Tag: obedience

The Milgram Experiments and What They Teach Us

Andrew Lepore | United States

In 1942, following the invasion of Poland and its defeat by Nazi Germany, Polish diplomats sought refuge in Great Britain. That year received a secret message from their occupied homeland confirming the Jewish genocide at the hands of the Nazis. Rumors of such an atrocity had been circling for years, but with this came the first official confirmation. Newspapers and journals from around the world reported headlines such as  “MASSACRE OF JEWS—OVER 1,000,000 DEAD SINCE THE WAR BEGAN” and “NAZI SLAUGHTERHOUSE”—GERMANS MASSACRE MILLIONS OF JEWS IN EXTERMINATION DRIVE”.

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We Need a Revolution in American Education

By Jack Parkos | United States

“School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn’t take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not.”   -H.L. Mencken

The American school system has failed children. Education itself is beautiful, but in practice, the agendas of educators often influence it. This plague occurs in both public and private schools. Too often, the subject is pointless, the education model is cruel, and many students end up miserable.

There is a common false assumption that if one criticizes the modern state of education, he or she is “anti-education”. On the contrary, it is the modern state of education that indeed runs against learning.

The American Education Model

If one were to observe a factory of the industrial revolution, the following things would likely occur:

  1. Individuals show up at a designated time and place.
  2. They all sit in rows where they do similar work.
  3. They must obey the commands of those in charge.
  4. These workers do not make their own innovations, but rather all stick to one plan.
  5. They all receive a small break for lunch.
  6. The outcome of their work is graded receives a very general, often-misleading grade.

Is this not how a classroom works? Students show up, sit in their assigned desks, and obey orders. Seldom do they get to think outside the box. Especially in earlier education, it is most common for every student in the school to do the same tasks and assignments as if they were all the same. Preaching diversity, American schools are soon to forget that there is intellectual diversity as well. Giving letter grades that reveal little about the student, teachers grade our children like meats in a market.

An Eerie Intention

These similarities are not an accident. The American education model is based on the “Prussian Model”, which 19th century Prussia used. Under this system, the State took control of education away from parents and churches. Of course, they did not use it to breed intelligent, free-thinking individuals. Instead, it created obedient industrial workers and soldiers; in fact, Napoleon used this very system to train his soldiers.

This system is cruel, outdated, and does not cater to the needs of the student. Education should create thinkers, not doers. The government promised the people free public schooling and the trap was set, whether intentional or not. They essentially own children in their time of prime influence. Though parents are free to teach their children what they choose in addition, they cannot opt out of certain governmental standards.

Common Core and Standards

Without a doubt, Common Core is a god that failed. Supposedly, it was to give each student an equal opportunity at success. It did this by creating government standards and a curriculum that it held each student to. Perhaps, one may think this curriculum must hold some value in order for experts to require it. Yet, federal education officials, rather than teachers themselves, were the primary creators. Teachers’ roles were, on the contrary, quite low, with only two unions invited to bring representatives to discuss Common Core.

This system is flawed for many reasons. First off, no two human brains are the same, and nobody thinks exactly the same. It is simply foolish to think every child in America must learn the same curriculum at the same pace. Albert Einstein said the following:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Is this not how schooling goes, making fish climb trees? Where the monkey may prevail, the goldfish sits behind a failure. When the fish cannot show off its swimming skills, it cannot thrive. In schools, teachers may judge musical geniuses by their ability to interpret poetry. When they do not perform well, they receive less-than-adequate class placement and struggle to move forward in class and life.

Common Core has even leaked into private schools as well, many of whom still run the curriculum. This system has kept parents out of their kids’ education. It has turned educational beauty into standardized test prep. Teachers and administrators, too, are victims in this sense, as they lose the freedom to select a curriculum.

Content in Education

Currently, much of the content in schools merely is preparing for standardized testing, and the tests themselves are a harm to students and schools alike. It is not to prepare students for the real world and give them the skills they need to achieve. Many students look at their math homework and wonder, “When will I ever use this in life?” In truth, often times they may only do so for the SAT’s and ACT’s. These can determine what college you go to, and thus your future. But why are these particular skills on two tests for the entire country? Why must complicated formulas with no real world application determine someone’s future? Unfortunately, these questions often have no answer.

Classes about managing money, the economy, law, government, raising a family, and other useful topics are often optional. On the contrary, more obscure subjects like chemistry, geometry, and physics are not. Subjects that students will often only use on a test get priority over subjects everyone will deal with in life. Students receive little personal finance education, but can sure write a geometry proof.

This is not the fault of the teachers, many truly want to make a difference in the life of a child. This is the fault of legislators in D.C. mudding the water with bureaucracy.

Necessary Reform

Major reform is essential for a turnaround of the education system. Indoctrination should not replace learning. Students who want to be lawyers should be able to pursue law, rather than polynomials. As standardized testing becomes the norm, and international test scores nonetheless fall, we face a clear shortcoming.

Ultimately, it is essential to give more educational choice to parents and, in later ages, children themselves. They must be able to pursue their dreams in a more individualized environment. The government has failed to do so. Perhaps, this is no surprise, given their track record on other blatant domestic and foreign blunders. Parents, should those who know little about your children really be in charge of their learning?

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Patriotism and the State are not your God

By Austin Anderholt | United States

In American politics, the right loves to poke fun at the left. What seems to be their favorite way to do this is poke fun at how liberals base all of their politics on “feelings”. The right loves to call the left “triggered snowflakes” and other assorted names.

This rhetoric stems from the fact that the American right sees itself as the messiah of hard facts and logic, uncaring of your “feelings”. This is extremely ironic, seeing as the American right is the most emotional, childish piece of American politics.

Right wingers love to bow down to their government, calling it “patriotism”. They chant slogans like “Blue Lives Matter” and “Support our troops.” When thibking about it rationally, it becomes extremely silly to imagine that people cherish so dearly the very police that infringe on their basic rights. It seems so crazy that people would let the government steal more of their paycheck to fund the killings of more innocent children through wars. It becomes even sillier to imagine that people think that action is “supporting our troops”. However, the right doesn’t look at the government through a lens of logic and reasoning. The right looks at the government through a lense of emotion, more specifically, fear.

If you take a look at how Americans view patriotism, you get a sense that the government is some sort of Orwellian god. For example, the government teaches American schoolchildren as young as five to put their hands on their heart and pledge themselves to the state every morning. We also look at our flag as something that can never touch the ground. Americans get offended when someone desecrates it. It’s an idol.

When you ask Americans why they voluntarily pledge themselves to the state, or worship a government that hurts them through stealing their money and infringing their rights, they give very vague answers.

“Because people died for America!”

Oh really. People died for the swastika and the hammer and sickle. Just because people that I’ve never met decided to risk their life for their opinion doesn’t mean I should worship said opinion.

“America means freedom!”

Really? The government that infringes on my rights, steals from my money, and indoctrinates the masses into hailing it represents freedom?

From these vague responses on such a big issue, we can conclude that something else is the reason that Americans are so overly patriotic and worship the state so much:

Group pressure and fear.

Every dictator knew that in order to make a individuals submit, you must make the group submit. This is why Hitler’s rallies were so powerful. When everyone else is hailing Hitler in unison, it’s human nature to feel like you’re making the incorrect choice by not hailing Hitler.

This is why the pledge works so well. Everyone stands up and recites that they pledge themselves to the state in unison. You feel like an outcast if you’re not also there pledging the state. Soon it becomes a competition. We all want to prove to everyone that we love our state more than the next guy. This is why everyone just says “I love America! God bless America!” So much. Do they have any idea of why they’re saying that? No! It just seems so romantic to love something unconditionally no matter what, especially when state education has glorified it.

This is why we love our military so much. The thought of saying “Sure people in the military have been killed, but people have died for many reasons, and I don’t have to agree with their cause just because they died for it.” Sounds scary. Humans want to be a part of a group. They don’t want to be labeled a “traitor” to the all righteous state that everyone is apart of.

This is what makes the American right so emotional. The state is their god. They are afraid to think or speak against it. They are afraid of not being apart of the masses, and they are afraid that they will be an outcast if they don’t hail Hitler like everyone else does. Remember, be a rebel. Don’t jump off a cliff just because everyone else is yelling at you to do it. The state is not your god.

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