A thought-provoking article appeared on Antiwar.com today about the correlation between the way ‘we’ do ‘school’ and the tendency for Americans to easily support wars, if properly manipulated. The article was written by Dan Sanchez.
Here, to me, is the key point of the article:
How did we become so manipulable and herd-like? So easily spooked into hysterical stampedes? So docile and ready to be driven by our government herders over the precipice of war?
In a word, near-universal compulsory schooling. In school, students are not so much taught as they are conditioned. Schooling deeply ingrains certain mentalities that foster militancy: timidity and tribalism, dependency and docility, conformity and credulity. And so schools sow the spiritual seeds of war.
Only a people conditioned from childhood to be easily terrorized will react to small-scale crimes with mass panic. Only a people afflicted with rank tribalism will respond to the murder of a few dozen westerners by a handful of Islamists by sanctioning mass military violence against Muslim populations. Only a people beset with learned helplessness would respond to perceived threats by reflexively offering total deference to the authorities: yielding their freedoms and totally outsourcing the responsiblity to protect themselves and their families. Only a people trained to unquestioningly trust the ordained experts would let themselves be lied into war time and again.
In the article, Sanchez is talking about how many Americans went from not supporting a war against ISIS to now supporting that war. But he could just as easily be talking about almost every war the US has ever fought, be it the Korean War or the Afghanistan war.
If you really want to learn about the points Dan Sanchez is making, I suggest you watch this entire series from the School Sucks Podcast, based on a book by John Taylor Gatto: