Silently and Seismically Shifting Sovereignty Away from the Individual

Unconstitutional earthquakes no one would willingly submit to can be hard to prove. Words like governance or mandatory collective decision-making or public goods get thrown about where the implication of a seismic shift is there, but that is rarely good enough to lay out convincingly on a blog that we are at great, demonstrable risk. If all of the actual Common Core implementation, and the digital learning essential component that runs in tandem with it, are actually designed to “give birth to the new systems and structures through which ordinary people are taking responsibility for their own and their community’s futures,” we have every right to have that included in the upfront public explanation of what is really going on. Especially in a world where Human Rights are now quietly touted as involving Economic Justice based on Racial Equity Outcomes.

That makes who has authority to seize, plan, and redirect people and property of vital importance going forward. As we discussed in the last post, crucial to these shifts is a new theory being pushed by the White House and charitable foundations called Deliberative Democracy. Like Sherlock Holmes fixating on a dog that did not bark, the lawyer and historian in me could just smell the fundamental shift in quotes like this one from the 2005 Deliberate Democracy Handbook (my bolding):

“By stipulating fair procedures of public reasoning that are, in principle, open to everyone, the outcomes of a deliberative procedure will be seen as legitimate because they are the result of a process that is inclusive, voluntary, reasoned, and equal…Deliberative democracy takes seriously the idea that the exercise of collective political authority must be capable of being justified to all those who will be bound by it. To fail to accept this idea is to fail to take the freedom and equality of persons equally.”

Do tell. So like Fulton County’s Conversion School District Charter, the idea is to use contractual language or laws or regulations to invisibly and nonconsensually bind anyone who might complain or resist once they become aware of this seismic shift in where sovereignty over the citizen and student lies in the 21st century. This turns out to be a global pursuit, but the US has a federal Constitution intended to prevent just this sort of public sector power grab. That would explain the desire to bring this in invisibly via education and regional governance compacts and mission statements and vision reports about metro areas.

In case anyone believes that I have an overactive imagination or am reading intentions into perfectly innocent and well-intentioned statements cooperation, here are three links to get your attention that this is a real problem that we were never to recognize in time. The first is The Deliberate Democracy in the Classroom Toolkit created to be compliant with the Common Core classroom and a new vision for what citizenship involves in 21st century America, including new kinds of dispositions. The Toolkit has an interesting view of the relevant facts and obligations and once again PBS has prepared a curriculum called By the People, much as it did for that related transformational curriculum for the Common Core involving Facing History and Ourselves we covered in our recent Human Rights Trilogy.

Now just think about how handy that Toolkit and mandates about a Discourse Classroom involving considering respectfully the perspectives of all others as equally valid and schools Fostering Communities of Learners who come to agreement on a shared understanding will be to this goal:

“[learning democracy] centers share a common goal of lifting the voices and mobilizing the creative energies of diverse community members to improve the quality of life across all sectors and in all its dimensions.”

To those of you who have read the book John Dewey’s concept of ‘participatory democracy’ as the means to force economic justice is indeed alive and well and so is his favorite tool of forcing the seismic shift nonconsensually through the schools. The second point also aligns with the book’s disclosures and what the 1966 Yearbook described as intended for metro regions and urban areas and then what Turchenko described in 1976 in that Soviet report that was so quickly translated into English. Bruce Katz, who we first met hereĀ wrote a 2013 book called The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.

The book was published under the “auspices of the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation.” That matters because the Rockefeller charities are clearly pushing the Deliberative Democracy concept hard according to searches I did over the weekend. That’s actually what turned up the Toolkit since By the People was created with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as it repeatedly states. Someone is pleased with their efforts and is insistent on saying so.

I am going to resist the temptation to explain to Bruce Katz that economies cannot be built based on federal grants to create manufacturing institutes around clean energy or voters in LA and Denver voting massive sales tax increases around transit projects. Those are transfers involving bureaucrats spending OPM-Other People’s Money. Zero sum is the best case scenario.

