Translating the Off-Putting Term Dialectical Materialism and Discovering the Intended Process in ALL Classrooms

And if ALL classrooms, preschool through graduate school, is not sufficiently alarming, how about in ALL students and teachers and professors and administrators? Plus with a little luck, and using active coordination of themes and cultivated beliefs between education and the media, those interested in transformative change in the 21st century hope to spread the mental and emotional contagion to parents and enough voters generally to ignite the change via the ballot box and ALL institutions.

So how does the mouthful phrase ‘dialectical materialism’ fit into this vision? That is something I have struggled with for a couple of years now. I basically got it, but not well enough to translate into a pithy analogy for mass consumption. I suspect much of that is deliberate to prevent alarms from going off recognizing its use to prompt revolutionary cultural change. I knew it was about consciousness and had been coined not by Marx or Engels, but by Joseph Dietzgen. Like them, his revolutionary intentions forced him into exile in the Anglosphere, countries much more accommodating of dissent than Germany or other parts of 19th-century Europe. Instead of London or Manchester, England though, Dietzgen relocated to the Chicago area. But what precisely merited exile by authorities wishing to retain existing political power?

The recent recovery of some lost Nelson Mandela transcripts that quoted him as saying: “to a nationalist fighting oppression, dialectical materialism is like a rifle, bomb or missile. Once I understood the logic of dialectical materialism, I embraced it without hesitation.” I read that and immediately wished someone would concisely explain that logic as I was quite sure it was still lurking in our midst, ready to mount an invisible attack against existing institutions, values, beliefs, and other cultural norms. Last week, my personal project, supposedly unrelated to the blog or book or speaking engagements, was to investigate when the law shifted to being seen as a cultural weapon. Just a matter of personal curiosity so I ordered a book I had seen mentioned, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. It was published in 1983 by a then Harvard Law Prof, Harold J. Berman.

I was expecting a more straightforward history than what I encountered. I certainly was not expecting to read on the first page of the Preface that “A world ends when its metaphor has died.” Well, that got my attention as nothing is more prevalent now in education ‘reforms’ than the determination to excise factual knowledge of the past or science or human nature and substitute some type of metaphorical belief, usually called a ‘lens,’ as in the new C3 Social Studies Framework or a Generative Metaphor from Donald Schon and Chris Argyris’ Action Science work.

Continuing on in the Introduction, I found a determination to jettison the reverence for the Anglo tradition of the common law, and language about the law being not “a body of rules,” but a “process.” That statement sounded eerily similar to what radical education reformers like Linda Darling-Hammond, or sponsors like CCSSO, are using to describe what the REAL Common Core implementation is about. Not transmitting a body of knowledge anymore, but cultivating desired ‘habits of mind’ and hoped for ‘dispositions’ amenable and primed to act for wholesale social change.

Perhaps because it is a book designed to change the nature of a particular institution-the nature of law, law schools, and the role of the judiciary, Berman’s book is quite graphic about using the word ‘dialectics’ to describe the process of changing values and beliefs in people so it will have an impact on how and whether they act. Those actions in turn can affect the material world and the physical environment, which in turn acts upon those who inhabit it. A dialectical process back and forth involving the material world, but it all starts in consciousness. Mental and emotional beliefs. Dialectical materialism. Change the consciousness of enough people and the world itself and the future can supposedly be changed in predictable ways.

That’s the theory of how to “transform the social and political and economic realities” and it was revolutionary enough in the 19th century to merit exile and, perhaps, prison in certain times and places in the 20th. Now a willingness to push it can get you a lucrative ed doctorate credential intended to secure a six-figure taxpayer paid salary and then pension for life. That is if you cooperate with the right people and force the right theories on unsuspecting schools and students. What a transition that is for an infamous theory!

Dialectical materialism then is the actual theory that underlay outcomes based education and what was really being sought from it. Because it is an off-putting term with a clear history and proponents calling it the equivalent of a cultural “rifle, bomb or missile,” the real name for the theory gets left out. Instead, we get language about Growth Mindsets and not Fixed and Grit, Perseverance and Tenacity to euphemize the actual dialectical mental and emotional change to arrive at the desired synthesis in a person who will act.

