Chocolate Cities Strangled by White Nooses: Hacking Out the Rights of the Citizen

Isn’t that the most graphic metaphor you have ever read? I would say it has nothing to do with last night’s riots in Charlotte, but since I am quoting from a 2007 biography of Martin Luther King on his sentiments about urban areas and the suburbs, I am not sure that is true. What I do know is that the post title was already written up before last night’s events because I was struck by the anger in the statement. The sentiment there reveals a huge disconnect between what most Whites have been told about what King stood for and what Blacks and other minorities believe they are entitled to and have waited for too long. The book is From Civil Rights to Human Rights and it was cited in a footnote recently as I continue to piece together precisely what the synthesis is that public policy think tanks across the spectrum are coordinating around.

If the synthesis is actually what King called a Third Way where governments at all levels “would sponsor poor people’s activism for social and economic rights guaranteed by government,” everything that is going on now begins to fall into its true role. Interesting isn’t it that it was MLK who wanted “metropolitan wide-planning in housing and economic development [that] would break down city-suburb divisions of power and privilege.” In other words what is going on now under the Obama Administration is less his overreach in many people’s minds than finally fulfilling “King’s decision to build a nationwide coalition capable of empowering all poor people and moving the nation toward democratic socialism” as the book’s author, history professor Thomas F. Jackson put it.

Fascinating biography, but the point of this post is how much of a difference powerful images created by words can make in guiding perception about a person or an issue. That’s probably why that quote is not better known. It would have upset the narrative. Here’s another quote from someone at that Oxford Conference we covered in the last post, Eldar Shafir, writing to support a new book by Cass Sunstein called The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science.

“We typically consider ourselves rational actors, whose dignity derives from our autonomy. In fact, our behavior is easily shaped by other actors and by external factors, often outside our awareness and control. When government intervenes to influence our behaviors, often to improve our lives, we recoil. But if government remains uninvolved while other interests are free to shape our world, how autonomous are we then? Sunstein confronts our naivete with a penetrating discussion about how to balance government influence against personal dignity, manipulation against autonomy, and behavioral facts against political ideals. The book is an engrossing read.”

I’ll bet it is, but like our lost invite to Oxford in May, how many of us know this book exists or that Ivy league professors are busy creating degree holders in public policy and other areas ready to impose these visions into what now constitutes education in the 21st century or the ‘rights’ written into laws and agency edicts? Beyond being a prof at Princeton and Harvard, Shafir has been tapped to serve as the first director of the Daniel Kahneman and Anne Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy at Princeton. It was created with an anonymous $10 million gift in 2015 by someone who particularly admired Anne Treisman’s work in psychology. I found a bio on her at The History of Neuroscience site so let’s look at a shift she noted that is very important to governments wanting to control each student’s internalized capacities.

“Ulric Neisser’s book Cognitive Psychology was about to be published in 1967, definitively marking the end of behaviorism and its taboo on concepts such as imagery, mental representations, and cognitive models. Contrary to the behaviorist idea that stimuli activate responses to produce behavior, the cognitive revolution saw stimuli as conveying information-reducing the uncertainty about possible states of the world by modifying mental representations–a major conceptual change. Attention [think of the ubiquity now of the word engagement] was central to cognitive psychology from the beginning, in part because it involved a purely mental event that changed what people perceived.” Daniel Kahneman is Ms Treisman’s husband and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics.

http://www.gametheory.net/news/Items/088.html   is a good link explaining why the Economics Committee decided psychology had become an important element of the discipline. Kahneman was and is a psychologist known for creating a means for calculating the way in which “irrational actions can be predicted and quantified.” Very useful, in other words, for governments wanting to control and predict just that. Predicting and quantifying that, it turns out, makes it important to know what Values people have and what Concepts and Principles frame their perception. If that sounds vaguely familiar now it’s probably because it is another way of restating what the new federal education legislation–the Every Student Succeeds Act–requires every school in every state to assess regularly using the euphemism Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings.

That would also probably be why Getting Smart’s Tom VanderArk on May 27, 2015 reviewed Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow: How We Process and Respond to the World. When we find a report “Words that Change Minds” on what phrases, concepts, and framing should be used to push public policy issues http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/chroniclephilanthropy_wordsthatchangeminds_2016.pdf   that is using Kahneman’s insights. When the Common Core Social Studies C3 Framework wants students to practice with the provided ‘lenses’ in role playing classroom exercises, that’s again Kahneman’s work. When we are curious about precisely what lawyers are being trained to do in seminars that blend Law and Economics, it is important to know that the Nobel Committee thought it important to recognize psychology work that gives insights into decision-making in ambiguous situations where there is no single correct answer.

If that also sounds familiar it is what P-12 education now calls rigorous coursework and assessments. Interestingly Dr Kahneman thanked DARPA for helping fund his work and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, where he and Professor Treisman were fellows in 1976-77, for its role in these theories. Yes, that’s the same CASBS where all these other still guiding us templates were developed, including charters, General Systems Theory, Amitai Etzioni’s Active Society, and School Choice just to name a very few. I sometimes wonder if anyone has started selling “Behavioral Science Can Rule the World!” t-shirts yet. After all, this new Princeton Center expects “that the research conducted at the center will directly influence local, national and global public policy, identifying new approaches to address social problems and improve lives.”

Now, knowing what is really going on in K-12 education with personalized learning, virtual reality, HOTS mandates, social emotional learning standards, and authentic assessments embedded in real-world problems, let’s read about the behavioral “approach pioneered at Princeton, [where] policies are developed with a focus on what really drives people in decision making–the idiosyncratic and sometimes surprising ways in which they view their choices, perceive the social, economic and political world around them, and decide whether or not, and how, to act.” In other words, the behavioral approach the Center intends to build its public policy insights on and then recommend using the law as the means to force implementation in real world settings is precisely the same psychological arena, perception, that ESSA in the US and student-centered learning generally and globally has decided is the focus of 21st Century education.

What are the odds? Notice just how much more clearly we could recognize the aims of Martin Luther King once biographers quit filtering his quotes to prevent us from recognizing precisely where he wanted to take the US to achieve his vision of economic justice.

Time to truly appreciate the power of frames and conceptual lenses to guide future behavior and make it very predictable.

Just like no one is inviting us to these conferences where these plans are hatched, no one is asking our input into the frames to be fostered in our children as internalized mental models and cultivated via emotions. I have seen many of the lists though and the real MLK and his vision of democratic socialism would approve.

Did I mention that his biographer noted that the vision looked precisely like Marxist humanism? See that phrase is a real aspiration and not just some fetish I keep wanting to bring up. I see it because it fits even though now it has new names like Opportunity Society or Innovations in Poverty Alleviation.

Maybe the t-shirts should read “Framing: What Works to Create Sturdy Houses and Manipulable Minds.”

Outlasting Presidential Administrations and Transcending Politics: Data-Driven Social Control

The original title ended with ‘of People and Places’ after I learned that the term ‘governance’ was actually a euphemism for ‘social control.’ That made for too long of a title though. The sudden and steady drumbeat in the last week proclaiming the need to “transform the relationship between State and Citizen,” whomever the next US President may be, quite frankly has scared me. Following up on those sudden articles unleashed a torrent of papers uploaded within the last year on ‘socio-cybernetic steering.’ Gulp. No time to get a book out to spread the alarm before the election and transition. Then yesterday my warnings from the last post about what the Rule of Law has come to quietly mean were reenforced in a very well-connected Regional Housing Forum in Atlanta.

That program involved Affordable Housing, but the assumption was ‘public policy’ controls people and places and elected officials are the designated policymakers. All that is needed to get the “kind of City we wish to have” is an “end goal of legislation and public resources.” As an expert on what is really going on in the so-called silo of education and someone with a fair amount of economics training, these assumptions that prosperity can somehow be decreed and that legislative mandates will not have consequences are wrong. All these clear plans to redistribute the prosperity that more infrastructure will supposedly bring are both maddening and saddening, if the latter is even a word. I felt like  Scrooge at a pep rally for people excited at the prospect that they will be able to fly and suspend gravity by legislative fiat.

When I was organizing my notes recently as I prepare to write the sequel to Credentialed to Destroy, I kept having the recurrent thought that the phrases ‘evidence-based policymaking’ and ‘public policy’ had become the euphemisms for what used to be proclaimed a cybernetic steering of systems and institutions. It’s the same concept I have mentioned that the Soviets called Upravleniye— the scientific steering of society. It needs legislation to put it in place, specified goals to be met, and then data to show whether and to what extent those goals are being met. I heard the assumptions of Upravleniye  yesterday even if none of the politicians, government officials, and presenters there have heard the term. Maybe I was particularly sensitive since in the last week I had seen Governing magazine do a September story called “25 Years Later, What Happened to “Reinventing Government’?” that I knew misrepresented the effect of that seminal book.

After all, the day before I had put my copy of the David Osborne/ Ted Gaebler book in a particular pile so I could explain the constant references to “all levels of government.” Sudden, common False Narratives just before a watershed Presidential election made me notice that the global consulting firm McKinsey had just put out a so-called ‘road map’ for a “societal transformative effort…fueling a movement toward evidence-based policymaking.” Issued in August and hyped last week it is called “Policy in the data age: data enablement for the common good.” That’s two. Then the Fall 2016 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review arrived with the CEO and Co-Founder of Results For America calling for “Accelerating ‘What Works'” and writing that there “is an urgent need to expand the infrastructure for results-based policymaking at all levels of the US government.”

I know you will be as excited by this incessant drumbeat as I have been, with all these people suddenly “charting a course for improving the way that government invests in social change. Now it’s time to accelerate those efforts.” In case anyone thinks this is just a Left Pincer move to use one of my favorite metaphors for where all this policy making is taking us, http://results4america.org/press-room/works-combat-poverty-lessons-nycs-center-economic-opportunity/    shows Michelle Jolin’s entity is working with Bloomberg Philanthropies and What Works Cities putting on a program with Atlas Network member-AEI. Magically, another Atlas member, the Fordham Institute, yesterday wrote “Can evidence improve America’s schools?”

Funny they should ask that now, especially as Michelle Jolin cited ESSA and the schools as the “underpinning of a commitment to creating a What Works Accelerator is already in place…The next administration will have an opportunity to channel this bipartisan energy into the launch of a new vehicle for results-based policy. A What Works Accelerator will not restore Americans’ confidence in government overnight, but by helping officials to address problems more effectively, it will move public sentiment in the right direction. It also will transform how policymakers at all levels envision their role in driving social change. ” Now I bolded that to make sure we all recognize that clearly, at all levels as the pet phrase keeps reciting, the purpose of governments is being radically and quietly changed from what we learned in civics class, in publications most of us will never read and a forums we are unlikely to attend.

