link: American Constitution

PHILOSOPHY OF THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION: A DICHOTOMOUS VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE

 

                                                                                            

                        AMERICAN CULTURE AND POLITICAL FUNCTION OF EDUCATION 

 theme: Education in context of cultural beliefs and cultural values i.e 'cultural context'.  American politics and ideals interfere with the aim of education of children which is the complete development of their humanity (mature personality and moral character) so they become autonomous and responsible human beings who know how to live to the fullest, maintaining their desire for learning in order to be able to adapt to a continually changing society and a changing world. Political aims and ideals of the adults in the society interfere with the basic aim of education for the child.

                                                                                                                                                              home

 

internal logic of the American Constitution is built on false premise dichotomous view concerning human nature...        balanced government to curb self-interest...

the source of confusion about 'moral education'...

moralism ...                                      so-called 'problem of ethics'...  ("Ethics has been wrongly characterized as being a function of philosophy")   

www.evolutionaryethics.com     authoritarian ethics

Adam Smith and laissez-faire economics...   adult immaturity...   capitalism...  marketing character orientation...  

 concept of 'freedom'...

 

   

        nineteenth century...

        humanistic thinkers...      holistic perception of human nature... 

         implications for education...  

Perception of the individual in paradigm of American capitalism According to the worldview of capitalism, the human being is lazy and needs to be disciplined to do work. Individuals must be encouraged to compete with one another in order to weed out those who are lazy and undisciplined. In order to incite further competition, they must be encouraged to be 'individualistic' and 'assertive' in working in their own self-interest. In order to show for their efforts and productivity, they must provide tangible results in the form of material gain, economic 'wealth', and 'professional' status. In order for them to continue with their hard work, they gain respect and recognition for their private material wealth and their professionalism. 'Success' is identified with 'happiness.' In order for them to continue in their striving for material 'happiness', their 'success' is rewarded with economic, social and professional status.

Traditional education reproduces the myths of American capitalistic culture  In reproducing the myths of the cultural belief systems, schools have fostered the traditional American values of capitalism, materialism and consumerism, of hierarchy and success, of moralism and control. Referred to as the 'hidden curriculum', the obligatory instruction of the cultural values has been promoted with authoritarian teaching methodologies and 'philosophies. In the cultural context of traditional education the individual is expected to conform to the cultural values. Instead of fostering the individual's self-reliance and hope for his own future, school authorities want the individual to meet their own 'expectations'. Instead of fostering the individual's self-responsibility, they cultivate his sense of dependence on authorities and experts. Instead of fostering the individial's sense of responsibility for his own future, they try to cultivate his unrealistic ambitions for 'professional' status in the consumer culture. Instead of fostering the individual's sense of integrity and health, they cultivate a 'competitive spirit' and life of stress. In their efforts to make the individual conform to the cultural values, they impose thought and behavior patterns which repress the individual's natural desire for learning, for growth and for independence. Instead of trusting the individual's human potential for intellectual and moral development, the school imposes requirements in the form of grades and 'performance' scores. Instead of fostering the individual's critical consciousness, the school cultivates mindlessness.

 

Values of American nationalism... 'American values'  Continuing in the tradition of forced learning... 'rote learning'... the fragmented and assembly line approach to education is used to foster illusions of 'democracy', 'equal opportunity' and the 'pursuit of happiness'. The educational system continues to promote the values which are derived from the belief systems of American culture. American culture is based on American 'nationalisn' which is formulated in terms of the abstract ideals upon which the Americans founded their 'nation'... American Constitution. American nationalism combines the ideals of democracy with belief systems derived from Protestantism, reductionist science and capitalism. In the context of the political ideals of American culture, American education is perceived in terms of the individual's responsibility for adaptation to American nationalism and its culture. Questions of the aims of education are in the context of American political ideals and the American form of government.

Mistrust of human nature The Fall-Redemption myth of orthodox Christianity accounts for the mistrust of human nature and the moralistic attitude towards human problems. According to the myth, the individual is born into the world tainted with sin and is naturally 'evil'. The force of evil must be restrained in its competition with the force of 'good'. An individual who is unable to restrain the 'evil' part of his nature must be 'punished.' Each individual is 'responsible' for restraining and controlling the evil impulses of other people as well as their own.

The individual's suffering in this life is perceived as a natural consequence of the 'original sin'. In this way, the individual's suffering in this life is explained away as a natural consequence of the evil which is inherent in human nature. With a profound mistrust of human nature, the individual cannot trust his own human nature.

 

 In American culture the emphasis is on freedom of the outer aspect of life, freedom of choice and action. The individual is not allowed the inner freedom to act from conviction and internal harmony. Not allowed to act from conviction, the individual does not know what he wants, what he thinks or what he feels. He is not free according to his own will. In order to function in the society, he must give up his identity, conform to anonymous authorities and adopt successful roles. The more he escapes from his inner freedom to act according to his will, the more powerless he feels and the more meaningless his life seems to be... life loses its meaning because it is not lived and he becomes desperate." (Fromm Man For Himself 255-256)

The concept of 'freedom' is usually considered in terms of 'freedom of choice', 'free will' etc. True freedom of thought is not a question of will but of observation and contemplation. Used in the context of education, 'freedom' means freedom of thought (as in Free University of Brussels). In American schools, freedom of thought is not encouraged. People are given choices and made to think they are 'free' to choose. Freedom to think is necessary for growth and development of personality and intelligence. Definition of 'freedom' according to Steiner: "...thinking and feeling which arises from the activity of the human spirit". "Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every moment of his life." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolph Steiner Press, 1970. 138)

The practice of American education has been profoundly influenced by the American worldview, and its characteristically hostile attitude toward nature and human nature. (Miller, Ron. (1990) What Are Schools For? Holistic Education in American Culture. Holistic Education Press. Brandon Vermont. Chapter 1, Themes of American Culture. Chapter 1, Themes of American Culture.) Derived from orthodox Protestantism and its emphasis on religious texts and creeds, the American moralistic worldview has stressed the importance of authorities in dealing with educational practices.

 "The American educational system is based on a set of assumptions which are rooted in the belief systems of American culture. Their historical origins stem from the rejection of the idea that people deserve a better life because they are better 'educated'. Their version of American 'nationalism' is based on ideals of 'democracy' and 'equality' as 'equal opportunity for all.' Their traditional aversion to elitisim and aristocracy accounts for their characteristic suspicion for so-called 'serious education'. Understanding the power of education to change existing power arrangements, they have avoided discussion of the wider issues of educational philosophy". (Illich Deschooling Society 7)

 "The American economy has never been interested in the whole human being but only in those aspects of his nature from which some monetary profit can be derived... An individual might be important to the system as a worker - a person who could be hired to make certain motions of his hands that would contribute to the production of sable goods. He might be important as a consumer - a person who could be be important as an investor - a person with surplus money that could be 'hired' to work for a corporation. He might be important as an inventor, possessor of know-how, ambitions, a 'name' , and so on - all things which could be converted into programs for spending, things or qualities considred as 'marketable.' Man's 'humanity' - his growth to full maturity has held slight interest for the economy... For him to grow into full maturity might mean that he would have rich inner resources with which to entertain himself; and that he would be unsusceptible to those competitive prestige appeals that are the delight of advertisers; and that he would feel a deep insistent concern about the rights of the dispossessed; for him to grow into such full maturity would, therefore, make him far less valuable as a source of profit-making than he is in his adult immaturity." (Harry llen Overstreet The Mature Mind p178)  

  American education in context of dichotomous view of human nature as reflected in the American Constitution and its philosophy of balanced 'governme Education in context of cultural beliefs... cultural values... 'cultural context'. American education in context of dichotomous view of human nature as reflected in the American Constitution. Philosophy of the Constitution: balanced government is required to control people's freedom to pursue their self-interest.

 "From a humanistic standpoint there is a serious dilemma in the philosophy of the Fathers, which derives from their conception of man. They thought man was a  creature of rapacious self-interest, and yet they wanted him to be free -  (Photo: Dr.Martin Luther King)  free in essence, to contend, to engage in an umpired strife, to use property to get property. They accepted the mercantile image of life as an eternal battleground, and assumed the Hobbesian war of each against all; they did not propose to put an end to this war, but merely to stabilize it and make it less murderous. They had no hope and they offered none for any ultimate organic change in the way men conduct themselves. The result was that while they thought self-interest the most dangerous and unbrookable quality of man, they necessarily underwrote it in trying to control it. They succeeded in both respects: under the competitive capitalism of the nineteenth century America continued to be an arena for various grasping and contending interests, and the federal government continued to provide a stable and acceptable medium within which they could contend; further it usually showed the wholesome bias on behalf of property which the Fathers expected. But no man who is as well abreast of modern science as the Fathers were of eighteenth science, believes any longer in unchanging human nature. Modern humanistic thinkers who seek for a means by which society may transcend eternal conflict and rigid adherence to property rights as its integrating principles can expect no answer in the philosophy of balanced governmment as it was set down by the Constitution-makers of 1787". (Richard Hofstadter 'The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism' in Horowitz, R.H. (Ed) The Moral Foundations of the American Republic. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Oceania 1986 p. 73)

                                                                                                                           

Internal logic of the Constitution is based on a false premise: ego-centric self-interest as characteristic of human nature (dichotomus view) The value system of the American nation was founded on the ideas of John Locke.

 "Hobbes and Locke refuted Descartes' concept of innate ideas and maintained that there was nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses. At birth, the human mind was, in Locke's famous phrase, a 'tabula rasa', a blank tablet upon which ideas were imprinted through sensory perceptions. This notion served as the starting point for the mechanistic theory of knowledge, in which sensations were the basic elements of the mental realm and were combined into more complex structures by the process of association." 67)  Applying Newtonian mechanics to the sciences of human nature and human society, "Locke developed an atomistic view of society, describing it in terms of its basic building block, the human being. ...he attempted to reduce the patterns observed in society to the behavior of its individuals. (69) ...Locke's analysis of human behavior was based on that of an earlier philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, who had declared that all knowledge was based on sensory perception. ...Locke compared the human mind at birth to a 'tabula rasa', a completely blank tablet on which knowledge is printed once it is acquired through sensory experience.... the mind is like a blank page and experience writes on it... According to Locke, 'natural laws ' were those which existed before any government was formed. Natural laws included the freedom and equality of all individuals as well as the right to property, which represented the fruit of one's labor. Locke's ideas became the basis for the value system of the Enlightenment and had a strong influence on the develoment of modern economic and political thought. The ideals of individualism, property rights, free markets, and representative government, all of which can be traced back to Locke, contributed significantly to the thinking of Thomas Jefferson and are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution.(Capra The Turning Point 67 - 69)

"From a humanistic standpoint there is a serious dilemma in the philosophy of the Fathers, which derives from their conception of man. They thought man was a  creature of rapacious self-interest, and yet they wanted him to be free -   free in essence, to contend, to engage in an umpired strife, to use property to get property. They accepted the mercantile image of life as an eternal battleground, and assumed the Hobbesian war of each against all; they did not propose to put an end to this war, but merely to stabilize it and make it less murderous. They had no hope and they offered none for any ultimate organic change in the way men conduct themselves. The result was that while they thought self-interest the most dangerous and unbrookable quality of man, they necessarily underwrote it in trying to control it. They succeeded in both respects: under the competitive capitalism of the nineteenth century America continued to be an arena for various grasping and contending interests, and the federal government continued to provide a stable and acceptable medium within which they could contend; further it usually showed the wholesome bias on behalf of property which the Fathers expected. But no man who is as well abreast of modern science as the Fathers were of eighteenth science, believes any longer in unchanging human nature. Modern humanistic thinkers who seek for a means by which society may transcend eternal conflict and rigid adherence to property rights as its integrating principles can expect no answer in the philosophy of balanced governmment as it was set down by the Constitution-makers of 1787". (Richard Hofstadter 'The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism' in Horowitz, R.H. (Ed) The Moral Foundations of the American Republic. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Ocegnia? 1986 p. 73) 

 

Locke's ideas contributed significantly to the thinking of Thomas Jefferson and are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution of 1787.

The values of the eighteenth century Enlightenment had a profound influence on the development of modern economic and political thought.

The makers of the Constitution - the American 'founding fathers' -  envisioned a humane and democratic society which was attainable through a rational understanding of human nature ... They believed that the success of the American republic was dependent on the intellectual self-reliance of its citizens and therefore promoted free speech and free press. 

The internal logic of the Constitution is based on the false premise inherent in a dichotomous perception of the nature of the human personality or 'human nature'.

In spite of the more optimistic view of human nature the founding fathers adopted the view of Thomas Hobbes that the human being is a naturally dangerous 'creature of rapacious self-interest'. Hobbes invented the notion of 'social Darwinism'. They believed that even so in accordance with natural 'laws', all human individuals have a equal 'natural rights'...  'unalienable God-given rights'...they should have the 'freedom' to engage in .... to contend and to fight in the battle... supervised conflict... to use property to get more property... of 'competitive capitalism'.  (see meanings of 'equality' and 'freedom'in this context). Yet the natural rights to this kind of 'freedom' and 'equality' should be subject to control. They believed that the means to peoples' freedom to pursue their needs of 'rapacious self-interest' wasthrough the laws of 'balanced government'). This line of reasoning describes the characterisic motivation by deficiency of human needs for security and self-esteem - the 'ego needs' i.e. 'deficit-motivation'. Deficit motivation is not to be confused with the natural yearnings of human nature for the value-life... metamotivation for self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'... Self-actualisation depends on freedom as 'freedom of conscience' or 'true freedom'... 'inner freedom'.

All individuals should have the 'natural right' to be free to engage in competition. Furthermore they believed that the natural human rights to this kind of 'freedom' and 'equality' were 'unalienable God-given rights' but that they should be subject to control.

American Constitution is based on the philosophy of balanced federal government to control freedom  With a natural rights philosophy to accomodate their dichotomous view of human nature, the makers of the Constitution founded a 'balanced federal government' with a bias for property... The purpose was to provide a stable medium within which individuals could compete for property with property.. They accepted the Hobbesian war of each against all and assumed that life was an endless battleground. They did not propose or even hope to put an end to this war. They only wanted to stabilize it and keep it under control. They offered no hope for any ultimate organic change in human behaviour. They made no provisions for people who were able to change their behaviour. As a result, even though they thought that self-interest was a very dangerous aspect of human behaviour, in trying to control it they necessarily supported it. They were able to succeed on both counts. as a means to compensate for the right of every human individual to pursue their needs of 'rapacious self-interest' ... describes the characterisic motivation by deficiency of human needs for security and self-esteem - the 'ego needs'... 'deficit-motivation'. Deficit motivation is not to be confused with the natural yearnings of human nature for the value-life... metamotivation for self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'... Self-actualisation depends on freedom as 'freedom of conscience' or 'true freedom'... 'inner freedom'.

 

Dichotomous perception of human nature in the American Constitution is the source of confusion about 'moral education' ... see 'problem of ethics' in the 'traditional paradigm'... 'moral development' in terms of 'sociocognitive stages' in the 'holistic paradigm'..

 The belief in the individual's innate evil nature is derived from the notion that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms. The 'natural' and 'supernatural', the person and 'God', are disconnected. This conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit was incorporated into the 'scientific' worldview which originated with the scientific revolution of the eighteenth century's so-called 'Enlightenment which had its roots in orthodox Protestantism. The scientific worldview had a more optimistic perception of human nature which had a profound influence on social and political thought.

 When the American founding fathers framed the American Constitution, they envisioned a humane and democratic society attainable through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. Their belief in God-given 'unalienable' rights produced a 'natural rights philosophy' in spite of their basic mistrust of human nature. Consequently they set up institutions for controlling and suppressing the human instincts which were not trustworthy. The result of their dichotomous perception of human nature is the perception of so-called 'moral dichotomies' and 'dilemmas'. The concern for the 'good life' as an issue of philosophy and religion leads to a so-called moral dilemma - how to reconcile the freedom of the individual with responsibility to the society.

They advocated their 'natural rights philosophy' together with a system of checks and balances as the basis for the Constitution.

Nineteenth century  During the nineteenth century, the American nation continued to operate in the framework of competitive capitalism. The federal government continued to provide a stable and acceptable medium within which the various grasping and contending interests could contend. Furthermore it usually showed the bias for property which was predicted by the founding fathers.

Modern humanistic thinkers are looking for ways to transcend the endless conflict and the rigid adherence to property rights as integrating principles in the philosophy of balanced government as it was set down in 1787 by the makers of the American Constitution. The false notion of freedom as pursuit of self-centered self-interest... ambitions, leisures... leads to disorder, confusion, conflict which need to be resolved with laws and restrictions to limit the damage. As a result nobody is free because everybody’s life is circumscribed by the negative consequences of everyone else pursuing self-interest. It is people’s desires and images... a product of their conditioning... which are motivating them and such motivation is the expression of the lack of freedom... not liberating.

 Holistic perception of human nature  From the standpoint of a 'holistic perception' of the human individual, there is a serious dilemma in the philosophy of the Constitution which is derived from the dichotomous perception of human nature.

 Implications for education  Human nature is potentially good. The actualisation of the potential for goodness is 'self-actualisation. Self-actualisation is a function of development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Development of conscience depends on education which provides the right conditions for growth education i.e. education for the whole person or 'holistic education'. The absence of right conditions for growth results in 'neurotic development' or 'neurosis'. Neurosis is the source of destructive behaviour (including 'rapacious self-interest') i.e. human wickedness or 'evil'.

            Hofstadter, Richard. 'The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism' in Horowitz, R.H. (Ed) The Moral Foundations of the American Republic. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Oceania 1986

    The values of the eighteenth century Enlightenment had a profound influence on the development of modern economic and political thought. Locke's ideas became the foundation of the value system for the American nation. They contributed significantly to the thinking of Thomas Jefferson and are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution of 1787. The makers of the Constitution - known as the American 'founding fathers' - envisioned a humane and democratic society attainable through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. In spite of their more optimistic view of human nature, they adopted Hobbes' view that the human being is a naturally dangerous creature of rapacious self-interest. They believed that in accordance with natural 'laws', all human individuals have an equal right to engage in 'competitive capitalism'; they all have the 'natural right' to be free to engage in competition by using property to get more property. They believed that the natural human rights to freedom and equality were 'inalienable God-given rights' but that they should be subject to control. They advocated their 'natural rights philosophy' together with a system of checks and balances as the basis for the Constitution  With a natural rights philosophy to accomodate their dichotomous view of human nature, the makers of the Constitution founded a 'balanced' federal government with a bias for property... which could provide a stable medium within which individuals could compete for property. From the standpoint of a wholistic perception of the humani ndividual, there is a serious flaw... dilemma in the philosophy of the Constitution. The dilemma is derived from a dichotomous perception of human nature. The founding fathers believed that the human individual was a creature of rapacious self-interest, and yet they wanted him to be 'free' - free to contend and to fight in the battle to use property in order to get more property. They accepted the Hobbesian war of each against all and assumed that life was an endless battleground. They did not propose to end this war. They did not even hope to put an end to it. They only wanted to stabilize it and keep it under control. They offered no hope for any ultimate organic change in human behaviour. They made no provisions for people who were able to change their behaviour. As a result, even though they thought that self-interest was a very dangerous aspect of human behaviour, in trying to control it they necessarily supported it. They were able to succeed on both counts. The result is 'competitive capitalism'. During the nineteenth century, the American nation continued to operate in the framework of competitive capitalism. The federal government continued to provide a stable and acceptable medium within which the various grasping and contending interests could contend. Furthermore it usually showed the bias for property which was predicted by the founding fathers. But no one now believes in unchanging human nature. Modern humanistic thinkers are looking for ways to transcend the endless conflict and the rigid adherence to property rights as integrating principles in the philosophy of balanced governmment as it was set down in 1787 by the makers of the American Constitution. In Aristotelian fashion, the internal logic of the Constitution is nevertheless based on a false premise which incorporates a dichotomous perception of human nature. We now know that the human individual has a 'natural personality' which is basically good.

 Belief in the individual's innate evil nature is derived from the notion that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms... that the 'natural' and 'supernatural', the person and 'God', are disconnected. This conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit was incorporated in the 'scientific' worldview which originated with the scientific revolution of the eighteenth century's so-called 'Enlightenment.' The scientific worldview emphasized the cause and effect relationships of the material world. Natural events were thought to be governed by observable natural laws. Human nature was thought to be explainable in terms of natural causes. This more optimistic perception of human nature had a profound influence on social and political thought. The American founding fathers envisioned a humane and democratic society attainable through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. Advocating a 'natural rights philosophy,' they believed that each individual has 'unalienable' God-given rights.

Natural rights philosophy The American founding fathers advocated a 'natural rights philosophy'. They envisioned a humane and democratic society which could be attained through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. They incorporated into the American Constitution their belief in the individual's 'inalienable God-given rights'. In addition, each individual was expected to obey the authority of strict codes of civil law, ethical standards and social mores. Each individual was to have the moral responsibility for restraining and controlling their own naturally evil impulses. Those who were unable to do so were to be punished. It was believed that the suppression of the evil forces constituted 'virtue' and that virtuous people suppress their inherently evil nature. Those individuals who could abide by the codes of ethical behavior were considered to be moral and had the right to teach the moral life.

Balanced federal government to control freedom  With a natural rights philosophy to accomodate their dichotomous view of human nature, the makers of the Constitution founded a 'balanced federal government' with a bias for property... The purpose was to provide a stable medium within which individuals could compete for property with property..;  They accepted the Hobbesian war of each against all and assumed that life was an endless battleground. They did not propose  or even hope to put an end to this war. They only wanted to stabilize it and keep it under control. They offered no hope for any ultimate organic change in human behaviour. They made no provisions for people who were able to change their behaviour. As a result, even though they thought that self-interest was a very dangerous aspect of human behaviour, in trying to control it they necessarily supported it. They were able to succeed on both counts.

  

References:  Ronald Gross, 1991. Peak Learning: Skills for Today and Tomorrow. Los Angeles: Tarcher

 Hofstadter, Richard. 'The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism' in Horowitz, R.H. (Ed) The Moral Foundations of the American Republic. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Ocegnia? 1986

 

a. Perception of 'reality' as level of consciousness. b. individual in cultural context c. Protestantism, moralism, capitalism d. consumer society and packaging of values

 Political function of education: Education for domination... Education as expression of power and politics A. power as a form of domination : a. power as mystification (mythification) of reality: propaganda a. 'banking' education as cultivation rrational thinking... declining motivation e. social myth: myths of schooling c. Authoritarianism and licence d. student-teacher 'contradiction' f. 'education industry' declining motivation... growing up in American culture: cultural implications of failure in sucess oriented culture 'growing up absurd' g. 'reform' as aggravation / continuation of the 'crisis'

  "There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education functions either as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the 'practice of freedom,' the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. The development of an educational methodology that facilitates this process will inevitably lead to tension and conflict within our society. But it could also contribute to the formation of a new man and mark the beginning of a new era in Western history." Richard Schaull introduction to Paulo Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed Herder and Herder, 1971 (original Portuguese manuscript 1968, translated by Myra Bergman Ramos p.15)  

 Misinterpretation of Puritan ethics:

 "Puritan ethics, with the emphasis on work and success as evidence of goodness, supported the feeling of security and tended to give life meaning and a religious sense of fulfillment." (Man For Himself, Fromm 81)

Work and success is evidence of goodness only if it is coupled with completeness of personality development... conscience... human values... 

'capitalism'...  values of capitalism...   'marketing character orientation'...  'constitution'...   'adult immaturity'... ..

CONCEPT OF FREEDOM The concept of ''freedom' is usually considered in terms of 'freedom of choice', 'free will' etc.  The use of the word 'freedom' in American culture refers to freedom of choice which is not the same as inner freedom. The word freedom is used as political propaganda in the interests of capitalism which depends on people's attention on the choice of products which they can buy in the consumer society.

"The ideas of freedom and democracy deteriorate into nothing but irrational faith once they are not based upon the productive experience of each individual but are resented to him by parties and states which force him to believe in these ideas." (Man For Himself p. 210)

FREEDOM AS INNER FREEDOM OR FREEDOM OF THOUGHT True freedom of thought is not a question of will but of observation and contemplation.(23) With observation and contemplation the 'mind' 'sees' connections and relationships. Wholistic thinking is observing and contemplating - thinking - seeing connections between the parts and how they relate to the whole. Observation and contemplation constitute free thinking. Used in the context of education, 'freedom' means freedom of thought.

 In American schools, freedom of thought is not encouraged. People are given choices and made to think they are 'free' to choose. "Freedom to think is necessary for growth and development of personality and intelligence". (Erich Fromm Man For Himself)

 INDIVIDUAL IN CULTURAL CONTEXT: GENERAL REMARKS For the human individual the nature of the cultural environment is determined by the cultural values and belief systems. Stimuli from the cultural environment involve the basic assumptions underlying the values of the culture. The cultural belief systems are a product of the history of the culture. The cultural history forms the basis of the forms the basis of the cultural consciousness. The cultural consciousness is the source of the peripheral stimuli processed subconsciously by the individual in a cultural context. The individual's thought and behavior patterns are influenced by the subconsciously processed peripheral stimuli from the cultural environment. Unconsciously perceived and processed by the brain, peripheral stimuli from the cultural environment are inherent in the so-called 'cultural consciousness.' The learning process combines the processing of environental peripheral stimuli with conscious thought processes involved in cognition. The educational process for the individual within a cultural context involves conscious thought patterns in the framework of unconsciously processed environmental stimuli of the cultural consciousness.

 As a mode of relatedness, the productive character orientation "covers mental, emotional and sensory responses to others, to oneself and to things." (Fromm Man For Himself 84)

AMERICAN CULTURE POLITICAL HISTORY See Vygotsky and Engels Human 'needs' 

 Education is a function of culture. Growth of the individual depends on the extent to which the culture facilitates the growth process. In the American culture, the individual must struggle to grow in the context of the values of capitalism.

So-called 'American values' are abstract ideals derived from Protestantism, scientific reductionism, democracy, capitalism: individual freedom, self-reliance, equality of opportunity, hard work, material wealth, competition... These are biologically primed human values.

"The American worldview is based on a number of concepts with which Americans have formulated their own particular form of 'nationalism.' Their 'nation' is identified with a set of abstract ideals derived from Protestantism, scientific reductionism, democracy and capitalism. Since its inception, Americans have believed that their form of nationalism offers the best example for the rest of humanity to follow. With defensive aggression, they have mistrusted other peoples and other cultures. They have mistrusted the natural human behaviour of the natural human being. They have mistrusted human nature itself....." (Miller What Are Schools For?)

 Individual in context of American culture: 'happiness' and capitalism: In spite of all the emphasis put upon man's happiness, individuality and self-interest, capitalistic economic theories of modern technological society have taught people that the aim of life is the successful fulfillment of their duty to work. They are made to believe that it is in their interest to work for money, prestige, and power. They become unaware of the fact that it is in their 'real' self-interest to live in harmony with themselves and their fellow human beings. As a result of the demands of the system, ethical norms are formulated on the premise that man is powerless and insignificant. People are persuaded to make value judgements on the basis of material success rather than faith in human dignity and courage. Bewildered by the moral confusion of this irrational value system, they become easy prey to its demands and are influenced by the enthusiasm of political leaders. 

 "Traditionally, throughout the history of philosophy, theology, psychology, natural desires have been considered annoying and even threatening....Theologians , political philosophers and economic theorists have conceived of various strategies to remove, deny or avoid peoples' unwanted desires and needs. People's happiness has been considered in terms of improving their conditions with a view to eliminating their needs." (Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 28)

"There has been a special tendency in Western culture, historically determined, to assure that these instinctoid needs of the human being, his so-called animal nature, are base and evil. As a consequence, many cultural institutions are set up for the express purpose of controlling, inhibiting, suppressing and repressing this original nature of man." (Maslow Psychology of Being 164)

The basic premise of American culture is that the 'instinctoid needs of the human being are evil'.

 'natural yearnings of human nature'  

 The economy of the culture encourages immaturity on two counts. First, it discourages the fulfillment of the natural capacities of human nature. "It discourages man from using to the limit his human capacity for foresight and over-all planning." "Through its advertising, it has persistently tried to make immediate temptation so irresistable that the individual will spend what he has - even though this may mean the diversion of his funds from more important ends. Through its structure of credit buying and installment buying, it has persistently encouraged families to accept the illusion that large payments are small - thus persuading them to mortgage their futures. The image of man as a "good consmer" is often more compatible with that of man as a perpetual impulsive child than with that of man as a mature being of foresight and responsibility." Second, the economy fosters mental dishonesty. The notion of 'free enterprise' has popular appeal, especially for those who intend to control the market through monopolies. They utilize the notion of 'government interference' to make profits in the form of 'protective tariffs.' American civilization is not a human civilizaiton. It is a 'business civilization.' (Overstreet 179)

The American economy has never been interested in the whole human being but only in those aspects of his nature from which some monetary profit can be derived (Overstreet 177) An individual might be important to the system as a worker - a person who could be hired to make certain motions of his hands that would contribute to the production of sable goods. He might be important as a consumer - a person who could be be important as an investor - a person with surplus money that could be 'hired' to work for a corporation. He might be important as an inventor, possessor of know-how, ambitions, a 'name' , and so on - all things which could be converted into programs for spending, things or qualities considred as 'marketable.' Man's 'humanity' - his growth to full maturity has held slight interest for the economy. "For him to grow into full maturity might mean that he would have rich inner resources with which to entertain himself; and that he would be unsusceptible to those competitive prestige appeals that are the delight of advertisers; and that he would feel a deep insistent concern about the rights of the dispossessed; for him to grow into such full maturity would, therefore, make him far less valuable as a source of profit-making than he is in his adult immaturity." (Overstreet 178)

Dependent on the 'business ethics' of the business civilization, educational institutions prevent the individual's personal and psycholgical growth to maturity. Few individuals become mature in a culture which makes 'common sense' out of mental dishonesty.

 "...deception and hypocrisy are neither absolute evils that virtuous men suppress to a minimum level nor residual animal traits waiting to be erased by further social evolution. They are very human devices for conducting the complex daily business of social life. The level in each particular society may represent a compromise that reflects the size and complexity of the society. If the level is too low, others will seize the advantage and win. If it is too high, ostracism is the result. Complete honesty on all sides is not the answer. The old primate frankness would destroy the delicate fabric of social life that has built up in human populations beyond the limits of the immediate clan. As Louis J. Halle correctly observes, good manners have become a substitute for love." (Edward Wilson. Sociobiology 553)

Conflicts inherent in the culture produce effects which are relevant to the problem of maturity of the individual in the American culture. The individual is a divided self, with doubts, fears and inner tensions manifest in the 'mentl illness, violence, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, anxieties, prejudice, etc.

Conditioning influences of the culture are conflicting. Cultural conflicts include the faith in education and contempt for educated people, apathy and driving ambition, etc.

When there is a lack of wholeness in the conditioning influences, the individual cannot grow into a psychologically whole, mature human being.

 The individual is a compartmentalized self, trying to harmonize the various 'selves' of his experience - the domestic self, the business self - the religious self, the political self etc. all housed in one physical self. In the face of the cultural conflicts, the compartmentalized and divided self has difficulty maturing into a psychologically whole human being.

In the face of the cultural conflicts, the compartmentalized and divided self has difficulty maturing...

 The individual has difficulty building sound linkages of responsibility with the world when education in the cultural atmosphere is both exalted and despised. It is difficult for a child to grow to maturity in a culture in which "the natural hazards of life are vastly multiplied by the confusions of the culture and in which he faces an abnormal temptation to remain dependent and irresponsible... where the same two parents send him to school, want him to bring home grades they can view with pride, talk about the inmpracticality of what is learned in school, admire people less for what they know than for what they own, and make it clear that teachers are nobodies compared with business men and movie stars." (Overstreet. 141)

'Adjustment' to the 'society' is the cause for neuroses which result from the unsuitability of humanness in a materialistic society. Intrinsic human values are not valued in a society which measures the individual in terms of material success. Focusing on the demands for adjustment to capitalism, the individual loses sight of his own inrinsic values which make him human. To prevent people from realizing they are being used, they are told that their society is a 'democracy'. Furthermore, they must 'protect' other democracies when they are useful to the capitalists. People's attention is diverted from the discrepancies of the 'higher' value life by having them focus their attenton on issues concerned with the 'lower' values. People are made to focus their attention on the 'lower' physiological needs - sex and food - and the 'lower' psychological needs - belongingness, safety and health. Conflicts inherent in the culture produce effects which are relevant to the problem of maturity of the individual in the American culture.

Confusion of values makes for a sense of personal bewilderment and helplessness; the average individual gets what happiness he can out of doing what everybody else does. To 'survive', the individual has to accept the cultural norms. Adult immaturity is an accepted cultural norm. The philosphical tradition of intellectual and social liberalism requires that the individual grows up into full psycholigal maturity. The traditions of political and religious authoritarianism (dogma of man as a child of sin) do not require the individual's psychological maturity and in fact depend on the individual's psychological immaturity. The inherent cultural confusion comes from the competition of the two conflicting philosophies: rational liberalism and antirational materialsm. "Authoritative religion might want man to remain a child in his obedience and dependence, whie nineteenth century antirationalism might want him to remain a child in egocentric aggrandizement; but in an emergency the two would accurately feel that they had more in common than either with a philosophy that asked man to put his childhood behind him and to achieve the spirital independence of meturity." (142) The major institutions of the society are divided selves and not whole selves. Their influence on the individual is not one which produces wholeness of character. The institution of 'education' embodies and encourages the individual's fixation in immaturity. The American economy has never been interested din the whole human being but obnly in those aspects of his nature from which some monetary profit can be derived (Overstreet 177) An individual might be important to the system as a worker - a person who could be hired to make certain motions of his hands that would contribute to the production of sable goods. He might be important as a consumer - a person who could be be important as a a investor- a person with surplus money that could be 'hired'to work for a corporation. He might be important as an inventor, possessor of know-how, ambitions, a 'name' , and so on - all things which could be converted into programs for spending, things or qualitiies considred as 'marketable.' Man's 'humanity' - his growth to full maturity has held slight interest for the economy. "For him to grow into full maturity might mean that he would have rich inner resources with which to entertain himself; and that he would be unsusceptible to those competitive prestige appeals that are the delight of advertisers; and that he would feel a deep insistent concern about the rights of the dispossessed;. For him to grow into such full maturity would, therefore, make him far less valuable as a source of profit-making than he is in his adult immaturity." (178)

People are bewildered by the moral confusion of an irrational value system. As the result of a capitalist economic system, ethical norms are formulated on the premise that man is powerless and insignificant. People are influenced by the power of political leaders and become easy prey to the demands of a technological society. Without faith in the human capacity for dignity and courage, they are persuaded to make value judgements on the basis of material success.

American culture: education industry', consumer society and packaging of values, myths of schooling

"In the American capitalistic society and culture, people generally relate to each other from the perspective of a market character orientation. Combined with the deemphasis on individuality nd the need to conform is the emphasis on the initiative and self-responsibnility. The result is a feeling of helplessness, cause for the individual's subtly receptive attitudes towards 'experts' and 'public opinion' to tell him how to do things and how to think". (Fromm Man For Himself)

AMERICAN CULTURE and CONCEPT OF ECONOMIC MAN: ADAM SMITH'S PHILOSOPHY AND MISINTERPRETATION OF DARWIN Adam Smith's economic theories "cut the bonds of mutual responsibility between man and man" Darwin's phrase 'survival of the fittest' was used to signify that man proves his fitness by amassing wealth and running his competitors out of business. Also, sympathy spent on victims of the economic struggle was sympathy wasted: such victims were Nature's 'unfit'. (Fromm ?130) "The concept of 'economic man' not only pitted one individual against another, each absorbed in his own self-interest, but fostered yet another type of human fragmentation: it set one phase of man's nature against other phases. Economic advantage became something that could be pursued by means not subject to supervision by religion or ethics. Thus the life of the individual was divided into compartments with such sound proof walls between them that a person in his role as 'religious man', 'civic man' or 'domestic man' could not even hear what he said in his role as 'economic man'. Not only were men divided against themselves, but man was divided against himself". (Fromm ? 130)

 ETHICS IN AMERICAN CULTURE   AS CODES OF BEHAVIOUR: AUTHORITARIAN ETHICS AND THE ANONYMOUS AUTHORITY OF THE 'MARKET'... 'relativistic ethics'. In American society and in the schools, there is a pervasive mistrust which originates from the fear of control by seduction (commercialism, advertising, false values, money prestige, desire for glory etc.) The pervading mistrust is translated into negativity, cynicism and hostility stunting sound psychic development. Stunted psychic growth leads to weakness. People become more vulnerable to tactics and strategies to control them for personal gain. ?...and the 'higher values' of humankind.

 A currriculum allowing for expression of individuality in the context of the traditional content would constitute a compromise for the pragmatists and the traditionalists. Such a curriculum would provide our children with those experiences of learning which are necessary for their individual personal and intellectual growth as well as for their acquisition of the core of cultural knowledge necessary for their adjustment to the traditions of their society. All educationists with their diverse experiences and philosophies of educational methodology, presumably would agree that the primary aim of education is mature cultural literacy. Educationists should be able to join forces in devising a curriculum to promote cultural literacy as the most valuable asset of the citizens of a democratic society." (Hirsch Cultural Literacy Chapter 5)

So-called 'moral eduction' as 'teaching of ethics':

ON LEARNING AND PERSONALITY CHANGE IN AMERICAN CULTURE "So-called learning theory in this country has based itselfalmost entirely on deficit-motivation with goal objects usually external to the organism, i.e. learning the best way to satisfy a need. For this reason among others, our psychology of learning is a limited body of knowledge, useful only in small areas of life and of real interest only to other 'learning theorists'. This is of little help in solving the problem of growth and self-actualization." (Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being)

Hostile attitude toward nature and human nature "The practice of American education has been profoundly influenced by the American worldview, and its characteristically hostile attitude toward nature and human nature". (Miller, Ron. (1990) What Are Schools For? Holistic Education in American Culture. Holistic Education Press. Brandon Vermont. Chapter 1, Themes of American Culture. Chapter 1, Themes of American Culture.)