This vision of education as dialectical materialism to change the student’s values, beliefs, and dispositions so they will likely act as desired upon the world can be seen as recently as last Friday as Michael Barber and Pearson released a Michael Fullan authored document called A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning. That report also helpfully ties together the actual intended Common Core implementation in the US to what is going on in Canada, Australia, South America, and Europe. A global vision of the kind of perspectives and Worldviews that education is to inculcate for the future.

Everything is designed around experiential learning and getting students ready to act in desired ways. To see the past through so-called present and future needs. It’s not just the students being primed to act in desired ways. I keep hearing reports of teachers being told to stand and chant as a necessary component of new required professional development, while I notice how the leaders of the training just happened to be active in outcomes based education in the 90s. Or a recent story of videos being shown of enthusiastic cheering at various emotional public events like sports. Then the teachers are told that they must stand and cheer exuberantly at every mention of the phrase “Common Core” during the presentation. Does it remind anyone else of Michael Barber’s work with rebellious UK teachers years ago where the mantra was “First, act, then belief comes?”

To me, it is reminiscent of another of William Henry Chamberlin’s observations from his 30s experiences of collectivism that we encountered in the previous post. He noted that “human personality, for instance, may sometimes be dwarfed and standardized under the influence of democracy. But in the totalitarian states it tends to disappear altogether; the individual is simply sunk in the collectivist mass that votes, marches, salutes, cheers with the regularity and precision of an automatic machine.” That term ‘totalitarian’ may seem a bit misplaced when talking of the US or UK or Canada or Australia, but every one of the political and economic and social philosophies Chamberlin was writing about from personal experience was grounded in dialectical materialism. It is the foundational theory behind changing values and beliefs. What varied, then and now, are the particular beliefs that can be deliberately cultivated as useful for transformative change.

It is easy then to see the belief in Catastrophic Manmade Climate Change as one of today’s useful cultivated beliefs as well as the hyping of Inequality and the push for Communitarianism (misleadingly hiding in the definition of Career Ready as well as what will constitute a Positive School Climate). The intense focus on continued racism and sexism in reading selections and classroom discussions provides the same function. Useful beliefs that will likely compel a belief to act to transform the world in predictable ways. Others are more subtle, like the regular complaints over the religion of Islam being portrayed as inherently innocuous in ways that disregard known, provable, potentially dangerous facts. Or the economic misconceptions being deliberately cultivated and then tied to revered figures like Martin Luther King as Democracy Collaborative/Good Society’s Gar Alperovitz did recently. http://sojo.net/magazine/2014/01/beyond-dreamer

We are going to talk next time about how this dialectical vision has become incorporated into the teacher evals for licensure and promotion to ensure compliance. Another dialectical process to ensure actual change in the material world.

Unfortunately all these intentions just cannot shake off the effects of unintended consequences and perverse incentives in that same material world.

The one where we all live and pay taxes to finance these millenarian visions of unrealistic, and nonconsensual, transformations.

 

 

42 thoughts on “Translating the Off-Putting Term Dialectical Materialism and Discovering the Intended Process in ALL Classrooms

  1. Pesky Parents Asking Questions

    I have been reading the just published latest pitch in the wholesale “transformation” of education — A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning http://www.newpedagogies.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/A_Rich_Seam.pdf

    Michael Fullan seems to be a lead manager in this mammoth global project. He has been headquartered in OISE, Toronto, Canada for many years and has recently accelerated his pace in his turnaround efforts. First it was schools, then school boards, then Ministries of Education, and now, the world.

    As a parent and now grandparent I always look first for how our primary role fits in to education proposals or projects. Massive as this project is and propelled by millions in funding from foundations and corporations there could be a few stumbling blocks in this juggernaut. And as a parent I picked up right away what might become the monkey-wrench in this whole presumptuous plan.