Economic illiteracy, like the results of mind arson to get citizens compliant with Deliberate Democracy, matters though to the consequences of public spending. It is very easy to get lots of debt and unmeetable expectations for the future in the public sector-led reimaginings of the way the world should work going forward. That’s why it is so dangerous for Katz to be calling for “another historic shift in federalism.” He wants the “dual sovereigns” of the states and the federal government to be forced to share power with “their subjects, cities and metropolitan areas.”

Sometimes only a $100 word will do. That Usurpation by Fiat of sovereignty away from the individual in the US system, and then insisting sovereignty that is not supposed to exist in fact now be shared with nebulous regional authorities coordinating around Vision Statements, is absolutely Stealth Authoritarianism. It is the politically connected coercing everyone else to go along. How’s this for an open declaration of radical reshaping? This economic vision will amount to waste, but the hoped-for shift to governance of the individual is intended to survive apparently.

“We are trying to advance a theory of federalism that asks how federal and state sovereigns, and other partners and networks in governance, should interact to coproduce the economy. The metropolitan revolution is, at its core, an economic revolution…”

I’ll say. The next page says that “private and public sectors will coproduce the public good.” That’s highly doubtful, but it sure makes a good rationale for an unconstitutional usurpation of authority over people and property. I guess we can now think of what we know, own, or can do as merely in our temporary custody. Subject to seizure by the public sector and its cronies in an economic power grab that’s not that different from the serf forced to work land because it benefits the noble landholder.

Point 3 relates to that Open Data initiative that was President Obama’s first act on taking office in 2009. We have already seen it used as part of the FuturICT Big Data vision that was troublingly outlined here. When I located this Core Principles for Public Engagement report from 2009 it made it clear that what I had seen as about data was actually part of an organized redirection of the public and private sectors to begin to collaborate over governance. is the actual memo. Hard to believe that the Administration that has supposedly lost incriminating IRS e-mails after they were subpoenaed actually meant to become Transparent, but that National Center for Dialogue & Deliberation makes it quite clear that this vision of public participation and collaboration is very crucial to that openly declared intention of fundamental transformation.

The better to bind us by and invisibly shift sovereignty going forward apparently. This is a good breaking point before I launch into explaining how the mindset perfectly suited for Deliberative Democracy per that Handbook is also the precise Mindset and malleable Worldview that the Common Core and digital learning state that they want to create.

Plus I do not think it’s coincidental that the name of the new Aspen Center report on digital learning and the new kind of mindset needed–“Learner at the Center of a Networked World” uses one of Bruce Katz’s favorite expressions for his desired metro-led economy of the 21st century–the ‘networked world’.

We are so far beyond having to infer any more from a Dog that Did Not Bark in our investigations of what is really going on in education.

And what is intended for most of us. Stealth Usurpation. What a phrase.

26 thoughts on “Silently and Seismically Shifting Sovereignty Away from the Individual

  1. I only got 4 or 5 paragraphs in and need to comment.
    First i just got back from china. The young people say that the US is getting more communist while they get more communist. My hotel had beemers and bentley’s outside.. The govt cars are new beemers audi’s and suv’s. Black, tinted windows.
    The youth talked about their president Xi ( she) that he was the same as all of them and that it didnt matter who was in there it was always the same. The party. They dont care about govt cuz they are happy that they have a job a nice apt andd only travel 1 1/2 hours from the 5th ring road highrise forest instead of 2 or more from the 6th ring to work in Beijing center.
    They sId that they are jealous of our blue sky
    So the paralell to what you are saying and what i experienced and the obvious orwellian fact that some pigs are more equal than others in collective societies is the fact that keeping the illusion of participation and people empowerment alive is priority. Its why you need state media.. So when the state tells you how lucky and happy you are
    ( example: to get world class standards ccss) ( so all can be equal to cross state lines for kids??? ) well you know you are close to a gulag. Shiny happy people holding hands, michael stipe wrote their anthem, too early though.
    Anyway rambling while stuck in car.
    Shen our creepy community alliance adopted a school kid to be on the board for youth representation, i knew where we were going. So read the UN rights of the child, well its criminal basically its all illusions and bs and opposit world, because what is in this creepy document or treaty is taking rights away from parents. Period and giving them to the state.
    Robin i will read the rest i just arrived on the ferry and need an adult beverage!!
    Hope you are well!!

