liberty is at a young age – when children do not learn to read. This is an educational crippling, needless, widespread. In Britain wehave an enormous Blob of the Dept for Education, university teacher training, local educational authorities and politicians who believe the credentialed, Dr this and Prof. that, or ms x O.B.E when learning tor ead should never have been taken over, up to cloud 9. It used to be “AS simple as a.b.c.” ! 1 in 4 have failed in the UK, now even worse, “almost 1 in 3”. How much longer willit take for Gove tor ealisehe is trrusting the wrong lot, the guilty Blob?
          It is teh same through the English-speaking world.

          • Vocabulary is the language of thought. Prevent all those internal private mental conversations from an early age on and the language of thought will be whatever is doled out. And mostly instinctual and emotional. Just as we have seen radicals repeatedly declare they desire. The ultimate non-Axemaker Mind.

            And then the vocabulary is doled out throughout elementary school as the concepts that are designed to help ignite the belief in the need for change. With no knowledge that what is not working now is due to deliberate governmental policies we use the created problems to be the basis for more power to break more of what worked well enough for most historically. When power is in the individual they are in a position to adjust to failure and new information that becomes apparent.

            I use to wonder whu Transformational Outcomes Based Education was suddenly persued aggressively and systematically all over the English speaking world in the 90s. It is designed to squelch not just the idea that the individual has primacy, but the very ability of the individual to function well on his own. Ivan Illich developed the term “competence” to mean an individual who would have nothing unique in terms of knowledge or skills to sell to an employer. Being just competent the individual would be forced to collaborate with others who would be similarly constrained by design.

            It is still the reason the OECD is pushing competence so hard and it is what PISA is monitoring. Think of it as an oligarchy-in-power protection device. No future threats from these sources once years of “education’ are done with the minds and personalities.

          • Well, the PISA report putting UK bottom of 20 countries is certainly a weapon for ME to challenge The Blob, the establishment.
            I am now trying to get the Reading Reform Fdn and Campaign for Real Education to challenge “Letters and Sounds”, but Jennie Chew is on the RRF committee and VP of CRE, and was on the Letters and Sounds team!!! It is amazing how much influence one person can have, adn sadly on the wrong side!
            I keep hoping that the CRE will silence her voice and get back to fighting for REAL education!
            Mona M.

          • Good luck Mona but do doublecheck that the definition of Literacy the OECD is using in PISA is NOT reading as you and I understand it. It is very much tied to context. No fluency desired anymore.

            UNESCO and the OECD work closely now if you watch recent conference videos and seem to have both shifted to the Amartya Sen view of Literacy I mention in the book.

          • On what page in your book is the ref. to Amartya San please?
            Can we get the fiance/tax people on ou side? Here in UK a cut of £50bn a year from the budget (of education) would release a lot of powe now being suffocated in schools!

          • Mona- I just mention UNESCO in book on page 308, footnote 322. Sen is behind that Literacy as Freedom report that is the first mention in the footnote.

            There was also a conference in Paris last week at UNESCO HQ with representatives from Western European and North American states laying out the new post-2015 global education agenda and what will need to change on both continents to align with rest of the world. Certainly not what taxpayers think they are paying for or what students would need were this bureaucrats not intent on shifting everyone into socialism. Remember Cameron was one of the High Level people who put out the UN’s new development agenda for post-2015. So part of the discussion is whether to abandon the EFA acronym in the ed agenda to fit the development agenda tied to sustainability for all.

            EQuEL is what was proposed–Equitable Quality Education for Lifelong Learning for All.

            I guess it takes a lifetime with these poor techniques to actually gain knowledge anyone would voluntarily pay you for. No wonder there is the attendant desire to shift to a needs economy. More people will be needier than ever with these toxic global visions of the future.

          • You are doing a wonderful job following all these conferences. I did not know of the Paris one. But then, they are not trying to keep us up to date, are they?