...(File CULTURE1 ....mechanistic and reductionistic explanations of the human 'sciences' such as behavioral psychology and sociology were accepted as valid explanations for the workings of human nature.

 Competition ..professionalism.

 The American worldview  is based on a number of concepts with which Americans have formulated their own particular form of 'nationalism.' Their 'nation' is identified with a set of abstract ideals derived from Protestantism, scientific reductionism, democracy and capitalism. Since its inception, Americans have believed that their form of nationalism offers the best example for the rest of humanity to follow. With defensive aggression, they have mistrusted other peoples and other cultures. They have mistrusted the natural human behaviour of the natural human being. They have mistrusted human nature itself. Adopted by the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements, the 'Fall/Redemption' theology of 'orthodox' Protestant Christianity formed the basis for their profound mistrust of human nature.  Consequently the natural human being is brought into this life tainted with sin and is therefore inherently 'evil.' Depending on God's 'redemption' for an afterlife without suffering, the individual must suffer in this life. The evil impulses of human nature cannot be trusted and must necessarily be restrained. Each individual has a moral responsibility for restraining his own evil impulses. He must depend on the authority of strict codes of civil law, social mores and ethical standards. Those individuals who abide by the codes are considered to be 'moral' and can teach and preach the moral life.

  With its roots in orthodox Protestantism, the American 'scientific worldview' placed severe limitations on human experience and human potential...(File CULTURE1 p. 3)...

Further limitations on human experience resulted from the economic theories of capitalism. Based on the belief that nature must be controlled, the worldview of capitalism assumes that the natural human being is lazy and needs to be disciplined to do work. Competition between individuals is encouraged in order to 'weed out' those who are lazy and undisciplined. Individualism and self-assertion are encouraged to increase the competition. Work is measured in terms of tangible results and productivity. Successful work is rewarded with economic and social status. Materialistic values are based on respect for the sanctity of private property and the achievement of professionalism. The life of the intellect...and the quest for self-realization are not valued.(File CULTURE1)..of necessary institutional changes.

 Derived from orthodox Protestatnism and its emphasis on religious texts and creeds, the American moralistic worldview has stressed the importance of authorities in dealing with educational practices.

.(File CULTURE1).. 'adult education.'

(Paul Goodman) We force children to grow up absurd. "Any reform in schooling has to deal with the absurdities. The society and the schooling system creates dependent personalities. Addictions of dependent personalities are the things which are killing the nation: brainless competition, recreational sex, pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, "and the worst pornography of all - lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy." (Growing Up Absurd 75)

We need an educational philosophy that works - one based on the belief that 'self-knowledge is the only basis for true knowledge.' At every age, the child finds himself with a problem to solve.

In the American system, time is taken away from the children to develop self-knowledge. Children must be trusted with independent study from a very early age. Their privacy and solitude must be respected. They must be allowed ....?? In our highly organized system of machine production and its corresponding social relations, the practice is, by 'vocational guidance' to fit people wherever they are needed in the productive system. It has been shown in Russia, Germany and China that it is possible to condition great masses to perform as desired.

 EDUCATION IS AN ART Education in the true sense is an art. Human nature demands liberty, equality, fraternity. (Growing Up Absurd 7) "Each person can become a poet and philosopher in the real sense." "There still have to be changes in our society and culture so as to meet the appetites and capacities of human nature, in order to grow up." (11) Growth like any ongoing function requires adequate objects : "Our society is simply deficient in many of the most elementary objective opportunities and worthwhile goals that could make growing up possible." (Growing Up Absurd 12) The "society is lacking in honest public speech and people are not taken seriously". This thwarts aptitude and corrupts ingenuous patriotism. It corrupts the fine arts and shackles science. It has no honor. It is a waste of humanity. "In our society, bright lively children, with the potentiality for knowledge, noble ideals, honest effort and some kind of worthwhile achievement are transformed into useless and cynical bipeds..." (Growing Up Absurd 14) "Pre-empting of the means and the brains by the organization and the shutting out of those who do not conform, can go as far as to cause delusions." When the organization has too much power, "people put up with a system because there are no alternatives. And when one cannot think of anything to do, soon one ceases to think of it at all." (preface p. ix) "In the greast interlocking system of the corporation eoplelive not by attending to the job, but by status, role playing and tenure and they work to maximize profits, prestige or votes.

On teaching: "A universally admired teacher is fired for disobeying an administrative order that would hinder teaching." "The system is inefficient; the overhead is high, the task is rarely done with love, style and excitement, for such beauties emerge only from absorption in real objects; sometimes the task is not done at all; and those who could do it best become either cynical or resigned." (Goodman, Paul. Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized System. New York: Random House, 1961.) 

 "Learning to understand the communications of one's conscience is exceedingly difficult, mainly for two reasons. In order to listen to the voice of our conscience, and this is exactly what most people in our culture have difficulty doing. We listen to every voice and to everybody but not to ourselves. We are constantly exposed to the noise and opinions and ideas hammering at us from everywhere: motion pictures, newspapers, radio, idle chatter....Listening to oneself is so difficult because this art requires another ability, rare in modern man: that of being alone with oneself. We have developed a phobia of being alone; we prefer the most trivial and even obnoxious company, the most meaningless activities, to being alone with ourselves." (Fromm Man For Himself 161)

 To study human nature study the MATURE MIND. The immature mind is the product of thwarted human development.

FALSE PREMISE OF AMERICAN CULTURE "There has been a special tendency in Western culture, historically determined, to asssume that the instinctoid needs of the human being, his so-called 'animal nature' are bad or 'evil'. As a consequence, many cultural institutions are set up for the express purpose of controlling, inhibiting, suppressing and repressing this original nature of man." (Maslow 164) This is the basic false premise of western, especially American culture. Many social problems cannot be resolved if they are perceived in the framework of this false premise. Questions are formulated in the context of the view that man's basic nature is evil. Attempts to resolve social problems fail. Change the basic premise. The instinctoid needs of the human being are not evil but good. Man's 'animal nature' - human nature - is not evil. The 'evil' of human nature results from the failure of the human being to achieve self-actualization - realization of human potential - the failure to achieve 'humanness'. The basic right of the human being is the right to be human. An individual's responsibility to himself is to develop his humanness. By developin his own humanity, the individual is at the same time fulfilling his responsibility to the rest of humanity.

CAPITALISM AND DENIAL OF BIOLOGICAL NEED FOR MATERNAL LOVE Success of capitalism depends on peoples' love for money. Deprivation of the biological need for love results in sublimated love for money and power. In the interests of money and power, the capitalists deny maternal love. They do not invest in the family or the human aspects of society. They focus on the money and make people believe that they 'care'. The paternalistic attitude towards the 'American people' is characteristic of the 'oppressor-oppressed' situation.

CORRUPTION OF HUMAN VALUES  The capitalists make money on crime, ill health, ignorance, addictive behavior, and all the ills and evils which people are capable of as a result of their immaturity, frustaration and unhappiness. Human values, human development, and education for inner freedom are not valued because the capitalists cannot make mney on people who are mature, content, and happy. Maturity, contentment and happiness are not valued in the capitalist society because they have no economic 'value'. Creative intelligence is only valued if it can be used to further the interests of the capitalists. The capitalists depend on peoples' irresponsible behavior to keep their power over them. They pay 'lip-service' to 'educational reform', health care reform', 'crime prevention', 'police protection' etc. using the words to maintain their power over the people. The expression 'pursuit of happiness' is blatantly used to refer to the pursuit of monetary gain. The result is extreme corruption of human values and and the value of humanity.

The self-adjusted man of American culture could be conceived as representing the ideal and over-belief of American psychological theory. Abraham Maslow's scientific approach to the nature of the human being can be cnsidered one of the outcomes which is profitable to mankind.

ISSUE OF POWER Years of living avoidance strategies undermines the sense of power and accounts for peoples drive to 'succeed.' The reactive-responsive orientation contains the basic premise that one is powerless. The power lies in the circumstantial stimuli. "Success is an empty victory" "Most people in our society were nurtered and trained within a reactive-responsive orientation." The majority of behavioral rules people were given as children were based on avoidance or prevention strategies. "Don't do this, that etc... Children are told either what they can't do or how bad they are because of what they are doing. Most educational systems also reinforce a reactive-responsive orientation. "One focus of education is to weave the child into the fabric of society" (Growing Up Absurd 26) "The power in the situation is clearly defined as being in the school r the parents. So the students are really learning about power. What they learn about power is that they are powerless. " They are learning about their purpose in lfe. Unfortunately what they learn is that they are only an insignificant one among many, and that they need to conform. Under these conditions, what purpose or meaning does their life ultimately have? A recent survey (date?) by the Carnegie Institute of Education reports that 90 percent of high school students in the US feel that their lives are useless. If you go along with the notion that things are the way you are told they are, and act appropriately - responsive behavior- you might be labeled a 'good student' or a 'nice person'. "Responsive students usually receive good grades in school, actively adapt to the norms and standards set by people in positions of authority." As adults, they continue to respond in certain ways. Result is that people don't master the skills they need to create their lives. They learn only how to respond and adapt. "Reactive" behavior implies an active opposition to society's message that things are the way they are portrayed at home or at school, but reactive people are usually labeled as 'rebellious students' 'difficult people' 'political activists' 'extremists' and so on.

In the real mastery of life, there is no suppression of emotion. There is a direct recognition of the emotional state. A person who is master of his own life is committed to doing always what is important to do, independent of emotional experience. This does not mean that emotion must be suppressed. On the contrary, the emotional state must be recognized in order to put it in the right perspective. For the development of creative initiative, the senior force is creation. The emotions must remain subordinate to the creative process. Louis Pasteur said that " a man of science may hope for what may be said of him in the future, but he cannot think of the insults - or the compliments of his own day."" It is important to be true to yourself and your purpose in life. What is creative behavior? Ask "what result do I want to create? Focus on the result.

The confusion of values in American cultue results from the coercive social system (Mario Montessori) Manifestations of the confusion: 'Freedom' is confused with licence: (F.J.J. Buytendijk, Experienced Freedom and Moral Freedom in the Child's Conscience, Amsterdam: A.M.I.Communications, 1963.) 'Adaptation' is confused with conformism. (Jeanne Lampl-deGroot, "Some Thoughts on Adaptation and Conformism" in R.M. Loewenstein et al., Psychoanalysis - A General Psychology, New York: International Universiies Press, 1966) Discipline is confused with submissiveness. (Huxley? Ends and Means, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1937. see p. 200ff where he quotes Maria Montessori and discusses the coexistence of freedom and responsibility vs. education for bullying and subordination in Western democracies.) 'Independence' is confused with anti-authoritarianism. (Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future, New York: Meriden Books, 1963 p. 190) 'Equality' is confused with uniformity. (Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future, New York: Meriden Books, 1963 p. 190)

In the American culture, "we are dealing with an infantile attitude toward the social system" It had its beginnings in the child's reaction to a dominant and intolerant parent. The child continues to be motivated by the misconceived value system - a value distortion. (Montessori Education for Human Development 89 ...95)

Capitalism corrupts the psychological value of work by making people believe that they are pursuing happiness by working for money. The important thing is not the kind of work which a person does, but the principle of work itself. "All work is noble. The only ignoble thing is to live without work." Furthermore, intellectual and manual work are complementary and "equally essential in a civilized existence." (Montessori From Childhood to Adolescence, New York: Schocken Books, 1973 p. 103.)

"The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality, with which it is interrelated." (Walter Neff. Work and Human Behavior. New York: Atherton Press, 1968 )

Capitalists 'capitalised ' on the feminist movement. (See MacLuhan.) Women were made to think of their 'careers' as more important than their children. The word 'career' used in the interest of the capitalists. References: Mario Montessori Education for Human Development

Culture of capitalism as denial of the right for normal growth and development... mature growth or 'self-actualisation'
Capitalism denies the child's birthright by denying the child's natural inner strivings towards maturity and humanity. In this way capitalism dehumanizes - it denies the most basic human right - the right to become a fully developed human being, living in harmony with his own humanity - living in freedom. Capitalism corrupts the psychological value of work by making people believe that they are pursuing happiness by working for money. The important thing is not the kind of work which a person does, but the principle of work itself. "All work is noble. The only ignoble thing is to live without work." Furthermore, intellectual and manual work are complementary and "equally essential in a civilized existence." (From Childhood to Adolescence, New York: Schocken Books, 1973 p. 103.)

CAPITALISM AND THE "ADJUSTED" MAN The success of capitalism depends on the denigration of human values...(File CULTURE1)..of the 'job'. Perception of the environment focuses on those aspects which might be 'useful' or 'threatening'. In this framework of task-oriented perception, cognition is incomplete. The criteria of a person's health and worth are based on the person's suitability or competence for a 'job' or the 'workplace'. 'Adjustment ' to the 'society' is the cause for neuroses ...(File CULTURE1 p.4 )...saftey and health. "It is not a psychological question of poor influences and bad attitudes but an objective question of real opportunities for worthwhile experiences. Our society is simply deficient in many of the most elementary objective opportunities and worthwhile goals that could make growing up possible." (Goodman Growing Up Absurd: problems of youth in the organized system New York: Random House, 1961. 12)

"The worst feature of our present organized system of doing things is its indirectness, its blurring of the object. The idea of directly addressing crying objective public needs, like shelter and education, and using our immense and indeed surplus resources to satisfy them, is anathema." "In the great interlocking system of the corporation people live not by attending to the job, but by status, role playing, and tenure and they work to maximize profits, prestige, or votes regardless of utility or even disutility, but automobile companies continue to manufacture cars and persuade people to buy them" The teaching function must be respected. "In this country we have the topsy-turvey situation that a teacher must devote himself to satisfying the administrator and finacier rather than doing his job, and a universally admired teacher is fired for disobeying an administrative order that would hinder teaching." We live in a system in which little direct attention is paid to the object, the function, the program, the task the need; but immense attention to the role, procedure, prestige, and profit. "The system is inefficient; the overhead is high, the task is rarely done with love, style, and excitement, for such beauties emerge only from absorption in real objects; sometimes the task is not done at all; and those who could do it best ebecome either cynical or resigned."

 Education in American cultural context Education is a function of culture. Growth of the individual depends on the extent to which the culture facilitates the growth process. In the American culture, the individual must struggle to grow in the context of the values of capitalism. American culture: "As a culture we retain, along with our reverence for learning, a scorn, if not a suspicion, of it." (6) Americans' reservation toward serious education is (7) Their history "includes a consciousness which associates people of 'higher' learning with those who assume a sense of moral and human superiority ." (7) This stems from the realization of the power of education to induce fear. It stems from the fear of the powerlessness which comes from a lack of education. It stems from the knowledge that the power could be used to "challenge existing institutions and power arrangements." (Purpel 7) Americans are characteristically suspicious of 'serious education' and the intellectual process. Their emphasis on the narrower concerns of education must be analysed in a historical context. Their reservation for serious dialogue of theoretical aspects of education is rooted in their "traditional aversion to elitism and aristocracy."(7) With their historical tradition of 'democracy', and 'equality', they have tended to reject the idea that people deserve a better life because they are better 'educated'. They have discussed education in terms of the pragmatism associated with their version of 'nationalism' based on ideals of democracy etc. With their emphasis on 'pragmatism', they have emphasized the practical applications of education. They have deemphasized the abstract and theoretical aspects of education for all people. Avoiding the issues of 'serious education', they have tended to focus on diplomas, certificates and 'credentials'. They have been confused about their priorities. Should we emphasize 'vocational' or general education? what should we have in our 'curriculum'). They have had unrealistic and even contradictory expectations of their schools. "We want our schools to discipline our children and support and encourage their independence." (6) In their discussion of 'education' within the narrow scope of their political ideals, they have overlooked theoretical alternatives.  Holt, J. How Children Fail. New York, London Pitman Publihing Co. 1964.

 Reactive-responsive orientation  Before this time in history, the concept of human advancement was focused on sources outside the individual. Statesmen shaped the governments etc...".Robert Fritz coined the term "circumstantial stimuli": any stimuli, external or internal, which seem to force people to take action. These sometimes evoke spontaneous reaction and at other times seem to call for 'appropriate' responses. This is the 'reactive-responsive orientation'. In this kind of situation, it seems that the circumstances are more powerful than you are. Strategies are designed to avoid immediate unwanted circumstances. Longer range strategies are designed to prevent unwanted circumstances from happening in the first place. This is called the 'pre-emptive strike'. Spiritual poverty results in defensive strategy; all the energy is focused on what the person does not want. People using it are continually in a position of potentially compromising whatever they may truly want in their lives for the sake of safety, security and sense of peace. Spiritual richness results in creative strategy; all the energy is focused on what the person does want. People using it are positive and creative, accomplishing things which enhance their own welfare and happiness as well as that of others. (Robert Fritz. The Path of Least Resistance DMA Inc. Pickering Way, Salem MA 0l970 l984 27)

GROWING UP IN AMERICAN CULTURE  Success-oriented culture of capitalism - "we should see that failure is honorable and constructive rather than humiliating" (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 37) Children are made to feel humiliated by failure rather than regard it as a chance for self-correction. Individual in cultural context: the cultural implications of 'failure': in a success oriented culture children are "afraid of failing, afraid of being kept back, afraid of being called stupid, afraid of feeling themselves stupid" - insult - fear interferes with the natural process of learning from error- the brain's self-correcting mechanism-the most constructive learning process. Natural learning is learning from mistakes. In the success oriented culture mistakes are equated with failure. Worrying about 'failure' prevents courage to make mistakes and learn from them. Success is rated too highly and children learn to depend on 'success' too much. They learn to equate stupidity and ignorance. These are not the same. If one is ignorant of the facts, intelligent use of the facts is what is important. With fear of failure, "children use strategies to protect themselves from embarassment, punishment, disapproval, loss of status" (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 48) They 'put up a good front' to look as if they know what they are doing. Self-limiting and self-defeating strategies are "dictated by fear" ...Fear destroys intelligence" and fear affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about and dealing with life." (Holt, J. How Children Fail 49) Children must not be afraid. In the capitalist society children learn to control their fears and adjust to them. Fear destroys their intelligence and their potential. Unable to control their own fear they protect themselves by making others afraid. "Gang members are no more than uneasy allies, welded together partly by fear of the world outside and partly by the certain knowledge that nobody else in the world gives a damn about them."(Holt, J. How Children Fail. 57) With failure to succeed, to reduce other people's expectations and demands, children can choose to fail. Unable to meet the high standards they don't try. They choose to fail as a strategy. Incompetence has the advantage of not creating disappointment. Children are made to be afraid so that their behavior can be controlled. Fear and anxiety can be used as instruments of control. Fear makes a person incapable of constructive thinking and working. Real learning and teaching is problem-centered rather than answer-centered. A relationship must be found. Effective learning is connected with reality. Symbolic operations must be associated with concerete operations. "The true test of intelligence is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do" (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 165) Intelligence is learning from mistakes. In the American culture, children's capacity for learning and intelligence is destroyed by 'education.' (Holt, J. How Children Fail 167) We destroy the love of learning in children (Holt, J. How Children Fail 168) "We kill not only their curiosity but their feeling that it is a good and admirable thing to be curious" (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 168) "We cut children off from their own common sense and the world of reality by requiring them to play with and shove around words and symbols that have little or no meaning for them."(169) Textbooks give a distorted view of the world. (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 170) We manipulate them to think the way we want them to (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 171) We are dishonest about our feelings and the dishonesty makes for unpleasant atmosphere in our schools (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 172) "A child who is learning naturally, following his curiosity where it leads him, adding to his mental model of reality whatever he needs and can find a place for, and rejecting without fear or guilt what he does not need, is growing - in knowledge, in the love of learning, and in the ability to learn." (Holt, J. How Children Fail. 178) "There is no way to coerce children without making them afraid, or more afraid. The 'progressives' did not recognize this. They thought coercion could be kindly. But non-threatening coercion is an illusion.( Holt, J. How Children Fail. ) "You know, kids really like to learn; we just don't like to be pushed around." (sixth grader Anna) "So let's stop pushing them around!"(John Holt Why Chilldren Fail 180) With the development of modern capitalistic society, a unique character orientation has evolved as a mode of relatedness with the world, the so-called 'marketing character orientation.' The individual perceives himself as a commodity to be sold on the market. His self-esteem thus depends on conditions which are beyond his control. He considers himself valuable only if he is 'successful' on the competitive market. Unable to feel that his own value is constituted by his own human values, his self-esteem is insecure and he remains constantly dependent on others for approval. To protect his sense of dignity and pride, he is driven to strive for success. As a nonproductive form of human relatedness, the market character orientation does not develop the individual's human potential. Nor does it foster any form of permament relatedness. On the contrary, it creates the quick changeability of attitudes characteristic of a changing market. No one particular attitude is predominant and the semblance of human qualities can be sold and exchanged when others are more desirable. The manipulation of the individual's character contributes to his confused feelings about his self-identity. He perceives his own powers as commodities which are alien to him. What becomes important to him is not the achievement of his self-realization, in the process of using his powers. What matters instead is his success in the process of selling himself and his powers as commodities for the market. To be successful he must please others and play different roles. He must substitute prestige, status and success for his own feeling of identity. Utterly dependent on the way others perceive him, he is often forced to keep up the role in which he is successful. Perceiving himself in terms of market value, he perceives other individuals in terms of their market value. With the extinction of individuality and indifference to a person's relationship with himself and others, the meaning of the right to 'equality' for conditions of development degenerates. The individual neglects himself and forms superficial relationships with other people. Within a culturally manifest marketing orientation, people relate to each other like interchangeable commodities. The inevitable effect on the individual is to create a profound sense of loneliness and anxiety which results in his search for depth and intensity of feeling in love relationships. Under the illusion that his loneliness can be cured in the love relationship he becomes unaware of the indivisibility of love for one person and love for one's neighbour. The market character orientation also affects the individual's perception of knowledge and the thought process. 'Psychology' is used for manipulation of oneself and others, for advertising and political propaganda. 'Thinking' means grasping and manipulating factual data for purposes of power and prestige. 'Intelligence' means efficient mental adaptation to a given situation. 'Knowing' is a tool and 'knowledge' is a commodity. 'Truth' is not attained by observation and analysis. In the educational system, learning and the acquisiton of knowledge have degenerated into the gathering of as much information as possible to increase its exchange value on the market. With the emphasis on knowledge of factual data, development of the individual's innate reasoning powers is deemphasized. With the devaluation of psychology, intelligence, knowlege and truth, the individual is discouraged from thinking, learning and knowing. Rather than fostering the individual's instinctive powers of motivation, the system inhibits his development to self-actualization. Combined with the deemphasis on individuality and the need to conform is the emphasis on initiative and self-responsibility. The result is a feeling of helplessness which is cause for the individual's subtly receptive attitudes towards 'experts' and 'public opinion' to tell him how to do things and how to think.

theme: American culture is based on American 'nationalisn' and formulated in terms of the abstract ideals upon which the Americans founded their 'nation'. American nationalism combines the ideals of democracy with belief systems which are derived from reductionist science, capitalism and Protestantism.

 Mechanistic explanations for the understanding of human nature have been provided by reductionist science in the form of the human sciences i.e. behavioural psychology and sociology... psychological and sociological. Behavioural psychology emphasizes the objectivity of a study of the science of the mind and describes human behaviour in terms of conditioned learning, learning outcomes, students' performance in testing. Sociology... In the interest of promoting the economic theories of capitalism, emphasis is placed on the necessity of controlling human nature, the knowledge of the 'scientific' validity ...for doing so... possibilities for controlling human nature and the importance of... in keeping with the traditions of scientific reductionism, schools teach the values of hierarchy ...in keeping with traditions of capitalism, schools teach the values of material success... in keeping with the 'traditions' of Protestantism, the schools teach the values of moralism and control...

 The worldview of capitalism is based on the belief that nature must be controlled... that the human being is naturally lazy and needs to be disciplined to do work. Competition between individuals is encouraged in order to 'weed out' those who are lazy and undisciplined. Individualism and self-assertion are encouraged to increase the competition. Work is measured in terms of tangible results and productivity. Successful work is rewarded with economic and social status. Materialistic values are based on respect for the sanctity of private property and the achievement of professionalism. Questions of the aims of education are formulated in the context of American political ideals and the American form of government. In the context of the political ideals of American culture, American education is perceived in terms of an individual's responsibility for adaptation to American nationalism and its culture... educational policy focuses on the reproduction of the values and myths of a consumer society... fosters the traditional values of American nationalism based on principles of scientific reductionism, materialistic capitalism and orthodox Protestantism. the American 'scientific' worldview placed severe limitations on human experience and the human potential, in spite of the more optimistic view of human nature. Puritan ethics, with the emphasis on work and success as evidence of goodness, supported the feeling of security and tended to give life meaning and a religious sense of fulfillment. By the twentieth century, the accepted valid explanations for the workings of human nature were the mechanistic and reductionistic explanations of the human 'sciences' - behavioral psychology and sociology. The economic theories of capitalism place limitations on human experience. The myth of orthodox Protestantism - control the innate 'evil' impulses of human nature - combined with the myth of the human 'sciences' - the control of human nature is scientifically valid - these have been combined with the traditional ideals of 'democracy' - equal opportunity and political freedom. All these together formed the basis for justifying the economic theories of capitalism.

Implications for education  

 

 An ongoing debate in education revolves around the question of 'freedom'... i.e. academic freedom as freedom of thought, of expression and of inquiry. Education for true freedom is education for human self-development and self-fulfillment and based on the natural wholistic functioning of the human brain. Education in the context of American culture is education for outer freedom - freedom to choose courses, subjects etc... as opposed to inner freedom - freedom to think, freedom of expression etc. Freedom of thought is not encouraged in American schools.

Education for political ideals of outer freedom... democracy etc....The ideas of freedom and democracy deteriorate into nothing but irrational faith once they are not based upon the productive experience of each individual but are presented to him by parties and states which force him to believe in these ideas...

 In American culture, requirements are established for children's education and yet there has been a general decline in the educational standards. Theoretically, if learning is a basic natural function of the healthy mind, then there is a dilemma facing today's schools: how does the teacher instruct within the limits of society's established requirements while respecting and maintaining children's natural function of learning? In other words, how do we motivate children to learn? Teaching methods applied within the context of an understanding of human nature and the real aim of education could resolve the dilemma of generally declining motivation in today's schools.

Americans misinterpreted Dewey and "progressive education." Hard work is necessary ... children must be happy in school with their work. The teaching of natural sciences in primary grades -until age fourteen- should be based on exercises of observation.

top of page / homepage / introduction

______________________________________________________________________

References:

Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some results of introspective observation following the methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, America in the Technetronic Age, Encounter January 1968, pp. 16-26

______________________________________________________________________________________ 

Individual in context of American culture Conflicts inherent in the culture produce effects which are relevant to the problem of maturity of the individual in the American culture. The individual is a divided self, with doubts, fears and inner tensions manifest in the 'mental illness, violence, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, anxieties, prejudice, etc. Conditioning influences of the culture are conflicting. Cultural conflicts include the faith in education and contempt for educated people, apathy and driving ambition,etc. Educational institutions which depend on the 'business ethics' of the business civilization prevent the individual's personal and psycholgical growth to maturity. Few individuals become mature in a culture which makes 'common sense' out of mental dishonesty.

The major institutions of the society are divided selves and not whole selves. Their influence on the individual is not one which produces wholeness of character. The institution of 'education' embodies and encourages the individual's fixation in immaturity. The American economy has never been interested din the whole human being but obnly in those aspects of his nature from which some monetary profit can be derived (Overstreet 177) An individual might be important to the system as a worker - a person who could be hired to make certain motions of his hands that would contribute to the production of sable goods. He might be important as a consumer - a person who could be persuaded to turn over his money in exchange for goods. He might be important as a a investor- a person with surplus money that could be 'hired'to work for a corporation. He might be important as an inventor, possessor of know-how, ambitions, a 'name' , and so on - all things which could be converted into programs for spending, things or qualitiies considred as 'marketable.' Man's 'humanity' - his growth to full maturity has held slight interest for the economy.

"For him to grow into full maturity might mean that he would have rich inner resources with which to entertain himself; and that he would be unsusceptible to those competitive prestige appeals that are the delight of advertisers; and that he would feel a deep insistent concern about the rights of the dispossessed;. For him to grow into such full maturity would, therefore, make him far less valuable as a source of profit-making than he is in his adult immaturity." (178)

 cultural atmosphere When there is a lack of wholeness in the conditioning influences, the individual cannot grow into a psychologically whole, mature human being. The individual is a compartmentalized self, trying to harmonize the various 'selves' of his experience - the domestic self, the business self - the religious self, the political self etc. all housed in one physical self. In the face of the cultural conflicts, the compartmentalized and divided self has difficulty maturing into a psychologically whole human being. The individual has difficulty building sound linkages of responsibility with the world when education is both exalted and despised.

It is difficult for a child to grow to maturity in a culture in which "the natural hazards of life are vastly multiplied by the confusions of the culture and in which he faces an abnormal temptation to remain dependent and irresponsible... where the same two parents send him to school, want him to bring home grades they can view with pride, talk ablut the inmpracticality of what is learned in school, admore,people less for what they know than for what they own, and make it clear that teachers ar nobodies compared with business men and movie stars." (Overstreet. 141)

Confusion of values makes for a sense of personal bewilderment and helplessness; the average individual gets what happiness he can out of doing what everybody else does. To 'survive', the individual has to accept the cultural norms. Adult immaturity is an accepted cultural norm. The philosphical tradition of intellectual and social liberalism requires that the individual grows up into full psychological maturity. The traditions of political and religious authoritarianism (dogma of man as a child of sin) do not require the individual's psychological maturity and in fact depend on the individual's psychological immaturity.

 The inherent cultural confusion comes from the competition of the two conflicting philosophies: rational liberalism and antirational materialism. "Authoritative religion might want man to remain a child in his obedience and dependence, whie nineteenth century antirationalism might want man to remain a child in his obedience and dependence, whie nineteenth century antirationalism might want him to remain a child in egocentric aggrandizement; but in an emergency the two would accurately feel that they had more in common than either with a philosophy that asked man to put his childhood behind him and to achieve the spirital independence of maturity." (142)

 The unity of the human race an be envisioned for the first time in history

  AMERICAN CULTURE and CONCEPT OF ECONOMIC MAN: ADAM SMITH'S PHILOSOPHY

  LAISSEZ-FAIRE ECONOMICS AND 'ECONOMIC MAN': ADAM SMITH (1727-1790)

 "It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy...What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom." (Adam Smith. Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776)  

Notion of free competitive economy or 'laissez-faire' economics   In the eighteenth century Age of Enlightenment, almost every facet of the Old Regime in France was severely criticized. The 'philosophes' reacted strongly against controlled economy and the 'mercantilist doctrine' of equating money and wealth. They proclaimed the 'liberal doctrine' of a natural and freely competitive economy known as 'laissez-faire economics', a term which was derived from 'laissez faire, laissez passer' meaning live and let live or 'let nature take its course'. It was philosopher Adam Smith from Scotland who formulated the classical doctrine of the free competitive economy of laissez-faire economics.

Smith wrote 'Wealth of Nations' In 1776 Smith published his book Wealth of Nations in which he gave a new meaning to the term 'wealth', a term which had been synonymous with accumulation of some kind of 'specie' - gold, silver, money. Smith perceived wealth in terms of economic well-being which resulted not from the possession and accumulation of treasure but from the process of improving one's social conditions through productivity or 'work'. Furthermore productivity could be increased on a national scale with the 'division of labour'.

Smith claimed it was natural law that governed the economic liberty of the individual and free trade among individuals and among nations as well. According to the laws of nature, people compete freely in their striving to improve their own social conditions. And individuals who work in free competition naturally enrich their society as a whole as if they are being guided by nature's 'invisible hand'.

The notion of laissez-faire economics provided the framework for his theory of 'free trade among nations'. Smith believed that though the process of social improvement depends on economic freedom, true liberty of the economy is dependent on the right education.

These enlightened views of a natural human economics were to be misinterpreted in the American culture which promotes the metaphor of 'economic man'.

Misinterpretation of 'survival of the fittest'  The misintrerpretation of Adam Smith's concept of economic man is based on a misinterpretation of Darwin's phrase 'survival of the fittest'. In the context of Adam Smith's philosophy of economics, the term is used incorrectly to signify that the human indiviudal proves his fitness by amassing wealth and running his competitors out of business. Furthermore, sympathy spent on victims of the economic struggle is sympathy wasted because victims of the economic struggle are considered Nature's unfit'. In this context, the interpretation of the concept of 'economic man' pitted one individual against another, each absorbed in his own self-interest. Fostering a type of human fragmentation, the economic man concept set one aspect or phase of human nature against others. Not only were human individuals to be divided against each other, but they were to be divided against themselves. The life of the individual was to be divided into compartments or 'roles' with sound proof walls between them.

Adam Smith's economic theories 'cut the bonds of mutual responsibility between man and man'... Darwin's phrase 'survival of the fittest' was used to signify that man proves his fitness by amassing wealth and running his competitors out of business. Also, sympathy spent on victims of the economic struggle was sympathy wasted: such victims were Nature's 'unfit'. The concept of 'economic man' not only pitted one individual against another, each absorbed in his own self-interest, but fostered yet another type of human fragmentation: it set one phase of man's nature against other phases. Economic advantage became something that could be pursued by means not subject to supervision by religion or ethics. Thus the life of the individual was divided into compartments with such sound proof walls between them that a person in his role as 'religious man', 'civic man' or 'domestic man' could not even hear what he said in his role as 'economic man'. Not only were men divided against themselves, but man was divided against himself". (FrommMan For Himself 130)

 As compartmentalized selves, individuals who were faced with social and cultural conflicts have to try to harmonize the various 'selves' of their experience - their domestic self, their business self, their religious self, their civic self, their political self ...all housed in one physical self which does not listen to what is said in the role of the economic self of 'economic man'. This compartmentalized and divided self finds it very difficult to mature into a psychologically, intellectually, emotonally and morally whole human being. The individual has difficulty building sound linkages of responsibility with the world when education in the cultural atmosphere is both exalted and despised. It is difficult for a child to grow to maturity in a culture in which the natural hazards of life are greatly multiplied by the confusions of the culture.

As a result of the misinterpretation of Adam Smith's economic theories, the concept of 'economic man' cut the bonds of mutual responsibility between human individuals.

It is commonly believed that economic advantage can be pursued by any means and that the pursuit of wealth is not subject to supervision by religion or by ethics. As a result, conditioning influences of the culture are in conflict. The resulting cultural conflicts which are produced have effects which are relevant to the problem of personal growth and maturity. Cultural conflicts include for example a faith in education and at the same time a contempt for educated people, apathy and at the same time a driving ambition and so on... The individual who attempts to adapt to conflicting cultural forces becomes a divided self, with doubts, fears and inner tensions and anxieties. On the social scale these are manifest in the mental illness, violence, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, social prejudice and so on. With the lack of wholeness in the conditioning influences of the culture, the individual is hampered from growing into a psychologically whole, mature human being.

Children growing in this kind of environment face an abnormal temptation to give up in their striving for self-realisation and to remain dependent and irresponsible.

Implications for education True economic freedom of the individual depends on an education of the person as a whole being... i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education is education which provides the necessary social conditions appropriate for personal growth i.e. the psychological, emotional, intellectual and moral growth i.e. mature growth 'self-actualisation'. Education for self-actualisation results in the formation of mature, ethical and responsible citizens of a civilised society.


  THE SEARCH FOR GUIDING VALUES AS THE 'PROBLEM OF ETHICS'

 

theme: The concern for the 'problem of ethics' is the search for guiding values in the resolution of human problems. What is the source of guiding values?

The so-called 'problem of ethics' - 'how to make people virtuous' - is a pseudoproblem resulting from the premise that the basic nature of the human personality or 'human nature' is basically corrupt. In fact human nature is not corrupt and there is no problem of ethics.

"The fatal weakness of science is its inability to deal impersonally with the personal, with the problems of value, of individuality, of consciousness, of beauty, of transcendance, of ethics." (Arthur Wirth. Forward xiii in Abraham Maslow. The Psychology of Science: A Reconaissance. New York and London: Harper and Row 1966)


 In the context of the premise - human nature is basically evil and corrupt - the 'moral problem' of man and society today is . No single set of moral standards can be applied to all humans...To impose a uniform code is therefore to create complex, intractable moral dilemmas - these, of course, are the current condition of mankind. With wholistic perception many so-called 'problems' become pseudoproblems resulting from an ego-centered mental process which dichotomizes and distorts reality. A wholistic perception of ethics eliminates the dichotamous perception of reality. Natural wholistic learning eliminates the dichotamous perception of reality...understand the unity of the world of ideas. Traditionally, throughout the history of philosophy, theology, psychology, natural desires have been considered annoying and even threatening. Theologians, political philosophers and economic theorists have conceived of various strategies to remove, deny or avoid people's 'unwanted' desires and needs. People's happiness has been considered in terms of improving their conditions with a view to eliminating their needs...  

Resolution of perplexing issues of 'ethics' and 'morality' is possible with analysis in terms of biological principles rather than in terms of philosophical speculation. The human conscience is the source of a 'natural ethics'. Natural ethics is moral intelligence or 'morality'. Morality is moral consciousness or 'conscience'.  Conscience is an emergent property of the human organ for making meaning or 'learning' and learning is the natural function of the 'brain'.   

The problem of ethics is one which deals with the personal, the unique and the holistic. It deals with those aspects of human nature which give rise to the expanded consciousness of 'humaness' i.e. 'ego-transcendance'... defines the core of the human personality or 'human nature'

"Making choices and decisions according to his own organismic valuing process, the individual lives by values which facilitate his own survival, adaptation, self-enhancement and the enhancement of the human race. Like other species of the animal kingdom, Homo Sapiens, the social human animal, naturally behaves in accordance with an organismic valuing process which enables him to adapt to his changing social environment .... With the recognition of the potential universality of the organismic valuing process of the human being, the perplexing issues of 'values' and ethics could be resolved. (Rogers, C. "Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human" Real People Press, Lafayette, California l967)

What is the meaning of the word 'ethics'?  Ethics is a branch of philosophy known as 'moral philosophy'. Moral philosophy is about life and how it should be lived. And so ethics is about the philosophy of life and how it governs our dealings with our fellow human beings and the world we live in... also the world we live on - planet 'earth'.

Origin of the word 'ethics' The word 'ethics' comes from the Greek word 'ethicos' which is derived from the root 'ethos' which originally meant both 'custom' and 'character'. The customs of a community are the social mores which form its character or 'ethos'. This original broad meaning of the word 'ethics' came to refer to the formation and perfection of human character and human 'virtues'. Later the word was used to define the virtues. Eventually it was used to describe the philosophy dealing with the ideals of human relatedness. Webster defined ethics as both 'the science of moral values and duties' and as 'the study of the ideal human character, actions, and ends'. The confusion between custom and ideal character still exists. The modern meaning of the term 'ethics' is based on the American concept of morality as ethical conduct dictated by external authorities i.e. 'moralism'. According to the dictates of moralism, a social community is possible only if all the individuals are united by a communally fixed moral order. The moralistic view is based on a mistrust of human nature and belief in the innate wickedness of human nature i.e. 'evil'. '

Mistrust of human nature as basis for relativistic concept of ethics or 'ethical relativism' Mistrust of human nature is derived from the notion that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms a notion which originated with the scientific revolution of the eighteenth century 'Enlightenment'. The conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit was incorporated into the 'scientific' worldview and forms the basis of the discontinuity between natural and 'supernatural', the person and 'God'. The profound mistrust of human nature is derived from the 'Fall/Redemption' theology' of 'orthodox' Protestant Christianity which was adopted by the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements. According to the theology, as a result of the original 'fall' from God's grace, each individual is brought into this life tainted with sin and is therefore inherently corrupt and must suffer in this life. Even an afterlife without suffering depends on God's redemption. In the moralistic view, the individual is expected to be morally responsibile for restraining the evil impulses of their basic nature even though they are considered to be powerless and insignificant. Since it is not possible to live without values and norms, people are expected to rely on the authority of strict codes of civil law and moral standards set in the form of 'codes of ethics'. Codes of ethics are codes of morality based on external authority... The ethical codes are irrational value systems which are formulated according to the interests of different social institutions...  'medical ethics', 'business ethics', 'military ethics' and so on. This relativistic concept of ethics makes value judgements and ethical norms a matters of arbitrary preference. Ethical relativism is based on the belief that there is no way to make objectively valid statements about ethics. Only those individuals who abide by the codes are considered to be ethical and only they can be made responsible for teaching and preaching the moral life.

'Problem of ethics' is peculiar to American culture The so-called 'problem of ethics' is peculiar to American capitalist culture. Capitalistic economic theories of modern technological society teach people that their aim in life is the successful fulfillment of their duty to work. They are made to believe that they need to work for money, prestige and power in order to achieve happiness. They are persuaded to make everything important except life and the art of living. They act against their basic instinct for self-preservation while under the illusion that they act in their own self-interest. Ignoring their true self, their integrity and their intrinsic faith in human dignity and courage, they lose sight of the fact that it is in their 'real' self-interest to live in harmony with themselves and their fellow human beings. Instead they value themselves (and others) on the basis of material success.

"It was primarily the physicists and the astronomers who created the Weltanschaung and the subculture known as 'science' ...including all its goals, methods, axiomatic values, concepts, languages, folkways, prejudices, selective blindnesses, hidden assumptions. The impersonal model failed with the personal, the unique, the holistic... the fully human person... The fatal weakness of science is its inability to deal impersonally with the personal, with the problems of  individuality, of consciousness, of beauty, of transcendance, of value, of ethics. (Maslow Psychology of Science xiii)

Coercive social system leads to distortion of human values  This coercive social system leads to a confusion of values: 'freedom' is confused with licence, 'adaptation' with conformism, 'discipline' with submissiveness, 'independence' with antiauthoritarianism, 'equality' with uniformity, 'individuality' with selfishness. The distortion of social values produces an infantile attitude toward the social system, mirrored in the child's reaction to dominant and intolerant parents and further cultivated by the demands of the system. Not valued for their intrinsic morality, people become morally confused. In their moral confusion, they learn to depend on behavioural norms which are prescribed in the form of codes of ethics. Codes of ethics are formuated on the basis of the assumption that human nature is basically corrupt and evil. Based on the mistaken idea that the interests of the individual and of the society are mutually exclusive and antagonistic, the notion that the function of civilization is to control instinctive human impulses gives rise to insoluble pseudoproblems or 'problems of ethics'. 'How can the interests of the individual be reconciled with the interests of the society?' 'How is it possible to formulate a philosophical system of ethics which can be applied to the teaching of values? How does one teach the virtues? How does one formulate a 'science of ethics?' 'How can people be made to lead ethical lives?'. Answers to such questions have been attempted for centuries. Theologians and philosophers have sought the same guiding values, theology depending on the authority of dogma and philosophy denying it. The religions have looked to some external authority - a God, sacred book, ruling elite, ruling individual or some set of universal principles such as the Ten Commandments. Philosophy has tried to formulate systems of morals in terms of universally fixed sets of ethics. According to the law of moral universality, ethics is a matter of universal morals which are applicable to any specific human situation. Humanists have attempted to construct a naturalistic value system that could be derived from a knowledge of human nature i.e. 'humanistic ethics'. And scientists have attempted to use the scientific method of the impersonal model of science in its narrow meaning of science as orthodox science or 'scientism'. The fatal weakness of scientism is its inability to deal impersonally with human  problems of individuality, consciousness, ego-transcendance, values and ethics.

 Age old teaching of mistrust in human nature The problem of ethics cannot be resolved if it is stated in the form of a question which in its very asking makes assumptions that render the question meaningless. Throughout human history, people have been taught that their intrinsic human instincts are 'animal instincts' and therefore immoral and not to be trusted. The result is dichotomous concepts of human nature in terms of polarities such as selfish-unselfish, good-evil and so on. These age-old axioms of human nature imply that the reality of 'what is' is mutually exclusive from the reality of 'what ought to be'. Consequently it is believed to be necessary to search for guiding values to live by. Attempts have been made to formulate a system of ethics which is based on the premise that ethical values belong to a domain which is external to human nature. This notion has served as the basic premise for many ethical systems which have been built in the style of Aristotelian logic. Even though the premise is fallacious, the ethical systems which are built onto it are intrinsically logical.  

 Approach the problem of ethics from a holistic perspective of human nature The problem of ethics is a product of logical deduction from a false premise. It is the falsity of the premise which creates the moral dilemma. The dilemma is a pseudodilemma resulting from ignorance of the holistic perception of human nature. The age-old problem of ethics can be resolved if it is based on the assumption that human nature is potentially good and productive. The problem of ethics must be approached from the perspective of a science which incorporates the expanded consciousness of the human mind i.e. 'holistic science'. A scientifically objective approach is possible if the objectivity is based on a holistic view of the human organism as a social organism.

 Ethical living or 'ethicality' is a question of moral intelligence or 'morality'  Morality is exercising the human responsibility for living in reality as it is (requires holistic perspective and objectivity... living in the 'truth'.

     The assumption that the human individual is naturally unsocial is false. It makes no sense to assume that civilized social life is incompatible with freedom.

     The problem of ethics is a matter of individual freedom and moral consciousness or 'conscience'. The human conscience is the unconscious perception of human nature and human motives i.e. 'human needs'.  Human needs are human values and they include spiritual values for spiritual growth - the 'metaneeds'.

 The guiding values which have been prescribed by religions and philosophies can be found within a person's consciousness or 'conscience'.

     When people are taught that they should despise their human nature ('I am only human') then they cannot have respect for their own needs or the needs of others.

Each individual has a biologically inherited potential for moral consciousness i.e. 'intrinsic conscience'. Development of the conscience depends on recognition and  Development of a rational conscience is 'moral development'. Moral development depends on respect for the intrinsic biological necessities of human nature the human needs.

When human needs are met, the rest follows naturally because each individual has a unique potentiality for personal decision making based on their free will, their sense of responsibility, strength and courage. It is the rational human conscience which is the source of the guiding values sought by religions and philosophies. The human conscience is the source of a 'natural ethics'. True morality is the morality of free conscience or 'freedom'.

Codes of ethics are formuated on the basis of the assumption that human nature is basically corrupt and evil. Throughout human history, people have been taught that their intrinsic human instincts are 'animal instincts' and therefore immoral and not to be trusted. The result is dichotamous concepts of human nature in terms of polarities such as selfish-unselfish, good-evil and so on. These age-old axioms of human nature imply that the reality of 'what is' is mutually exclusive from the reality of 'what ought to be'. Consequently it is believed to be necessary to search for guiding values to live by. Attempts have been made to formulate a system of ethics which is based on the premise that ethical values belong to a domain which is external to human nature. This notion has served as the basic premise for many ethical systems which have been built in the style of Aristotelian logic. Even though the premise is fallacious, the ethical systems which are built onto it are intrinsically logical. Based on the mistaken idea that the interests of the individual and of the society are mutually exclusive and antagonistic, the notion that the function of civilization is to control instinctive human impulses gives rise to insoluble pseudoproblems or 'problems of ethics'. 'How can the interests of the individual be reconciled with the interests of the society?' 'How is it possible to formulate a philosophical system of ethics which can be applied to the teaching of values? How does one teach the virtues? How does one formulate a 'science of ethics?' 'How can people be made to lead ethical lives?'.
Answers to such questions have been attempted for centuries. Theologians and philosophers have sought the same guiding values, theology depending on the authority of dogma and philosophy denying it. The religions have looked to some external authority - a God, sacred book, ruling elite, ruling individual or some set of universal principles such as the Ten Commandments. Philosophy has tried to formulate systems of morals in terms of universally fixed sets of ethics. According to the law of moral universality, ethics is a matter of universal morals which are applicable to any specific human situation. Humanists have attempted to construct a naturalistic value system that could be derived from a knowledge of human nature i.e. 'humanistic ethics'. And scientists have attempted to use the scientific method of the impersonal model of science in its narrow meaning of science as 'scientism'. Its fatal weakness is its inability to deal impersonally with personal problems of individuality, consciousness, transcendance, value and ethics. The problem of ethics cannot be resolved if it is stated in the form of a question which in its very asking makes assumptions that render the question meaningless.
The problem of ethics is one which deals with the personal, the unique and the holistic. It deals with those aspects of human nature which give rise to the expanded consciousness of 'humaness'. The problem of ethics must be aproached from the perspective of a science which incorporates the expanded consciousness of the human mind i.e. 'holistic science'. A scientifically objective approach is possible if the objectivity is based on a holistic view of the human organism as a social organism. The assumption that the human individual is naturally unsocial is false. It makes no sense to assume that civilized social life is incompatible with freedom. The problem of ethics is a product of logical deduction from a false premise. It is the falsity of the premise which creates the moral dilemma. The dilemma is a pseudodilemma resulting from ignorance of the holistic perception of human nature. The age-old problem of ethics can be resolved if it is based on the assumption that human nature is potentially good and productive.
The problem of ethics is a matter of individual freedom and moral consciousness or 'conscience'. The human conscience is the unconscious perception of human nature and human needs. Human needs include the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' for spiritul growth.

When people are taught that they should despise their human natur

 

History of  American education

 

 Why did the progressive movement fail in American education system? see page l85 in Cremin "Transformaion of the School" There were too many internal contradictions (explain what they were) "There is no denying of course, that professional espousal of progressivism gave the movement enormous thrust in its drive to transform American education. But the price was tremendous, for professionalism ulltimately divorced the movement from the lay power necessary to sustain it in the schools....Sputnik may well have dramatized the end" American politics and ideals interfere with the aim of education of children which is the complete development of their humanity (mature personality and moral character) so they become autonomous and responsible human beings who know how to live to the fullest, maintaining their desire for learning in order to be able to adapt to a continually changing society and a changing world.

Progressive Education Movement from the Encyclopedia of Education, Lee C. Deighton, editor-in-chief, Macmillan Co. and The Free Press l971 Progressive Education Association "Its history from l938 on was filled with accounts of difficulties on every score. One perennial problem was its FAILURE TO FORMULATE A PHILOSOPHY OF PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION. ANOTHER WAS ITS INABILITY TO PROVIDE SUSTAINED ALTERNATIVES TO THE TRADITIONAL CURRICULUM IT OPPOSED." (253) Boyd H.Bode, Progressive Education at the Crossroads He warned of the progressive education movement's excessive individualism and urged the development of an explicit philosophy.(254) The progressive education movement before World War l: the progressive education reform movement "was directed at specific school activities such as those described by John and Evelyn Dewey, in 'Schools of Tomorrow' (l9l5)...generally involving the assumption by the school of responsibilities beyond those merely of making the children literate," for example "the Americanization of the many new immigrants, for the teaching of vocational skills, or for the provision of community centers." They followed "the views of the philosopher subsequently knolwn as the elder statesman of the progressive education movement, John Dewey, who urged that the schools reflect the life of their society." Reforming educators focused their attention on the lower rural and urban socioeconomic classes. The progressive education movement after World War l: From l920 to l950, attention was focused on the application of psychological, social and pedagogical theory to educational reform for the upper middle classes. Basing their ideas on scientific observation and experimental research in psychoanalysis, education reformers of the progressive movement were scientists of education. Applying Dewey's "multiple eclectic and imprecise dicta" to the problems which interested them most, and thus very diverse in their thinking, the educationists can nevertheless be categorized into three main schools of thought: first, those who concentrated on the "necessity for the school to view each child individually and to arrange the school program around his interests and needs" (exemplified by Margaret Naumberg, founder of the Walden School in l9l4, Elisabeth Irwin, founder of Little Red School House, Caroline Pratt, founder of City and Country School, Lucy Sprague Mitchell of Bank Street College of Education and Helen Parkhurst of the Dalton School all in new York City) Identifying more easily with the simplistic view of the innovator Francis Parker, than with the more complex ideas of John Dewey, many school personnel could easily grasp the concept of "freedom for the child" promoting the fostering of creative expression as the highest goal of progressive education. In l926 Agnes DeLima produced a book entitled "Our Enemy the Child" popularizing the new experiments in progressive education. In l928 Harold Rugg and Ann Shumaker produced the most characteristic statement of the principle of fostering creative expression, entitled "The Child-centered School." In l926 Agnes DeLima produced a popularization of the new experiments in education in a book entitled "Our Enemy the Child." The second category of scientists of education in the progressive movement concentrated on the "responsibility of the school within the social order...to lead in restructuring society." Given impetus by the serious economic depression of l929 and the l930's, they "looked to education and educators ...to lead in reorganizing American life economically, socially and politically." They thought that "the schools must help to establish a society based on a more rational disposition of resources."(250). In l932 George Counts of Teachers College in "Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order?" (New York, John Day) criticized educators of the progressive education movement for their alignment with the ruling upper middle class and urged them to "face squarely and courageously every social issue, come to grips with life in all its stark reality, establish an organic relation with the community, develop a realistic and comprehenssive theory of welfare, fashion a compelling and challenging vision of human destiny, and become less frightened than it is today at the bogies of 'imposition' and 'indoctrination'." (pages 9-l0) In l933, William Heard Kilpatrick edited a collection of essays by R.Bruce Raup, John I. Childs, John Dewey, Boyd H. Bode, Gordon Hullfish and V.T. Thayer in a book entitled "The Educational Frontier." The third category of scientists of education in the progressive education movement concentrated on "research on the curriculum to make it appropriate to the unique needs of the schools in a democratic society." They felt that the traditional curriculum was inadequate and wanted to add new courses to the curriculum, such as driver training, marriage and the family, new English courses emphasizing creative writing, new social studies courses including history and civics with additional sections on economics and sociology, and courses in 'life adjustment' for the preparation of adults who could function adequately as citizens of a democracy and productive units of society ( See Charlesd Prosser "Seconary Education and Life"). Believing that the schools should reflect the values of the society, they held that the schools of America, "LOCATED AS THEY WERE IN A DEMOCRACY, HAD A UNIQUE RESPONSIBILITY TO THE ELECTORATE TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN IN A PARTICULAR MANNER APPROPRIATE TO THE POLITICAL PHILOSOHY OF THE NATION."(252) In l934 Wilford Aiken directed a research project called the Eight-Year Study which proved that the methods of the progressive education movement were a valid alternative to the classical traditional curriculum for success in college. Designs for new curricula were proposed by Caroline Zachry in "Emotion and Conduct in Adolescence"(l940), and by V.T. Thayer and Ruth Kotinsky in "Reorganizing Secondary Education". Still other important SCIENTISTS OF EDUCATION involved in the progressive education movement included Edward L. Thorndike of Columbia Teachers College "with his research on quantifying human learning and on the teaching of reading," Lewis Terman of Stanford University "with his efforts to measure human intelligence" and Elsie Ripley Clapp with her work on promoting a central role for the school in rural communities. In view of the diversity of opinions regarding the aims of education, efforts were made to organize, both institutionally and intellectually, the various groups of educational thinkers of the progressive movement. The attempt at institutional organization was made when Stanwood Cobb founded the Progressive Education Association (PEA) in l9l9. The PEA was associated first with private school headmasters and later with public school superintendents and teacher-training institutions such as Teachers College. Subjected to many setbacks and much criticism, it was finally disbanded in l955. The eventual failure of the progressive education movement can be attributed to the inability of the educationists to accomplish two things: first, "FORMULATE A PHILOSOPHY OF PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION" and second, "TO PROVIDE SUSTAINED ALTERNATIVES TO THE TRADITIONAL CURRICULUM IT OPPOSED."(253) An attempt at intellectual organization: A shrewd observer of his times, John Dewey wrote "The School and Society" (l900), "The Child and the Curriculum"(l902), "Democracy and Education" (l9l6), "Progressive Education and the Science of Education" (l928), "Experience and Education" (l938) Advisig caution, "he warned educators to beware of simple negativism in their critiques of traditional education, adding that their professed commitment to freedom could be as dogmatic as had been their predecessors' commitment to tradition...not overlook that all experiences are not equally educative...that the weakest point in progressivism was its lack of adequate organization and selection of subject matter." (254) Warning against excessive individualism and urging the formulation of a philosophy, Boyd H. Bode wrote "Progressive Education at the Crossroads"(l938). He "believed that progressive education carried within itself the organizing principle for a democratic philosophy of life." Intense criticism of progressive education began in the l940's and continued into the l950's. Three main categories of attacks: schools were failing to make each child literate, they were anti-intellectual causing overall lack of general knowledge, (see Arthur Bestor "Educational Wastelands"(l953)and "The Restoration of Learning (l955), believing they were tied to liberal or radical politics, thought they were anti-American. Even though the mood of the nation favored the rise of neo-traditionalism, the important legacy of progressivism lies in the unanswered questions of educational philosophy. **************************************

 To be properly understood, child-centered schools should be understood in terms of their historical as well as contemporary context.