    Page 62 slips in an essential element without which this is all dead in the water — parental consent. A child CANNOT be consigned to a government school or institution without the parent’s signature. All our Western laws in the free world still say parents are the primary educators of their children.

    This project will be very sensible and wise to make sure the requisite paperwork has its “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed and that safeguards are in place.

    Protective parents who take their duties and role in their child’s upbringing seriously will make very sure any such contracts, registrations, whatever, make clear what the enrolment is for. They have the right to check their child’s file and make copies if needed. Furthermore, if there is anything that’s experimental in nature, the parent has every right to expect safeguards for their child’s mental, physical and psychic health. See Section 6 of this Parent Rights document http://genuine-education-reform-today.org/2010/04/06/parent-rights-and-their-childrens-education/

  2. All I see are outer party members chanting vengeful comments at Emmanuel Goldstein during the two-minutes hate then lovingly chanting Big Brother. Rather like those common coreistas chanting for mind sets and plus deltas.

  3. Spine-tingling post.

    I am currently reading a book called, “Help At Any Cost,” by Maia Szalavitz about the history of the “teen-help industry” (think Wilderness Programs or Boot Camps for wayward kids). This short segment immediately caught my eye, and after reading this most recent entry on ISC, really got me to thinking (please forgive the lack of formatting):

    (Referring to a 1974 Congressional report entitled “Individual Rights and the Federal Role in Behavior Modification” presented by Senator Sam Ervin [D–North Carolina]):

    [Begin quote]
    “The report was spurred by disturbing accounts of federal funding for human experiments on prisoners, mental patients, juvenile delinquents, and others, which, Ervin wrote in its preface, attempted to ‘develop new methods of behavior control capable of altering not just an individual’s actions but his very personality and his manner of thinking.’ Ervin noted that this research was being conducted ‘in the absence of strict controls’ and questioned whether the federal government had any business carrying out experiments that could ‘pose substantial threats to our basic freedoms.’
    The report noted that behavior modification was not like ordinary learning because it ‘is not based on the reasoned exchange of information.’
    Ervin’s investigators discovered that the federal government was funding a great deal of diverse research in the area. Experiments were even being conducted on children and teenagers, often without the knowledge or consent of their parents. One of the programs that came under scrutiny was a federally funded Florida program for teens known as ‘The Seed.’ The investigators described the methods of such treatment this way:
    Individuals are required to participate in group therapy discussions where intensive pressure is often placed on the individuals to accept the attitudes of the group. More intensive forms of encounter groups begin first by subjecting the individual to isolation and humiliation in a conscious effort to break down his psychological defenses. Once the individual is submissive, his personality can begin to be reformed around attitudes determined by the program director to be acceptable. [It is] similar to the highly refined brainwashing techniques employed by the North Koreans in the early 1950’s.”
    [End quote]

    I think many of us use the term “brainwashing” as a sort of hyperbole; after all, it’s really too horrible to accept outright. But it is becoming increasingly clear that that’s exactly what’s going on. Even more frightening is if we assume (quite correctly, I think) that the science of brainwashing has kept pace with the advancement of virtually everything else. It would be interesting to see if there are any common players between the mind control pioneers and modern pedagogical techniques/theory…because those paths MUST have crossed sometime in the not-too-distant past. And do I dare bring up MK Ultra? (Ooh, I guess I do!) It seems more than likely that there is some common ground between the CIA and the Department of Education, as sad as that is to say.

    I realize this starts branching out into high weirdness, but here we are. Have you found anything to suggest this line of thinking, Robin?

    • Suasan-Yes. That’s why the research comes from the USSR. It is interesting the Chinese refer to systems thinking as a form of dialectical materialism. And it seems like everyone passs through the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences that Ralph Tyler started with Ford funding shortly after inventing the term and creating the whole concept of making objectives the point of curricula.

      There are the ed labs, especially the one in Maine that does Kurt Lewin’s work. I have a book drawing the parallels. As you know I try to stay away the of-putting stuff until it cannot be avoided. I know all this is going to making learning a behavioral response from an unconscious level.

