Lynn M. Stuter
April 3, 2003
In the context of the transformation of our nation, the shifting of the paradigm as many call it, one is left with the impression that this transformation is something new, never before tried.
No so. The roots of this paradigm shift go deep and have a history not taught in the classrooms of most schools, public or private.
Where did this philosophy get its start? The exact time and exact date would be difficult to pinpoint. The philosophy, itself, has been in progress for centuries, being pruned, fine tuned, and developed, seeing the influence of a multitude of philosophers, and blossoming in the nineteenth century. The multitude of those of influence are too many to name; but a representative sampling of names most recognizable would include Kant, Wundt, Neitzsche, Hegel, Marx, Locke, Fichte, Bacon, Descartes, Hume, Mill, Russell, James, Watson, Thorndike, Dewey, Maslow, Rogers, Skinner ….
While all these philosophers held beliefs and developed theories that influenced the emerging philosophy, they all held two things in common: first, their philosophy was built upon theory, established over time via experimentation and observation, of how the human mind works and functions as an organ of intellect; and second, they, each of them, were subject to the very fallacies and frailties of the human condition they studied. In other words, the work of these men and the resultant theories were influenced by the very fallacies and frailties they studied. This establishes a cycle which is self-defeating. Man has never been, nor will he ever be, successful in figuring out why the human mind does what it does when it does it because man cannot escape the fallacies and frailties of the human condition.
But from the process has come a philosophy achieving greater standing in society than the teachings of our Creator, who made man in His own image, who does know what makes the human mind do what it does when it does it, and who established, via His teachings, natural law.
This emerging philosophy, coming forth from the minds of man, has a name: humanism, aptly named for its underlying belief that "no deity will save us, we must save ourselves" (Humanist Manifesto II). The New Age philosophy also carries the same underlying belief, taking on the tenets of Eastern mysticism in seeking a spiritual basis.
As established, our nation was founded on natural law as our Founding Fathers knew what few today seem to understand: natural law is the only means by which man can truly be free.
How and when did this man-made philosophy come to America? Again, the exact time and date cannot be pinpointed. Suffice it to say, the philosophy is like the root of a morning glory plant … slowing invading over time, sending up foliage when conditions are favorable, growing and spreading faster when conditions are most favorable, but always growing even when that growth is not visible to the naked eye.
John Dewey, self-proclaimed socialist, Professor of Philosophy and Education at Columbia University, and signer of Humanist Manifesto I, was writing and publishing on education in the United States in the late 1800’s. At this point in time the philosophy had already invaded and taken over Columbia University via such men as Andrew Armstrong, James Cattell, G Stanley Hall, Charles Judd, James Russell and Edward Thorndike.
Columbia University produced many graduates immersed in the philosophy who became teachers and administrators at other colleges of education and departments of education as well as in schools nation-wide.
The virtues of Franklin Delano Roosevelt have been defended and questioned alike by many over the years. It was FDR who knew of the coming attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and let it happen to draw the United States into World War II. It was also FDR who, in the first 100 days of his administration, established what became known as the New Deal to combat devastating effects of the Great Depression.
Threads of this philosophy can also be found there. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), proposed by FDR and passed by Congress to bring the United States out of the Great Depression, was designed to "encourage industrial recovery and help combat widespread unemployment." In response to the passing of the NIRA, Roosevelt, by executive order, established the NRA — the National Recovery Administration — whose purpose it was to draw up industrial codes of "fair practice."
The work of the NRA was promoted through the NRA speakers bureau of which Louis P Alber was appointed head in July 1933.
Who was Louis Alber? Not much, if any, mention of him is made in histories of the United States, but the personal papers of Sir Winston Churchill divulge something of the history of Alber. Up until his appointment as head of the NRA speakers bureau, Alber was president of the Affiliated Lecture and Concert Association, Inc, setting up lecture tours in the United States for foreign dignitaries, including Sir Winston Churchill. At one point, in December 1930, in the very midst of the Great Depression when money was scarce and hard come by (at least by the common folk), Alber offered to pay Churchill $50,000 for a two month lecture tour in the United States starting in October 1931. Early in 1931, letters in the Churchill archives indicate financial problems for the Affiliated Lecture and Concert Association, Inc, at one point Churchill requesting his lecture fees be paid to him directly instead of through that organization. This, however, apparently did not have an adverse affect on the relationship between Alber and Churchill. In December 1931, Alber encouraged Churchill to accept an invitation from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) to speak on a subject of Churchill’s choosing and take afternoon tea with that body.
This is the man who, as head of the NRA speaker bureau, stated in an interview in New York in 1933, published in newspapers nation-wide:
"The rugged individualism of Americanism must go, because it is contrary to the purpose of the New Deal and the NRA, which is remaking America.
"Russia and Germany are attempting to compel a new order by means typical of their nationalism — compulsion. The United States will do it by moral suasion. Of course we expect some opposition, but the principles of the New Deal must be carried to the youth of the nation. We expect to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force. …
"The NRA is the outstanding part of the President’s program, but in fact it is only a fragment. The general public is not informed on the other parts of the program, and the schools are the places to reach the future builders of the nation."
The above quote appeared in the Monroe Evening News, Monroe, Michigan, on September 13, 1933, the article in that newspaper stating:
"So, according to what Mr Alber says, NRA—sweeping and revolutionary as it is—is only a ‘fragment’ of the greater program of which the public knows nothing, and this unknown program is to be inculcated in the minds of pupils in the schools everywhere, by official efforts and at government expense. Hitherto the purpose of the schools has been merely to educate the youth of the land–to impart knowledge, in an unbiased and nonpolitical manner. Now, according to Mr Alber, our schools — like those of Italy, Germany and Russia — are to become an agency for the promotion of whatever political, social and economic policies the administration may desire to carry out. And the taxpayers, whether they like those policies or not, are to pay for having their children converted to them."
In 1939, Hitler stated, "give me the children, I will give you a nation." Sounds very much as though Hitler and Alber were reading from the same page. What Alber was promoting, in 1933, was the gradual transformation—the quiet revolution to the Marxist state— through "moral suasion" of American society to the same state sought by Hitler, Mussolini, and Lenin by force.
In 1935 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, that the compulsory-code system established by the NRA improperly delegated legislative powers to the executive branch, and further, that the codes did not fit within the federal jurisdiction in the regulation of interstate commerce. While the NRA was disbanded officially following this ruling, the provisions of the NRA were reenacted in later legislation, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Board.
In his book, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within WWII, author Thomas Fleming sums up the NRA as follows:
"Most ambitious of all was the NRA, the National Recovery Administration, which set out to control wages and prices in American industry. The New Deal’s goal, people began to see, was not merely to stanch the wounds of the Depression but to prevent further downturns by increasing the buying power of the people at the bottom and limiting the profits of the people at the top.
"In a world where Russia had embraced a form of state control called communism and Germany had opted for another variety of this same nostrum, national socialism, while Italy embraced fascism, yet another variation on authoritarian rule, the New Deal’s attempt to insert the government into American business on a broad and apparently permanent scale alarmed not a few people……"
While one could claim the aims of the NRA ended with the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, history tells us that such is not the case.
During World War II, those who supported the quiet revolution to the Marxist state in Europe — the Transformational Marxists — where either incarcerated, put to death, or removed to friendlier shores. Antonio Gramsci was imprisoned by Mussolini while Kurt Lewin removed to America.
This quote, concerning the contributions of Lewin, comes from Foreword to the The Change Agent’s Guide; Second Edition and was written by Matthew B Miles of the National Training Laboratory Institute for Applied Behavioral Science:
"The truth is that not until the late 1940’s, when American behavioral scientists began exploring and developing the ideas of the emigre psychologist Kurt Lewin, did we really have anything like a systematic science and practical craft of planned change in the kinds of social systems that matter most—families, small groups, organizations, communities."
This quote leaves little doubt about the purpose and direction education was to take. Established in 1947 by Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lippitt, Kenneth Benne and Leland Bradford, National Training Laboratories (NTL) had connections to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and has connections to the National Education Association (NEA) (Iserbyt, 1999). The core values of the NTL are:
- Training in the theory and practice of group dynamics, organizational change, and societal change;
- Learning from these experiences;
- Sharing the results of the learning; and
- Engaging in inquiry, knowledge building, and the publication of findings.
NTL is one of the leading institutes for behavioral education and training in the United States.
In 1949, the grip this philosophy had attained in education could be seen in this quote from a book written by Ralph Tyler, one of the leaders of educational philosophy at the time:
"Since the real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students’ patterns of behavior, it becomes important to recognize that any statement of the objectives … should be a statement of changes to take place in the student."
What Tyler promotes here is exactly what Alber spoke to. And Tyler was not, and is not, alone. He is joined by other education leaders — Benjamin Bloom, John Goodlad, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Theodore Sizer, William Glasser, Howard Gardner, B F Skinner and the plethora of other ideologues, before and after, whose promotion of this philosophy undergirds the education system being put in place today.
Under this philosophy, education is for the purpose of conditioning children to the perceived environment of the created future (the global sustainable environment) as created by a few and foisted on the masses wittingly or unwittingly by state legislators and Congress who haven’t a clue what this philosophy is or that it is antithetical to the philosophy on which this nation was founded and on which this nation can truly remain free.
In the final paragraph of his piece concerning the statements of Louis Alber, made in 1933, the editor of the Monroe Evening News wrote:
"The whole proposition is so amazing, and so alarming in its implications, that we refuse as yet to take it seriously. We prefer to believe that Mr Alber is merely an enthusiast who has been carried off his feet, and who spoke rashly. We cannot believe that Mr Alber reflected the President’s designs or his desires."
Take it seriously … believe it … for it has come to pass, not as the result of one man, far from it, but as the result of the efforts of many men whose philosophy has been allowed to permeate every segment of our society unchecked. When we wonder how we got where we are today, this is part of the history of how that has come about.
The Churchill Papers; A Catalogue
Fleming, Thomas; The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within WWII; New York: Basic Books; 2001; p 51.
Havelock, Ronald G. and Steve Zlotolow; The Change Agent’s Guide; Second Edition; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications; 1995; Foreword.
Iserbyt, Charlotte Thomson; The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America; Ravenna, OH: Conscience Press; 1995; pages 38-39.
Monroe Evening News; Monroe, MI: Monroe Publishing Company; September 13, 1933; p 4.
Tyler, Ralph; Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1949; p 49.
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved