"It is important to appreciate what the new rational ideology accomplished. It challenged the dogma and rigidity of medieval Scholaticism, releasing humanity from centuries of superstition and oppression by a powerful priesthood. Nature was comprehended and brought under increasing control, harnessed to meet the growing material demands of an expanding middle class. A powerful affiliation of science, the Protestant Reformation, and a rising mercantile class shattered existing religious and civic hierarchies and paved the way for democratic forms of social organization. Enlightenment thought was essential to the development of social freedoms. Yet this new way of apprehending reality and the historic social forms such apprehension assumed contained the seeds of their own reversal." (Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 99)

 The extreme form of rational ideology - the 'overbelief' of William James - is the debasement of nature and the total alienation of man from nature. With Hitler, the rejection of Enlightenment reason - exaltation of nature. "Hitler appealed to the unconscious in his audiences by hinting that he could forge a power in whose name repressed nature would be lifted. In this way, repressed natural drives were harnessed to the needs of Nazi rationalism." To debase thought and exalt nature is a typical fallacy of an era of rationalization. Opposing the Enlightenment by regressing to earlier stages, says Horkheimer( Eclipse of Reason NY: Oxford University Press) will not alleviate the permament crises we have created, but can lead to ever more barbaric forms of social domination. Likewise we are cautioned, against the revival of past theories of objective reason. We live in an historical period characterized by the rapid disintegration of accepted value systems and conceptual frameworks. The existential crisis provoked by such dissolution can inspire the "recycling of medieval ontologies" for modern use - leading us to cling to Absolutist philosophies in a desperate effort to stave off chaos. ...The solution from the perspective of a critical theory, is the development of a reason liberated from the shackles of both superstition and instrumentalism, a reason capable of incorporatig the nonrational, suppressed aspects of consciousness without sacrificing its critical capacity. This I believe is also the task of holistic educators." (Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 102)

 

 

 link: capitalism

              SUCCESS ORIENTED CULTURE OF CAPITALISM AND THE IMPLICATIONS

                                                                    FOR EDUCATION

"Capitalism is identical with the pursuit of profit and forever renewed profit, by means of continous, rational, capitalistic enterprise....in a wholly capitalistic order of society, an individual capitalistic enterprise which did not take advantage of its opportunities for profit-making would be doomed to extinction." (Robert Green. Protestantism and Capitalism: The Weber Thesis and its Critics. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co.1959)(2).

 

Capitalist culture and cultural myth:

 meaning of words in capitalist culture...   capitalism values  

alienation from the self...   marketing character orientation...   prevents moral development...

American nation' identified with abstract ideals or 'values'...

 In fact...

happiness as 'flow learning'...

implications for education...

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... It turns out that the so-called dichotomies - individual/social responsibility - are mental creations arising from the fact that the meanings of the words have changed in the context of the culture in which they are used. Debate about the dilemmas and dichotomies are similar to the debates jn the middle ages such as: 'Does the devil have a cleft foot'? 'How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?' etc. The dichotomies result from contradictions in society ...meaning of the term as concept in capitalist countries... 

 Meaning of words and concepts in CAPITALISTIC SOCIETIES... capitalist cultures   'individualism'... 'happiness'... 'freedom'... 'responsibility'... 'reality'...

'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. 190f)

 'Equality' is confused with uniformity. (Ibid. p. 180)

The cultural value that Americans claim as their own is 'individualism' - interpreted as 'self-direction'. Emphasis is on the need for people to take responsibility for framing their choices and making their decisions. The meaning of the term as concept within the context of capitalism...  In capitalist countries the concept of 'individualism' means 'in isolation from one's fellow human beings... having more and dehumanizing others'.

 "The concept of 'individualism' does not mean 'in isolation' from one's fellow human beings. 'Individualism' does not mean having more and dehumanizing others - the meaning which the term has acquired in capitalist countries." (Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed)

'School' can be defined as an "age-specific, teacher related process requiring full-time attendance at an obligatory curriculum." (Illich Deschooling Society 26)

 The perception of the 'society' as an entity separate from the individuals who make it up creates an unecessary dichotomy... a society consists of the group of individuals of a community who "share a given set of constructs, values and techniques together referred to as a 'paradigm'..(scientific philosopher Thomas Kuhn.)

  Happiness is learning as  learning in the 'flow state'..or 'flow learning'... The term 'flow learning' was coined by pioneer research in the field of happiness, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Chick-SENT-mehi) head of the Department of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Chicago and author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experiences.

 "Flow experiences arise naturally from intrinsic motivation by virtue of the fact that we have a human mind which processes information... Learning is time invested in yourself, in the growth and development of your own unique experience."

 Biochemical function of 'happiness': the opiates of the body called 'endorphins', influence the immune system. World Press Review April 1993 page 22-23 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Univerity of Chicago 

 The worldview of capitalism is based on the belief that nature must be controlled. The assumption is made 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  means 'in isolation from one's fellow human beings ...having more and dehumanizing others) and self-assertion are encouraged to increase the competition.between individuals expected to demonstrate their efforts and productivity with tangible results Work is measured in terms of  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.

Further limitations on human experience result from the economic theories of capitalism. The economic theories of capitalism place limitations on human experience. 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.

 "The relative atrophy of the generative capacity is very frequent in our culture. A person may be able to recognize things as they are (or as his culture maintains them to be) but he is unable to enliven his perception from within. Such a person is the perfect 'realist' who sees all there is to be seen of the surface features of phenomena but who is quite incapable of penetrating below the surface to the essential and of visualizing what is not yet apparent. He sees the details but not the whole, the trees but not the forest. Reality to him is only the sum total of what has already materialized. This person is not lacking in imagination, but his is a calculating imagination, combining factors all of which are known and in existence, and inferring their future operation." (Fromm Man For Himself 89)

 "What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and to earn the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 The 'capitalists' must prevent people from realizing that they are being used for the purpose of the economic success of other people. People can be diverted in their thinking about the 'higher' values. To reassure them that they are living by the higher values, they are told that their society is a 'democracy.' They 'protect' other people's 'democracies' when they are useful to the purposes of the 'capitalists.' They talk of the noble values of 'freedom' to disguise their basic need for 'freedom' for their own self- gratification. To divert people's attention and reflection on the discrepancies with the 'higher' values, they have the people focus their attention on issues concerned with the 'lower' values of physiological needs such as 'sex,' and 'food,' and psychological needs such as 'belongingness,' 'safety' and 'health.' The fact that the psychologically healthy person is defined as 'adjusted to the society and other people' is a reflection of the society to which he is 'adjusted.'(see Marxist psychology) (see "Motivation reconsidered the concept of competence" Psychol. Rev. 66: 297-333, l959) (Woodworth, R "Dynamics of Behaviour" Holt l958)

 "Late capitalism and the modern industrial state, while showing sure signs of structural weakness, have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to absorb dissident elements."(Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 98)

 "Much of the criticism of 'open' or 'humanistic' or 'holistic' education has been dircted to ward its perceived lack of academic rigor. I would suggest that this is partly due to the acritical position of some advocates of 'child-centered' curriculum, who in their desire not to impose adult directive upon students, fail to work with them to uncover why particular social forms exist, how they are maintained, and who benefits from them. A truly transformative education could be a mutual and collective effort to unveil the hidden codes embedded in the everyday experience of the students which explicate the underlying paradigm that frames their present reality. Beyond this decoding of the common reality structures, educators could then work with students to enable them to actively particapte in the reconstruction of their socal reality.

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.'

 Very important to a 'science of ethics' is the study of the correlation between character orientation and social structure. As well as explaining some of the causes for the formation of character, the study of a specific character orientation which is common to most members of the culture tells us which powerful emotional forces are instrumental in molding the social character and the functioning of the society. The personality of the average individual is determined by the socioeconomic and political structure of the society in which he lives.

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. The marketing character orientation is a nonproductive form of human relatedness which 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 ANONYMOUS AUTHORITY OF THE 'MARKET' ...AUTHORITARIAN ETHICS Very important to a 'science of ethics' is the study of the correlation between character orientation and social structure. As well as explaining some of the causes for the formation of character, the study of a specific character orientation which is common to most members of the culture tells us which powerful emotional forces are instrumental in molding the social character and the functioning of the society. The personality of the average individual is determined by the socioeconomic and political structure of the society in which he lives. 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.

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 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.

ALIENATION FROM THE 'SELF' 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.