  2. Sorry, first line i meant we get comm they get more capitalist. So thats what they said. They also said nobody reads the state run media rags. ( much like here).
    Now these kids are educated and have english skills.

    • Mad mommy-you may remember I wrote about PRME and appreciative inquiry and the ties to system’s thinking. has been translated into Chinese. The better to get planned state capitalism teed up everywhere.

      Yesterday I was reading about the arrangement in San Antonio between business there and the Alinsky-tied IAF group called COPS–Citizens Organizing Public Service. They came up with the term Alliance for a reason. The Big Business-Government Alliance can say here are the jobs. These are the terms. We want these skills. Unfortunately it also fits perfectly with the new US Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that just sailed through the Senate with bipartisan enthusiasm. Politicians just seem to love a planned economy. So do their big donors.

      No wonder no one wants Breakthrough, Non-Approved Knowledge coupled to an Axemaker Mind.

      • Gah! Equity, Shared Prosperity, Democracy, Income Inequality, that was simply gushing nausea inducing language.

        The discussion going on today fits in well with something I am dealing with right now. I have long said that I think Oregon has been an experiment in this new democracy, like others my distaste for that word is growing. Following up on your topic of democracy in my area let to this

        I’m going to give you a little story. Our school district hired a new superintendent a few years back, her specialty was getting the community to fund a new building project. This was long debated in our small mountain community. A new building was a hot debate and bonds failed at least 3 times due to the district attempts to bargain for so much money not just dedicated to building a new facility. That super did her job, even hired a small town lobbyist that told the seniors that the current building must be taken down due to safety concerns. A bond of near 160 million passed, to the dismay of many. This made property taxes skyrocket, in some cases over 1K per year more. A huge impact for a community of only 9K, most live on acreage outside city limits. One source of frustration was the district deciding not to put in a pool even though we have national swimming champions and the local pool is over 30 years old. This building project ran wild, our small town now has the top notch school in our state, complete with all the green amenities, yet we have glass fronts on the classrooms, and more fancy light fixtures than bookshelves in the library, and a school based health center in the building.
        All that history to say that the city council has now decided to use nearly 5 million left of bond money and urban renewal funds to remodel the old high school and pool turning it into a community center. The city can purchase the school from the district and simply add fees onto our water bill to cover the operational costs without a vote. They are forgetting to include the community task force now almost totally made up of district staff!
        I see this living cities model working its way through small towns. Getting these lefty, new democracy people on city councils, school boards that then discuss city business when no one is present is a success for them.
        What they do not expect is for someone to figure out how they work in the schools and in the community and start asking questions in public that usually get the sputtered response of uh, uh, uh, well….. it makes them mad when other community members say, hey, yea good point. I’d say the theme song you do not want our children using as a ring tone is the exact statement made every time I show up on a community task force, board meeting, or council meeting.

        What a disgusting infection we have growing in the US. Will they ever learn that public funds can end, or are they just hoping the goals will be accomplished before it runs out?

    • A reminder of all the times Katz mentions that the nonprofits and government work should be paying as well as the private sector.

      None of the parents ever lived in a world that had to worry about meeting payroll. Money comes from grants and the taxpayers. We do need a world with not just unicorns, but ones that can fly.

  3. Lemme guess one aspect of Deliberative Democracy you’re going to talk about. That the decision making is not made secretly any more. No more secret ballot, at least not where it counts.

    That feels like communism if there’s no secret ballot. Then there’s no check on political correctness. Whereas for now they have to try to jigger things with ineligible illegal voters and jiggering the count via various tricks, this will give their desired outcomes with total legitimacy. Is the right to secret ballot anywhere in those UN Human Rights documents?

    • I was wondering about this too. So much coerced consensus and “You want to be liked don’t you? ”


  4. The following two minute snippet from Prof. James Milgram, one of two mathematically trained people and the only math professor on the CC math standards validation committee, is the most informative I’ve found.