    • Susan-

      I think you are absolutely on the right track with your suspicions regarding Educrats and MK Ultra pioneers. It does veer in to high weirdness. Its an odd place to find oneself looking for answers when for all intents and purposes one is not actually crazy as a bat. But nothing about what Robin has found being enacted in Education is accidental. Neither is the fact of the goals of MK Ultra.

  4. One more weird thing that if I don’t add I won’t be able to sleep (not that I sleep well as it is): dialectical materialism sounds an awful lot like what Aleister Crowley was up to. And that’s very creepy.

    • Susan-

      re; Aleister Crowley. Yes. I agree again. Its all tied in at some very dark level. And I never in one million years would have believed that I would be stating such a thing given my ordinary, not conspiracy minded Quaker upbringing.

      Have you ever visited Vigilant Citizens site? It’s not as intellectual and erudite as this blog is. However, the author there does an excellent job of piecing together the cultural ramifications of what we are seeing transpire around us. No small part of which is due to the fact that our kids are being conditioned to act and not think in school. Its the Try it on for Size theory of education meets Crowley’s Do What Thy Will.

      It really all does fit together.

      Robin’s work is courageous to my mind because it exposes at a demonstrable, factual level evidence for the how and why of the strange behaviors that we see being enacted around us currently.

      • Mari– Yes, I’m very familiar with Vigilant Citizen, and totally agree with your assessment of the site. Though, as you pointed out, it isn’t on the same plane as this blog (like you said), it did help in my own quest to “connect the dots”.

        A bigger, more unified picture is definitely starting to emerge from the morass of details coming from the multitude of spheres: educational, social, political, cultural, philosophical, scientific, and others. Thank goodness for the likes of Robin and Vigilant Citizen, along with good folk like Charlotte Iserbyt, John Taylor Gatto, and Cleon Skousen, among others, who carefully gather, organize, and present their information in a tidy, digestible way so that lesser mortals like I don’t have to attempt to reinvent their (perfectly designed) wheel!

    • Susan-I don’t know what MK Ultra is or who Aleister Crowley is. I really don’t speculate. By the time I decide to write about something it has come up numerous times and is behaving like a 2 by 4 hitting in the head and it’s time to talk about it.

      It may be pertinent but honestly I never go looking. It’s kind of funny given what I have ended up writing about, but I don’t think in terms of conspiracies. I just recognize a coordinated effort around political or economic power when I see it.

      Or I just came back from a breakfast where there was a considerable amount of duplicity going on involving language. I went suspecting I was there to be told what I should believe, instead of what was true, but it was still a bit much.

      • In the teensiest of nutshells, MK Ultra was the CIA-run mind-control program (think of “the Manchurian Candidate”) that Bill Clinton later apologized for. This black-ops program, along with many, many others, melded psychiatry, bioengineering, LSD and other drugs, music, and culture. Aleister Crowley was an early-20th century dark occultist whose work inspired folks as diverse as the Beatles to Led Zepplin, L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology), and even Charles Manson. He promoted and believed in the objective existence of “magick”, which he defined as “the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.”

        With both of these issues, it can be quite difficult to separate fact from fiction, as popular myths have developed around each. However, it’s becoming clear to me that there is more to each of these than what can be dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theory. It will be interesting (if that’s the right word) to see if my imagination is getting the better of me, or if evidence will emerge that conclusively binds all of this darkness together.

        • Susan-it may be connected. Some of the rhetoric sounds similar. But it is not yet to my 2 by 4 criteria where I cannot avoid talking about it. Kind of like the Alice Bailey posts in December 2012. It was just time.

          • Robin-

            Your approach is a wise and effective one. When I first read your posts about Alice Bailey my heart skipped a beat because her teachings are couched in New Age rhetoric but her philosophy at its heart is pure Aleister Crowley.

            Without going too far down the rabbit hole there is strong evidence in the government archives to make the case that the entire Hippy (then renamed – ahh semantics… )New Age movements were really cultural fads fomented by the MK/CIA sect to control mass consciousness and drive the ” We Are All In This Together” collective mentality. Essentially brain training for those who had already graduated from school.