In their efforts to retain the love and acceptance of others in the society, individuals in the American culture subscribe to 'conceived values' - obedience, money making, accumulation of factual knowedge, cleverness in cheating, love of neigbor, and the negatively valued introjections of leisure activity, individual and emotional self-expression.

Conceived values are positively valued introjections of the culture ...'cultural values' as opposed to the natural human values i.e. 'operative values'

"By taking over the conceptions of others as our own, we lose contact with the potential wisdom of our own functioning and lose confidence in ourselves. Since these value constructs are often sharply at variance with what is going on in our own experiencing, we have in a very basic way divorced ourselves from ourselves, and this accounts for much strain and insecurity. This fundamental discrepancy between the individual's concepts and what he is actually experiencing, between the intellectual structure of his values and the valuing process going on unrecognized within him - this is part of the fundamental estrangement of modern man from himself." (Erich Fromm Man For Himself p.247)

 MORAL CONFUSION RESULTS FROM ECONOMIC THEORIES OF CAPITALISM AND ITS  IRRATIONAL VALUE SYSTEM  

   "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".(Fromm, Man for Himself: an Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics).

 Money, prestige and power are made the incentives to this end. Under the illusion that their actions benefit their self-interest, they act against the interests of the real self. They make everything important except life and the art of living... such a society causes man to be for everything except himself. This is contrary to the basic instinct of self-preservation... and the root cause of alienation... substance abuse etc.

CAPITALISM AND THE 'ADJUSTED' MAN

 The success of capitalism depends on the denigration of human values. Without realizing it, the people in a capitalist society are instruments of capitalism. In order to adapt to their social environment, people must live by the 'values' of capitalism. 'Happiness' is based on material 'success.' A person in a capitalistic society is judged in terms of the requirements of the 'job.' The criteria of a person's health and worth are based on the person's suitability for 'the job,' the 'workplace,' Their 'adjustment' to the 'society' is the cause for their neuroses which result from the unsuitability of humanness in a materialistic society. The intrinsic human values are not valued in a society which measures the individual in terms of material 'success.' Concentrating on his efforts to 'adjust' to the demands of capitalism, the individual loses sight of his own intrinsic values which make him human. Maslow says " we must not fall into the trap of defining the good organism in terms of what he is "good for" as if were an instrument rather than something in himself, as if he were only a means to some extrinsic purpose."(Maslow l79)

 The people in a capitalist society are instruments of capitalism without realizing it. They must live by the 'values' of capitalism in order to adapt to their social environment. They are made to believe that 'happiness' is based on material 'success'. They learn to judge other individuals in terms of their 'successful' achievements. They learn to value others in terms of job 'requirements'. The criteria of a person's health and worth are based on the person's suitability or competence for a 'job' or the 'workplace'. Their perception of the environment is focused on those aspects which might be 'useful' or 'threatening'. Their task-oriented perception of the environment results in incomplete cognition.

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."

 ETHICS AND HUMAN NATURE science of ethics importance of 'motivation'... 'character orientation' or 'character'.

Significant to a science of ethics are the conscious and unconscious motivating factors which determine the individual's character, based on the mode of relatedness to the world i.e. 'mode of orientation' or 'character orientation'. The individual's character orientation has a biological function which is akin to the animal's instinctive apparatus for self-preservation. Each human individual is instinctively motivated to acquire the things it needs ('assimilation') and to relate to other people for defense and for work ('socialization'). An individual's character is expressed by the mode of orientation  by which he relates to the world - loving and cooperating or hating and competing. Character is formed by social and cultural patterns and constitutes the basis of the individual's adjustment to society. The child develops in response to the character of the parents and their cultural background, becoming adjusted and adapted to a particular social structure. The individual's uniqueness of character is the result of the combined effects of his constitutional temperament, the different personalities of his parents, and the specific social environment in which he grew up as a child. The individual's specific character determines the way he feels, thinks and acts - his 'behaviour.' Fundamental change in behaviour only occurs with fundamental change in character.

PRODUCTIVE CHARACTER ORIENTATION In contrast, the productive character orientation as a mode of relatedness to the world is the result of a spontaneous process of self-realization. The individual recognizes his powers, identifies with them and puts them to productive use. Every human being is born with the biologically innate potential of a productive character. With intense interest in reality, the individual is affected emotionally and stimulated intellectually. The aim of human development is the individual's self-realization of his productive character, experiencing the world both mentally through reason and emotionally through love. 'Love' implies respect, knowledge, care and responsibilty. 'Reason' implies an understanding of all dimensions. Knowledge of the productive character orientation is simultaneously knowledge of human nature.

A 'science of ethics' and a 'science of education' are both concerned with the full development of the individual's powers and potentialities in the process of becoming fully human. They both depend on the knowledge of human nature as a basis for determining what constitutes man's 'true' self-interest. The aim of ethics is virtue and the aim of education is productiveness the source of virtue. An educational system which encourages spontaneous productiveness simultaneously encourages virtue. In the social manifestation of a rational value system, man's social and political activities and institutions create conditions to foster the development of productiveness. Their only purpose and end is man's 'real' interest - man for himself.

At the highest levels of well-being-in the transcendent realms where we experience ouselves as pure awareness transcendant to space, form, and time- very diferent possibilites for describing health become aapparent. This realm is clearly transcendent to any existing concept of health. Like the other subjective dichotomies the distinction between health and illness collapses in the deepest levels of being. AS VARIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS DISCIPLINES HAVE MAINTAINED FOR CENTURIES, WHO WE ARE BEHIND OUR ILLUSORY IDENTIFICATIONS IS BEYOND HEALTH AND ILLNESS Dichotomies disappear with increased mental health... If the individuals in a society remain attached to that level of consciousness dealing with gratification of physical and emotional needs, then they would perceive a dichotomy between personal freedom 'to pursue happiness' and their responsibility to the society, their social responsibility. If those same individuals' level of consciousness is raised to a healthier state, then they would be motivated by so-called 'higher needs' to serve others and to contribute to society. They would not perceive a dichotomy between personal freedom "to pursue happiness'...

The worldview of capitalism is based on the assumption that nature must be controlled and the natural 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, competition between individuals is encouraged in terms of 'individualism' and 'self-assertion'. Individualism and self-assertion are encouraged ...promoted ...to increase ...encourage the competition between individuals expected to demonstrate their efforts and productivity with tangible results.  

References:

Fromm, Erich. "Man for Himself: an Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics." Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, New York, l947

Holt, J. How Children Fail. New York, London Pitman Publihing Co. 1964.

Theories of capitalism and consumerism ignore the individual's instinctive striving for self-realization and thus prevent the natural development of moral responsibility. T

 Capitalistic culture discourages natural development of spiritual self-reliance and moral integrity... . The life of the intellect is misunderstood. The life of meditation and contemplation is 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. Attempts are made to resolve social problems by discipline and the rule of law. Social problems are perceived in terms of the individual's moral responsibility and personal moral failure. They are not understood in terms of inherent deficiencies of fundamental institutional practices. They are not understood in the context of necessary institutional changes. Their understanding of a person's right to equality for conditions of development degenerates. People learn to have little faith in human dignity and courage and they lose touch with their own intrinsic human values."...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." (Fromm Man For Himself)

...They do not trust the individual's inner freedom and misinterpret the life of contemplation and meditation. They do not encourage the individual's self-expression. They devalue natural human needs including spiritual needs or and metaneeds. They denigrate the intuitive and emotional aspects of intellectual development. With their emphasis on American 'products', they produce declining academic standards on all levels of the educational system. The issue of declining academic standards in education is discussed within the narrow context of the practical aspects of education, particularly those concerned with 'innovation' in curriculum design. Emphasis is placed on the issue of 'traditional' versus 'nontraditional' or 'innovative' education. In the name of 'innovation', faculty power politics supersede consideration for quality education and student needs. Unecessary changes are made with enormous waste of faculty time and financial resources. Educational policies focusing on curriculum content and innovative teaching 'methods' are incompatible with the new 'demands' of a changed social and political environment. Institutionalized education with its emphasis on conditioning and behavioral outcomes is no longer relevant in the times of mass communications and the 'global village'. The educational 'crisis' reflects a general cultural, political and moral crisis. The individual is dehumanized in a culture of capitalism and consumerism. By focusing on the reproduction of values of a consumer society, the schools do not educate for the individual's human development. They do not prepare the learner to meet the challenges of the complexities of a rapidly changing global community.

Implications for education

Success-oriented culture of capitalism - "we should see that failure is honorable and constructive rather than humiliating" (Holt 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 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" (Holt 49)

"Fear destroys intelligence" and fear affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about and dealing with life." (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 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 165)

Intelligence is learning from mistakes. In the American culture, children's capacity for learning and intelligence is destroyed by so-called 'education.' (Holt 167)

We destroy the love of learning in children (Holt 168)

"We kill not only their curiosity but their feeling that it is a good and admirable thing to be curious" (Holt 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 170)

We manipulate them to think the way we want them to (Holt 171)

We are dishonest about our feelings and the dishonesty makes for unpleasant atmosphere in our schools (Holt 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 178)

  "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!" (Holt180)

 The culture of capitalistic society does not foster the development of human potential. "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...man's 'humanity', his growth to full maturity has held slight interest for the economy." (Overstreet The Mature Mind 177)

 Unlike other nations in the world, the American nation and American nationalism are identified with a set of abstract ideals such as individualism, property rights, free markets, representative government and so on. The American worldview is based on a combination of concepts derived from scientific 'reductionism', Protestantism, and capitalism. The 'scientific' worldview originated with the scientific 'revolution' of the eighteenth century known as the 'Enlightenment'. Originating from Descartes' introduction of a mechanical picture of the world, the scientific worldview emphasized the cause and effect relationships of nature. Observations of natural events led to the formulation of 'natural laws' governing the material world. The findings of Newton 'proved' that the world was a perfect machine. The scientific worldview perceived a conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit. Thereafter it was believed that human existence involves separate material and spiritual realms; that the 'natural' and 'supernatural' realms of human nature were separate; that the human individual was disconnected from the divine 'God'. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, concepts deriving from Newtonian mechanics were applied to the sciences of human nature and human society. It seemed logical to use the methods of scientific reductionism to describe human nature and human society in terms of natural causes. An atomistic view of human societies was developed by philosoper John Locke. He described human society in terms of the human individual as its basic building block. Locke attempted to reduce the social patterns of human societies to the behavior of their constituent individuals. His analysis of social behavior was based on that of philosopher Thomas Hobbes who had refuted the concept of 'innate ideas'. Hobbes proposed that all knowledge is based on sensory perception; that there was nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses. Locke speculated that the human mind at birth is a blank tablet - 'tabula rasa' - upon which ideas are imprinted; that knowledge is printed onto the mind once it is acquired through sensory perceptions. The notion of acquisition of knowledge through sensory experience led to the mechanistic theory of knowledge: sensations are the basic elements of the mental process and they are combined into more complex structures by the process of association. According to Locke, human societies should be governed by 'natural laws' - the laws which existed before any government was formed. The natural laws included 'freedom' and 'equality' for all individuals and the right to private property which is the fruit of one's labor. This more optimistic perception of human nature formed the basis of the value system of the Enlightenment which 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. Contributing significantly to the thinking of Thomas Jefferson they are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution of 1787. The makers of the Constitution - the American 'founding fathers' - envisioned a humane and democratic society attainable through a rational scientific understanding of human nature. In spite of the more optimistic view of human nature, they adopted Hobbes' view that the human being is a naturally dangerous creature of rapacious self-interest. Adopting this dichotamous view of human nature, they believed that in accordance with natural 'laws', all human individuals have a natural right to freedom and equality of opportunity in the process of 'competitive capitalism'. They believed that the natural human rights to were 'unalienable God-given rights' but that they should be subject to control. Advocating their 'natural rights philosophy' as the basis for the Constitution they nevertheless incorporated a system of 'checks and balances' with a bias for property. With a natural rights philosophy accomodating the dichotamous view of human nature, the makers of the Constitution founded a 'balanced' federal government which could provide a stable medium within which self-interested human individuals could compete for property. In Aristotelian fashion, in incorporating a dichotamous perception of human nature, the internal logic of the Constitution is nevertheless based on a false premise. According to Richard Hofstadter, "...from a humanistic standpoint there is a serious dilemma in the philosophy of the founding 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 succeded 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 century 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" (Hofstadter, R. 'The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism' 74)

 The profound mistrust of human nature was based on the belief in the innate evil of human nature derived from the Fall/Redemption theology of 'orthodox' Protestant Christianity. Adopted by the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements, the Fall/Redemption theology claimed that the 'original sin' of Adam and Eve resulted in their 'fall' from God's grace and was inherited by all human beings who were born therafter. They believed that every human child is brought into this world as a 'child of sin'. As each human individual is born a child of sin, then each individual is innately 'evil'; the natural impulses of human nature are evil and not to be trusted. They believed that natural human behaviour and human nature itself are untrustworthy. As a child of sin, each individual must suffer in this life and depends on God's 'redemption' for an afterlife without suffering. They believed that human nature must be restrained and controlled and each individual has a moral responsibility for restraining his own natural impulses; that each individual must obey the authority of strict codes of civil law, ethical standards and social mores; that the individual who abides by the codes of ethical behavior is 'moral' and has the 'right' to teach the moral life. This mistrust of human nature has placed severe limitations on the faith in human growth and the human potential.

Further limitations resulted from the economic theories of capitalism. The worldview of capitalism is based on the belief that nature must be controlled and the natural human being is lazy and needs to be disciplined to do work. In order to 'weed out' those who are lazy and undisciplined, competition between individuals is encouraged in terms of 'individualism' and 'self-assertion'. Work is measured in terms of tangible results, productivity and 'success'. Successful work is made tangible with economic rewards and material gains. Economic and material success is rewarded with social status. The respect for the sanctity of private property and social status has resulted in a materialistic value system. The psychologically 'healthy' person is defined as 'adjusted to the society', a term which reflects more the society to which he is adjusted than the individual's state of psychologicl health. The perception of the 'society' as an entity separate from the individuals who make it up creates an unecessary dichotomy. According to scientific philosopher Thomas Kuhn, a society consists of the group of individuals of a community who "share a given set of constructs, values and techniques together referred to as a 'paradigm'." (Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Unviversity of Chicago Press, 1970)

 Capitalistic economic theories of modern technological society emphasize man's 'happiness', 'individuality' and 'self-interest'. People are made to believe that is in their self-interest to 'pursue happiness' by working for material success. They are taught to believe that the aim of life is the successful fulfillment of their duty to work; that it is in their interest to work for money, prestige, and power. People neglect their own individuality; they become indifferent to their relationship with themselves; 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. . An individual might be important to the system as a worker who could be hired to contribute to the production of marketable goods; as an investor with surplus money that could work for a corporation; as a consumer, inventor, possessor of know-how, ambitions, a 'name' - all 'marketable' human capacities which could be converted into programs for profit and profit-making. As a result of the demands of the capitalistic system, people perceive themselves and others in terms of their market value. They learn to live by the 'values' of capitalism and 'adapt' to their materialistic social environment. They learn to believe that 'happiness' is based on material 'success'. They learn to make value judgements on the basis of material success. They learn to measure their personal worth in terms of their suitability and competence for a 'job' or the 'workplace'. They learn to value others in terms of job 'requirements' and they learn to judge others in terms of their 'success' on the job market. The economic theories of capitalism create a culture which values the devaluation of human values. In modern capitalistic societies, people become the instruments of capitalism without realizing it. To achieve material success, peoples' instinctive quest for self-realization is diverted towards the demands of capitalism. People do not attach importance to the use of their powers in the process of self-realization. They perceive their own powers as commodities which are alien to themselves. They use their powers as commodities for selling themselves on the market. They substitute prestige, status and success for their own feeling of identity. They sell and exchange their own human qualities depending on the changing conditions of the market. As a result of their dependence on conditions beyond their control, they lose their 'self-esteem'. They become dependent on their ability to play different 'roles' and remain dependent on others for approval. Their dependence on the perception of others often forces them to keep up their most successful role. Their character becomes easily manipulated. Their susceptibility to manipulation contributes to the confusion about their own self-identity. They are driven to strive for material 'success' in order to protect their sense of dignity and pride. In this way their instinctive yearning for the 'higher' values of self-transcendance is diverted and they learn to focus their attention on the 'lower' physiological and psychological needs.