    Basically, the CC math standards are better than many existing state standards, worse than some, and not enough to make us internationally competitive. (What we’re losing isn’t acceptable either.) He’s concerned that the standards stop 1 to 1 1/2 years short of being able to begin a calculus course, and that this isn’t “college ready” for STEM majors. And also today, most students graduate high school without sufficient math background for that.

    My own opinion is that in our heterogeneous society, we will not be able to get all HS graduates to finish precalculus. I don’t even think any other country does that, though I could be wrong. So Milgram is setting a bar that we could never achieve, and saying that we didn’t achieve it, so he won’t sign off. As a math guy myself, I don’t really see the point in that.

    I think the ELA standards are worse. All the “information reading”, much of which is politically oriented, comes at the expense of the reading great literature. And even worse, the writing assignments are too much and tend to be political too. This is covered in any of the many videos of Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s testimony before various bodies.

  5. To complete the thought, every full-service high school today offers many courses that go beyond minimum graduation requirements. So if you’re going to be a STEM major, you take more math courses than the minimum, and the needed courses are available.

    The only way I can see that Milgram’s stance could be reasonable is if he is afraid that high schools will start to offer only those courses for which CC standards are written. So Algebra 1 may continue to be the graduation requirement (typical today), but CC envisions 2 more years or math to become “college and career ready”: Geometry and Algebra 2. What I think that means is that all students will be pushed through those extra courses, which is good if they can learn them, not so good if the courses are further watered down so that “all students” can succeed.

    What he seems to be afraid of is that nothing beyond Algebra 2 will be offered any more, that it will become the maximum as well as the minimum. But I haven’t heard evidence that that is in the plans. Have you?

    • Just personal experience with my three kids, but many schools are seeing decreasing numbers of AP courses being offered and similar decreases in teachers capable of supporting even the distance AP classes. The district my kids were in, which was larger than any of the surrounding counties in Iowa, was having trouble keeping the more experienced math and chemistry teachers. Of course, even with the better teachers, the class sizes seemed to keep getting smaller in the higher level classes.

      • Mike-did you see that story about Boston firing history and maybe chemistry teachers as it transitions to the STEM/humanities dichotomy I just described?

        Content doesn’t just create Axemaker Minds. Facts allow the development of your own conceptual understanding instead of the one to be provided as the desired lens to guide perception.

        • Amen. My daughter had the best chemistry teacher I have ever met last year. In my own schooling and any of my kids schools to date. He taught facts and rules. And she learned.

          My kid reported to me that at the end of the year that she was trying to help another student who had chem questions and who was in a regular, not honors as she was, chem class. She said as she read the problem she could not make heads or tails of it.

          She asked her friend did he know what the answer was so she could better understand how to get him to what he wanted. The question as it was written in the book was bizarre.

          He obliged and she realized that the problem was that the text was #1. making the problem to solve WAAAAY more complicated than it needed to be. And #2. It was using terms incorrectly.

          She said it was “unreal”.

          A perfect example of how these STEM classes are un-teaching.

          So the honors class taught chemistry for the SAT II and instilled knowledge and facts. The regular chemistry classes just made learning harder than it had to be.

      • My kids attend a private school and I am seeing a variation on this theme. By Junior year more AP classes are offered but to students who really do not qualify. So what you have are tiers of AP classes. One class for the kids who take in information quickly and thoroughly and two or three AP classes for kids who do not.

        Thus they can put AP on their college applications but their grade will not be an equivalent to their peers in the more demanding AP class. How they actually test on the AP itself will tell the entire story.

        And the AP text books nowadays are beyond bad. Lots of Western Civilization bashing. Fortunately, my daughter had an old school professor last year who filled in the blanks where the AP World text left holes.

    • Yes, it’s in the concept of Career Readiness and the certifications that have been developed. Essential math skills only. I think it is called Workplace Keys. The REOs force the floor to become the ceiling as well. To be equitable.

