H.L. Mencken On Education's
True Objectives


"That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth.
"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."
--H L. Mencken

By Alfred Lehmberg
This bitter writer (me) should be as baffled as most regarding the state of our American public education system -- it aims and desires or goals, especially in light of the fact that he arduously satisfied the requirements for teaching professionally within it, yet... he has -not- found a job. This is despite a long certified record of exceptional performance, awards and decorations, tip-top academic accomplishment, and absolutely superb references. This is despite a much balleyhooed and allegedly critical shortage of trained personnel in the public education sector! It's clear he's not wanted. How does this irony work?
This writer thinks he might know. Fresh off a 23 year professional military career where he had functioned splendidly as a member of a team in an organization that had to work (emphasize -had- to work!), he was oil in water as regards the public education community. Why?
Forget this writer's interest in twitchy social issues, better cited historical revisionist positions, and UFOs with all their associated subjects. Forget this writer's rational support for unpopular positions, difficult causes, and cleaner ideals. These are not germane to the discussion at hand...
The reason this writer has not found a job in public education is that he is all too well aware that (contrary to a military system) the public education system, by design, does NOT -have- to work! Moreover, the -power- people engaged in it are busily prosecuting their dictated social imperative to discourage critical thinking and intelligent leadership (to facilitate the production of docile "employees"), for as little as is humanly (and inhumanly!) possible!
Public education (as it is now practiced) is a likely sham and an evil hypocrisy, this writer continues to discover. It does its part to fill the nations prisons, it celebrates only bland mediocrity, and it vigorously discourages creative individuality. Its work is to disempower the individual, corrode our personal autonomy, and produce, ideally, an ignorant but malleable American citizenry with artless souls as dry as as old chalk dust in a decaying classroom.
This writer has the number of the public education system, and it is a number that stands contrary to every valid educational ideal presently getting lip service (only) in our American culture today. It doesn't -have- to work, reader! That's what slums and prisons are for! Moreover, "polite society" is loath to spend coveted dollars producing a creative and intelligent society more difficult to betray, mislead, and otherwise manipulate or conveniently control.
The perspective of our public education system includes the jealous maintenance of an old guard's status quo, the continued resuscitation of outmoded ideals benifiting the few, and the production of the lowest of low common denominators. It lacks art, has no music, prosecutes the homogenization of individual souls, and is the shame of an entire first world...
It's just the way we want it, apparently.

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