A unique mode of relatedness with the world has evolved in response to the need to adapt to the social environment - the so-called 'marketing character orientation'. As a form of human relatedness, the marketing character orientation is a does not develop the individual's human potential or foster any form of permament relatedness. People perceive themselves as commodities for the market and relate to each other like interchangeable commodities. They value themselves in terms of their success on the competitive market. They learn to develop the quick changeability of attitudes to adjust to the changing market. They become indifferent to the superficial relationships which they form with other people and continually search for depth and intensity of feeling in love relationships. They create for themselves a profound sense of loneliness and anxiety searching continually for a cure to their loneliness. They are prevented from understanding the meaning of human brotherly love. According to psychologist and analyst of American culture Erich Fromm "...under the illusion that their loneliness can be cured in the love relationship they become unaware of the indivisibility of love for one person and love for one's neighbour." (Fromm, Erich. "Man for Himself: an Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics." Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, New York, l947 76)

People are naturally bewildered by the irrationality of the cultural value system. They become morally confused. In their moral confusion, they become dependent on ethical norms formulated on the premise that the individual is powerless and insignificant; they become easy prey to the demands of capitalism; they are easily influenced by the enthusiasm of political leaders who encourage pursuit of material success and 'happiness'. According to Overstreet, "...American civilization is not a human civilization. It is a 'business civilization.' 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." (Overstreet The Mature Mind 179) As a culture which fosters mental dishonesty, the capitalist culture devalues the natural integrity of the human organism. According to sociobiologist Edward Wilson, "...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." (Wilson, E. Sociobiology 553)

Scientist of human nature Abraham Maslow warns "...we must not fall into the trap of defining the good organism in terms of what he is "good for" as if were an instrument rather than something in himself, as if he were only a means to some extrinsic purpose." (Maslow Towards a Psychology of Being l79)

 The marketing orientation of character affects peoples' perception of knowledge and the thought process. Their perception of the environment is focused on those aspects which might be 'useful' or 'threatening'. Educational methodologies are formulated for the 'needs' of the society. Task oriented education lacks vision and wisdom, inhibiting intellectual and emotional growth. Task oriented education stresses objectives and outcomes, inhibiting imagination and the natural development of complete wholistic cognition. imagination is lack of a wholistic perspective. Fostering incomplete cognition, taskoriented education fosters a non-wholistic perception of reality. "In the framework of a task-oriented perception of the environment cognition is incomplete...The person with incomplete cognition sees all there is to be seen of the surface features of environmental phenomena but is incapable of penetrating below the surface to the essential; and incapable of visualizing what is not yet apparent. He sees the details but not the whole, the trees but not the forest. Reality to him is only the sum total of what has already materialized. The person is able to recognize things as they are, or as the culture maintains them to be. With an imagination that is calculating the person combines those factors which are known and already in existence. He infers their future operation. The person is unable to enliven his perception from within." (Maslow Towards a Pasychology of Being)

Non-wholisitc perception and imcomplete cognition result from the lack of wholeness in the conditioning influences of the social environment. The economy of the culture discourages the fulfillment of the natural capacities of human nature for foresight and over-all planning. The major institutions of the society are divided and non-wholistic, encouraging the individual's fixation in immaturity. In adult immaturity, the individual is susceptible to the competition of advertisers. Through advertising, immediate temptation is made irresistable. As 'good consumer' and 'valuable customer', the individual remains valuable as a source of profit and profit-making. The institutions of capitalistic societies - including many institutions of 'education' - have an influence on the individual which fosters the development of perpetually impulsive children rather mature human beings with foresight, responsibility and wholeness of character.  

At the highest levels of well-being-in the transcendent realms where we experience ouselves as pure awareness transcendant to space, form, and time- very diferent possibilites for describing health become aapparent. This realm is clearly transcendent to any existing concept of health. Like the other subjective dichotomies the distinction between health and illness collapses in the deepest levels of being. AS VARIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS DISCIPLINES HAVE MAINTAINED FOR CENTURIES, WHO WE ARE BEHIND OUR ILLUSORY IDENTIFICATIONS IS BEYOND HEALTH AND ILLNESS Dichotomies disappear with increased mental health...

If the individuals in a society remain attached to that level of consciousness dealing with gratification of physical and emotional needs, then they would perceive a dichotomy between personal freedom 'to pursue happiness' and their responsibility to the society, their social responsibility. If those same individuals' level of consciousness is raised to a healthier state, then they would be motivated by so-called 'higher needs' to serve others and to contribute to society. They would not perceive a dichotomy between personal freedom "to pursue happiness'...