The Educators Are Coming! The Educators Are Coming!

Summary: Never Mind the Barbarians Outside the Gates. What About the Ones Inside?


Ever since history began, there were always bad guys trying to smash through the gates. Sometimes the barbarians had a bigger army or greater cunning; but by common agreement barbarians are always the less civilized, the less educated. They were the outsiders, rude and crude, trying to pull down temples of wisdom they did not value or understand.

Goths and Vandals, Visigoths and Huns, Mongols and Vikings--they showed up on your borders and you knew hell was upon you.

In the 20th century, the West viewed the Communists as the new barbarians. A movie made in 1966--The Russians Are Coming -- exactly captured the paranoia, the fear, the terror, that these Asiatic barbarians would swoop down on our society and destroy it.

Well, weve still got enemies outside the gate.

But I worry that the most dangerous people we have to deal with today are already inside the gates. They live amongst us, eating in our restaurants, strolling along our sidewalks, occupying positions of power and responsibility, pretending to be more or less like us. Indeed, the crucial differences are hidden in the mental chemistry, the ideological DNA. These invaders resemble us, but they seem not to be human, not in the usual way. They are like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And like the pod people, they seem determined to convert humans into empty shells.

How do they accomplish this? With battle axes and catapults? No, nothing so brutely physical. With massed armies? No, nothing so overtly militaristic. Will they burn books? No, nothing so obvious.

Their weapons will be subtle and sinuous, like a good sophistry. They will make the content inside the books unreachable and unknowable. Much like the Director in Brave New World, they will remove oxygen from our brains until most people are a Delta or an Epsilon, menial workers who do not need to decipher words on a page.

Huxley predicted a cold technological future: And this, said the Director, is the Fertilizing Room....After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store...We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas, or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or....future world controllers....Nothing like oxygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par. Again he rubbed his hands.

Oxygen-shortage? Now that is subtle. You never know it happened. If you do, you dont care.

(With Controllers and Directors, were talking about the people at the very top, the most powerful commissars, the elite educators. Not teachers, of course; they have little power. On an internet forum, I noticed people arguing about the propriety of a state superintendent receiving a salary of 0,000. A minor administrative position, you might suppose; one that could be eliminated with scant loss to students or society. But perhaps you need to pay people 0,000 if their main duty is limiting oxygen.)

The oxygen, in our case, is the ability to read, write and do simple arithmetic, skills which must be diminished. Oxygen is knowledge and information, assets which must be kept rudimentary. Oxygen is tradition and character, intangibles which must be diluted and drained away until they are no longer recognizable. Oxygen is everything that, in 1900, was accepted as defining human-ness. That everything is the target of our new barbarians.

In 1983, A Nation At Risk, a prestigious government report concluded that public schools seemed to have been designed by an unfriendly foreign power.Note: Unfriendly. Foreign. Power. See, the barbarians had already arrived more than 30 years ago. They hid among us, pretending to be engaged in education but chiefly concerned with conquest, subduing us with social engineering and spirit-warping sophistries, producing ever more faux-education and anti-intellectualism, rendering the country dumb and dumber.

Their tactics were civilized and refined. And so silent. They know which is the superior race. They are. They know we are the barbarians in our own land. And thus they should inherit the earth, our earth. Its only fair.

Why else would we yield without a fight? Everyone knows thedirge of decline: 50 million functional illiterates, a million dyslexics, falling SAT scores, the Jaywalking people who seem to know nothing, falling national competitiveness, high school graduates who cant read the diploma. Our brains must have been starved.

The Russians are coming! We get used to this phrase. We think that the barbarians are outside and will some day invade. No, our barbarians invaded long ago and live right here...

Or so you might suppose if you study the public schools.

(For related analysis, see 38: Saving Public Schools and 41: Educators, O. J.Simpson, and Guilt on


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