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By Mary Thompson
December 9, 2014

H.L. Mencken wrote in the American Mercury, April 1924, that “the aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence…nothing could be further from the truth. The aim…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 U.S. and that is its aim everywhere else”. Was he right? Today he may have added the aim to be creation of “worker bees“ of “limited learning for lifelong labor”, but that phenomenon and descriptive term had to wait for history and technology to develop to add to Mencken’s observation. Twenty First Century buzz words bear out Mencken’s description of deprivation of “knowledge and awaking intelligence” to a “standardized citizenry” and put down dissent and originality, (i.e.,”No Child Left Behind,” “Workforce Training or Development,” “Common Core Standards,” etc., etc.)
But why did it take nearly three generations for observers who survived the dumbing down to recognize the agenda until it became so undeniable?

It is this writer’s contention that so much of “government” was “local” or “state” until the 1930’s and FDR’s New Deal which fostered the mindset of looking to Federal Government for solutions. The very recent series of episodes about the Roosevelt Family broadcast on PBS television, revisited the FDR era as the catalyst years instrumental in creating the second order change resulting in the 80 year’s march toward a collectivist America. Second Order change has been defined as: deciding or being forced to do something significantly or fundamentally different from what has been known or done before, until the change becomes an accepted value judgment or way of life.

This writer lived through the 1930’s, and still retains vivid childhood memories of the days of FDR and the relentless introduction of federal government programs and more federal government programs which alarmed the adults in this writer’s family and others. The current TV series about the Roosevelts, portrayed the 1930’s as near universal gratitude for the National Programs and all ears glued to family radios to listen to FDR’s “Fireside Chats” as the secular savior of the nation. What the TV series didn’t report was the existence of Americans who weren’t deceived by the glib rhetoric who recognized the times as groundwork being laid for a collectivist (Communist America). As a child I heard the discussion and anguish re: the left turn the nation was undergoing with FDR at the helm of the ship of state.

Then came WWII with total preoccupation with the war effort. It was a time when direct agendas to restructure everything, including schools, seemed to be set aside for the duration of the war. The post WWII stage was already set to shift the paradigm of public acceptance for a bigger role of Federal Government in lives of Americans, but also the internationalizing of the American mindset. On the timeline of mid 1940’s the United Nations was formalized.

Simultaneously a little known influence of individuals from science and military of WWII was coalescing into what became the think tank, RAND Corporation. “One of the RAND prescriptions would pull the world from the brink of war possibly nuclear innihilation, while another would rewrite the basic concepts of social welfare, politics and government in America and the West…eventually RAND’s language of systems analysis and program budgeting would become the lingue franca of the entire government”. (“Soldiers of Reason, The RAND Corp and the Rise of the American Empire”, by Alex Abella, 2008 – First Mariner Books, edition 2009).

A WWII generation was one which a commentator called, “The Greatest Generation”. Nevertheless that generation resumed life following WWII with gusto, and it was that generation (this writer’s generation) which for the most part,concentrated on establishing families,advancing careers, creating the good life. It naively assumed existing traditional institutions, such as schools, local governance, churches, etc., etc. would continue to be the same foundations as that generation had always enjoyed. That second generation after H.L. Mencken’s observation dropped the ball.

With some exceptions, it ignored, denied and accommodated the weakening of the foundations while change agents worked to restructure society. Schools were primary vehicles hijacked by federal Government. The Johnson Administration was a turning point in history as a third generation after the 1924 Mencken remark reached adulthood in the 60’s. ESEA was launched.

“A bevy of government agencies, previously unable to get RAND expertise, were eager to hire the think tank to find new solutions to national problems. The commission of education wanted RAND to conduct studies on educational television and the uses of technology in teaching”. (Soldiers of reason, the RAND Corp and the Rise of American Empire…). Others have called the planned programs the “dumbing down process”.

What the “greatest generation,” and subsequent generations, didn’t suspect or understand, was that RAND’s systems was put in place in the entire government. A subject in itself is how PPBS or Management by Objectives was successfully superimposed over our traditional system of representative governance without a shot being fired, or by your leave of any legislative authorization. The shift of influence resulting from systems managed governance has been gradual and largely unnoticed as it is profound. Regional entities and appointed officials instigating and carrying out policy and agendas of think tanks, foundations, NGO’s and organized special interests. Elected representatives become more and more merely ratifying agents providing the facade of constitutional elected representation. That is why it has become so difficult to prevail against the agendas which haven’t originated from the electorate or those they elect.

Without understanding of the system clouding representative governance, activists tend to address the specifics of each proposal while the change agent perpetrators are only too happy to accommodate “altering”, “adjusting” issuing “waivers” or taking the proverbial “one step back” in order to resume and take the “two steps forward” for the bigger agenda. What is needed is to think in terms of CONCEPT BEFORE DEALING WITH THE DEVILS IN THE DETAILS.

The question looms then, “Has the systems managed agenda succeeded in rendering the minds of a couple generations incapable of thinking CONCEPTUALLY?” Has the tide away from “declarative learning” so damaged linear independent thinking already produced a nation of programmed minds able only to respond to the next stimulus, ala BF Skinner’s Behaviorist methods. “Declarative learning” is didactic, information passed down and imparted authoritatively from generation to generation”. It is the substance of what families and churches were all about until those institutional foundations have themselves largely been consumed by the prevailing ever changing minds without rudders…except for the elites who presume to program events and responses for everyone else.

Without CONCEPTUAL foundations, societies have only shifting sand as the their foundation. They become susceptible to whims of manipulations with ever changing mantras. If resisters of one manifestation of a bigger agenda such as Common Core Standards, manage to thwart or dilute the manifestation in question, the perpetrators will merely retreat temporarily and return with a different name.

All of the above is related to the dialectical process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. The dialectical process allows for no CONCEPTUAL ABSOLUTES. For the dialectical process of thesis and antithesis merge to become synthesis which then becomes the next thesis for which a new antithesis is introduced for the next and the next synthes is to become a never ending process with no capacity for absolutes or declarative history or context to exist. The very Word of God has become tainted with ever evolving Bible translations employing the translation methodology of dynamic equivalency. So even the ultimate “declarative” term: “This saith the Lord”, becomes subject to whichever contemporary translations of the Bible one happens to have in hand at the moment.

Think CONCEPT, CONCEPT, CONCEPT. Avoid entanglement with the minutia of the nets designed to capture CONVICTIONS in order to dilute to conform to the sinking sand of systems behaviorist model per Pavlov and Skinner.

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Following is a suggested check list when considering any proposal or issue.

1. Does it conform to the Constitution as the founders intended the Constitution?
2. Is it presented as a local issue but popping up in other areas and states with same or different name?
3. If tax supported, is it “affordable”?
4. Does it avoid public/private partnering? (We don’t elect private partners, foundations, corporations et al.)
5. Have I done the homework about the origins of the program or issue including the bios of the leadership promoting it?
6. Is advocacy funding coming from foundations (tax exempt, nonelected entities?)
7. Does it entail layers of data collecting, assessing, etc?
8. Is it designed to be “one size fits all”?
9. Does the language in its description reference international standards, creating global citizens of the world?

� 2014 Mary Thompson - All Rights Reserved

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Mary has a degree from Michigan State, her home state. Mary relocated with her husband to California where she became active in Republican Party, then as an early activist opposing innovations in schools which were emanating from Washington resulting from the passage of ESEA. She formed an organization with another mother and political activist to become a research source for information and opposition to the imposition of an all inclusive curricula in the nation's schools, called Family Life Education as well as PPBS, the management by objectives system used to accomplish the acceptance of FLE. During that effort, party activism was abandoned to concentrate on issues before becoming a small business owner with her husband until the 1990's.

In 2001 Mary became an individual plaintiff in association with the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association in a lawsuit against the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority which ultimately resulted in a favorable unanimous decision by the California State Supreme Court in 2008. Following that court decision she was the class representative for negotiations allowing property owners to receive refunds for the illegal OSA assessment.




Without CONCEPTUAL foundations, societies have only shifting sand as the their foundation. They become susceptible to whims of manipulations with ever changing mantras. If resisters of one manifestation of a bigger agenda such as Common Core Standards, manage to thwart or dilute the manifestation in question, the perpetrators will merely retreat temporarily and return with a different name.