          • Yes and the US National Academy of Sciences today, working with your UK Economic and Social Research Council and the OECD, confirmed what I have been asserting. The capability as a human right and subjective well-being initiatives are precisely how the US and the rest of the West shift to Uncle Karl’s needs economy vision of the future without every mentioning his name.

            As you know I worried about the new economics foundation in the book. Sure enough that new report Subjective Well-Being” Measuring Happiness, Suffering and Other Dimensions of Experience officially “recommended shifting the focus of economic measurement from production toward people’s well-being. The underlying argument is that national policies should better balance growth in market production with considerations of equality, sustainability, and nonmarket dimensions of well-being that cannot be captured well by conventional ‘objective’ measures.”

            And of course the new civic values and concept of reflective citizenship laid out in this post fit with this shift to what Karl envisioned and UNESCO now calls Scientific Humanism. And the overall vision of the classroom to get the necessary mindset for this future is what the UN calls Quality Education. Using Quality in the sense that John Dewey used it.

            Your vision of reading fluency Mona creates the Axemaker Mind as an inevitable side effect and that interferes with the post-2015 vision of the future being pursued throughout the Anglosphere and Europe in earnest. Largely below the radar so not enough people will know before it is a done deal. We are not there yet but the next 18 months are viewed as essential to finally getting the long sought Great Transition. That’s not just my opinion. It’s what these reports are saying.

          • They seem to intend the very old system of them and us, one lot at the top, rich, powerful, big houses, and the rest hewers of wood and drawers of water doing their bidding, low-paid, politically helpless. Parliament has failed democracy here since 1948 ( or in education since 1931). It seems WW II was just a blip. I think here the Fabians are at the back of much of it. Do they exist in USA too? In education Gove WILL NOT trust his common sense. He seems to regard “education” as a matter for universities, instead of common sense. Or do his staff keep my missives from him? It is time someone found the budget of £97bn excessive when the result is massive failure!
            Mona M.

          • Education funding is like Green Energy funding. It is being directed by and large now toward political cronies.

            I have read some of Anthony Giddens books, including his The Global Third Way Debate. Michael Jacobs, the Director of the Fabian Society, was one of the contributors to that alarming book. I wrote a post about it. It appears to me that much of what the charitable foundations like Ford, Gates, Carnegie, and Rockefeller are funding is consistent with the Webbs’ view of what the world should transition to.

            Benjamin Barber and Joseph Stiglitz were also part of Giddens’ book. That is hugely interesting to me now as Barber has a new book out pushing mayors and cities as the appropriate level for transformational change and it was his earlier book that first sent me to looking at Harry Boyte. Stiglitz chaired the Commission that the Subjective Well-being report came out of. Apparently at Nicholas Sarkozy’s suggestion.

            Wish Beatrice had stuck with telling stories about rabbits.

          • Yes, the Fabians. About 20 years ago I asked them for the names of the people on their education committee and they refused.
            I think they have been exerting harmful power for a LONG time – ? 1931, the fateful year for education UK. Have they even heard of “democracy” ?

  2. You seem to object to what Paul Ehrlich says. I came across his name in 1968 when I bought “The population bomb” which confirmed my already-existing worry about endless population growth. I live in crowded Britain, not the N. American continent! In 1968 Enoch Powell expressed my concern, abut immigration, which has grown steadily since then. Life in Britain today would be far better if the population of 1950 had stabilised.
    With its “Stop at 1” policy I think China will be the country of the future.
    In 1960 Nigeria had a population of 25m and hope for the future. Look at it now, 160+m. and hardly happy despite oil deposits.
    Globally now, there is no benefit in population increase, and salvation depends on “Stop at 2” and ? strong public policy, TV models, to halt sex outside marriage.
    What do other people think?

    • Mona,

      I have written quite a bit about Paul Ehrlich and his desire for new kinds of minds with limited capacity to think as a means of controlling human behavior in the 21st century. His current push is why there is an MAHB tag attached to this post-Millenium Assessment of Human Behavior. He is working especially with various UN entities to limit knowledge. I see his discussions of population as pushing problems that are extraterritorial so he can gain the power to push global solutions. It’s why he hypes climate change now.