            I will also mention that a friend of mine and I have noticed in the last few months that on certain blogs and on FaceBook and Youtube there is a new concerted push to promote Alice Bailey’s teachings as hip and relevant.

            Lots of self appointed channelers are in touch with old Alice these days. Along with the new and improved Alice Bailey meme there is also a campaign to paint Luciferianism as a misunderstood religion. Where Lucifer the “light bearer” is really here to save us all. AKA the Real Jesus. Yes. Opposite World. Your Slavery Is Your Freedom.

            Clearly, none of the above has a place in your research at this point. And it may never. But I’m adding in my two cents really just to say that the air is thick in every corner with this behavior controlling indoctrination.

    • We use no examinations or class rankings, lessening the effect on self-esteem or motivation so that students are less likely to drop out. At the curious School Choice breakfast I was at yesterday, the lawyer who had written the district conversion charter that I believe dictates gutting academics and whose firm was the headhunter for recruiting many current district supers and who advises school boards drew attention to how we must get the graduation rates up to 90% so the students can then get two and four year degrees. http://efareport.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/4067/#more-4067

      Sounds to me like the School Choice advocates are actually wanting there to be no choice in pushing the UNESCO EFA vision. Plus they want all property tax and student loan money and, in Georgia, Hope scholarships, to be available to provide nice livelihoods to everyone willing to tow this line. With no one actually building true productive capital beyond a minimal level.

      My new book on what socialism would be like in the US that came out about 2 weeks ago arrived yesterday mysteriously during the traffic nightmare. Since roads are shut dwn today, I will read and filter that book through what I heard yesterday morning and through what I know about what quality learning and activity theory mean. Our understanding of what is being attempted may not be pleasant, but it is darn comprehensive and quite current.

      • Not sure if this is the best spot, but I tripped over a link from Christchurch, New Zealand, that is certainly related. Here’s the main link: http://thedemiseofchristchurch.com/2013/03/13/are-we-experiencing-a-communist-infiltration-sponsored-by-the-united-nations/

        Within that link are links to New Zealand educational standards and, most importantly, a completed test from a class on Sustainability, with teacher comments. Reading the student’s answers to the test questions with the teacher comments was very interesting.

        • Thanks Mike. Yes, it is connected and we do get some readers from New Zealand. There’s a new book out from a reporter there too that really nails the connections. I will have to check my archives for his name.

          I comment some at catallaxy files in Australia to try to call attention to the commonality and also sometimes at jo nova’s.

          This is a great Tom Sowell piece on the failure to point out how some have greater incomes because they make lots of other people better off. http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/thomas-sowell/the-inequality-boogeyman/

          About New Zealand, the aborigines there serve the same purpose that the racism push and closing the achievement gap do in US. Transmission of academic knowledge is treated as inequitable instead of openly proclaiming it preserves the current social, economic, and political systems. When I first began to zero in on Carol Dweck’s role and the importance of the Growth Mindset, part of the tip-off was her centrality to professional devt in NZ.

        • In my area a state law has largely disenfranchised school boards so there is no need, but yes, there is a move to take ed power from elected boards and give it to larger entities or mayors. Students First has a paper pushing mayoral control.

        • The archdiocese of philadelphia is a model having regionalized the 17 high schools under its umbrella and farmed them out to a corporate leadership group, called
          Faith in the future… They are also part of the
          Great sSchools compact, tying them to not only the phila pub schools but the mayors office and charters.. In essence selling the farm. And they adopted common core 3 years ago before anybody else, the mayor is on ICLEI board… So it is a hot mess… And parents are clueless.. Although the message is getting out there slowly.. The rad nuns and bishops, new agers and decidedly un Catholic are following the current regime and all its affiliates even getting gates $$ directly to the archdiocese.. Perhaps it is the model.