      Also remember what is laid out in Chapter 3 of my book. It is Freudenthal’s concepts that prevail in STEM. All academics are crashing into STEM and ‘humanities’ instead of actual content. STEM focuses on real world problems and humanities goes to creating a transformational mindset in a future citizen. Term comes from a commission the Rockefeller Foundation funded in the 90s. Anyway, the school district officials in the “let’s gut academics ASAP” Conversion charter district only use the terms STEM or humanities now in describing elementary and middle school work and what Common Core has changed. High school is currently still subject oriented, but teachers may not provide actual instruction. That is contrary to transitioning to the “authentic” activiy and project based learning using the computer and work apprenticeships in the community that is literally on the horizon.

      If you want to read ahead since I may not be able to get post up today, but read what is described as the digital age competencies in the Aspen report. That’s it. The Aspen report is no outlier. Those competencies also dovetail with Media and Information Literacy-MIL-that is all the UN wants for the so-called Information Age. Remember the Sakhalin Declaration post?

      No I actually am not going to talk about the secret ballot. Representative government is not the point in this model. The point is to bind the minority who might object. This is a view of democracy that talks about the unitary a great deal. That’s why the discourse classroom Courtney Cazden came back from that fateful trip to the uSSR to write about pushed the idea of developing a common understanding. It prepares for a single shared vision held by a voting majority and huge chunks of particular groups entitled to REOs over what the “public good” is.

      I’m not kidding when I describe this as an authoritarian vision. That’s the intended use of policy and the law. To force social justice on anyone who notices and objects. Values are so targeted because they drive future behavior. These books I am citing could hardly be more graphic. This is called the CHANGE Project for a reason. Take a look at page 19 (out of 82) here. The Functional Map for Communication for Development and Social Change is from a Rockefeller Foundation sponsored 2002 program at their Bellagio retreat where so much Club of Rome work has also occurred. These are marching orders now from a community development site in Ohio. NE Ohio is Ground Zero for Metropolitanism as Stanley Kurtz has reported. Fits right in with the Appreciative Inquiry Cooperrider developed at Case Western that PRMI and Ervin Laslo’s son Christopher are also pushing. It all interconnected and Katz highlights the use of AI in Houston with immigrants. Supposedly envisioning the future that could be. Remember Laszlo is heavily involved with the Club of Rome’s vision. He wrote The Inner Limits of Mankind for them in the 80s. Probably so that no one would locate the actual ed vision from the late 70s. I have a copy of that too. It’s all about learning as behavioral change to fit with the CoR economic, social, and political vision.

      The idea is also that this is not community organizing anymore. It’s not about a place at the table. It’s now called democracy organizing and all the rules for who can use the Banquet Hall and how and who will be charged for that use are all being rewritten. Largely where we cannot see by nonprofits and interest groups and how Promise Zones work. K-12 education needs to be Mind Arson to be compatible with such a planned vision of the future. Sane people with talent will object unless they are in the planning class.

  6. Ribin, your euphemisms and your metaphors are so accurate that they make me smile. Your response posts are often as meaty as your blogs because you never let up. You are as real as real can be.I wish you could have been my history teacher, like Gatto, and in a true sense you both are my history teachers.

    I lived in a very blind mathematics world for almost half my life. A lot of the other half was spent in a 1960s hangover haze in Southern Cal. It wasn’t an easy time to be a partying conservative but I survived. However when some friends in education started pouring the kool aid I began drinking it with no historical framework to counterbalance it. It started in my return to University in 1988, just one teacher in my History of Ed class started serving the revisionist history one glass at a time, and I was the only “mature” adult in the foundations of Ed class, I was 38 and European raised. I asked questions but I believed everything my teacher said. About Dewey, Horace Mann and the rest of the reformers of our nation.

    And then I found Gatto and then you, Robin. What a wake up. Your writing and research quality is something I am proud to recommend every time I respond to someone who writes as if they care on one of the conservative news websites (magazines) and I do that often. Never surrender. God bless.

  7. Did I really type Ribin? And then miss that typo? Forgive me all, proves that when I edit I should reread every word!

    • Trust me I have been called worse.

      I have threatened my children though if they make the ring tone telling them it’s me calling Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back.”

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