American mass education is a product of three centuries of economic

revolution. The industrial civilization in Europe resulted from the interplay of science and objective measurement, Puritan attitudes and Puritan takeover of power in government and produced "Economic Man" and the present era of economic exploitation. In America three men built a rational philosophy of conduct: Charles Sanders Peirce invented pragmatism as a scientific method of thought, William James interpreted the scientific study of conduct, and John Dewey promoted the scientific study of education

The fragmentation of the curriculum can be traced to two documents. The first document, published in 1893, was entitled "Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies". Focusing on the ideal of quality education for every American, the report emphasized the integration of different subject areas of the traditional humanistic curriculum. The second document, published in 1918 was entitled "The Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education". The document emphasized the integration of subjects important for social adjustment in a democratic society. The document was devised in response to a new social situation resulting from the immigration policies between 1893 and 1918. The effect of these policies was to double the school population every ten years. The 'Cardinal Principles' were formulated in an attempt to adjust the aims of education to the democratic idea of education through the high school level for every American. Both documents, the 1893 Report and the 1919 Cardinal Principles, were committed to the ideals of democracy.

 After l900 in accordance with the doctrine of adaptation in the theory of evolution, educational goals were set in the framework of "social efficiency" and minds were trained to be imitative and exploitive. With the twentieth century in both Europe and America, the concept of creative self-expression began to play an important role in the thinking of some educationists.

Gradually education was transformed. The center of orientation of new programs (Decroly program) became child interest and the aim of education was the maximum growth of individuality rather than social efficiency. To this day most people will subscribe to one of the two opposing schools of thought on the principle aim of education; adjustment to sociey or self-expression and maximum child growth. Proponents of the child-centered schools, still constitute a very small minority.

 Scientific study of education:  piecemeal reorganization of the school system (l890-l928) During the nineteenth century, curricula were devised. By l890 a scheme was established of classifying children from six to eighteen into the twelve-grade system currently in use. Public secondary schooling was organized around a number of 'subjects' presented in textbooks which children had to read and memorize. The dominant purposes of the school were to cultivate children's mental discipline and knowledge. Missing from the educational philosophy of the rulers of the schools, college and school administrations, was the concept of maximum child growth. For forty years the schools were subject to college entrance requirements. School reform consisted of reorganization of the structure of the administration of the school and had little to do with philosophical reorientation or reconstruction of the curricula. (Harold Rugg The Child-Centered School  p.21)

 Fragmentation of American Curriculum Cultural Literacy

The rise of the fragmented curriculum can be traced to two documents. The "Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies", published in l893, emphasized the traditional humanistic curriculum and stressed the importance of integrating the different subject areas (reference l5). "The Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education" published in l9l8, stressed the importance of educational aims for social adjustment in a democracy, such as health, commmand of fundamental processes (reading, writing, arithmetic), citizenship, worthy use of leisure, and ethical character, in order to cultivate productive and responsible citizens. These ideas were founded on the ideas of European romanticism (Rousseau Emile - a child's positive self-concept is the true key to learning- and Wordsworth- "Thou whose exterior semblance both belie/Thy sould' immensity." ref.20) and American pragmatism- direct social utility is an educational goal, scorned bookish education- attacked the abstract, rote-learned material of literate culture- "the most appropriate replacement for bookish, traditional culture would be material that is directly experienced and immediately useful to life in society". He recommended that the "schools should focus upon the needs of the child and society"" (Dewey). They emphasized the importance of the development of the whole child as a unique individual This in turn was based opon the theory of natural human growth, which holds that the "infant has an inborn, instinctive tendency to follow its own proper development" (developmental psychology)(ll8)

  Edward Thorndike. The entire rationale of the the traditional curriculum was questioned (ref. 24, 25, 26) Emphasis was placed on child diversity, on children's "individual differences in capacities and aptitudes", interpreted by Dewey in terms of children's differences as unique individuals. The pragmatic professional educators on the other hand, interpreted the new emphasis on individual differences in terms of variation in intelligence. The effects of the combination of the Cardinal Principles and emphasis on child diversity ("individual principles in capacities and aptitudes"): a theory of 'educational formalism' was devised to accomodate the two sets of requirements for children growing up in a democratic society. "For if all are to attain literacy and numeracy through different materials suited to their different temperaments, the 'fundamental processes' of reading, writing and arithmetic must be conceived as purely formal skills. Only under a formalistic concept can all students command the same basic processes, even though the materials by which they learn them are diversified to suit their 'individual differences in capacities and aptitudes'."(l20)

Alhough each focused on different requirements for a democratic society, both the l893 and the l9l8 reports were committed to democratic ideals. The l893 Committee of Ten report focused on the democratic ideal of providing a quality educational foundation for every American who could stay in school. Between l893 and l9l8 a new social situation was being created by immigration policies which resulted in the doubling of the school population every ten years. More Americans were graduating from high school than ever before. Consequently the l9l8 report "Cardinal Principles" was formulated as an attempt to adjust educational aims to the democratic ideal of education for every American through the high school level.

At the same time, the ideas of John Dewey, Clarence Kingsley William Kilpatrick and other leaders of the 'progressive movement' emphasized the necessity of accomodating individual differences in a humane curriculum. Dewey was opposed to book-centered instruction but not opposed to the traditional aims of education, namely the cultivation of literacy and knowledge. His principles of active learning experience for effective education were not meant to be combined with the principles of educational formalism in institutional settings. He was "appalled by the neutral scientism(?) of those American educational administrators who began to institutionalize progressive ideas"(ref. 29) horizontally fragmenting the curriculum by way of 'tracking' and 'grouping'. As a result of dividing students according to differences in 'intelligence', children were in effect allocated to academic castes, each receiving different kinds of information, useful as preparation for citizenship, work and leisure. Versions of these theories continued to be practised in the form of "the life adjustment movement of the l940s and l950s"and the "open education" of the l960s and l970s.

The life adjustment movement of the l940s and l950s as well as the movement for "open education" in the l960s and l970s (Charles Rathbone and Roland Barth ref. 36,37) represented a continuation of the new ideas of progressive education (romantic formalism). In the meantime, by combining some aspects of the traditional curriculum along with the theories of developmental psychology, private schools have produced graduates who were more literate than those produced by public schools which institutionalized the new theories of the progressive movement. Principles of reform:

The reform movement of the l980s could be regarded as a counterreform advocating a return to a more traditional curriculum. Though not favored by many school administrators and education school professors, there are aspects of the traditional curriculum which cultivate mature literacy and the "higher values" of humankind. A curriculum allowing for expression of individuality in the context of the traditional content would constitute a compromise for the pragmatists and the traditionalists. Such a curriculum would provide our children with those experiences of learning which are necessary for their individual personal and intellectual growth as well as for their acquisition of the core of cultural knowledge necessary for their adjustment to the traditions of their society. All educationists, with their diverse experiences and philosophies of educational methodology, presumably would agree that the primary aim of education is mature cultural literacy. Educationists should be able to join forces in devising a curriculum to promote cultural literacy as the most valuable asset of the citizens of a democratic society.

CULTURAL LITERACY AND THE SCHOOLS Chapter Five The rise of the fragmented curriculum (E.D. Hirsch,Jr. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston "The practical importance of ideas in human affairs, while not a recent revelation, is one that is too easily forgotten." (p.ll0) Shortcomings in American education have been blamed on social changes, such as impact of television, and faults in the structure of the teacher training and school systems, rather than on mistaken theories promoted by educational policymakers. One of these theories, known as "educational formalism",(define) TThree mistaken tenets of the theory of educational formalism: FIRST it "encourages us to ignore the fact that identifying and imparting the information a child is missing is most important in the earliest grades when the task is most manageable." On the contrary, motivation and self-confidence are enhanced when children are exposed to serious learning opportunities at an early age. Secondly educational formalism "conceives of literacy as a set of techniques that can be developed by proper coaching and practice". As soon as students read for meaning this idea becomes an oversimplification since understanding the information in the text is the real skill. Thirdly, educational formalism "assumes that the specific contents used to teach 'language arts' do not matter so long as they are closely tied to what the child already knows." This ignores the fact that "different children know different things." (ll3) Reading for content (traditional and factual material) as opposed to up-to-date 'imaginative literature' and 'fictions' is a wasteful mistake resulting in an increase in illiteracy and a decline in the ability to communicate. "Professors of education have accepted the fatalistic view that family background is so important and so deeply ingrained in young children that the schools are powerless to make a significant difference in the academic achievements of children from educationally deprived backgrounds."(113) A research team led by James Coleman gathered data from four thousand schools and wrote up a report on the strong correlation between family background and academic achievement. Other reports of the Carnegie Council on Children supported the conclusions, as well as studies such as the book "Inequality" by Christopher Jencks. Although the same observations have been confirmed many times, the conclusions drawn from them are incorrect. The fact that academic achievement is determined by family background in the framework of the fragmented curriculum is not proof that the same would be true for a different curriculum. As the curriculum has become more fragmented and incoherent, the standard of literacy has declined regardless of family background. Based on interviews with sixty thousand sophomores and seniors as well as their teachers and principals, a l98l Coleman survey of a thousand schools showed that irrespective of family background, children in private schools achieve better than children in public schools. The difference is probably a result of differences in curricula, an interpretation supported by Herbert Walberg and Timothy Shanahan who suggest that "the chief factor in academic achievement is the time the student spends in studying the material to be mastered."(p.ll5)

American mass education is a product of three centuries of economic revolution. With the Puritan takeover of power in government, the interplay of values of science and objective measurement resulting from the two centuries of scientific revolution together with Puritan values of Protestantism produced 'economic man' and the present era of economic exploitation. Mass education was a result of the industrial revolution. Perceived as the 'masses', large groups of individuals were trained for work in the factories. Educational curricula and teaching methodologies were designed for mass education. Knowledge areas and skill areas were fragmented and distributed into separate 'subjects' and separate 'skills' to make up a 'curriculum' of academic 'requirements.' With the fragmented and assembly line approach to education, the 'traditional' methods of teaching emphasized learning by rote memorization of isolated facts. Students were expected to be punctual, to follow orders and to perform meaningless tasks without questioning. Since their inception, schools have become institutions of compulsory 'education'. Continuing in the tradition of forced learning, the fragmented and assembly line approach to education is used to foster illusions of 'democracy', 'equal opportunity' and the 'pursuit of happiness'. The educational system continues to promote the values which are derived from the belief systems of American culture. link: educational crisis (text is based on Ivan Illich Deschooling Society)

EDUCATIONAL CRISIS AMERICAN EDUCATION SERVES THE RULING INTERESTS OF THE CLASS SOCIETY...

 theme: An analysis of the current school crisis in the cultural context and historical tradition:... In a class society, the power elite determines what education will be, and therefore its objectives...not be opposed to their interests.... would not promote an education to stimulate the oppressed to discover the raison d'etre of the social structure. ...the elite might permit discussion of such education... and it might tolerate the occasional experiment which could be immediately suppressed should the status quo be threatened...by serving the ruling interests in a class society, and by doing this in a disguised way, education actually gives people a distorted view of the world, and offers a misrepresentation of reality. Through its process, its content and its political power in bestowing social rewards, it presents a conceptual scheme and methodologies- ways of perceiving the world - that largely ensure that people will take their place in the existing world as well-fitting members of the status quo, without questioning the status quo or perceiving the real relations on which it is built ...Education promotes a distorted and illusory view of reality in the name of enquiring into truth. And since it does this in a deliberate and systematic way, its offerings and products can properly be characterised as a structured misrepresentation of reality. The American educational system is based on a set of assumptions which are rooted in the belief systems of American culture. Their historical origins stem from the rejection of the idea that people deserve a better life because they are better 'educated'. Their version of American 'nationalism' is based on ideals of 'democracy' and 'equality' as 'equal opportunity for all.' Their traditional aversion to elitisim and aristocracy accounts for their characteristic suspicion for so-called 'serious education'. Understanding the power of education to change existing power arrangements, they have avoided discussion... Emphasis has been placed on the practical applications of education.

 In the historic tradition of American 'pragmatism', discussion and debate on educational issues has stressed the technical issues of the educational system. Focusing on diplomas, certificates and 'credentials', the function of the teacher or 'educator' has been defined in terms of technical expertise. In the American educational system, the teacher must be an expert about the subject matter and an expert about teaching. "When most professional educators examine the social setting they tend to use the very narrow and limited perspectives of the accessible present and of vocational preparation and economic need. Overemphasis on techniques and technologies in an overtechnologized consumer society has led to the present educational crisis and the need for educational reform. Emphasis has been placed on the practical applications of education. In the historic tradition of American 'pragmatism', discussion and debate on educational issues has stressed the technical issues of the educational system. Focusing on diplomas, certificates and 'credentials', the function of the teacher or 'educator' has been defined in terms of technical expertise. In the American educational system, the teacher must be an expert about the subject matter and an expert about teaching. With the discussion of education within the narrow scope of pragmatism, the theoretical aspects of education have been deemphasized. With the focus on the political ideals of the 'nation', the 'purposes of educaton' have been defined in terms of ideological principles and economic theory. theoretical alternatives have been overlooked. In their discussion of 'education' within the narrow scope of their political ideals, they have deemphasized the theoretical aspects of education and overlooked the theoretical alternatives. When most professional educators examine the social setting they tend to use the very narrow and limited perspectives of the accessible present and of vocational preparation and economic need. Overemphasis on techniques and technologies in an overtechnologized consumer society has led to the present educational crisis and the need for educational reform.

 In avoiding the complex questions about the nature and purposes of education, educational problems have been defined in terms of their 'implicit moral dilemmas' and 'dichotomies'. Focusing on the dilemmas of the educational system has caused confusion about the 'priorities.' Should we emphasize 'vocational edcation' or 'general education'? What should we have in our 'curriculum'. The confusion about priorities has resulted in unrealistic and even contradictory expectations of the schools. "We want our schools to discipline our children and at the same time support and encourage their independence." The confusion about purposes and priorities has resulted in an educational 'crisis' and a need for educational 'reform'. In the context of American culture, schools have fostered the traditional American values of hierarchy, conformity, success, materialism, and control. Schools have fostered the individual's conformity to those values. The obligatory instruction of the cultural values has been referred to as the 'hidden curriculum'. In order to succeed with the hidden curriculum, the educational system promotes those teaching methodologies and philosophies which are compatible with the cultural values. Expectations are substituted for self-reliance and hope. The schooling institutions have taken on the responsibility for children's learning and growth. They are taught to accept the cultural values and expectations which are inherent in the school curriculum. In the school system, their 'individuality' is expected to blend in with the cultural belief systems. In this analysis, American cultural values can only be sustained with educational practice which fosters conformity to the American cultural belief systems based on historical traditions and ideals. It is in the interest of sustaining the American cultural values that educational practice fosters American 'individuality' in the context of the American culture. The basic structure of the culture is reproduced in the 'hidden curriculum' of the American educational system. It consists of the 'sorting out' and classifying individuals into groups. The sorting is carried out by means of standardized testing and other classifying procedures. In the sorting out process, students must learn to be obedient and passive; they must learn to work at meaningless tasks without complaining; they must learn to value competition. As authority figures, teachers must be obeyed and respected. Paradoxically, the teaching force must be kept weak and demoralized in order for the schools to succeed with their hidden curriculum - to reproduce cultural values which are compatible with a consumer culture. In the American educational system, schools represent a powerful force of social, intellectual and personal oppression... The schooling system systematically and profoundly enslaves the individual's thought and behavior patterns within the framework of the cultural belief system. Although credited with the principle function of 'forming critical judgment', the term 'schooling' can be defined as an age-specific, teacher related process requiring full-time attendance at an obligatory curriculum The present school system continues its function of reproducing the cultural values of a consumer society. In keeping with the traditional ideal of the individual's right to pursue happiness, schools have promoted the myth of an earthly paradise of never-ending consumption... In fostering the values of the consumer society, the schools promote the social myth of an unending consumption of services. In the process, children are taught the myth of the 'measurement of values'. They are taught that only 'measurable' values are rewarded in the consumer society. Personal growth, imagination and creativity cannot be measured and are not valued. They are taught the 'myth of packaging values'...instruction to go on consuming one 'offering' after another, and last year's wrapping is always obsolete for this year's consumer." (Illich 42) In the context of capitalism and the consumer society, 'free' schools have resorted to methods of 'seduction' rather than authoritarianism as their means of control over the consumer-students. The fundamental assumption forming the basis of all schools - those using 'seductive' pedagogical methods as well as those using authoritarianism - is "the idea that one person's judgment should determine what and when another person must learn." (42) "School serves as an effective creator and sustainer of social myth because of its structure as a ritual game of graded promotions." (Illich 44) "Only recently has schooling been confused with education and peoples' competence been judged by their diplomas. The 'professisonal' major qualification of the 'professional' is that he/she can pass a licensing examination." The American educational system has become the educational machine of the knowledge industry. School directly or indirectly employs a major portion of the population. It keeps people for life, and makes sure that they will fit into its institutions. (Illich 47) As the 'new world religion' for consumer societies, it is the "world's fastest growing labor market." (Illich 46) In the context of American culture, the function of the schools is to foster conformity to the cultural values of a consumer society. In schools of the consumer culture, children are taught the 'need to be taught' and the need to be consumers of the services of 'teaching'. 'Schooling,' and 'teaching' as 'skill instruction' is confused with education and learning, grade advancement is confused with progressive learning, diploma with competence, etc. (1) 'Equal educational opportunity' is made synonymous with 'obligatory education.' "Obligatory schooling as obligatory attendance, becomes schooling for the sake of 'schooling' and not for the sake of education. Nonmaterial needs are transformed into demands for commodities; education is defined in terms of the results of 'services.' Institutions are created for the 'services' required for education." As institutionalized education, schooling is based on three premises: children belong in school, children learn in school, children can be taught only in school. In the culture of capitalism and consumerism, schools serve to initiate children into the consumer society. As preparation for a life of never ending consumption, children learn to become alienated from the realities of life. Their 'education' is deprived of reality and creativity. They learn to adapt to the alienating institutionalization of values and belief systems. They learn to close themselves off to the surprises which life offers. Eventually they lose their incentive to grow in independence. They become 'psychologically impotent', unable to fend for themselves.

...e ('I am only human') then they cannot have respect for their own needs or the needs of others.

Each individual has a biologically inherited potential for moral consciousness i.e. 'intrinsic conscience'. Development of the conscience depends on recognition and respect for of the intrinsic biological necessities of human nature. Development of a rational conscience is 'moral development'. Moral development depends on respect for human needs and spiritual growth. When human needs are met, the rest follows naturally because each individual has a unique potentiality for personal decision making based on their free will, their sense of responsibility, strength and courage. It is the rational human conscience which is the source of the guiding values sought by religions and philosophies. The human conscience is the source of a 'natural ethics'. True morality is the morality of free conscience i.e. 'freedom'.

 The problem of ethics must be aproached from the perspective of a science which incorporates the scientist's expanded consciousness i.e. 'holistic science'.

The guiding values which have been prescribed by religions and philosophies can be found within a person's consciousness or 'conscience'. AMERICAN ECUCATION

 Truly 'innovative' methods and pedagogies of 'non-traditional' education have the effect of liberating the learner from the authoritarian role of the teacher, the curriculum and the institution. The learner must be free to develop self-discipline, engage in self-directed learning, and achieve self-actualization. An innovative pedagogy of liberation in education can lead to a person's full humanization and the humanization of society... the aim of education

   educational policy should answer the following question: 'which worldview is shaping the goals of education?'

 Educational goals are shaped according to the metaphysical assumptions of a prevailing scientific paradigm or worldview. Through a process of enculturation in the course of human evolution and human history, people subconsciously experience reality in the context of a prevailing 'scientific' worldview. 'Science' is a human activity involving a perspective of the world. Beliefs are structured within the framework of the assumptions which form the basis for a given perception of reality.

 The 'protosciences' of the ancients were based on the belief that complex natural phenomena could be explained by theological revelation and an understanding of the 'soul.'

During the medieval period in Europe and until the 18th century, societies of Europe and North America were dominated by the worldview based on the beliefs of the Christian church. The concepts of 'oneness' and 'wholeness' were considered to be metaphysical notions in the realm of theology. With the scientific revolution, the Christian worldview was replaced by a scientific worldview. This view was based on the belief that the universe was set in motion by a Creator and obeyed certain universal laws of motion. According to Newtonian mechanics, the universe was a giant mechanism made up of uniformly behaving bodies and forces. The laws of motion were determined by simple relationships between them. Man was perceived as separate from nature and in a position to control it. 'Science' was recognized as a human activity involving a set of basic metaphysical assumptions. First, objectivism - the observer and the observed are separate; second, reductionism - all complex phenomena can be explained in terms of simple phenomena; third, positivism - all scientific knowledge can be derived from physically measurable data; and fourth, determinism - it is possible to predict phenomena on the basis of scientific laws. Within the framework of these assumptions, scientists made models of the physical world. Using a 'scientific method,' they postulated hypotheses and designed experiments to test their models. Analysing the data, they arrived at conclusions which formed the basis of their description of the physical world. In this process of so-called 'logical empiricism,' the observer of reality experienced the world objectively. Based on the well established assumptions of objectivism, reductionism, positivism and determinism, the methods of modern science have become established as an orthodox reductionist science. Many scientists make the mistake of confusing the definition of modern science with the assumptions upon which it is based. They believe that any knowledge system which does not account for these assumptions must not be in the realm of 'science.'

According to the worldview of reductionist science, scientific reality is perceived objectively without the participation of the observer. There is no recognition for the scientific reality of the human inner life. Scientific methodology is based on the assumption that the process of observation involves the detachment of the observer. Of great significance in the Western tradition, this quality of detachment from the objective world is the origin of the concept of individuality and individual freedom. The price has been a sense of alienation from the outer world - a loss of the sense of 'oneness' with the universe, a loss of the wholistic perspective. In the extreme form of detachment, the individual treats other human beings as objects.

 Educational methodology which is formulated within the context of this worldview does not recognize the scientific reality of the human inner life. Pedagogocal principles have been formulated with a view to the learner's detachment in the learning process. In the past, the worldview of reductionist science has been shaping the goals of education. The scientific process of logical empiricism has shaped the perception of the learning process in education. With a bias toward completely 'objective' knowledge, scientific methodology has directly influenced the educational methodology. The aims of education have been formulated in terms of the acquisition and measurement of 'objective' knowledge. The assumption is made that cognitive knowledge can only be measured with 'objective' testing methods. The 'objectives' of classwork and coursework have been described in terms of test-taking skills and test performance. The value of knowledge has been measured in terms of its objectives and its usefulness. In the context of this scientific paradigm and worldview, the objective scientific reality of 'being human' is defined in terms of objective scientific reality. It is not ...

A scientific study of education requires an understanding of the issues the historical context of democratic political ideology (Harold Rugg The Child Centered School)

 American mass education is a product of three centuries of economic revolution. With the Puritan takeover of power in government, the interplay of values of science and objective measurement resulting from the two centuries of scientific revolution together with Puritan values of Protestantism produced 'economic man' and the present era of economic exploitation.

RISE OF THE FRAGMENTED CURRICULUM ...CULTURAL LITERACY AND THE SCHOOLS chapter five (E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston.)

By 1890 the twelve-grade classification system was established. Schooling in the public secondary grades was organized around a number of 'subjects' which children studied from textbooks. Mental discipline and knowledge were the purposes of school. The fragmentation of the curriculum can be traced to two documents. (Hirsch 116) The first document, published in 1893, was entitled "Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies". Focusing on the ideal of quality education for every American, the report emphasized the integration of different subject areas of the traditional humanistic curriculum. The second document, published in 1918 was entitled "The Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education". The document emphasized the integration of subjects important for social adjustment in a democratic society. The document was devised in response to a new social situation resulting from the immigration policies between 1893 and 1918. The effect of these policies was to double the school population every ten years. The 'Cardinal Principles' were formulated in an attempt to adjust the aims of education to the democratic idea of education through the high school level for every American. Both documents, the 1893 Report and the 1919 Cardinal Principles, were committed to the ideals of democracy. At the same time, the ideas of philosoper John Dewey and leaders of the 'progressive movement' emphasized individual differences, experiential learning and a humane curriculum. In the minds of administrators of educational institutions, the unfortunate combination of Dewey's ideas with the principles of educational formalism led to the institutionalization of the progressive ideas. Progressive education was perceived as a kind of 'romantic formalism. In this context, administrators fragmented the curriculum further. Fragmentation was 'horizontal'. Children were allocated to different 'groups' or 'tracks' depending on their level of 'intelligence'. The children of different groups received information considered to be appropriate to their 'capacities'. The information was selected to prepare them for citizenship, for work and for leaisure. Progressive education was accomodated to the democratic ideal of education for every American. Each individual was educated to be useful to the society. The principles were based on the ideas of European romanticism and American pragmatism. According to Rousseau, author of 'Emile', the true key to learning is a child's positive self-concept. The pragmatists wanted to replace traditional rote-learning with experiential learning for social utility. They stressed those aspects of a curriculum which would cultivate productive and responsible citizens. They interpreted individual differences in terms of the new concept of variation in intelligence. The combined effect of the Cardinal Principles and the emphasis on child diversity gave rise to the theory of 'educational formalism'. Born with "individual differences and capacities", children growing up in a democratic society were required to have access to different materials in order to attain literacy and numeracy. It was believed that "only under a formalistic concept" can all students command the same fundamental processes. Since children vary in their capacities, then the only way to achieve universal literacy and numeracy was to conceive of reading, writing and arithmetic as 'formal skills.' (Hirsch 120) College entrance requirements dictated school policies. From 1890 to 1928 school 'reform' consisted of piecemeal restructuring of the school system. The concept of maximum child growth was missing from the educational philosophy.(21) The contributions to the American version of 'economic man': Charles Sanders Peirce invented 'pragmatism' as a scientific method of thought. An educational goal should be direct social utility. Abstract rote-learned material of literate culture was scorned. William James interpreted the scientific study of conduct; John Dewey promoted the scientific study of education. Based educational principles on the theory of natural human growth involving the notion that each individual is born with an instinctive tendency for development. He emphaisized the importance of the development of the whole child as a unique individual. According to John Dewey "schools should focus on the needs of the child and society." With the misinterpretation of Darwin's theory of evolution, educational goals were set in the framework of 'social efficiency'. 'Adjustment to society' became the principle aim of education. The schools focused their attention on training young minds to be imitative and exploitive in order to adjust successfully to the values of the society. At the turn of the century in Europe and America, the concept of social efficiency was challenged. In the minds of some educationists, creative self-expression was considered and educational practice was gradually transformed. New programs made child interest the center of orientation and the aim of education became the maximum growth of individuality. John Gatto "Schools don't really teach anything but how to obey orders. Schooling institution is psychopathic; it has no conscience." page 73 (Utne Reader Sept/Oct 1990 65-90) "our form of compulsory schooling is an invention of the state of Massachusetts around 1850. It was resisted sometimes with guns by an estimated 80 percent of the Masachusetts population. , the lasst outpost in Barnstable on CapeCod not surrendering its children u ntil the late 1880s, when the area was seized by miitia and children marched to school under guard." (Paul Goodman) We force children to grow up absurd. "Any reform in schooling has to deal with the absurdities. The society and the schooling system creates dependent personalities. Addictions of dependent personalities are the things which are killing the nation: brainless competition, recreational sex, pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, "and the worst pornography of all - lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy." (75) We need an educational philosophy that works. One based on the belief that 'self-knowledge is the only basis for true knowledge.' At every age, the child finds himself with a problem to solve. In the American system, time is taken away from the children to develop self-knowledge. Children must be trusted with independent study from a very early age. Their privacy and solitude must be respected. They must be allowed to cultivate self-reliance and self-knowledge. ."In this era of malice and greed, teaching requires a moral courage that is tragically unfashionable and widely ridiculed."(77) 'Passive teaching'- teaching as if information must be poured into childrens' heads - is destructive for children. They are judged on the basis of their ability to learn passively. The passive teacher makes a claim to a monopoly of the knowledge he teaches. "Principles of reform: the reform movement of the 1980s could be regarded as a counterreform advocating a return to a more traditional curriculum. Though not favored by many school administrators and education school professors, there are aspects of the traditional curriculum which cultivate mature literacy and the 'higher values' of humankind. A currriculum allowing for expression of individuality in the context of the traditional content would constitute a compromise for the pragmatists and the traditionalists. Such a curriculum would provide our children with those experiences of learning which are necessary for their individual personal and intellectual growth as well as for their acquisition of the core of cultural knowledge necessary for their adjustment to the traditions of their society. All educationists with their diverse experiences and philosophies of educational methodology, presumably would agree that the primary aim of edcucation is mature cultural literacy. Educationists should be able to join forces in devising a curriculum to promote cultural literacy as the most valuable asset of the citizens of a democratic society." (Chapter 5) The practice of American education has been profoundly influenced by the American worldview, and its characteristically hostile attitude toward nature and human nature.2 This worldview is based on a number of concepts with which Americans have formulated their own particular form of 'nationalism.' Their 'nation' is identified with a set of abstract ideals derived from Protestantism, scientific reductionism, democracy and capitalism. Since its inception, Americans have believed that their form of nationalism offers the best example for the rest of humanity to follow. With defensive aggression, they have mistrusted other peoples and other cultures. They have mistrusted the natural human behaviour of the natural human being. They have mistrusted human nature itself. Adopted by the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements, the 'Fall/Redemption' theology of 'orthodox' Protestant Christianity formed the basis for their profound mistrust of human nature. According to this view, the 'knowledge' of man and woman has resulted in their 'fall' from God's grace. Consequently the natural human being is brought into this life tainted with sin and is therefore inherently 'evil.' Depending on God's 'redemption' for an afterlife without suffering, the individual must suffer in this life. The evil impulses of human nature cannot be trusted and must necessarily be restrained. Each individual has a moral responsibility for restraining his own evil impulses. He must depend on the authority of strict codes of civil law, social mores and ethical standards. Those individuals who abide by the codes are considered to be 'moral' and can teach and preach the moral life. Belief in the individual's innate evil nature is derived from the notion that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms. The 'natural' and 'supernatural', the person and 'God', are disconnected. This conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit was incorporated in the 'scientific' worldview which originated with the scientific revolution of the eighteenth century's so-called 'Enlightenment.' The scientific worldview emphasized the cause and effect relationships of the material world. Natural events were thought to be governed by observable natural laws. Human nature was thought to be explainable in terms of natural causes. This more optimistic perception of human nature had a profound influence on social and political thought. The American founding fathers envisioned a humane and democratic society attainable through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. Advocating a 'natural rights philosophy,' they believed that each individual has 'unalienable' God-given rights. With its roots in orthodox Protestantism, the American 'scientific' worldview placed severe limitations on human experience and the human potential, in spite of the more optimistic view of human nature. By the twentieth century, ______________________________________________________________ 2. Miller, Ron. (1990) What Are Schools For? Holistic Education in American Culture. Holistic Education Press. Brandon Vermont. Chapter 1, Themes of American Culture. mechanistic and reductionistic explanations of the human 'sciences' such as behavioral psychology and sociology were accepted as valid explanations for the workings of human nature. Further limitations on human experience resulted from the economic theories of capitalism. Based on the belief that nature must be controlled, the worldview of capitalism assumes that the natural human being is lazy and needs to be disciplined to do work. Competition between individuals is encouraged in order to 'weed out' those who are lazy and undisciplined. Individualism and self-assertion are encouraged to increase the competition. Work is measured in terms of tangible results and productivity. Successful work is rewarded with economic and social status. Materialistic values are based on respect for the sanctity of private property and the achievement of professionalism. The life of the intellect and the quest for self-realization are not valued. The natural development of moral and spiritual self-reliance is discouraged. The life of contemplation and meditation is misunderstood and devalued. True spiritual freedom is considered undisciplined and punishable. The spontaneous and self-expressive behaviour of the natural human being is repressed. The impulsive, intuitive and emotional aspects of human nature are restrained. Social problems are perceived in terms of the individual's personal moral failure. They are resolved by discipline and the rule of law. They are not understood in terms of inherent deficiencies of fundamental institutional practices. Social reforms are perceived in terms of the individual's moral responsibility. They are not understood in the context of necessary institutional changes. Derived from orthodox Protestantism and its emphasis on religious texts and creeds, the American moralistic worldview has stressed the importance of authorities in dealing with educational practices. Traditional' education' was molded by the Industrial Revolution3. The educational curriculum was conceived for purposes of training for the factory workplace and designed for mass education. Within the context of a management hierarchy, the 'classical curriculum,' consisted of the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. Students were expected to be punctual, to follow orders and to perform repetitive tasks in preparation for work on the factory floor and in the offices. A regimented education prepared them for a future as mechanical laborers of assembly line technology. Teachers were required to be authoritarian, emphasizing repetitive work and rote learning. At first, the principles of 'traditional' education and the 'classical curriculum' were applied to primary and secondary schools and later they were applied to higher education as well. More recently, they have been applied to the new practice of 'adult education.' _________________________________________________________________ The forefather of adult education in America was the Danish theologian, philosopher, and poet, Grundtvig (1783-1872).4 As a dissenting theologian, he believed that 'redemption' was possible without 'God's grace' and that 'grace' is inherent in human nature. Each human being is able to redeem himself unless he chooses not to. Each human being can learn and grow through the 'freedom' of self expression and the 'fellowship' of enlightened dialogue. People can learn and grow through free relationships in which they facilitate the freedom of others as well as themselves. Living in freedom and fellowship, people can enjoy their lives. For peoples' freedom and enlightenment, Grundtvig created the 'folkhighschool' in which students were encouraged to bloom rather than be educated to conform. Meaningful education was not possible when the emphasis was on the written authority - 'the dead word.' The 'living word' of fellowship and freedom, manifest in the encouragement by teachers. Emphasis was on competency in life. As well as having a thorough knowledge of some subject, teachers would have 'nourishing' attitudes, energetic spirit, and behavior exemplifying mutual student-teacher respect. Grundtvig's philosophy of lifelong learning influenced American adult educational practice through the work of Lindeman (1926-1961) who introduced adult education to America. In 1927, in the book entitled The Meaning of Adult Education, he introduced the term 'andragogy' to refer to the education of adults. His four 'andragogical' assumptions formed the core of his philosophy for lifelong learning: the greatest resource for education is the learner's experiences; effective education is a matter of learning from situations; education revolves about non-vocational ideals; education is life. Operation of the four values lead to 'enlightenment' which is the goal of education. He defined 'enlightenment' as "periods of intellectual awakening" when the "light of learning focuses upon experience and new meaning for life and new reasons for living are discovered."5 According to Malcolm Knowles, Lindeman was the "prophet of modern adult educational theory."6 Inspired by Lindeman and his ideas, Knowles popularized the concept of learner-centered education for adults. In his book entitled The Modern Practice of Adult Education, he defined the term 'andragogy' as "the art and science of helping adults learn."7 As a result of the expansion of communications and information technology in recent years, educational institutions for adult education are becoming more effective in facilitating ________________________________________________________________ 4. Clay Warren, "Andragogy and N.F.S. Grundtvig: A Critical Link," Adult Education Quarterly, 39:4, Summer 1989, 211 - 223 5. Ibid., 213 6. Ibid., 213 7. Ibid., 212 learning.8 The rising need for adult education has resulted in an increasing number of opportunities for 'distance education' in the form of university extension programs and correspondence courses. Innovations in communication technology have provided opportunities for people who are otherwise limited because of their location or their family and job commitments. Defined as "each and every adult's intentional efforts at self-education ... in all human situations,"9 'adult education' is concerned with people's need to be more in control of their own lives. Adult educators are concerned with the learner's 'empowerment', 'emancipation' and 'self-direction.' In a spirit of 'freedom' and 'fellowship, they trust and encourage the learner to take responsibility for his own education and growth through learning. Spiritual freedom is necessary for the development of an individual's natural sense of moral responsibility. Through the pedagogical methods of 'adult education,' adult educators provide the means for people to be more in control of their own lives. In order to adapt to the rapidly changing demands for survival in a complex world, the individual today depends on his capacity for both calculative 'willful learning' and meditative 'stillful learning.'10 Through willful learning the individual learns to acquire knowlege in specific areas and to be open to learning in all areas. Willful learning is necessary in order to adapt to a changing environment and to cope with the demands of a changing society. Through 'stillful learning' the individual learns to acknowledge and reveal his true 'self' as manifest in his feelings and ideas. Stillful learning is necessary in order to understand one's true nature and to understand the nature of others. Both willful learning and stillful learning are essential for education in freedom and fellowship - 'adult education' and education generally. Considered a separate discipline by 'adult educators,' adult education involves the same issues as education generally.11 The terms 'child' and 'adult' refer to different stages in the development of the individual as a whole person. The issue of educational reform for adults is the same as the issue for educational reform for children. In keeping with the moralistic paradigm, the issue of educational reform for 'adult education' is concerned with a quest for new and different authorities. "The search for a unique framework or theory upon _________________________________________________________________ 8. Chere Campbell Gibson 'Distance Education: On Focus and Future.' Adult Education Quarterly 42: 3 Spring 1992, 167-179 9. Willard D. Callender, Jr. 'Adult Education as Self-Education' Adult Education Quarterly, 42: 3, Spring 1992, 156) 10. Ibid 11. Book Review, Maxine Greene. The Dialectic of Freedom. Adult Education Quarterly 39: 4 Summer 1989, 246-248 American which to base the study and practice of adult education has been a persistent challenge."12 In American education practice, 'the search for a unique framework or theory upon which to base the study and practice of education has been a persistent challenge.' Whether the learners are adults or children, learning is most effective when it is based on the wholistic functioning of the brain. "As children, and for too long thereafter, we are asked to be learner-pupils to other educators' lessons."13 12. D.R. Garrison 'Critical Thinking an?d in Adult Education: An Analysis of Responsibility and Control Issues.' Adult Education Quarterly, 42: 3, Spring 1992, 136-148 13. Willard D. Callender, Jr. 'Adult Education as Self-Education' Adult Education Quarterly, 42: 3, Spring 1992, 156

