Illiterate New World



American Thinker: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World appeared in 1932.  Everyone at that time was dazzled by the technocratic skills of the Ford Motor Company, able to turn out identical cars by the millions on highly efficient assembly lines.  In Huxley’s novel, the calendar counts years A.F. – After Ford – and God’s new name is Ford.

The zeitgeist was obsessed with control.  Ideologues liked the possibility of more precise social engineering.  Communists in particular were focused on planned societies and central economies, with super-smart experts sitting around a table and deciding what every citizen could do and could not do.  Psychiatrists like Ivan Pavlov wanted to show how drastically you could manipulate cognition and personality.

Aldous Huxley devised a single beautiful image for capturing all of these hopes and fears: a hi-tech assembly line where infants were manufactured to specification.  In particular, oxygen levels were adjusted to create babies of very low, low, medium, and very high intelligence.  This image, this metaphor, was stunning in its concreteness.  A huge industrial operation, all clean and shiny, all stainless steel and glass, did what nobody had thought of doing before: control human intelligence in embryo.

It turns out there is an activity in the real world, in real society, that is exactly parallel.  That was the creation of readers to order.  By the simple device of depriving some children of certain key information, they were stunted, no longer able to become professors, more or less predestined for low-level jobs.

As Huxley in the year 1931 was doing the final edit on his book, this country’s Education Establishment built a new sort of assembly line for producing flawed children.  Instead of withholding oxygen, this factory withheld the alphabet.  Parents were told that the ABCs are not essential and could be ignored.  As one famous expert announced dogmatically, “[c]urrent practice in the teaching of reading does not require knowledge of letters.”  Really?  MORE HERE

14 Comments on Illiterate New World

  1. Remember that episode of “Dark Room” (ABC take-off of “The Twilight Zone,” hosted by James Coburn, ca. 1980), where the little boy is so looking forward to his standardized test the next day.

    His parents seemed apprehensive, but the little guy was all excited – he’d been studying and quizzing himself – he just KNEW he would do well.

    The next morning comes – the little guy skips off merrily to school. That night, some officious-looking sorts show up at the door, to inform the parents, their son had to be put down. He scored TOO highly on the tests, and therefore wouldn’t fit into the society they were building. 🙁

    I wonder when the NEA will start advocating killing kids who are smarter than their teachers; to make MORE Tide-podders, and less smart, self-reliant sorts… 🙁

  2. Interesting bit of history. For the first several paragraphs I thought it was going to discuss Common Core, which has always struck me as a great tool/plan for dumbing down the population.

  3. Teaching phonics is the only way for kids to learn to read and write properly. See/say recognition and Dick and Jane suck. From my own experience I was taught phonics back in the early 60’s by my Mom and a very caring 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Benham because they thought I was retarded since I didn’t catch on fast enough with their see/say failed agenda of teaching reading. This is one of my pet peeves and I’m glad I was saved from being labeled as a retard because of their failed attempts at teaching me to read properly. Of course, I was also strong willed and could see thru their bs even then and didn’t cooperate properly until my Mom and Mrs. Benham took the time (that’s the key) to teach me how to read properly.

  4. I was taught using Dick and Jane and no phonics, but I was one of those who learned to read anyhow. But when I taught kids to read at home I used phonics. Its just easier and more certain.

  5. I remember that episode, Bob M.

    I was never taught sight-words. Never taught my kids that way, either.

    Seems that whatever they’ve been selling, I ain’t buying. Unfortunately, I and like-minded people are what – maybe one out of twenty these days?

  6. Midwestern, grew up on dick and Jane and curious George. Found a love of reading in 5th and never stopped.

    That’s all big city liberal agenda schools. Keep that shit in the big city you cowards.

  7. The Frankfurt School established footing at Columbia U in 1935. They were methodically patient e.g., university foothold to high school, grade school, to now kindergarten/pre school.

    Couple this indoctrination with the fast approaching AI. It’s a scary, scary world in which we currently find ourselves and those of us who don’t have malleable children are fraught with concern and sadness over how to combat this destruction. I know I am.

  8. I started by looking at all the pictures in the Encyclopedia. Wanted to read what it said about those pictures so bad.
    And all my brothers were older. By the time I got to first grade, phonics was like cocaine. Took Evelyn Woods speed reading in 8th grade.
    Now I’m old and don’t care so much. I read only what I want, the way I want to read it.

  9. They figgered out they needed more face time and moved it to colleges where the parents can’t do anything about it. They still want drolls.

    Nothing new or unexpected.

  10. I can read writing but not cursive.
    I understand Jive and Ebonics and Spanglish.
    Sometimes I can even understand Rev Al.

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