Hold on though please as this gets worse, much worse. Last Friday, GovLab released a paper called “Ready to Govern: Developing a Management Roadmap for the Next Administration” issued by the enormously well-connected (look up those partners) Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for the Business of Government. Now I covered IBM and its fondness for a “System of Systems” and seeing education globally as the means in my book, so you can bet I put this paper at the Top of My List of Things to Do. Even so, I was not really braced for what I found as the hurry to shift the US, whoever the next President may be, to a steered, People are systems and so are schools and cities, cybernetic, Upravleniye economy and society. It is everywhere, starting as soon as the election is over with the Transition Team of whoever wins.

I asked myself would a President-elect Trump even have any idea of the true nature or even the existence of this laid-out agenda? Especially if his Transition Team is sprinkled with people with ties to the Atlas Network, since we already have documented the misleading narrative surrounding School Choice. He appears to use the term generically when he speaks, naturally unaware it has a provable, legal definition that ties it to the cybernetic systems vision of Bela Banathy (see tag) and several education profs at Indiana University. I know that, Atlas’ members and their fellows know that, but Mr Trump gives every indication of not knowing the ancestry of the phrase. It matters because as Ms Jolin noted education is front and center to the evidence-based policy making vision. It’s also how the desired Mindset gets invisibly put in place.

As UNESCO’s Irina Bokova put it this week in the GEM 2016 report: “Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to foster the right type of skills, attitudes and behavior that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth.” Bela Banathy had precisely the same idea and created what he called a Guidance System to get there that School Choice, properly traced and understood, puts into place as a matter of law. It will be Banathy’s use of the term, and not Mr Trump’s or Ben Carson’s beliefs about what it means, that will take command as the next administration is pushed to embrace evidence-based policy making at all levels of government. It’s unlikely an accident either that one of the listed attendees at the January 2016 Roundtable that led to the Roadmap for the Next Administration is Jim Harper of the Atlas-affiliated Cato Institute. Another listed attendee is Steve Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis, a Romney/Bush 43 Domestic Advisor and author of numerous books.

See what I mean about those pincers? The paper keeps using the phrase “Enterprise Government,” which works much like what the timely-again book Reinventing Government called ‘catalytic government.’ Enterprise governments supposedly “change how governments work and improve people’s lives…enabling data-driven governance.” The final Management Roadmap is supposed to crank up during the Transition while we are all busy with the holidays and “will help the new administration successfully transition to power and improve the government’s performance throughout the new President’s term.”

It’s not just that I do not believe that governments at any level pursuing such an invasive agenda are likely to improve anyone’s lives unless that someone works for government or gets a taxpayer-funded contract. I am also worried that the nature of this agenda to scientifically manage people, places, and society generally will not even be recognized in time, given all the False Narratives being put forth by politicians and Think Tanks and their employees. Since I cannot cover the entire report let me go to some of most disturbing aspects. Does anyone else think Fascism or Cronyism when they read:

“The impact of open data can be amplified when government works directly with private business on targeted activities. This represents a new form of collaboration, beyond the public-private partnership model, in which participants from different sectors, including private companies, research institutions and government agencies, can exchange data to help solve public problems.”

Now in a steering society, where everything that supposedly affects ‘individual well-being’ gets turned into a ‘public problem,’ this coordination would certainly explain what the various funders of all these think tanks, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, would adore about this model of steering society. Troublingly it also reminds me of what was laid out deceptively as Free Enterprise in the America Next report the Atlas members were pushing that I wrote about here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/knowledge-to-avoid-becoming-roadkill-on-the-bipartisan-global-road-to-dignity-by-2030/  That would also explain why School Choice as pushed by Atlas members in earnest fits with UNESCO’s vision for creating the desired ‘right attitudes’.

My experience yesterday at the Housing Forum can also be explained by what I consider to be the most duplicitous part of the Roadmap. It wants to create a “user-friendly neighborhood data infrastructure…to design better citizen services on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.” Just imagine that dataset in the hands of federal agencies intent on ensuring Equity and Inclusion and legislatively enacting mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing or Health Equity. Data gets used to try to enact the UN’s SDGs or the Habitat III agenda at the state and local levels.

Most people would be none the wiser as they, their children, and their communities get redesigned and socially engineered to fulfill a vision Uncle Karl theorized might be possible with the right kind of technology. That this is the true goal just jumps out of the bogus explanation for creating that neighborhood-by-neighborhood data base.

“While retail entrepreneurs are experts in their respective trades, they often lack access to high-quality information about economic conditions in the neighborhoods in which they operate or are considering operating…”

That is a nonsensical statement. Entrepreneurs know that. It’s the governments, at all levels, who want that data so they can supposedly use the Rule of Law and public policy to change it via a so-called scientific management of society.

To close with the inspiration for the title, while alerting American voters and hopefully someone in the Trump Campaign to this attempt to sabotage Making America Great Again, we all need to know that this desired steering is currently scheduled for us. To commence in earnest as soon as the election is over. Either Transition Team is supposed to be devoted to “continue developing an evidence-based approach to governance.”

Looking to “create institutions that can outlast administrations and transcend politics? Do we have the right arrangements?”

Right for whom would be the timely question.

Still a Frightening Prospect and No Longer Far Away at All

Why is it that what appears to most people to be innocent phrases of general intent like school choice, social emotional learning standards, the rule of law, or competence (just to cite a few examples I have dealt with) provoke such a strong, specific reaction from me? Because I read the books and articles where people lay out intentions that were never meant to be openly and accurately discussed. For example, back on October 27- November 2, 1968, just before the close and contentious US Presidential election, the Rockefeller Foundation turned over its lovely Bellagio, Italy retreat to the OECD Long-Range Forecasting and Planning Symposium. Once again our invites were lost, but this retreat focused on a “new kind of planning” and the redesign of social systems and the need to “dynamically change human values” to fit with this desire to plan “the creation of a future society.”

The ‘old’ concept of planning had been “essentially short-range in scope” with a concentration “on changing variables within a given system.” Out with the Old and In with the New was big in that epochal year of student riots around the world. The ‘new’ planning would be “essentially long-range in scope” with its concentration “on changing the system itself, i.e. its structure as well as its variables”. All those things I am so concerned about discussing on this blog or in my book Credentialed to Destroy go to invisibly implementing that second conception of planning. The word ‘system’ itself, unfortunately, includes people, hopefully captured during their neurobiologically most malleable years at school. Let me quote from just how extensive the desired planning was and where our title comes from as it is my belief that this is still where the Right and Left Pincer action of the think tanks, politicians, and governments at all levels in every country are taking us.

“The dominant concern over systems design, which expressed itself in the discussions, clearly arises from the recognition that planning ought to be integrative, i.e, cutting across a multitude of dimensions, in particular, social, economic, political, psychological, anthropological, and technological dimensions…the discussions of the Symposium dealt exclusively with two type of joint systems only–the society/technology and the man/society systems.

This restriction was also borne out by the statement that mankind, in its evolutionary process, is now moving from the era of environmental control (achieved through technology) into the era of social systems, whereas the era of individual systems is still far away–indeed a frightening prospect.”

A frightening prospect indeed and precisely where student-centered personalized learning is unquestionably taking us, but that’s not what we are talking about today. I want to explain what happens when the desire for such planning and redesign of what people are at an internalized level, and the human institutions and places they interact with daily, decides to use the law to obtain the necessary coercion. When someone begins to tout the Rule of Law from now on, I want everyone’s anti-manipulation radar to begin to spin at Full Alert Status. Let’s start with a book communitarian prof Amitai Etzioni, who is also the Active Society architect, touted as “If you are going to read only one book in preparation for the 90s–make it this one”–Mary Ann Glendon’s Rights Talk.

Now I had already encountered Professor Glendon insisting that the Rule of Law must be used to get the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into daily operation as a binding obligation. She had already moved well beyond any historic sense of the term–Rule of Law.  In her 1991 book she complained that the law has for too long ignored its potential for a “right ordering of our lives together” where there would no longer be “silence with respect to personal, civic, and collective responsibilities.” If someone sees “legal discourse…as the most important tributary to political discourse” where is it they want to start? Why that would be at the now familiar levels of education and media coverage that “help to shape the interior world of beliefs, attitudes, dreams and yearnings that are the hidden springs of individual and social action.”

A bit more recent Call to Arms for the Global Planning Set is “The Global Values Discourse” from 2012 from Garry Jacobs and Winston Nagan. It lets us know that commencing in 2010 the influential Club of Rome (also started at Bellagio about the same time as that planning conference) and the WAAS–World Academy of Arts & Sciences–laying out an affirmative, normative use of the law for “charting a better collective future for humanity based on universal values for sustaining a world order in the common interest.” If that sounds glorious, be careful as Brazil and Venezuela got touted as early implementers of this Human Development vision and both now have platitudes, dysfunction, and a shortage of toilet paper.

Nevertheless, the point of this post is to alert us all that the Rule of Law now is often obscuring a reality that seeks to “alter our fundamental conception of the source of rights throughout the world and weave a new narrative that embraces and assigns a rightful place to the individual, the community, the nation-state and humanity.” How many of us are aware that the same Institute for the Future which wants to redesign education and use gaming to recreate desired mindsets has also created “An Inventors Toolkit” called “Governance for the Future.” If that’s not concerning enough as a means “to reimagine society for an age of planetary challenges and human responsibility,” how about their involvement in the April 2013 Reconstitutional Convention, “convening a community of social inventors and innovators passionate in designing and creating new governance systems.”

Now if we visit that site http://reconcon.govfutures.org/ we will find Texas Law Professor Sanford Levinson as one of the listed speakers talking about “Is ‘Reflection and Choice’ Possible in the 21st Century?” If that name is familiar he was the first to call for a Constitutional Convention in his 2006 book Our Undemocratic Constitution. His work for a Recon Con should concern us in contemplating where such a Convention of the States would really end up. So should his prior work for the Soros-funded Constitution in 2020 that I have also written about. It does look like the Right and Left Pincers are all interested in disregarding our current Constitution as in the way of pursuing what Justice Breyer called Active Liberty in the August 15 Hic Sunt Dracones post.

Also be aware that in 2008 Columbia Human Rights Law Review published a special issue to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That issue insisted that this aggressive conception of Human Rights being asserted now in the legal training of lawyers “are rooted not in constitutions, treaties, or legislative acts, but in our very structures as human beings. According to [UDHR], these rights are universal because they are ‘indispensable for…[the] dignity and the free development of…[human] personality.'” Now I may recognize a direct quote from Uncle Karl when I read it, but the average law student does not when told this is the purpose now of the law.

Moreover there is no tip off in the law article on what the UDHR was in turn quoting from. Just one final opening sentence that “They are rights that every government, from the weakest to the most powerful, is legally and morally bound to respect, protect, and fulfill.” It should bother us that the US Human Rights Fund created a report called the Revolution of the Mind. Just like every other revolutionary, they recognize that to be successful in the long run it is the individual mind and personality that must be controlled and redesigned. Unfortunately, no one seems to regard this as a Frightening Prospect anymore. Just a necessary and exciting one that can now be successfully hidden in an online gaming assessment, unappreciated language in a charter, or in the terms outlining acceptable learning methods to be deemed a qualified provider able to accept money from an Education Savings Account.

Out of sight doesn’t mean the Rule of Law with its acute interest in planning at all levels and implementing the UDHR, like it or not, isn’t being bindingly put into place. Just because we do not consider ourselves to be governed doesn’t mean that others have not conceived plans to limit what we can be and control what we must do. Here’s a good example that’s probably completely off our radars. In October 2016 the Habitat III conference commences in Quito with all sorts of revolutionary binding plans for us. http://citiscope.org/sites/default/files/h3/Surabaya_Draft_New_Urban_Agenda-28_July_2016.pdf is the most recent draft of those plans. A few days before in Bogota (keeping it in same continent and he World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders laying out their plans for us. Here is the UCLG Definition of Local Governance:

“Governance is made up of the political and institutional processes through which decisions are taken and implemented. Governance is most effective when these processes are participatory, accountable, transparent, efficient, inclusive, and respect the rule of law. Good governance is particularly important at local level, where governments interact with citizens and communities on a daily basis.”

I could add that those governments are almost never forthcoming in those daily interactions about what they are really up to, but my point in this post is the dangers in failing to appreciate when planning and the rule of law are actually being used to impose the Human Development Society’s tenets with most of us being none the wiser. In other words, I want people to recognise what is being attempted before the toilet paper runs out and more minds are manipulated as if they were simply malleable play-doh that needs to be made amenable to these plans and new values. In late 2014, HUD commenced a National Preparatory process to implement the rights and obligations being laid out at Habitat III. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/HUD-Habitat-III-Overview.pdf shows that process in case we also missed that invite.

Anyone hear of the Affirmatively Furthering Inclusive Housing edict? That’s part of the Habitat III creation of new obligations and responsibilities. There were also HUD co-hosted Regional Convenings in Chicago on March 31 (Learning from the City), Philadelphia on May 17 (The City We Want & Need), Denver on May 20, Miami on June 13, and El Paso, Texas on June 22-23, 2016 in case we are neither employees of the Chamber of Commerce or community organizers and thus failed to get an invite.

With respect to the true nature of education reforms, the dramatic alteration in the purpose of the law and what the phrase Rule of Law actually now means, or what is really being imposed on us in the name of meeting human needs, none of us can dissent if we buy into all the false narratives floating around. These have been created by connected entities like think tanks or the Frameworks Institute or even formerly trusted institutions like the PTA , Girl Scouts, or even local churches precisely so laws can be used to bind and ultimately stifle dissent. Our job as still free parents, citizens, and taxpayers is to recognize all these coordinated plans for what they are and what they intend to do to us.

These are all frightening prospects and some are no longer far away at all.

Hic Sunt Dracones: Decreeing Public Policy as the Boss of All of Us Without Genuine Notice or Consent

Hic Sunt Dracones is Latin for the warning phrase “There be Dragons” which seemed a perfect way to end this Trilogy. I have been warning of the coordinated convergence of what can only be described as a Left and Right pincer action to shepherd people blindly in a common direction. The rationales vary, the soothing euphemisms differ, and the admitted alliances among various public policy think tanks shift nominally. Behind all the deceit though, the distant social, economic, political, and personally enslaving destination never varies anymore. Since the Left at least admits what it intends, let’s start there and then I will show how the Right Pincer works as it seeks to guide to the same place in our respective futures.

When I started this Trilogy, I had come across a phrase “the process theory of the law” that seemed to fit with what I had been seeing on how to reliably lock the real Education and other local initiatives that we now know fit with the Social Determinants of Health or what Urie Bronfenbrenner called the various levels of his Bioecological Systems Theory into place. When we read references to the ‘rule of law’ now, most times it actually (and invisibly) references an affirmative, normative use of the law to bind individuals to a vision selected for them, whether they recognize this reality or not.

The Process Theory of the Law was developed at Harvard in the late 40s and spread to other elite law schools. It was apparently an elective 2nd Year Course there that has greatly influenced what many in our federal judiciary here in the US and also the professorate see as the new late 20th Century and 21st Century use of the law. Since SCOTUS member Stephen Breyer is considered an exemplar and he does like to write books, let’s take a look at what he laid out in Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution. In my mind what Breyer is saying is that the law and cries of public policy, human flourishing, and democratic purpose can all be use to enslave the individual. (my bolding)

“…a certain view of the original Constitution’s primary objective…sees the Constitution as furthering active liberty, as creating a form of government in which all citizens share the government’s authority, participating in the creation of public policy. [See why I have been warning we will not like where the phrases governance or self-government actually shift us?] It understands the Constitution’s structural complexity as responding to certain practical needs, for delegation, for nondestructive (and hopefully sound) public policies, and for protection of basic individual freedoms. And it views the Constitution’s democratic imperative as accommodating, even insisting upon, these practical needs.”

Now, not to be sidetracked by political theory here, but when someone starts to insist that meeting human needs is an obligation the State at all levels and each of us has, we have shifted to Uncle Karl’s Human Development Society, whether anyone cites the bearded old destructive theorist or not. This relates as well to what I covered here back in January http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/niti-nyaya-government-by-think-tanks-and-every-student-succeeds/ If anything the drumroll of deceitful false narratives and the offered rationales have simply become more profuse in 2016. Let’s go back to someone who at least admits to where this is all going and who remains alive in a place to see it implemented.

Let’s look up Stephen Breyer’s definition of the law and how a legal text should be interpreted: “law that helps a community of individuals democratically find practical solutions to important contemporary social problems.” See how it is not about the individual anymore except as needed to bind him or her to the stipulated common vision? Anyone still wondering why the actual definition of Career Ready Practices for the Classroom or mandated Positive School Climate for the school all end up pushing practices backed by communitarianism theories? Breyer hypes a theory he calls ‘cooperative federalism’ because of the federal government’s limited “ability to control the activities of individuals and businesses.” Get a different level of government to do it then and then hype it as “preserving a more local decision-making process.”

Does that sound to anyone else like the official talking points on ESSA–the new federal education legislation? How about what a recent paper from the RSA in the UK told us about New Public Governance and “Changing the Narrative: A New Conversation Between the Citizen and the State”:

“it is actually the local state rather than the national state that is best positioned to re-negotiate its relationships with citizens, communities, and businesses. Potentially at least, local government operates at a scale of accountability, with a degree of accessibility, and with a sensitivity to identity and diversity that it would be hard for central states to match.”

Potentially at least, but not when the mayor, state legislator, city council members, or other local political figures go to presentations by local think tanks or go to national conferences to be trained in viewing their cities, schools, area businesses, etc. as systems that can be planned and directed by political power and the affirmative use of the law. As part of the right pincer, supposedly opposite side of the Guided by Public Policy Sluice, we get lots of talk these days of ‘subsidiarity.’ Yet if we have School Choice that actually leads to internalized changes in beliefs at the level of the human mind and prescribed practices that make responding from emotion an unconscious habit, are we not playing right into what Stephen Breyer called a “lawmaking process…[that] involves changes that bubble up from below…this ‘bubbling up’ is the…democratic process in action?”

Under Standards- or Competency-based education and where School Choice actually leads under current legal dynamics in charter language or when money follows the child, what is in place to ‘bubble up’ is still to be very much of a planned, directed blueprint down to the ‘internalized capabilities,’ beliefs, and values of the students. Suddenly the Right and Left pincers, education policies, and the actual use of the law mean that every level of any human activity system, including people individually, are being guided in a coordinated, planned manner so that “laws will work better for the people they are presently meant to affect”  as Stephen Breyer put it.

At least he is honest with his declared “better to translate public will, determined through collective deliberation, into sound public policy.” My problem is when I hear a think tank fellow tell a group that they must adopt his recommended education policies or a state will never be able to afford the health care costs of its aging population when I know the policies do not actually work as prescribed. Likewise when I heard about the speech of Donald Trump Jr at the Republican Convention, it was apparent to me that someone had incorrectly explained to him how School Choice operated in reality. Since he cited FH Buckley of George Mason Law and his book The Way Back, and Professor Buckley agreed he was the advisor, I decided to take a look.

That April 2016 book may be one of the more obnoxious books I have ever read. We have to wonder why the Bradley Foundation that owns Encounter Books wanted this particular narrative to be disseminated. “Socialist Ends by Capitalist Means” is the declared premise and it envisions a future where “everyone is provided with the opportunity to flourish.” Stephen Breyer calls that active liberty and Amartya Sen considers that to be what individual freedom is now to mean. See what I mean about right and left pincer action once we recognize the underlying theory and what the admitted Left states they intend to do with it?

Interestingly, we may want to tell Professor Buckley about the BRAIN Initiative I have covered and the Science of Virtues Project the Templeton Foundation and the NIH are pushing at the University of Chicago since he sarcastically declares that: “I haven’t heard of plans to rewire our brains to eliminate it” [referring to the acquisitive instinct of individuals throughout history]. I do not know why Professor Buckley chose to cite so many radicals and admitted Marxists from the Left to frame his desire that “the promised land of equality might follow.” I recognize them because I have to read so much from the Left to accurately locate these blueprints. I do not want the US to become Denmark as the book cites and I know Buckley knows his Marxist theory because he states:

“As the most advanced capitalist country, America should have been the first place where socialism triumphed, according to Marxist theories of history…Today America is both unequal and immobile. As that becomes more apparent, we might begin to see the kind of class consciousness that Marx thought was missing in 1850s America, and with this a greater support for wealth redistribution schemes.”

Does that sound ‘Conservative’ or pro-market? When I say this is Uncle Karl’s vision and both sides are pushing it using euphemisms, I am not using my imagination to chase ghosts. At least Justice Breyer states honestly where he intends to go with the law, even if he is prone to taking a political theory like ‘deliberate democracy’ and stating it as a factual tool to now be used. He also cited a revisionist historian Bernard Bailyn who is associated with what James Block in A Nation of Agents called a major effort to “frame fundamental historical divisions as the precursor of a new organization of society.” See what quotes I can locate when I recognize a cited fact as actually not true?

Block went on to say that this so-called “republican reading of history” should be seen as “at least in part as a quest for participatory community composed of virtuous civic actors living for the common good.” Sounds like what Stephen Breyer wants as an active liberty, ‘bubbling up’ process and what Uncle Karl pronounced as the Human Development Society. So where’s the tie to Buckley’s book? Well, Block stated that other proponents of this republican misreading of history, as I will call it, “were Gordon Wood and JGA Pocock.” Gordon Wood is the historian Buckley kept citing to in The Way Back. Methinks The Way Back is actually the way forward to Uncle Karl, which is why the book really exists and if I were not a lawyer, history major, AND a maniac researcher I would never have recognized what was wrong with the framing of the book and where it really goes.

Accept the offered vision and defer to the prescribed path from a so-called pro-market public policy think tank. No need to actually accurately inform all of us people being affected. Buckley ended his book with the phrase “Ye are Many, They are Few” and called on a rejection of an “America…increasingly riven by class distinctions, best explained by the sociobiological imperatives of parents who wish well for their children.” Such poppycock, but intended to be influential and deferred to nonetheless.

If we are able to still rely on facts, habits of logical thought, and an accurate understanding of all these coordinated Public Policy sales pitches, we might not go along with the planned vision. We may still be capable of climbing off the Public Policy Sluice or departing the Planned Pathway and jumping free. That’s why we adults get spoon fed euphemisms if we are not on board with the declared Left Fundamental Transformation. Students are just to get neurologically reshaped via Preschool through high school until they are amenable to this entire planned process.

Who else is ready to step off the clearly set out pathway prescribed by the admitted Left and aped by the so-called Right? Ready to move away from the Pincer Action of a Planned Upravleniye Society?

 

 

Not Subtle Enough–Enslaving Us All in the Name of Health, Equity, and Well-Being

That was a longer break than I had intended, but sometimes real life interferes with explaining plans for the future. Luckily it did not interfere at all with documenting those plans so here we go with Part 2 of this Trilogy with even more pertinent facts from just the last week. So what’s this reference to ‘subtlety’ and is the verb ‘enslaving’ accurate or hyperbole? I will let each of us decide that when this Trilogy is complete. The reference to subtlety though comes from a February 2016 paper setting out “a means to conceptualize, regulate, and shape development processes.” Now given what I have been hammering on all summer, virtually everyone reading this can rightfully predict this refers to what a student, or the adult they become, has internalized as their guiding values, beliefs, and mental models. It also refers though to physical spaces like cities, schools, workplaces, and virtually any institution in a community.

Whole Society means precisely that. Under various UN and national pushes (HUD for example, under Julian Castro began to roll out all the Habitat III goals in December 2014. Did you get the memo?) implementing the “Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals” we find a repeated and explicit insistence on new “Modes of Governance.” Now I am quite sure all the public policy think tanks suddenly calling for a constitutional convention in the US is just coincidental, but in case it is not, let’s listen in on the nature of the shift, especially as student competencies are pitched as being about ‘self-governance in the 21st Century.’

“Governing can be considered as the totality of interactions in which public, as well as private, actors participate with the aim of solving societal problems or creating societal opportunities; attending to the institutions as contexts for these governing interactions; and establishing a normative foundation for all these activities. Commonly phrased as a shift from government to governance, the notion of governance entails a process of interaction between different societal and political actors and the growing interdependencies between the two as modern societies become ever more complex, dynamic, and diverse…In hierarchical governance the focus is on the steering role of the state in respect to governance. The state has shifted its pattern of steering away from direct legislative intervention and control to more subtle forms of regulation and oversight.”

See what I mean about not subtle enough if I am reading the plans before they are even enacted and writing books and blogs about what learning standards, School Choice, and Social Determinants of Health really mean? Let’s pick up one more quote as “Self-governance refers to the capacity of people to govern themselves, where actors come together to frame their own collective solutions.” Now when you hear the terms ‘self-governance’ or ‘autonomy’ is Priming for Collectivism a definition any of us have in mind? See how the Subtle Steering comes in? When we hear someone calling for Health as a Human Right or Equity in Outcomes for all Students, do we immediately recognize this is another subtle agreement telling politicians at all levels to mandate “positive and constructive changes in social arrangements”?

That Success for All and Excellence are about education where schools, public or private, must concentrate on the “cultivation of those habits, dispositions, required for virtuous activity and enlightened change. Furthermore, these creative habits can flourish only with the proper social conditions. This is one reason Dewey placed so much emphasis on education–education that begins when a child is born and continues through and beyond formal schooling.” That was from Richard Bernstein and is cited as “Creative Democracy-The Task Still Before Us” and is available as a Blueprint for the Planning and Public Policy set who fully intend to steer away in what is being pitched as a People-Centered Society. Oh, Joy.

When I was looking into the Community Schools mandated in the US by ESSA, the new federal statute signed in December 2015, it led me to a new acronym–HiAP. Health in All Policies was a new phrase, but following it has taken me on a global Internet journey to the rationales for the very programs now being foisted on us by various federal agencies and local governments all over the world, especially in the US. First up was the 2010 Adelaide Statement on Health in All Policies: Moving Towards A Shared Governance for Health and Well-Being” that left me not feeling very well after I read it. Like the Culture as Sustainability paper quoted above that will be covered in Part 3, HiAP is grounded in an insistence that “increasingly, communities, employers and industries are expecting and demanding strong government action to tackle the determinants of health and well-being and avoid duplication and fragmentation of actions.”

That unpublicized aim insists the “causes of health and well-being lie outside the health sector and are socially and economically formed.” Meeting the supposed demands of local employers and industries, which is after all the new role of K-12 education, becomes about a need for “joined-up government” and “another approach to governance.” I am really learning to hate that little ‘-ance’ suffix that seems so innocuous. Suddenly and out of sight we have the implementation of a ‘new social contract’ that sounds just like a Karl Marx Blueprint for where history should lead. Subtly and via education especially, we have a call where “Governments can coordinate policymaking by developing strategic plans that set out common goals, integrated responses and increased accountability across government departments. This requires a partnership with civil society and the private sector.”

Readers of my book Credentialed to Destroy will recognize that alliance as the Turchenko vision for achieving little c communism in the West. Interestingly enough we now know that the Adelaide Statement in 2010 reignited a global agenda launched in 1978 in Alma Ata, USSR. All these coincidences, huh? That Alma Ata Declaration was also trumpeted in the October 2011 World Conference on the Social Determinants of Health in Rio where we also failed to get an invite. That Political Declaration insisted that “health equity is a shared responsibility and requires the engagement of all sectors of government, of all segments of society, and of all members of the international community” to “achieve social and health equity.”

How? Glad to be asked. We have all been committed to “improve the daily living conditions; to tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources; and to measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action.” On the latter, I had never heard of Professor Donald Campbell, his Experimental Society, or Democratic Experimentalism until this past month as I tracked all these initiatives. Apparently back in 1969, social scientists decided “The United States and other modern nations should be ready for an experimental approach to social reform, an approach in which we try out new programs designed to cure specific social problems.”

Back to Rio and then on to Finland in 2013 and Shanghai this November, as we are all being bound to an agenda that insists that “health inequities arise from societal conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age” and are known as Social Determinants of Health. This agenda cares a great deal about addressing power imbalances so all the Hype about Black Lives Matter and trying to gain equivalence among the “killings in Dallas” and the “shootings in Baton Rouge and St Paul” (as if murderous intent was no longer pertinent) makes so much more sense if the only acceptable remedy is for action on the Social Determinants of Health:

“both for vulnerable groups and the entire population, is essential to create inclusive, equitable, economically productive and healthy societies. Positioning human health and well-being as one of the key features of what constitutes a successful, inclusive and fair society in the 21st century is consistent with our commitment to human rights at national and international levels.”

To bring the discussion back to just education for a moment, we have the draft document for Shanghai’s upcoming 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in its Social Mobilization Brief insisting that “Critical to success will be maximally mobilizing the unique enthusiasm, spirit, and social media know-how of youth, ensuring that they are fully engaged in social action and political processes.” Fully engaged and trained through school to help shift to what Marx called the Human Development Society with all the implementing measures subtly hidden away lest enough people rebel in time.

This past Tuesday, about two weeks after I originally planned to write this HiAP post, NAS released a paper on a February 2016 Workshop called “Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity.” Beginning to see why Michael Brown’s actual activities in Ferguson, Missouri that fateful day or what Trayvon Martin was really up to and how he no longer looked anything like the pictures chosen by the media are so useful to the True Transformational Agenda we are not supposed to get until it is too late? It calls for all institutions, including schools and universities, to “develop an equity lens.” That lens is defined as “understanding the social, political, and environmental contexts of a program, policy, or practice in order to evaluate and assess the unfair benefits and burdens within a society or population.” The workshop also stressed how to ‘frame equity’ in terms of “privilege and oppression.”

The “Reframing Communication to Advance Racial Equity” insisted that “the primary factors that shape the health of Americans are not medical treatments but rather the living conditions they experience. These conditions have become known as the social determinants of health. Our health is shaped by how income and wealth is distributed, whether or not we are employed, and, if so, the working conditions we experience. Furthermore, our well-being is also determined by the health and social services we receive and our ability to obtain quality education, food, and housing, among other factors. Health and illness follow a social gradient: the lower the socioeconomic position, the worse the health.” The Workshop was citing work from the Frameworks Institute that I first wrote about here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/quoting-che-guevara-and-importing-personalizedategic-from-russia-seems-odd-for-a-cold-war-victor/

Fascinating coincidence since this paper http://frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/UKCJ_MM_July_2016_Final.pdf that is technically about the UK has a title “New Narratives: Changing the Frame on Crime and Justice.” It goes a long way towards explaining why all these bad actions by actors deemed from underprivileged groups get overlooked and misrepresented in the prevailing ‘narrative’ of what happened. Its conclusion is that the “most effective strategy for preventing crime may well be to strengthen other social services, such as those that relate to education, housing and mental health. Building the political will to strengthen these systems is a crucial objective.”

That’s an understatement. The political will in other words gets built via education and the hyping of Privilege, Oppression, and Inequities at every opportunity. Meanwhile the solutions compel all our modern nations towards collectivism, while reframing Marx’s obligation to ‘meet needs’ as Health Inequities that must be remedied via governmental power.

Binding but invisible was the game plan. Luckily though these mandates are Not Subtle Enough for a Diligent Parent and Researcher just following the laws, regulations, and tracking down mysterious definitions.

 

Resistance-Proof Biosocial Revolution Undisclosed at the Neural Level of Students’ Minds

Let’s start off with a quote I have had since I did the ACES post on April 30. “In social cognitive theory, sociostructural factors operate through psychological mechanisms of the self system to produce behavioral effects.” Now that may sound like a mouthful, but if we substitute ‘a person’ or ‘the student’ for ‘self system’ the meaning is clearer. Now we have discussed that Karl Marx is widely recognized now as having been a lousy economist. Less recognized though is how his related sales pitch that social revolution could be achieved if ‘Man’ would simply become a Maker of History is still wildly reverenced, especially in education. So let’s now add in another quote from the same 2001 Annual Review of Psychology article by Albert Bandura to shake out that other mouthful–‘sociostructural factors.’

“The self system is not merely a conduit for sociostructural influences. Although the self is socially constituted, by exercising self-influence human agents operate generatively and proactively, not just reactively, to shape the character of their social systems. In these agentic transactions, people are producers [Making History!] as well as products of social systems. Personal agency and social structure operate interdependently. Social structures are created by human activity [and especially laws and other legal vehicles like charters] and sociostructural practices [here comes the law again which is why we now have edicts about Positive School Climate and required proactive approaches to bullying and Restorative Justice], in turn, impose constraints and provide enabling resources and opportunity structures for personal development and functioning.”

I learned a new word this week that is typically used in a military context–Schwerpunkt–but which fits even better in the human and behavioral sciences, which is what education and even the law have now become tools for. It means “weight (or focus) of effort” and the weight or focus of effort in education ‘reforms’, as we finally began to confront in earnest in the last post, involves trying to lock-in desired “psychosocial changes and levels of functioning” at a biological, neural level because, quite simply, genetic social engineering by governments would take too long.

Anyone else fascinated to learn that “social efforts to change lives for the better require merging diverse self-interests in support of common core values and goals.” There’s that phrase again so I decided to bold it for emphasis. The real common core operates at an internalized, psychological, neural level and another word for those internalized goals practiced repeatedly through prescribed educational activities would be ‘standards’ as in standards-based, student-centered ‘reforms’.

Now just to provide some hint of just why I decided to add Schwerpunkt to our quiver of useful vocabulary terms to capture the essence of the desired transformational changes, let’s cover just a few of the confirming revelations that have popped out in just the last week. I recognized, for example, that Professor Damasio’s 2010 book Self Comes to Mind was actually restating Bandura’s work without mentioning him so I did a search to see if others had recognized the link. Out the connections spewed across the globe in languages I did not speak and had to translate, but our Google overlords kindly told me that both men’s work deal with the psychological means for the “self-regulation of thought and moral conduct.” Goes better than a slice of bacon then with those needed “common core values and goals.”

We have Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains recommended for summer reading http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/books/Teaching-Students-to-Drive-Their-Brains-sample-chapters.pdf complete with not-so-amusing graphics of Upper Elementary Students being taught to visualize using their Brain Cars. That fits though with our learning that there was a K-12 component to the Pacific Northwest Neuroscience Neighborhood part of the BRAIN Initiative. It is called Noggin and there are numerous detailed links in the comments to the last post with pictures as well as the revelation that Fulton’s new Super as of June 1, Jeff Rose, came from one of the Noggin districts. What are the odds?

http://rise.huffingtonpost.com/watch/scientists-are-using-psychology-nudge-us-right-direction from What Works Cities (and what precisely ‘evidence-based’ policymaking turns out to mean) admits that changing behavior is official government policy across US federal agencies and also globally. Finally we have http://knowledgeworks.org/worldoflearning/2016/06/cunningham-elementary-school/ showing a Texas school that is pushing an emotionally-grounded moral thinking of the kind Professors Damasio and Bandura promote as what a new kind of 21st century learning grounded in Equity should look like. All this makes sense though if we go back to what Bandura wrote in 2001 and recognize that when charters (like Fulton’s) refer obliquely to a euphemism like ‘life skills’ as the new focus of schools they are actually incorporating Bandura’s work. I am nothing if not a good researcher after all so of course I can prove it.

Since what that charter really intended to lock in for a particular school district, and what ESSA has now done to every school district, is grounded in Bandura’s work and he said it was to drive Biosocial Coevolution, let’s tear away the shroud of euphemisms and look at these intentions in the sunlight. Now if I give a hot link to the article it will be off the server within the hour so I will just continue to make reference to it. When located, however, just go to page 18 to the section called “Emerging Primacy of Human Agency in Biosocial Coevolution” and think about how lucrative it is for the lawyers, administrators, and consultants working to change education because “psychology is the one discipline that uniquely encompasses the complex interplay between intrapersonal, biological, interpersonal, and sociostructural determinants of human functioning.”

I am going to interrupt the quote to point out that this is the reason all these learning theories of education want to dethrone the rational Prefrontal Cortex from being a primary driver of human behavior. It’s an obstacle to what Bandura will momentarily call the desired Collective Efficacy. Back to the next line of the quote now: “Psychology is, therefore, best suited to advance understanding of the integrated biopsychosocial nature of humans and how they manage and shape the everyday world around them.” Beginning to finally see the clear reason for all the deceit, euphemisms, and use of misdescribed legal mandates to force these political uses of psychological theories invisibly imposed via education? Recognize now why school board members are trained to defer to anyone with an education degree? They are deferring to a revolutionary shift in the conception of what human beings can be, imposed while most are led to believe we are still talking about academics.

Charters, legislation, and reinterpretations of civil rights laws are simply not being accurately presented as mechanisms for the ‘biologizing of psychology,” even though that is the decades-long  Schwerpunkt focus of all K-12 education reforms. It’s also why my book Credentialed to Destroy is even more relevant now than when it was written. It recognized the required focus of efforts long before I grasped that everything laid out actually had an intended biological component of desired neural effects. Bandura was stunningly revelatory so let’s keep listening. He told us that the “selection pressures of social and technological innovations on biological evolution get ignored,” which may be the most succinct rationale for the digital learning mandates we will find. After all, “human evolution provides bodily structures and biological potentialities, not behavioral dictates. Psychosocial influences operate through these biological resources to fashion adaptive forms of behavior.”

Prescribed adaptations and forms of behavior with no need to admit the manipulation out loud. Tuck it into charters or statutes no one else reads or required instructional practices no one explains accurately and suddenly education and the law can be tools taking advantage of the known, but usually undisclosed, “malleability of evolved dispositions.” Seeing the avenue of unimpeded social change as being through the manipulation of the known plasticity of the human brain and nervous system and then refusing to openly declare that actual intent. Recognizing that the real aim of Competency, the Common Core, and what were misleadingly called the Reading and Math Wars was about deliberate targeting of the “specialized neurophysiological structures and mechanisms that had evolved over time.”

Targeting “these advanced neural systems [that] are specialized for channeling attention, detecting the causal structure of the outside world, transforming that information into abstract representations, and integrating and using them for adaptive purposes,” except due to undisclosed neural manipulation the goals and purposes are no longer really your own. Think of the desired History Maker to Change Existing Systems while once again listening to what Bandura aimed at: “These evolved information processing systems provide the capacity for the very agentic characteristics that are distinctly human–generative symbolization, forethought, evaluative self-regulation, reflective self-consciousness, and symbolic communication.”   Just what Noggin and Brain Car Lessons train students to be comfortable allowing others to manipulate instead of holding sacred. What Professors Immordino-Yang and Damasio block off access to with their hype of learning grounded in emotion.

We didn’t really think all these reforms would be disclosed accurately as the “psychosocial side of coevolution gains ascendancy,” did we? Good thing I can recognize what I am looking at by now even when no one actually meant for such a confession to come out. This was how Bandura ended so let me quote and then translate.

“What is technologically possible eventually gets applied. As previously noted, the genetic factors provide only potentialities, not the finished psychosocial attributes. However, there is no shortage of individuals with the resources and belief in genetic determinism to underwrite attempts at genetic engineering of human nature. The values to which we subscribe and the social systems we devise to oversee the uses to which our powerful technologies are put will play a vital role in what we become and how we shape our destiny.”

What Bandura proposed, and what education and the law have now locked in, is that those values and social systems are no longer a matter of personal choice. The choices have been made for us. The social engineering of human nature is now being attempted at a biological and neural level and we are all literally in the midst of what Soviet Psychologist Leontiev called the Great Experiment back in the 60s. Political power wants to dictate what those ‘psychosocial attributes’ will be and circumscribe what regions of the brain are likely to be used by the typical student when they become an adult.

And the euphemism for that latter neural manipulation is College and Career Ready.

I really do need to create an ISC Dictionary of True Meanings for 21st Century Guidance to Avoid Psychological Manipulation, don’t I?

 

Rewiring Student’s Brains at a Neural Level to Constrain, Guide, and Motivate Desired Future Behaviors

Part of the reason for the time gap between the last post and this one is my youngest child has now officially graduated. Hallelujah! Knowing what is really going on in American and global education in the name of euphemisms like standards, competencies, Whole Child, Positive School Climate, and Higher Order Thinking Skills I am afraid I think of schools now as psychological Auschwitzes. That is not a phrase I use lightly, but unfortunately, there will be no respite from this deliberate neurological assault on minds and personalities until we parents and funding taxpayers recognize what is really targeted for change and why. Also we need to grasp just how experimental all these sought shifts actually are.

During the last two weeks documentable, official confessions of just how much our children’s very synapses and whether the regions used in thinking are rational or tied to emotions have come out on an almost daily basis. Originally I thought all the reports I have read and downloaded since May 1 were tied to desired teacher training over the summer for a rollout next fall. That was before I came across the Human Brain Project’s announcement that it had shifted to the active, operational stage in April 2016 after being in the planning stage since 2013. Then I discovered that USC, the employer of Professors Immordino-Yang and Damasio from the last post, was one of the US partners of HBP. So are the entire U-California university system, Yale, and the University of Tennessee as well.

The US BRAIN Initiative (which began in 2013 too) coordinates actively with HBP and goes to its programmes in Europe. Turns out part of that initiative included a Bioethics Commission http://bioethics.gov/ where we can locate the BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision report as well as the two Gray Matters reports that leave our government’s desire to interfere with internalized mental processes for political purposes in no doubt. It is also chaired by Penn Pres Amy Gutmann who was probably chosen by President Obama precisely because her 1987 book Democratic Education called on schools to shift away from the ‘well-intentioned misperception’ that schools have an “obligation to impart information.” Instead, Gutmann wanted teachers to develop the moral character of students so that they “feel the force of right reason” to reshape society.

There’s that ‘feeling’ hype again. I know it is not coincidental because I have a few additional writings we can survey. I have Damasio’s 2010 book Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain where he stated that “emotions are the dutiful executors and servants of the value principle.” A useful target for emphasis for planners hoping to alter the drivers of future behavior. Since Professor Damasio elsewhere mentioned “the need to manage the behaviors of humans,” forcing student thinking to be grounded in emotion would appear to be an excellent place to start. UNESCO agrees too since I located an August 2015 paper stating that the new purpose of ‘curriculum’ in the 21st century is to make sure there is no “contradiction or dissociation between the cognitive and the ethical dimension in learning.”

In order to advance the ‘concept of social justice’ and the new UN “guidelines on the meaning of education based on the ideal of building more just societies,” educational experiences must be created so that each student’s commitment to the ideals of social justice is not “an adherence that is purely rhetorical or cut off from how people actually behave.” Rounding out our support is this paper that I-Y coauthored   http://iesteulada.edu.gva.es/portal/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Neuroscience-and-learning.pdf which ended with a diagram that makes it clear it is Emotional Thought, and not High Reason/ Rational Thought, that 21st century education wants to cultivate. Why? Because of its useful role in desired ” moral decision-making.”

Now all these reports have a great deal of aspirational goals for a changed society pretending to be how the mind works or how education must now be changed. Educationists cite Damasio as “neuroscience research says…” Ed Week cites I-Y for how emotions must now guide educational practices and no one seems to bring up Professor Gutmann’s earlier book. The truth is though this is not how the brain or education must now work, but rather how it needs to be altered if people are to be changed at a neurological level. Guided and motivated then by new values and images of how the world might be. Now you may be saying rightfully that I am not a neuroscientist, although I have read a great deal of their writings, and one of them, Zenon W. Pylyshin, helpfully told us back in 1980 precisely why the rational/High Reason brain is so targeted now by K-12 education.

In a published paper “Computation and Cognition” created while he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Pylyshin laid out precisely how the human mind was thought then to work with nary a mention of these now omnipresent emotions or feelings. Here is a quote from the end that tells me precisely what had to be suffocated for the social transformation use of the mind to prevail. The mentioned George Miller is another famous behavioral scientist.

“we ought to be far more impressed with the extreme flexibility that thought can exhibit. For example, we ought to take seriously the fact that there seems to be no specifiable limit to what the human mind can imagine or think. As George Miller recently remarked to me, the salient property of mental life is surely that we can will it to do practically anything we wish: given the appropriate goals and beliefs, we can alter our behavior and thoughts to a remarkable extent by a mere act of will.”

Feels a bit like eavesdropping from decades away, doesn’t it? We now know that picking our own goals, beliefs, and values is precisely what K-12 education intends to make sure no longer happens. In fact, now we can shift back to that BRAIN 2025 vision since it too envisioned mapping the brain because of its ‘special province’ as the “interior terrain of thinking, feeling, perceiving, learning, deciding, and acting to achieve our goals.” If anyone has any doubt that this initiative is about a transformative, social justice agenda this quote should obliterate all doubt: “our brains make us who we are, enabling us to perceive beauty, teach our children, remember loved ones, react against injustice, learn from history, and imagine a different future.”

Our Founding Fathers may have seen our beliefs as a form of property not to be subject to government interference http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-the-system-seeks-to-destroy-the-ability-to-think-can-james-madison-save-us/ but we get no such deference in the 21st century. To quote again  from an initiative we are now spending $500 Million per year to pursue: “In advanced organisms our concept of ‘behavior’ must be extended to include sophisticated internal cognitive processes in addition to externally observable actions.” The Bioethics Commission may hype neurological and psychiatric disorders so that the full extent of the neurological manipulation is obscured but BRAIN 2025 states explicitly that the “primary goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to understand healthy brain function.”

The purpose of the Bioethics Commission is not to examine if this emphasis and research is ethical, but to make sure everyone at all levels of education believes that such research is necessary and ethical. In fact, all we get is a question as to whether “inner desires, psychological states, or motivations…deserve more privacy protection than externally observable clues about the mind.” Consistent with my concern that all this agenda is about quietly forcing a shift to the Human Development Society Uncle Karl envisioned without saying that is the actual goal, we have the Gray Matters volume on the Integration of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society insisting that “the potential of science to improve human welfare grounds a societal obligation to undertake and support” this type of research.

Leaving no doubt as to why we have to discuss these initiatives to grasp why I now call schools psychological Auschwitzes being used to force a transformational political agenda at a neural level, we have that same volume stating “one desirable goal for ethics education is ‘transformational learning,’ which goes beyond cultivating cognitive learning or critical thinking to inculcate ‘habits of mind, attitudes, and dispositions.'” That’s neural change and designed to motivate future behavior from a level unconscious to the neurologically reengineered student. It certainly explains the odd affect and unfocused eyes in this video of high school students hyping personalized learning. http://www.cio.com/article/3002698/cio-role/how-one-cio-leverages-technology-to-transform-education.html .

Volume 2 of Gray Matters opened with a tribute to a now deceased commission member who was described as a “seeker of justice for all.” That certainly fits with the actual intention of all this neuroscience research and the stress on emotions as an integral part. So does this quote that “ethics education has a better chance of informing action when it is continually reenforced and connected to practical experience.” Showing us once again how a certain vision for education going forward is key to this entire transformation of people and institutions, the Bioethics Commission lets us know that Equity is such a focus of this new vision. that “if safe and effective novel forms of cognitive enhancement become available, they will present an opportunity to insist on a distribution that is fair and just.”

Oh. Good. Grief. Once again Gray Matters made it clear that it is not just education being called on to reengineer society at the level of the biological neural mind. The rule of law gets redefined to be a social reengineering tool as well. As a lawyer and student of Anglo-American history and the function of the common law, it is hard to read a federally-financed call “ensuring the progress and responsible application to neuroscience to the legal system and policymaking.”

The report may insist that “today, and in the foreseeable future, neuroscience does not enable us to read minds. Technology remains extremely limited and cannot reveal the inner desires, psychological states, or motivations that are worthy of the term ‘mind-reading.'” The problem is that covering, Nothing to Worry About Here, statement is not true. Those things are precisely what adaptive learning digital virtual reality platforms, formative assessments, wicked, open-ended problem solving and other now required educational practices turn up. That is a big part of what all the data gathering is about. It’s also why the Personally Identifiable Information hype is such a Red Herring that obscures what is really at risk.

Watching the students on that video, do we really want Presidential Commission’s questioning “whether ‘inner mental or neural processes’ deserve more privacy protection than external or behavioral elements such as words and actions”?

What does ethics actually mean if all these neurological planned interferences can be pursued in the 21st century in the name of education?

 

Orchestrating an All-Encompassing Conception of the Legitimate Domains of Government Control over Individuals

If anyone managed to avoid the fury over this past weekend over the Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom decrees http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf and this http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/emergingpractices.pdf , you either have a set of headphones we would all like to acquire or you had a loved one just graduate. Most of the coverage and outrage is directed at imagining the physical intrusiveness of this edict. Occasionally we will get someone stating that this is not the role of the federal government. Reading both those releases though makes it quite clear that we have governments insisting they can command ‘citizens’ to defer to personal perceptions that disregard physical reality.

Let’s take a look at how useful that command ability is for those who have long sought to bring fundamental transformation to human societies, targeting what people value and how they must behave. Anyone think it is a coincidence that the sacred point for deference–personal perception–is precisely the point that the cyberneticists have wanted to control going back to those Macy conferences in the 40s? I just happened to have an essay from 1973 from Heinz Von Foerster (who edited the conference reports) telling researchers that “Since there are only 100 million sensory receptors, and about 10,000 billion synapses in our nervous system, we are 100 thousand times more receptive to changes in our internal than in our external environment.”

Is it any wonder governments have decided to target that internal ‘Simplex’ at a biological, neural level to gain the compliant citizens they (and their donor class like the Chambers of Commerce) want for the 21st Century? Refuse to believe me because it seems too horrible to contemplate? Let’s go looking for well-connected confessions from people at two places that have been ringleaders in these plans for us going back decades–MIT and Harvard. When I found out that in 1987 Stewart Brand wrote a book called The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, I got a copy.  The last chapter has a fascinating, matter-of-fact conversation with Peter Schwartz that called attention to something I warned about in the early days of the blog. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/

“Schwartz: No, I think most of the world still believes it is appropriate for the government to control what the people will know. It’s really quite amazing–to me at least, having grown up in the United States. Regimes everywhere are–a term that is not well known in the United States–dirigiste. French word. Literally, it means state direction. It isn’t socialism, it isn’t fascism, it’s essentially the idea that part of the central role of the state is to direct society–as opposed to take care of a few things and let everybody else take care of themselves, which is [was?] the US philosophy. Most every country in the world is in some sense dirigiste.”

Now even if I had not explained recently what Upravleniye meant or the Science of the Individual or the required state and local economic planning now in WIOA or the change and then monitor the mental models of each student laid out in ESSA–the new federal education legislation, anyone want to venture a guess as to which direction global education reforms emanating from the UN would be taking the US on the dirigiste template? But the MIT conversation was not over and the other speaker was Jay Ogilvy, formerly director of research of the Values and Lifestyles Program at SRI International. Now I know SRI used to stand for Stanford Research and was involved in a hugely troubling task force called Changing Images of Man among lots of other things. Let’s listen in decades later to what Ogilvy said to Brand:

“Ogilvy added: What gets me is how utterly inappropriate our basic economic categories are. We need to recast the concept of property for one thing, because in Marx’s terms property is by definition alienable: that is, unlike your elbow which is you and not yours, property must be transferable to another (alia equals other). I sell you the cow. You got the cow. I don’t have the cow anymore. I sell you information. You got the information. I still have the information. That’s one anomaly.

Another anomaly: intrinsic in information is the ‘difference that makes a difference’–to a receiver. So the condition of the receiver is an important part of whether a given signal is or is not information. Is it news or isn’t it news? Well, that depends on the receiver and the receiver’s ability to understand it. That’s not true of a ton of steel. It’s not true of a ton of wheat.”

Where else do we get such a chance to eavesdrop on insiders so we can recognize that we, and especially students with still malleable minds, are the receivers (author’s italics but my bolding) whose ability to understand needs to be manipulated at the internalized (see ratios above), neurological level. Still resisting? When I kept encountering references to the book Harvard and the Unabomber and the social science experiments it laid out going on at Harvard in the 50s involving some of the Macy Cybernetics conference participants, I decided I should read it too. Turns out the author Alston Chase had also graduated from Harvard in the 1950s and he was rather matter-of-fact as well about how “Psychology came to be seen as a powerful tool that could be used for good (when employed by an enlightened elite) or for evil (when used by Hitler).”

On the list of things the Enlightened forgot to mention was the “rise of psychology in public policy” because “the masses could not be trusted, or, as the historian Ellen Herman put it, summarizing the thinking of this time, ‘mass opinion was dangerous as well as fickle…[It] was a real threat to rational planning.” Another word for such planning is dirigiste and the most effective and hard to observe place to enact such planning would be to go after what the so-called receiver has internalized to guide their perceptions and then interpretations of daily experiences.

Still want more quotes as to intentions? “Yet in their heart of hearts they had lost faith in people and embraced a new paternalism. They became what historian Brett Gary calls ‘nervous liberals,’ beset by ‘propaganda anxieties.’ Saving democracy, these scholars concluded, required new psychological techniques that would point public opinion in ‘correct’ directions. Social science was seen as not just a way to understand man, but to control him as well.”

Well, I am ready to leave Cambridge and whatever is in that air along the Charles River beyond world-class hubris. Let’s get back to why all this is clearly relevant to what the planners want to achieve with these Transgender Edicts. When I wrote my book Credentialed to Destroy , a professor–Ernst Von Glasersfeld and his theory of radical constructivism–figured prominently in what was known in the 90s as the Math Wars and what is really being changed via math classes now. What I learned recently was that Glasersfeld’s theories were a part of cybernetics aspirations and that he had written for a 1984 book called The Invented Reality.

Now if governments wish to guide societies and control citizens at a neural level without that really being appreciated, how useful is a theory of education or philosophy (depending on the department of the advocating professor) that preaches to students and future doctorates and administrators that:

“it does not matter what an object might be like in ‘reality’ or from an ‘objective’ point of view; what matters is exclusively whether or not it performs or behaves in the way that is expected of it, that is, whether or not it fits.”

Getting at perception and controlling it gives a means to literally change how students will act in the future to alter reality and how they will insist on interacting with others. That’s why the physical reality of anatomical parts and other ways to protect privacy and feelings are not enough for the Civil Rights Advocates. They know, and we should to, that all these theories on how to turn students, principals, and people in general into Marx’s Makers of History ride on using education to control perception. People may not like the bathroom edicts, but is anyone questioning the legitimacy of legally compelling how the world must work simply on the basis of a student’s declared perception of being transgender?

In 1979 Glasersfeld and a Viennese prof, John Richards, published a paper called “The Control of Perception and the Construction of Reality.” I am really not speculating here on how crucial controlling individual perception has always been to transformational plans to a planned society that meets all human needs. The transformationalists, showing their fondness for italics, want to shift the purpose of education away from What is the structure of the real world? to a cognitive, internalized emphasis on What is the structure of our experiential world? That is precisely the point of emphasis in the Transgender Edicts: Does the student perceive themselves to be a different gender? No need for psychiatric or medical evidence. A personal declaration will do and must be accepted at face value.

This is simply a furthering of the governments’ desire for to be dirigiste and to plan using psychological techniques. As that 1979 article in Dialectica stated, that desired shift simply needed that “We thus redefine ‘knowledge’ as pertaining to invariances [like how they subjectively perceive gender or racism or White Privilege]  in the living organism’s experience rather than to entities, structures, and events in an independently existing world. Correspondingly, we redefine ‘perception.’ It is not the reception or duplication of information that is coming in from the outside, but rather the construction of the invariances by which the organism can assimilate and organize its experience.”

Anyone beginning to see why all mandates now push a concept-based, activity-oriented [project-based learning] focus for education for everyone? We need to recognize that the theorists are using education to enact their observation that “the brain’s model of reality, as far as consciousness is concerned, is reality–there is nothing else to perceive.” By manipulating that model of reality through educational practices and then insisting that we must all defer to that manipulated perception of reality, the Transgender Edicts are not just about bathrooms and privacy. The government is continuing to insist that individual perception is a legitimate area for it to manipulate. Then we must all accept the results of the consciousness that was intentionally fostered to believe in the need for change.

A Haverford philosophy professor cited in a footnote concluded that ” today [writing in 1988] the type of dialogical communities that are required for its flourishing are being distorted, undermined, and systematically blocked from coming into existence.” The Transgender Edicts with their deference to personal perception over actual reality, the Science of Virtues and other pushes of Character and values first, and the ubiquity now of a Whole Child emphasis and emotions as an integral component of learning are all means to remove the barriers to the desired communities that promote the desired “solidarity with our fellow human beings.”

I am not the one who throughout the 80s in elite higher ed kept quoting from Marx on what must be done to change history. This is how Richard J Bernstein concluded his book on Beyond Objectivism and Relativism:

“Marx’s second thesis on Feuerbach, especially his claim that ‘man must prove the truth, the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice,’ is a fitting conclusion to this study. We can no longer share Marx’s theoretical certainty or revolutionary self-confidence. There is no guarantee, there is no necessity, no ‘logic of history’ that must inevitably lead to dialogical communities that embrace all of humanity and in which reciprocal judgment, practical discourse, and rational persuasion flourish.”

So ‘standards-based education reforms’ were called on to alter perception to force what was never inevitable at all. Now we get legal decrees to further that same actual mandate and restart the hoped-for transformation.

See how this is not really about locker rooms and bathrooms?

Straddling the Worlds of Action and Knowledge: Values as the Driving Force of History

Let’s go back to that aspiration for “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge” from the last post since what has been admitted as being ‘controversial departures from the Western traditions’ is laid out in documents we were never supposed to see. We were to simply accept vague terms like ‘standards-based reforms’ being mandated for the classroom as within the unquestionable domain of anyone with an education degree. Even if the implementers and school and district leaders are totally unaware that there is an underlying controversy or that the real purpose of a required practice is that: “we are perhaps ready now to apply Marx’s dictum–that the point was not to understand history, but to change it–in a way quite different from what he intended.”

Now, shouldn’t that aim be accurately understood and not simply rolled into standards, pedagogy, and practices like Project-Based Learning or formative assessment via virtual reality gaming? Now the author of that quote, who also saw people as merely the steerable “individual elements of a complex system” went on to state a view of education and its new transformative aims at a neural level that we must pay attention to if we are to have any hope of avoiding the “leveling the playing field” plans for us. Seriously that is a quote from the Global Silicon Valley ed tech investment bankers and their 2020 Vision: A History of the Future publication that coincided with their well-attended summit in San Diego a few weeks ago. They even paid a stipend to make sure leaders from all the Congressionally sanctioned and White House favorite League  of Innovative Schools districts were all in attendance.

The conclusion laid out the vision of “initiatives to create equal access for all Americans to participate in the future.” I have covered the federal BRAIN Initiative before that began in 2013, but this document announced that the funding had been increased “from $100 million to $500 million per year, aiming to create a dynamic understanding of brain function in a decade–doing for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for genomics. Importantly, we narrowed the program’s focus to two key objectives; mapping the circuitry of the brain, and then applying this knowledge to improving the design of education models/product and curing cognitive disorders.”

We have to wonder if being insufficiently communitarian will become classified as a ‘cognitive disorder’ in the future given how that ethos has made it into everything from Career Ready Standards to what constitutes a Positive School Climate and unappareciated obligations now in Student Handbooks. Mapping the human genome though did not alter what had been mapped. The whole purpose of the BRAIN Initiative though is to develop education models, products, curriculum, and ed tech software to rewire that brain circuitry to create the citizens amenable to political planning of economies and societies in the name of Equity. I quoted equal access above as the intent. The document reiterated the point of the “Mapping of the Mind” yet again by pointing out that the point of “optimizing the way we learn” was “to level the playing field and create a more productive workforce.”

Productive to whose benefit is a fair question, but let’s go back to the “A New Logic of Human Studies” essay from 1988 that our title and the Marxian quote above came from where Frederick Turner said “our hardwiring–whose proper development we neglect in our education at great peril–is designed to make us infinitely inventive.” Inventive as in not bound by what has worked well in the past and with the “Rethinking of Patterns of Knowledge” emphasis, no likely knowledge of what has factually led to the great nightmares of history when political power had no check on what it could force people to do.

If that seems melodramatic, my tiptoeing through the cited footnotes regularly forces me to encounter passages like how transformative social and political theories always also need new concepts, ideas, and categories to mentally guide perception in desired ways. Then I see the shout out to someone notorious like a Marx or a Hegel and then I get to see the same concepts whitewashed and introduced as Understandings of Consequence that must have applications to the real world. The philosophers will write about the need to ‘control meaning’ so that ” a rational consensus on the part of citizens concerning the practical control of their destiny” can be ‘attained.’ The educators simply take the same aims and goals and enact it blindly and under coercion of job loss in the name of authentic learning and a New Civics.

We know that the National Institutes of Health is pushing a Science of Virtues with help from the Templeton Foundation because I covered that here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locating-the-internalized-information-guiding-human-behavior-so-it-can-be-controlled-and-transformed/
in March. We know Character is being added as a requisite component next fall for assessment in California. Now take that reality and tie it to this aspiration from Turner:

“The real forces at work on the stage of history are values. And values are uniquely qualified for a role both as tools to understand history and as forces at work in it. One qualification is just that: they straddle the worlds of action and knowledge, they admit candidly our involvement, our partisanship, our partiality and our power. Objectivity in a historian is an impossible goal in any case. Another qualification of values is that they give a kind of direction to history, the possibility of progress, which as we have seen is the logical precondition of any inquiry. [bolded because this is the entire focus of Project-Based Learning] Values are essentially dynamic, readjusting, contested, vigorous, as the word’s derivation from the Latin for ‘health,’ and its cognate ‘valor’ imply.”

So if we change values in students and the public at large we can change what motivates people to act to transform the world as it is. Transform the categories and prevailing concepts and ideas of thought and we can change people’s perceptions of the need to act. A powerful combination together in other words when both of those things become the focus of education, especially when locking in the changes at a neural biological level is the true goal. Now lets come back to the future and this terribly well connected report https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Pathways_New-Accountability_Through_Every_Student_Succeeds_Act_04202016.pdf tied to Stanford and Linda Darling-Hammond and the call for “achieving an equitable school system that leads to meaningful, relevant, and engaging learning opportunities for all students.”

If that vision sounds like it has the makings for the very type of straddling called for in Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge, there’s more even beyond a conclusion calling for “evidence-based interventions that support deeper learning in contexts that further equity goals.” The report list three pillars for this new system states and local districts are to create and one of them is the undefined term–‘meaningful learning.’ Except it was not undefined to me because I knew it was a term tied to cognitive scientist Joseph Novak who helped develop all the theories of concept mapping and internalized mental models in the first place. Remember the useful partner to transformed values laid out above?

Meaningful Learning is actually a global phrase for Novak’s transformative theory of education he has been writing about since the 60s. This article from Brazil http://www.if.ufrgs.br/asr/artigos/Artigo_ID7/v1_n2_a2011.pdf explains that “Meaningful Learning underlies the Constructive Integration of Thinking, Feeling, and Acting Leading to Empowerment for Commitment and Responsibility.” How’s that for the desired straddle? And conveniently locked into the legal obligation under federal and state laws as a new concept of accountability where no one is likely to notice the true nature of the required shift. Who would ever track this all back to being a Marxian Maker of History other than Robin who reads too much (and who notices even more) now that we are so fully on the right track.

How useful is this to seeing people as goal-seeking systems who can be redesigned at a neural level as needed for the hoped-for transformation? That paper was presented at Porto Allegre, which is known as the city that first developed the concept of ‘participatory budgeting.’ That’s the idea that the poor and various ethnic groups have a stake and the right to a say in determining how much, and for what, government budgets are to be spent. Just this morning one of my newsletters wrote about how participatory budgeting is catching on at the local levels of cities in the US as a means to promote Equity.

Use government spending to promote Equity and education to transform values and the internalized categories and conceptions of thought to “level the playing field” as the GSV report put it. Accountability needs ‘meaningful learning’ because insiders who create these policies and who wrote the Every Student Succeeds Act know quite well that “knowledge stored during meaningful learning is fundamentally organized differently than knowledge learned by rote, and affective associations are also different” as Novak put it in 2011. He also wrote that as “we learn new concepts and propositions, we are really learning the meanings of the concepts and the relationships between them. Through the process of meaningful learning, concepts and propositions are organized into the cognitive structure of our brains.”

That cognitive structure and what education can do to alter it is precisely what the US federal government admits it is now spending $500 million per year to map for the purposes of Equity and leveling the playing field via education.

In the next post I will cover the ‘affective’ component of meaningful learning using numerous examples from just the last few weeks. With a few trips back in time of course so we can have an accurate narrative of what is being attempted here instead of the Faux Narrative the Powers-that-Be had planned for us to simply accept.

Futuribles: Seeking the Levers of History by Focusing on the Types of Individuals In Societies to be Governed

Please try not to get whiplash as we move back and forth through the decades. Just this week the OECD conceded openly that instead of focusing on structures and incentives, which both traditional government approaches and New Public Management theory (arose in the 1980s and 90s and tied to what is also called the Third Way) “are prone to do, it is more important and fruitful to focus on the type of individuals, particularly their competences and skills, which are populating these governance structures.” Explains so much, doesn’t it? That’s why education now targets what the Paris-based Futuribles initiative funded by the Ford Foundation in the early 60s called the ‘inner self’.

http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2016/04/governing-complex-education-systems.html is the truly stunning confessional document on ‘steering’ people and places to fit with desired theories of change in the “socials sciences, it [complexity theory, which the OECD itself states is akin to the Dynamic Systems Theory fiction we met in the last post] offers a metaphor, or a lens, through which we might better understand what it takes to initiate and sustain systemic change.” All of our recent encounters with various members of the Atlas Network and their frequent teaming now with either the Brookings Institute or Center for American Progress makes much more sense when we recognize that the official OECD position on how to achieve “socio-historical change in human society” is through “policy making” and changes in consciousness.

This is also why it matters so much that, unbeknownst to us, the behavioral sciences have been thoroughly embedded in education ‘reforms.’  They now define students as ‘goal-seeking systems’ as Boulding laid it out. Competency-based education and ‘evidence-based policy in education’ are simply the newest obscuring euphemisms for what the Futuribles contemplated as the way to use education to ensure that the “social sciences should orient themselves toward the future.” Futuribles wanted “to instigate or stimulate efforts of social and especially political forecasting.” It would be based on using the human imagination, unrestrained by fact-based moorings to the present or the past, to speculate on different futures and then to motivate personal action to make it so.

Quoting Destutt de Tracy who was declared to have “said very well: ‘It is the constant march of the human mind. First it acts, then it reflects on what is has done, and by so doing learns to do it still better.'” That’s the theory of education being espoused now when we hear a Principal or Super declare that a school or district no longer embraces a ‘deficit view of the child.’ For any readers who are unaware, the same Ford Foundation funding the Futuribles research organization and the translation of The Art of Conjecture into English in 1967 also financed the creation of our often-encountered Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in the 50s. That would also be the place where Kenneth Boulding and others created systems theory.

A chapter of that book is called “The Project” and seeks to use mental images “that do not represent any reality past or present” to become a person’s goals for acting in the future. Here is the vision for the Project (italics in original).

“There is no volition without object, and the object of a volition is that a fiction of the mind become a ‘fact’. This fact is the goal of action (in the sense of ‘action’ defined below). When we retain a fiction as something to be enacted, it serves as the source of systematic action. This fiction–a non-fact–can be situated only in the future, which is necessary as a receptacle for a fiction accompanied by an injunction to become real.”

I am going to stop for a moment to come back to the present. Just this week I got an announcement from a company called ProExam of a new product called Tessera that could be used by schools to assess non-cognitive attributes and qualities of students using what it called Forced Choice and Situational Judgment scenarios. It also reminded educators that these social and emotional learning attributes were now a statutory mandate for measuring and monitoring under federal law. Now we can go back to what was laid out in 1967 in the intro to the next chapter called ‘The Conditional’:

“I have formed a representation that does not correspond to observable reality and placed it in a domain suited to receive it; now my activity tends toward validation of what my imagination has constructed. [Anyone tying this aim then to the rise of Project-Based Learning and the Maker Movement now?] For the event to comply with my design, the moral force of my intention must hold and push me on the road to the goal. But the road must really lead to the goal; and this implies that the appropriate road has been discerned (an intellectual operation). Hobbes put it all like this: ‘For the thoughts are to the desires as scouts, and spies to range abroad, and find the way to the things desired.'”

The goal then is “like a beacon beckoning me.” Those of you who have read my book know how much research I laid out showing that the real Common Core implementation targets ‘values, attitudes, and beliefs’ as a means to change behavior in the future. On top of those disclosures, let’s now overlay this Futuribles recognition from that same chapter:

“Any power, whether social or political, is maintained by people’s attitudes; any project, short or long, shallow or profound, is founded on their attitudes and behavior. Now each of us is capable of changing his attitude and behavior…Concerning the individuals of a society, we cannot doubt that they have received a code of behavior from their family and from society, that they are subject to pressure from their fellow men, and that they are pushed into particular roles.

But we also know that they are able to form and pursue projects. And each project is the germ of a shoot which may or may not be propitious for the maintenance of the general form of the society. Lesage once made use of a Lame Demon who unroofed houses to reveal what was going on inside. Let us suppose that this diable boiteux could reveal people’s minds in the same way, enabling us to surprise the projects each member of society forms in his inner self.

We could then apprehend, at their origin, those shoots which as they grow will deform the familiar social surface and produce swellings, fractures, and cracks. What will these changes be? How can they be foreseen? Here lies the subject that preoccupies us.”

And I would add that this is the subject that has preoccupied all so-called K-12 education reforms globally from the 60s forward under a variety of names. It absolutely is the lodestar of what is mandated under ESSA and what practices are required to merit federal funding and expansion of charter schools. It also is what drives the social and economic steering visions laid out in that graphic OECD report that is part of its New Approaches to Economic Challenges(NAEC)  initiative. Given that the acknowledged target of all these education reforms is the inner self, which is why I bolded it, we should read carefully that a key component to “building the systemic capacity of the government to improve policy design, steering, and implementation” is Trust.

I am sure that it is entirely coincidental that the same theme of Trust was a major component of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s recent speech on public policy. As the OECD laid out as the requisite means for Governing Complex Systems that includes people and their inner selves (their competences and skills, remember?), “the public’s trust in government must be reenforced, and efforts must be made to strengthen institutions and build capacity across different dimensions of trust (e.g. reliability, fairness and impartiality, integrity and honesty, and inclusiveness).”

That VA Scandal and the lack of actual consequences is just so darn inconvenient to this trust demand, isn’t it? All of our encounters with think tanks and what I call the Faux Common Core narrative, as well as deceit surrounding the nature of federalism and the Constitutional Convention calls, makes much more sense when we throw in this quote:

“Which outcome is realised in the social sciences is a question of intervention at as many levels as possible: for example, at the macro-structural level [WIOA] and at the intentional human agency level [ESSA], so that sufficient momentum is generated in a particular direction to displace the inertial momentum of the current dispensation and to create a dominant inertial momentum for the desired changes.”

Not the desired changes you or I might seek, but the changes desired by political and economic power to secure the futures they seek. DST from the last post, and complexity theory to the OECD oligarchs and their allies, is “first and last, about reaching critical mass among the diverse range of factors, elements and agents that constitute a particular environment.” In other words, complexity theory sounds more scientific that simply citing to the infamous Uncle Karl, but still allows political power to guide the so-called Scientific Management of Society he and the USSR dreamed of.

Instead of openly decreeing the institution of his Human Development Society that is also known as little ‘c’ communism to political theorists, we get the same ends approached through ‘complexity theory.’ We are all to still be the Governed with our inner selves measured and manipulated as “new properties and behaviors in the education system, emerges from the interaction of a myriad factors in the economic, political, social, and cultural environments in which education is situated.” Those would be the same environments currently targeted for steering via legislation that starts with Congress and the federal agencies and goes straight through to all of our local communities. All targeted for steering in the 21st Century.

If this sounds like we are to have sovereigns and be ruled, like it or not, the OECD paper actually used that word when it stated that “complex societies cannot be ruled rationally from one centre, if only because the amount of information that needs to be processed to make that possible far outstrips what any central government can achieve.” I guess that means that we are guided by oligarchs who believe there is nothing wrong with ruling per se. Governance is just a matter of finding better methods, starting again with that inner self.

Next time a think tank or politician hypes the ‘local’ or a private provider as the “Conservative’ position, remember that the OECD said that “privatisation and decentralization are not just about raising efficiency. They can be interpreted as ways in which national governments are moving power to places better able to handle the complexities of global, liquid, and interdependent societies.”

If governance in the 21st century and the Levers of History really have decreed the Inner Self as the key to sustainable change, it certainly does explain why there has been so much deceit surrounding what is really going on in education.

“We are creating the citizens who will be amenable to being governed” is certainly not why we send our kids to school and pay all the taxes that support this industry.

Frankly admitting that the true global aim after the Fall of the Berlin Wall was that “Power has moved away from central governments in different directions: upwards, toward international organizations, sideways to private institutions and non-governmental organizations, and downwards toward local governments and public enterprises such as schools and hospitals” would have each of us reexamining the load of deceit doled out by politicians of both parties over the last thirty years.

Mustn’t have us accurately reexamining the provided narrative of the past. History, after all, is now about imagining what the future could be and what must be done to act to achieve those goals.

The beauty of theorizing that we are all now just goal-setting systems and subject to manipulation by political power.