PROBLEMS - PROBLEMS
By Erica Carle
August 2, 2002
Be sure to check it out. Wherever you live, wherever your children go to public school, the social studies curriculum will be centered on problem solving and decision making. Also, the goal, mission, or vision statement (Every school system now has a formal United Nations goal or mission statement.) will be the same or similar to that of our Elmbrook school district which is:
The mission of the School District of Elmbrook is to provide the educational foundation that will enable all students to be responsible decision makers, to be adept at problem solving, to display a positive regard for self and others, and to be contributing members in an ever-changing technological and global society through innovative curriculum, effective instructional practices, and a strong school-community partnership.
Because this is the case you need to know what the curriculum planners expect to accomplish. Therefore I am recycling an article from TRUTH IN EDUCATION, May 6, 1976.It was titled:
PROBLEM SOLVING--PLANNERS’ RECIPE FOR REVOLUTION
Wherever they operate social planners share two characteristics: (1) They want no surprises. They will make 1000 alternative plans rather than have one event occur which is not included in their list of possibilities. (2) They want all of nature to obey their ‘science.’ They resent grass that grows, flowers that bloom, and little babies who learn to walk and talk without a planner’s permission.
The economist/planner, Ralph Borsodi, bothered his mind for years trying to figure a way to classify human actions so they could be predicted and controlled. One day the lights flashed and the bells rang. The eureka moment had arrived!---PROBLEMS!--yes, PROBLEMS! What could be more simple? All of human life, he decided, could be classified by problems and their solutions. Determine the formula for solving each and every problem that people might face as individuals and in groups, and then classify the problems and figure out the alternative solutions. By solving their problems, or promising to solve their problems, the people who have them can be controlled.
Borsodi decided people who solve their problems within the proper groups in ways prescribed or controlled by social planners could be accepted as ‘scientific,’ ‘normal,’ or ‘human.’ Those who do not want to have their lives controlled in this ‘scientific’ way need schooling and treatment in schools of living to ‘normalize’ or ‘humanize’ them.
After making a card file of more than 8000 problems Borsodi worked on his classifications. He finally divided life’s problems into fourteen categories--fourteen handy little boxes in which to file human problems. What this meant was that when the social planners had control of the facilities for solving all the problems of all the fourteen categories, people would be trapped. They would no longer have any choice but to submit, to go to the planners for lifetime education and guidance. The people could stop thinking, and start meditating so they would not feel the pain. The details of all their problems could go to the problem solvers or to the problem solving computers.
It wasn’t long before courses in colleges, then high schools, then grade schools, were problem centered: urban problems, social problems, American problems, problems of scientific business management, rural problems, parental problems, teen problems, senior citizen problems, etc...
All those who wanted to be planners and club runners grew terribly terribly compassionate and practically psychotic in their quest for perfection. “Yes, this country is pretty nice, but not everybody is going to college. That’s a problem.” “Cities are crowded. People shouldn’t like to live in crowded cities. That’s a problem.” “Some children get better grades than others. Can’t we make them all the same? That’s a problem.” “Private and religious charities don’t make every person economically and socially equal. That’s a problem.” “Business is prosperous. The people are working and happy, but there are ‘pockets of poverty.’ That’s a problem.” Problems were used as clubs to hit people over the head while slipping a hand into their pockets.
The Constitutional government could go only so far before people would call a halt to all the perfectionist problem solving dedicated to smothering personal initiative. So gradually a new government, the United Nations’ regional world government, was phased in. Then the problems really began to multiply: drugs, sex, unwed parenthood, unequal rights, unequal achievement, unequal pay, unequal education, unequal opportunity, unequal medical care, pollution, safety in industry, unequal wealth in the world’s countries. We could about drown in the crocodile tears of the ambitious problem solving planners. Their answer to all the problems was, of course, Borsodi’s. We need central world management to solve our problems. The suggestions in Borsodi’s 1948 book, Education and Living were being implemented.
There is a science of business management. There has been such a science ever since Frederick Winslow Taylor’s pioneer work in the field over half a century ago. But there is as yet no such science for the management of living. We have great schools of business administration in our universities; we have no great schools of living connected with them. If, therefore, the problem of how to manage the family so that its members may live like normal human beings is to be solved, nothing better can be done than to begin with the principles which Taylor and his disciples have developed.
Borsodi then quoted Taylor’s grandiose claims for his management system:
Scientific management. . . can be applied with equal force to all social activities: to the management of our homes; the management of our farms; the management of the business of our tradesmen, large and small; of our churches, our philanthropic institutions, our universities and our government departments. -- Frederick Winslow Taylor, “The Principles of Scientific Management.”
The Bicentennial year is providing the regional government and its American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain citizen cooperation in their own mental destruction. The patriotic theme entices many well-meaning, but uninformed citizens to help set up problem-solving mechanisms for the UN regional government. Once set up these will become permanent.
Below is a list of Ralph Borsodi’s basic problems as listed in "The Education of the Whole Man."
CLASSIFICATION OF THE BASIC PROBLEMS OF MAN AND OF SOCIETY (According to Ralph Borsodi)
I. PROBLEMS OF THOUGHT
A. PROBLEMS OF BELIEF (Noetic Problems)
1. The Ontologic Problem: The Riddle
of the Universe 2. The Anthropic Problem: The Riddle of Human Natur
II. PROBLEMS OF IMPLEMENTATION (PRAXIOLOGIC PROBLEMS PROBLEMS OF MOTOR ACTION)
8. The Occupational Problem: The
Problem of Labour and Leisure
© 2002 Erica Carle - All Rights Reserved
Erica Carle is an independent researcher and writer. She has a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin. She has been involved in radio and television writing and production, and has also taught math and composition at the private school her children attended in Brookfield, Wisconsin. For ten years she wrote a weekly column, "Truth In Education" for WISCONSIN REPORT, and served as Education Editor for that publication. Her books are available through Education Service Council, P. O. Box 271, Elm Grove, Wisconsin 53122. GIVE US THE YOUNG--$5 Plus $2.00 P&H WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE--$16 PLUS $4.00 P&H BOTH BOOKS -- $25 Total E-Mail [email protected]
"It wasn’t long before courses in colleges, then high schools, then grade schools, were problem centered: urban problems, social problems, American problems, problems of scientific business management, rural problems, parental problems, teen problems, senior citizen problems, etc..."