The History of Compulsory Schooling & its Purpose as a System of Indoctrination
“We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in...
“We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”
28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson“The Meaning of a Liberal Education”, Address to the New York City High School Teachers Association (9 January 1909)
Amongst the many dogmas that plague society today, compulsory schooling as a means for empowering the common man with knowledge and the ability to think critically for oneself, is perhaps the greatest.
Rooted in ancient Sparta and derived primarily from Prussia (who adopted certain Spartan principles), compulsory schooling, from its inception, was implemented with the sole purpose of ensuring passive obedience to the ruling class.
In Sparta, for example, young boys (who were not abandoned as babies for being deemed physically inept) were taken by the state from their parents at the young age of 7 and placed into harsh boot camps that they referred to as agoge. Here the boys were taught survival skills, the art of war and unquestioning obedience to the ruling class. As part of their training, for example, the boys were to murder a Helot without cause or provocation proving their capability as a soldier and their uncompromising loyalty to state.
More than two thousand years from its establishment, the Spartan system of compulsory "education" would be reborn in another famous military state, that of Germanic Prussia. Before this was to be realized, however, the initial push for modern day compulsory schooling would first come from the famous reformist Martin Luther.
The Protestant Reformation
In 1510, a Catholic priest named Martin Luther embarked on an 850 mile journey by foot to the heart of Rome, for reasons both personal and professional. It was a place he had long dreamed of intimately knowing and exploring in person. Upon his arrival, however, Luther was appalled by the corruption that seemed to run rampant in the famous city, writing that;
"It is almost incredible what infamous actions are committed at Rome; one should see it and hear it in order to believe it. It is an ordinary saying that if there is a hell, Rome is built upon it. It is an abyss from which all sins proceed."Although this trip is the most visible point from which we might trace the origins of Luther's revolutionary dissent, it was the sale of indulgences that ultimately lead to his disillusionment with the papacy.
Six years after Luther's trip to Rome, Pope Leo X (of the infamous Medici banking family), and his "business" partners Johann Tetzel and Albert the Archbishop of Mainz, decided they would capitalize on the ignorance of the common man through the sale of indulgences, which is to say in layman terms; they sold pieces of paper/cloth claiming they would forgive believers partly, or even wholly, of their sins and spare them from the persecution of purgatory.
While this may seem absolutely absurd to the reader, and even hard to believe, this great con proved itself to be a thriving business. Yet, despite its acceptance amongst the commoner without objection, Martin Luther, who was well versed in scripture and believed the sale of indulgences to conflict with that of Biblical doctrine, was not impressed whatsoever and, on October 31st in 1517, decided to write a stern critique of the papacy in what is historically known as the Ninety-Five theses.
Unintended at the time, Luther's disputation (originally in Latin and meant only for local debate) was printed by an unsung hero into the German language and quickly distributed throughout Northern Europe thanks to the advent of Johannes Gutenberg's printing press.
Luther's writings (which he later began to distribute intentionally to win support for his cause) gained much favor amongst the masses, presumably because they helped to confirm the inner objections of the silent and fearful oppressed, and in later writings, because Luther proclaimed that, "we are all consecrated priests through Baptism" and "If they (the Roman Catholic Church) recognize this they would know that they have no right to exercise power over us". Thereby empowering the down trodden individual with both purpose and power.
This, in fact, is why the Roman Catholic church outlawed the reading, translation or possession of the Bible,[ why it led a campaign of genocide against the Albigenses,[and why it put Jan Hus to death along with many others. With a book open to countless interpretations (there are more than 40,000 denominations to prove it) the ruling class cannot hope to maintain such a great deal of power by allowing others to interpret scripture according to their own personal principles. Thus the Roman Catholic Church has, and arguably still does, use the Bible as a form of "education" to further its own personal agenda.
Like those before him, Luther was threatened, excommunicated, and even marked for death for opposing the existing status quo and affording the common man a much needed different perspective. This sadly is the fate most commonly prescribed to those who oppose the system.
As a result, what followed was a major revolution, known historically as the Protestant Reformation (Protestant in name for protesting the Roman Catholic Church), a mass uprising that forever changed the face of the Christian religion across the world, and with it the course of compulsory schooling to be.
Despite the admirable courage and good intentions of Martin Luther, his faults were many. He was a man who interpreted the Bible radically, to say the least, and had no tolerance for those who preached a different doctrine to that of his own. This is what inspired him to insist on compulsory education, his blind conviction that his interpretation of the Bible, and life itself, was literally given to him by the Creator of mankind, and consequently, was to be indoctrinated into the common man.
In order to accomplish this "holy" task, Luther addressed the German rulers with the following proposal;
"Dear rulers … I maintain that the civil authorities are under obligation to compel the people to send their children to school…. If the government can compel such citizens as are fit for military service to bear spear and rifle, to mount ramparts, and perform other martial duties in time of war, how much more has it a right to compel the people to send their children to school, because in this case we are warring with the devil, whose object it is secretly to exhaust our cities and principalities of their strong men."Luther's request resulted in the establishment of the first compulsory school system of the modern era in 1559 by Duke Christopher, Elector of Wurtemburg. Attendance records were kept and fines were imposed on those who were absent without proper justification. This idea was disrupted for a time because of the Thirty Years' War but was later followed by such states as Gotha in 1643, Heildesheim in 1663, Prussia in 1669, and Calemberg in 1681.
Meanwhile, in Switzerland, another key figure in the Protestant Reformation, John Calvin (founder of Calvinism), was imposing compulsory schooling on the masses with the same intensity and flawed reasoning as that of Luther ― that his interpretation of the Bible was given to him by the one true God and should be indoctrinated into all. Those who resisted Luther and Calvin's doctrines' were made victim of severe punishment, sometimes even death.
Reflecting back on history, there can be no denying the colossal influence of Christianity over the minds of the masses and its impact on education. What few realize, however, is that the worlds most famous religion was actually popularized under Rome, starting with the Roman emperor Constanine the Great in the early 4th century. Christianity was then imposed over the whole empire to fulfill his vision of a unified new world order and, albeit unintentional, later inspired the Protestant Reformation which quickly spread across Europe and later, thanks to Protestant settlers, the entire globe.
This is the prime factor as to why Christianity is followed by roughly one third of the global population today, and why the Roman Catholic Church is reported as having more than a billion followers,because it has been favored and propagated for more than a thousands years by the ruling class for political reasons.
Thus it comes as no surprise that during "the age of discovery", colonization and imperialism were largely justified by "the spread of Christianity". Of course, this is not to say Christianity is an evil religion, which can easily be verified through much of its teachings, but like ANY other religion or ideology, it is fallible since it can be used to easily manipulate the mind of the common man and as a result, be used as a tool for the elite, which is precisely what continues to this day. (I will explain this in detail in an article to come.)
The Jesuits (Founded in 1540)
The Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, are a controversial secret society that work for the Roman Catholic Church, largely with the intention of countering the Protestant movement. They operate on 6 continents, in more than 100 nations and have setup the following universities, and colleges;
- Boston College,
- Georgetown University,
- Loyola Universities of Chicago,
- Maryland and New Orleans,
- Regis University,
- College of the Holy Cross,
- Santa Clara University,
- Xavier University,
- Rockhurst University,
- John Carroll University,
- Fordham University,
- University of San Francisco
- , University of Scranton,
- Creighton University,
- Loyola Marymount University,
- Wheeling Jesuit University,
- Seattle University,
- Spring Hill College,
- Fairfield University,
- Le Moyne College,
- Marquette University,
- Saint Louis University,
- Saint Joseph’s College,
- Canisius College,
- Universidad del Salvador (Buenos Aires),
- Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius Antwerpen,
- St. John's College, Belize City,
- Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
- , Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos,
- University of Manitoba,
- Saint Mary's University (Halifax),
- Regis College, a graduate theological division in the University of Toronto,
- Universidad Alberto Hurtado,
- Colegio San José, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana,
- Facultés jésuites de Paris Centre Sèvres,
- Hochschule für Philosophie München,
- Universidad Rafael Landívar,
- Andhra Loyola College,
- Xavier Institute of Management,
- St. Joseph's College (Bangalore),
- Pontifical Gregorian University,
- Université de Saint-Joseph (Beirut),
- Sophia University (Tokyo),
- Universidad Iberoamericana (Tijuana),
- Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City),
- Colegio Cristo Rey,
- Universidad del Pacífico (Lima),
- Ateneo de Manila University,
- Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan,
- Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow,
- Sogang University (Seoul),
- Comillas Pontifical University (Madrid),
- ESADE, Heythrop College at the University of London,
- Campion Hall at Oxford University,
- Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Caracas) to name a few.