 TRADITIONAL EDUCATION AS SCHOOLING What is "traditional learning?" School-learning? See "The Learning Tradition" page 7-9 in the book "Peak Learning" by Richard Gross The Learning Tradition: "TRADITIONAL LEARNING" AS SCHOOL LEARNING "Traditional learning" as school-learning is relatively recent. In the ancient Athens of Plato and Socrates, learning was a part of life, work and leisure. Citizens engaged in discussion of issues in the market, in the baths and in the gym. The founding fathers of the United States believed in self-education. They believed that the success of the republic depended on the intellectual self-reliance of the citizenry and promoted open debate through free speech and a free press. Only recently has schooling been confused with education and peoples' competence been judged by their diplomas. The 'professional' major qualification of the 'professional' is that he/she can pass a licensing examination. Increasing numbers of people make learning a continuing part of living. These so-called peak learners may represent a chance of survival of the human species and the planet. (from 'Peak Learning page 5-7) "Nontraditional education": The characterization of "traditional" education is best done by referring to a cluster of themes or modes such as l. use of classrooms 2. scheduled activities 3. assymetrical teacherstudent relationships etc. "Non-traditional" would refer to the absence or modification of one of these themes or modes. The extent of variation with "traditional" programs and institutions make it difficult to define the term "non-traditional." "Innovative education" refers to "innovation" in educational methodology. An "innovation," a new approach or technique, is a variation on a known theme based on one of three principles. An innovation can be LOGICAL if it seems reasonable, ANALAGOUS if it is similar to something that has worked in a different cultural setting or geographic location or EMPIRICAL if it has been shown to work in a trial or experimental situation. The terms "nontraditional education" and "innovative education" are difficult to define. What is considered to be "nontraditional" and "innovative" in education is a matter of definition and opinion and of little intellectual interest.

 

 

 

.........................................................

 Traditional Concept of Morality: Moralism                                                                                      

theme: In the paradigm of traditional education and moralism, education is considered necessary for the teaching of moral knowledge or ‘morals’ as well as factual knowledge.. …. distinguish between 'moralism' and 'morality'.

 "How is a social life possible for man if each one is only striving to assert his own individuality? This objection is characteristic of a false understanding in moralism. Such a moralist believes that a social community is possible only if all men are united by a communally fixed moral order. What this kind of moralist does not understand is just the unity of the world of ideas. He does not see that the world of ideas working in me is no other than the one working in my fellow man. A moral misunderstanding, a clash, is impossible between men who are morally free. To live in love towards our actions, and to let live in the understanding of the other person's will, is the fundamental maxim of free men." (Steiner, Rudolf. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception: Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. 139)

American culture is based on American 'nationalisn' and formulated in terms of the abstract ideals upon which the Americans founded their 'nation'. American nationalism combines the ideals of democracy with belief systems which are derived from reductionist science, capitalism and Protestantism as the source of the American concept of morality or 'moralism' formed on the basis of their profound mistrust of human nature.

 According to the moralist belief in the absolute evil of human nature, virtue is the suppression of the inherent evil of human nature. Virtuous people suppress their inherently evil nature and social communities are possible only if all people are united by a communally fixed universal moral order. Questions concerning values and the 'good life' are formulated in the context of the view that man's basic nature is evil. The American concept of morality - 'moralism' - is the understanding that morality is based on external authority. This leads to authoritarian ethics or 'codes of ethics' and the 'authoritarian conscience' - a conscience which is deformed because it is derived from the internalization of an external authority - parental, societal or state authority

Moralism represents the authoritarian conscience …the voice of an internalized power. The authoritarian conscience is irrational because it is based on fear for the authority rather on the intrinsic conscience from which natural value judgements arise...  is based on the assumption that human nature since it is an 'animal nature' is fundamentally evil and that instinctive human needs - the so-called 'animal instincts' - are dangerous and base and therefore 'immoral' and not to be trusted.

As a historically determined tendency in Western culture, the belief in the individual's innate evil nature is derived from the notion that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms. This conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit was incorporated into the 'scientific' worldview originating with the scientific revolution of the eighteenth century's so-called 'Enlightenment’ which had its roots in orthodox Protestantism. It is this dichotomous view of human nature which  forms the basis of the discontinuity between natural and 'supernatural', the person and 'God'. The 'natural' and 'supernatural', the person and 'God' were thoght to be disconnected.  The scientific worldview had a more optimistic perception of human nature which had a profound influence on social and political thought.

When the American founding fathers framed the American Constitution, they envisioned a humane and democratic society attainable through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. Their belief in God-given 'unalienable' rights produced a 'natural rights philosophy' in spite of their basic mistrust of human nature. Consequently they set up institutions for controlling and suppressing the human instincts which were not trustworthy. The result of their dichotomous perception of human nature is the perception of so-called 'moral dichotomies' and 'dilemmas'. The concern for the 'good life' as an issue of philosophy and religion leads to a so-called moral dilemma - how to reconcile the freedom of the individual with responsibility to the society.

 In the paradigm of American moralism, the word 'values' is used to refer to the values which were 'taught' by Christian religions. The values of moralism are derived from Protestantism. The search for morals is based on the notion that goodness results from the suppression and repression of the immoral instincts of human nature.

 

 According to the dictates of moralism, a social community is possible only if all the individuals are united by a communally fixed moral order. The moralistic view is based on a mistrust of the human individual and the belief in the innate evil of human nature. Mistrust of human nature is derived from the notion that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms a notion which originated with the scientific revolution of the eighteenth century 'Enlightenment'.

The basis of the moralistic attitude towards human problems is the profound mistrust of human nature which stems derived from the Fall/ Redemption theology myth of orthodox Protestant Christianity which was adopted by the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements.

According to the 'Fall/Redemption' theology , the 'original sin' of Adam and Eve - their disobedience of God's command not to 'eat of the tree of knowledge' - resulted in their 'fall' from God's grace and was inherited by all human beings who were born after them.Each human infant each individual is brought into this life brought into the world is tainted with sin and is therefore inherently 'evil'. As a 'child of sin' each individual must suffer in this life and depends on God's 'redemption' for an afterlife without suffering.

  In the moralistic view The evil impulses of human nature cannot be trusted and must necessarily be restrained. even though the individual is considered to be powerless and insignificant. each is considered to be morally responsible for restraining and controlling the evil impulses of their basic nature and those of other people as well. .

 Since it is not possible to live without values and norms, they are expected to rely on the authority of strict codes of civil law and moral standards set in the form of 'codes of ethics'. The ethical codes are irrational value systems which are formulated according to the interests of different occupations. There is 'medical ethics', 'business ethics', 'military ethics' and so on. This relativistic concept of ethics makes value judgements and ethical norms a matter of arbitrary preference.

Ethical relativism is based on the belief that there is no way to make objectively valid statements about ethics. Only those individuals who abide by the codes are considered to be ethical and only they can be made responsible for teaching and preaching the moral life.

 

 He must depend on the authority of strict codes of civil law, social mores and ethical standards. Those individuals who abide by the codes are considered to be 'moral' and can teach and preach the moral life. Those individuals who are unable to restrain the evil part of their nature must be 'punished.' People have been taught that the inner life is a natural consequence of the evil which is inherent in human nature and they must look outside of themselves for the guiding values of a 'good life'. Theologians attribute the human values to a source outside of human nature - some sort of god, sacred book, ruling elite, or ruling individual. Attempts to make moral what is believed to be immoral have produced the dogma of moralism. Theology is overdependent on dogma, revelation and supernaturalism. Philosophy denies the authorities of dogma, revelation and supernaturalism. Philosophers have no authorities.  In their search for values, philosophers build a philosophical system which is built on a premise. In the traditional paradigm of philosophy, philosophical debate has been concerned with the struggle to discover and to live the good and virtuous life. Socrates is the best example of this quest. The question remains: "which premise?" One of the most basic problems of philosophical thought is concerned with the formulation of a premise of a philosophical system of values i.e. whether human nature is basically evil and corrupt or basically good and perfectable? If human nature is basically evil and corrupt then the problem is 'how to make people virtuous'. For centuries the attempts to formulate philosophical systems of ethics have been based on the mutually exclusive contrast between 'what is' and 'what ought to be.' As a consequence, many cultural institutions are set up for the express purpose of controlling, inhibiting, suppressing and repressing this original human nature. The individual is expected to rely on external authorities of strict codes of civil law and 'ethics' for the guiding moral principles and the values of moralism. In the context of American society and moralism with its profound mistrust of human nature, individuals are unable to trust their own human nature and their own humanity as well as the humanity of others. The life of the intellect and the quest for self-realization are not valued. The natural development of moral and spiritual self-reliance is discouraged. The life of contemplation and meditation is misunderstood and devalued. The spontaneous and self-expressive behaviour of the natural human being is repressed. The impulsive, intuitive and emotional aspects of human nature are restrained. True spiritual freedom is considered undisciplined and punishable. Social problems are perceived in terms of the individual's personal moral failure. They are resolved by discipline and the rule of law. They are not understood in terms of inherent deficiencies of fundamental institutional practices.Social reforms are perceived in terms of the individual's moral responsibility. They are not understood in the context of necessary institutional changes. This dichotomous perception of social problems results from ego-centered mental processes of the 'incomplete cognition' of a distorted neurotic perception of reality derived from conflicts which are inherent in the culture...and which inhibit growth for complete personality integration and spiritual independence of maturity. The immature mind is the product of thwarted human development. The ego-centered mental process and incomplete cognition of the immature mind results in the perception of dichotomies.

Making a judgment about human nature creates problems. The perception of social problems in the framework of this false premise results in failed attempts to resolve them. Problems arising from the same dichotomies can be resolved in the wholistic paradigm in which the concern for the 'good life' becomes an issue of morality and is based in biology and psychobiology of the human organism. The so-called 'animal nature' of human nature is not evil. The notion is false. No single set of moral standards or uniform code can be applied to all people. The imposition of moral codes only creates complex, intractable moral dilemmas. What if human nature is basically good and perfectable? The intelligent resolution of social problems is derived from a non-judgemental premise which is based on the scientific understanding of the biological basis of human nature. Human nature and human needs and values are biologic ally based. But traditionally people have ignored the validity of the instinctive needs for growth - the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' - as well as the basic psychological needs. Throughout human history theologians, political philosophers, economic theorists and even behavioural psychologists have conceived of strategies to deny and avoid peoples' needs. They have considered peoples' happiness in terms of improving their conditions with a view to eliminating their human needs because they were thought to be annoying or threatening. But it is recognition and respect for basic human needs which leads to the resolution of human social problems. Social mores evolved in accordance with inborn biological necessity and environmental contingencies by a process of natural selection. As survival oriented values, the guiding values which have been sought and prescribed by religions and philosophies - the values of truth, goodness, beauty, justice honesty and so on - are found within a person's consciousness... they are part of the individual's natural sense of moral responsibility to lead their own lives according to the same values. In the wholistic paradigm of education, the individual strives not only for complete psychological, emotional, intellectual development but for complete moral development and personality integration as well. The aim of education is growth in the context of spiritual freedom based on trust of the individual to develop a personal sense of moral responsibility. The integrated individual is responsible to him/herself and to the society of which she/he is a member. In the context of growth for spiritual freedom, dichotomies disappear. It becomes possible for the individual to be 'free' and to be socially responsibile as well. Social responsibility is not possible without inner spiritual freedom.

 

moralism... The modern meaning of the term 'ethics' is based on the American concept of morality as ethical conduct dictated by external authorities i.e. 'moralism'. holistic science... The problem of ethics must be aproached from the perspective of a science which incorporates the scientist's expanded consciousness i.e. 'holistic science'. conscience... The guiding values which have been prescribed by religions and philosophies can be found within a person's consciousness or 'conscience'. human needs... The human conscience is the unconscious perception of human nature and human needs. metaneeds... Human needs include the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' for spiritul growth. moral development... Development of a rational conscience is 'moral development'. natural ethics... The human conscience is the source of a 'natural ethics'. freedom... True morality is the morality of free conscience i.e. 'freedom'.

 .            

      Capitalism and Authority of the Market: Authoritarian Ethics 

theme: Ethics in cultural context: Authoritarian ethics are codes of morality based on external authority and capitalism's anonymous authority of the 'market'. Focusing on the demands for adjustment to capitalism, the individual loses sight of his own intrinsic values which make him human.  The various aspects of authoritarian ethics are apparent in unreflective ethical judgement. "...intrinsic human values are not valued in a society which measures the individual in terms of material success. Focusing on the demands for adjustment to capitalism, the individual loses sight of his own intrinsic values which make him human. 'Adjustment' to the capitalistic 'society' is the cause for neuroses which result from the unsuitability of humanness in a materialistic society." (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself)

      A discussion of 'ethics' and authoritarian ethics depends on the meaning of the word 'value' which varies with context. In the capitalist culture of American society, the word 'value' is used to designate choice of action. A value is a 'value choice'. An individual makes a value choice on the basis of a symbolized concept which he has been taught to value such as 'honesty is the best policy'. The outcome of the value choice is considered or 'conceived' to be symbolically desirable. Value choices which are made on the basis of symbolized concepts and in anticipation of desirable outcomes are 'conceived values'. Conceived values are taught values such as social and cultural values. They are instinctively incorporated or 'introjected' into the organismic valuing process during development. The introjective instinct is a particularly human instinct. As a social and cultural species, the human species depends for survival on the ability of the young to acquire large amounts of knowledge from significant adults. The introjective instinct is the instinct for incorporating into the developmental process the knowledge and values of the society and the culture. The growing child depends completely on the care and love of the adult and the fear of disapproval and the need for approval are powerful motivating factors for ethical judgement. Under intense emotional pressure, ethical judgement is determined by the friendly or unfriendly reactions of its psychological parents.  In a process of 'introjection' the child makes a part of himself or 'introjects' what appear to be the wishes, demands, hates, scorns, and standards significant adults. If the adults are weak, infantile and irrational, their values are introjected as though they were rational. Their internalization has a malignant effect on the child's developing conscience and personality modifying the natural reasoning process which involves the operative values. The introjection of valued parental and cultural concepts - conceived values - and their internalization gradually modifies the child's intrinsic organismic valuing process which is fluid and changing. The modified valuing process tends to be fixed and rigid. As a result, the child learns to form arbitrary distinctions between 'good' and 'bad' before making rational judgements through the natural process of reflection and reason. Further development produces the irrational authoritarian conscience associated with social character.

The study of a specific character orientation which is common to most members of the culture indicates which powerful emotional forces explain the formation of social character. The personality of the average individual is determined by the socioeconomic and political structure of the society in which he lives. Introjection of conceived values explains some of the causes of the formation of character and character orientation and explains the correlation between character orientation and social structure. The correlation points up the powerful emotional forces which are instrumental in molding the social character and explains the functioning of the society.  The American social charater is based on the scientific worldview which had its roots in orthodox Protestantism... justified by a combination of concepts and assumptions derived from Protestantism, scientific reductionism, behaviourism, moralism and the traditional ideals of 'democracy'. These basic concepts and assumptions have formed the basis for educational policy in the American educational system preventing the personal and psycholgical growth of the individual. Political ideals interfere with the true aim of education which is complete personality growth and moral development for humaniisation.  Individuals who live in a culture which does not foster growth depend on codes of behavour ... codes of ethics... 'authoritarian ethics'. As a result of the demands of the capitalistic economic system, ethical norms are formulated on the premise that the individual is powerless and insignificant. Codes of ethics as codes of behaviour... codes of morality based on external authority... the auhority of the 'market'... Codes of ethics are separated from human morality based on developed conscience... universal human ethics. A 'code of ethics' for a specific situation can easily degenerate into a code which serves the interests of those within that situation. 'Medical ethics' becomes a code of ethics which serves the interests of those in the medical 'profession.' 'Business ethics' becomes a code of ethics serving the interests of those in 'business.'

 American civilization is not a human civilization. It is a business civilization dependent on 'business ethics'. American culture is not concerned with personal growth and the development of the human conscience, the source of morality and rational ethics. The capitalist culture devalues the natural integrity of the human organism. American cultural values of the capitalist culture place severe limitations on human experience and the human potential for autonomy and responsibility ... for living to the fullest and maintaining the desire for learning for adaptability to a continually changing social conditions. Individuals in the American culture are easily influenced by political rhetoric which encourages the pursuit of material success as 'happiness'. In their efforts to retain the love and acceptance of others in the society, they become easy prey to the demands of capitalism and subscribe to the irrational values of consumerism - the positively valued 'virtues' of money-making, obedience to authority, accumulation of knowedge, cleverness in cheating, love of neigbour(?), and negatively valued 'vices' of leisure activity, and emotional self-expression. The culture promotes mental dishonesty as 'common sense'. The thought and behaviour patterns of deception and hypocrisy are considered to be absolute evils because they are residual animal traits waiting to be erased by further social evolution and they must be suppressed to a minimum level. The individual who can suppress the residual animal traits is considered to be 'virtuous'. People are naturally bewildered by the irrationality of the cultural value system. They become morally confused and in their moral confusion, they must depend on ethical norms of behaviour or codes of ethics. Moral education as the teaching of 'values' fails because true moral education as education for personal growth and development of conscience - the basis for humanitarian ethics is not recognized. American moral education, based on the premise that the individual is powerless and insignificant is concerned with teaching the conceived cultural values. Hypocrisy and deception become the human devices for coping with the complexities of a social life which is based on the irrational authoritarian ethics of a business civilization.

 Implications for education: American moral education, based on the premise that the individual is powerless and insignificant is concerned with teaching the conceived cultural values. Hypocrisy and deception become the human devices for coping with the complexities of a social life which is based on the irrational authoritarian ethics of a business civilization.