          • Madmommy-Great Schools was mentioned at that School Choice breakfast on Tuesday along with this Walton F “investment” in them. We know what ‘school quality’ means and so would gc. http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/mediacenter/great-schools-investment-to-reach-45-million-with-information-on-school-quality

            Whatever the folks at Walton know, this is consistent with the belief I left the breakfast with. That school choice, by extending the reach of the accreditors to every type of school, standardizes all schools to the UN vision. SChool choice is a mentally and emotionally disarming facade even though for individuals it may be embraced in good faith. Like the language of so many of the charters I have read and the DoED report envisioning them in 1988, it is an illusion obscuring the opposite of actual choice in many communities.

  5. Robin, I am mesmerized and totally lost as I try to understand your discussions. How do I catch up – where do I start?

    • Chuck-go to the beginning of blog. Posts are shorter and build on a single topic I am reacting to in real time. When you know what area you are most concerned with, look at tags to right and see which ones correlate with that rea. You can also leave a comment with a help me on this and I will respond.

      I am going out to speak in ST Louis, and Springfield area tomorrow. Between that and the Atlanta weather I probably will not post for a few days. Time to catch up. Plus book is not blog but it is designed to provide THE long term foundation for this entire discussion. Think of blog as “and then some more.”

  6. Hi there,
    Your treatise on dialectical materialism describes exactly what the United Nations is carrying out globally though its Agenda 21 program of which AGW is but a minor part, possibly best described as a softening up preliminary.
    Please do read my blog and it is important to explore the links. Your comment on 6 figure salaries springs to mind when the reply to my complaint to the government about the exam exemplar and the course in general (mentioned above) was received, written no doubt by such a person. The link to that letter is in one of the comments on my site.
    The book you refer to is Totalitaria by Ian Wishart. Its available in a number of forms and distributors.
    Ian’s research dovetails exactly with mine except he takes it a lot further.
    I think it is no accident that since the above book was released, The UN has revamped its website and removed all references to the Lucis Trust which has enjoyed special NGO status with the UN for many decades.
    If you read Totalitaria you will understand why.
    Please read.

    Roger
    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    • Thanks Roger. Ian and I have exchanged emails and discussed that we are on the same wavelength. I have Totalitaria and it is on my list. As you can tell I am still getting hit by original research I must go after.

      Did you see the earlier discussion on Alice Bailey since you brought up the Lucis Trust?

      I have been so caught up in my own research that I have not yet assimilated all the other fine research that complements it. Maybe you can explain why New Zealand ed wants to bring the Maori terms into the desired consciousness to be cultivated. I always found that interesting.

      It has been quite the 36 hours or so where I live here in Atlanta.

      Thanks for linking your site. All of us in the Anglosphere are under particular attack. I first started looking at NZ when I was researching Marie Clay.

      Robin

    • That exam exemplar was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever seen. From 2008, no less! This is our future, USA, unless something drastic is done to change it.

  7. Robin,
    About Alice Bailey.
    I read the above comment.
    Since reading Ian’s book I have done further reading.
    I definitely subscribe to Ian’s view that the world’s largest and most influential/powerful bureaucracy is being run by religious maniacs. It is irrelevant whether the religion is real or not – is there really a Satan – but the fact that this organisation has the power to make what ever they believe happen to the whole world. I would personally find this equally repugnant if they were Buddhists or born again Christians but acting on the advice of the long dead Alice Bailey and her spiritual friends, Djwhal Khul and Master Koot Hoomi is particularly repugnant to me.
    This background of the UN explains to me the content of the exam exemplar we have talked about. Also to infiltrate the education system in such a manner, tells me that these people mean business.
    Keep in touch.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    http//www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    • Roger-it’s another means of making beliefs and consciousness what drives behavior, not facts or knowledge of history or the constancy of human nature.

      Will keep in touch.

  8. As usual, another excellent post, Robin! Been following this thread with interest.

    I didn’t know if you or your readers had ever read “The Anti Communitarian Manifesto”, by Niki Raapana and her daughter, Nordica Friedrich.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070907045324/http://nord.twu.net/acl/dialectic.html
    The Anti Communitarian Manifesto
    ====> Part One: What is the Hegelian Dialectic?
    ====> Part Two: The Historical Evolution of Communitarian Thinking

    Perhaps the best interview of Ms. Raapana featuring a cogent summation of her research findings was conducted by Jeff Rense in 2007.

    https://archive.org/details/NikiRaapanaGlobalistTotalitarianTakeover

    Some day we must discuss ‘necessity’… ‘balance of power’… and the long-lost concept of ‘limited government’. Also ‘property’… ‘money’… and the ‘golden rule’.