      So Heilbroner mentioning Bell, Holdren, and Ehrlich is a further confirmation that the people involved see there work as complementary to overall sought goals for society and the economy and have for decades.


    • I would advise you to look into China’s one child policy and the death and misery it has caused before you hold it up an Ideal. Even the Communist Government of China relaizes it was a mistake. Because, having a son is a Chinese families retirement plan, millions of unborn girls were forcibly aborted, and untold numbers were abandoned after birth. My wife and I are parents to two of those abandoned girls. We love them and thank God for them but our hearts grieve for their birth mothers who were forced to abandoned them, so they could live.
      Now In China there are 20% more young men then women. Young women are routinely being abducted by human traffickers and sold to any man that can pay.
      No government should ever have the authority to kill a child, born or unborn.

      Instead, you could try to limit

      • Yes I do understand your arguments and the misery. But either way, at today’s level of overpopulation there is misery ahead. I think, misery or not today, China is the country of the future because it can look forward to a declining total population. Here in Britain with a recommended total pop. of 40-50m, we are 70m and rising, and government is planning to buildin the Green Belt. Job creation is too often for bricklayers, plasterers etc. (house building). And China seems to be badly placed regarding earthquakes etc.
        The whole planet is over-populated. In 1960 Nigeria with 25m people had a future but now with 160+m. it is not a happy country. Population growth exceeds provision of schools, water supply etc. As population rises in Syria, the water of the Jordan becomes less – and ? will end? The level of the Dead Sea falls….
        The whole planet needs to address this, and really plug the benefits of “Stop at one”. The charities here are for today, Water aid, Oxfam etc., and they are the cause (well-meaning) of the endless rise in population which is the final disaster!

        • But Mona you are falling into the whole reason population and manmade global warming (or previously cooling) are so hyped. The desire of bureaucrats and out of office politicians looking for lifetime paid compensation to hype everything that would call for extraterritorial remedies.

          Only dictatorial regimes can enforce the remedies you think work. I don’t happen to think the world is overpopulated and a population that ceases to even replace itself, which is what happens when you go to one child, cannot afford to take care of its elderly population. The young would be vastly outnumbered by the old. Retirement would not really be possible.

          • With the expectation of life getting later and later, the UK government is having to re-think the agee for an “old age pension”.
            Think of political power. When Nigeria became independent in 1950 or so, there were 25m people. Now with over 160m, each vote has less than 1/6th the power it hadpreviously. People become units, of demand for houses, of supply for taxes, jobs etc. UK is about 20m over-populated, and still government will not stop more coming, never mind turning the tide – which is the only way our nation of people will survive. We are now a minority in London and 4 cities. Only 1 in 3 is white in Birmingham..
            I want my nation to survive!

    • By 1960 I was worried about immigration. Britain is a small island. We are now terribly (20m too many) over-populated. The natives are losing “their” country. Only 1 in 3 in Birmingham is while. We are a minority in London. Surely this is wrong? Parliament has let us down – they said Enoch Powell was a racist. He was not, He could see the future and it is now here.

      • Mona-

        I have materials that lay out the use of immigration in Britain to ensure a permanent Labour electorate or at least Labour’s policies of the welfare state. It reminded me of john a powell’s 2002 comment at the Chapel Hill conference on race in society where he defined integration as changing the majority culture, not inclusion.

        There are references in all these materials I have been reading recently of using immigration to create another transformative wedge issue. For many people I have discovered, it has always been about finally getting the Great Transition Kenneth Boulding wrote of in the 60s and the post-Industrial Society Daniel Bell laid out in the early 70s. Education and immigration of people who want and need a welfare state upon arrival and thereafter appear to be two of the means for getting the transformation. Hyping potential future catastrophes like overpopulation and global warming are others as George noted above.

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