    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
    -William Pitt, November 18, 1783

    “The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty – and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.”
    H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, Feb. 12, 1923

    “On the one hand, and partly behind us, is the historic world in which loyalties to family, church, profession, local community, and interest association exert, however ineffectively, persuasion and guidance. On the other is the world of values identical with the absolute political community–the community in which all symbolism, allegiance, responsibility, and sense of purpose have become indistinguishable from the operation of centralized political power” (p. 249)
    -Robert Nisbet, in The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom (1953)

    • Lark,

      I edited your comment to keep it within the particular topic of the blog. Not rewriting anything but taking out parts that strayed from the focus I want to keep. Talking about the Middle East or Talmudic Law, to me, is outside the zone of what is directly relevant.

      I especially like these quotes you have provided and the concept of communitarianism is unavoidably an integral part of what it actually means to be college and career ready. Robert Nisbet in particular comes up as a cite almost as often as Amitai Etzioni or Benjamin Barber. It is interesting Barber sees his vision as best fulfilled now through cities and mayors.

  9. I find the current zeitgest is a kind of egalitarian nihilism, in which liberty is regarded as personal license, and codependent relationships are initiated and administered by “pragmatists” and technocrats at the state level.

    • Hi Joseph. Welcome to ISC.

      People who have lived their lives on OPM, either endowments, tuition or collected taxes, or what the British called the dole, seem not to have any idea what created the wealth they take for granted. I believe that in the effort to get the political ability to complete the desired transformation, the Left is destroying the basis for the material prosperity they think they can redistribute. It is the metaphor I use in book, but somebody who does not get gravity is still bound by it and if they ignore it we can see the results. The results of these bad economic ideas and using ed to destroy genuine human capital is here now and going to get worse, but the true causes are so much more difficult to see.

      And the true causes get lied about constantly by the media to keep those useful, but as you said nihilistic, beliefs in place.

      And most of the state level technocrats do not know much that is accurate even if they are well-intentioned. And they rarely suffer the consequences of the bad ideas they impose on others.

      • Well the winter storm in ATL is starting as sleet so I may be out of reach if power and Internet go down.

        I found a hugely important document yesterday clarifying in terms like “Roadmap” precisely what is being sought. I was going to read it today while stuck at home. The sound of the sleet though made me decide to get up and print it out so I can synthesize even without power.

        I can already tell Ehrlich’s concept of tacit knowledge only in the misleadingly named Knowledge Society is involved. So looking back over this post from January 2013 would be a good idea based on materials I now have possession of. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/all-that-is-solid-melts-into-air-but-does-it-really/

        Also if you have not yet bought my book, it remains the foundation of everything being sought. Its insights are very helpful as we wade through the daily and weekly actual implementation initiatives via the blog.

        Finally, I had a book come finally (via UK) on 21st century learning. Just looking through the list of contributing authors Yrjo Engestrom (who has a tag), Michael Cole (who does as well), and their CHAT-Cultural Historical Activity Theory (also tag) are directly involved. If those names and concepts are not ringing a bell, look over those old posts and get reacquainted.

        I can already tell they will need to be OUR facts-based version of Tools of the Mind.

        Hopefully I will not be out of reach, but I know what I have, what it says, and the continuing stunning things on what is being sought I can prove. Those foundations will help us all appreciate what is being sought. And as this post says, it’s actually not unimaginable at all if you are an attentive student of history.

    • OK-it did the same thing to me.

      Harvard and San Diego prof Mica Pollock advocated the same in her work with CHAT. Teach educators what you wish the civil rights laws said so they will teach that error to others and eventually they can be rewritten to reflect people’s beliefs.

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