Embedded deep in the human psyche is the perception of comparison, pecking order, a biological imperative. But then, the newly evolved neocortex, with its vast capacity to imagine, steps in and conjures whatever it needs to justify one’s position on the ladder: class, superiority, racism, bigotry, religious dogma, and prejudice for profit. We make up concepts that advance, leverage and maintain our pecking-order-status, at the expense of others, of course, which is how the game is played. Theistic religions and our prevailing political-social fabric, including gender inequity, is cast on this foundation. The more fundamental, therefore conservative, the more that deep, often tacit, white supremacy, and its implicit imagined-racism, percolates.
For a biological perspective see Ashley Montagu; Man's Most Dangerous Myth, first published in 1942, when Nazism flourished, when African Americans sat at the back of the bus, and when race was considered the determinant of people's character and intelligence. Ashley presented a revolutionary theory for its time; breaking the link between genetics and culture, it argued that race is largely an imagined social construction and not constitutive of significant biological differences between people.
With this imagined foundation for racism in mind, while working on a new book that looks at major social and cultural events of the past 200 years, I scanned thousands of images from the Getty library. The patterns became crystal clear. Racism, class distinction, economics and violence, all pecking order functions, have driven politics for centuries. Look at the Spanish inquisition, which lasted 300 years. Look at what Columbus and Cortez did to native populations in the name of white supremacy and its religious dogma. Manifest Destiny, a phrase coined in 1845, held that the White-United-States was destined—by God (whose God, we might ask?)—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent by murdering and displacing native population, that white supremacist (people who believe that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races) regarded as savages. The United States was built on racism and racism must have leaders, population managers, that appeal to racists. It is a very old story, indeed, as described by John Taylor Gatto reviewing the history of compulsory schooling.
Five centuries ago John Calvin seemed to be the most influential theologian of the last fifteen hundred years. Calvin says clearly that the damned are many times larger in number than the saved. [the saved being white supremacists] The ratio is about twenty to one. There are too many damned to overwhelm with force. So you have to cloud their minds and set them into meaningless competitions with one another in ways that will eat up that energy.
Jump from Calvin to a thoroughly secular philosopher in Amsterdam, Benedict Spinoza, who published a book in 1670 that had a huge influence on the leadership classes of Europe, the United States and Asia. It’s called “Tractate Religico Politicu.” In it he said it was nonsense to think people were damned or evil because there was no supernatural world. He also said there’s an enormous disproportion between permanently irrational people who are absolutely dangerous and the people who have good sense [again white supremacists]. The ratio is about twenty to one. Spinoza actually says that an institutional school system should be set up as a ‘civil religion.’ It’s a term you find common in early colonial writing because everyone read Spinoza, all over the planet. He said we need a ‘civil religion’ for two reasons. One, to eliminate official religion, which he says is completely irrational and dangerous. And two, to bind up the energies of these irrational twenty to one and to destroy their imagination. In all but words he said the same thing as Calvin, but Spinoza said it flatly. We have to destroy the imagination because it’s only through the imagination that the maximum damage is unleashed. Otherwise people can struggle against the chains, maybe even cause local damage, but they can’t do much harm to the fundamental structure because they can’t think outside of the box.
Jump from Spinoza in 1670 to Johann Fichte in Northern Germany in 1807, 1808, 1809, where the very first successful institutional schooling in the history of the planet, was established. Fichte says in his famous Addresses to the German Nation, that the reason Prussia suffered a catastrophic defeat against Napoleon at Jena was because order was turned on its head by ordinary soldiers taking decisions into their hands. He called for a national system of training that would make it impossible for underlings to imagine any other way to do things. A decade later Prussia had the first institutional form of mass schooling on the planet.
In 1820 we have Darwin saying that people are biologically fixed in classes and there’s nothing you can do about it. Every one of these people, in a sense, is saying that what ‘we call education’ isn’t even possible. What we call education is romantic nonsense.
Jump back to Germany, the University of Leipzig in the 1870's, 1880's, 1890's, and we find the most important psychologist who ever lived. We find a man emerge who is the Father of Behavioral Psychology, Scientific Psychology, Wilhelm Wundt, and people from all over the planet, including from the United States, come as disciples to study under Wundt. There’s a secondary reason for that, or maybe it’s the primary reason. Prussia, Saxony and Hanover, these three little states up at the top of Germany, are the only place in the world where something called a Ph.D. Degree exists. Americans by the thousands came to Germany to get a Ph.D. Degree.
Literally, every college presidency of any significance in the United States, with the single exception of Cornell, is awarded a Prussian Ph.D. Every department head had a Prussian Ph.D. If not, you were marginalized. So this tiny military state in Northern Germany finds a way to seed the planet with its mandate that we must have a national system of training that makes it impossible for underlings to imagine any other way of doing things, other than the way they’re told.
Japan in 1868 translated the Prussian Constitution into Japanese and that’s why we get the famous Japanese schooling system. It has nothing to do with Japan’s organic history. Darwin said we were insane to try to invest people with inferior IQ’s with positions of responsibility. We’re not talking about a fringe intellectual position. This was the dominate map for how to run a society in the early 19th century. Once you know this – you view the form and content of public education differently.
You can still dislike the Dick Cheney’s and Rumsfield’s of the world, however, you quickly see that eliminating these people doesn’t work. They will simply be replaced by others who think the same way. This is the ([white supremacist] leadership point of view. It’s come from the great intellectuals of human history, an unbroken stream of them. All the romantic stuff is for the middle class, lower middle class. It’s stuff for boobs.
It’s not easy to find out who designed the training we call schooling. If you’re obsessive, and I was obsessive because I was pissed off. I was so furious that I’d spent my life hurting children. That anger, quite hot, lasted for ten years. I’m still not un-angry. During that time, by working seven days a week, sixteen hours a day, and with nothing other than this on my mind, I managed to stumble across sources. In 1915 there was a Congressional Commission called the Walsh Committee that tried to answer the same question. In 1959 there was a second Congressional Committee called the Reese Commission. They discovered the management of forced-institutional schooling was coming from the project offices of a dozen or so private corporate foundations. Now, at least, you have a clue.
The expression common during the Watergate era was ‘follow the money.’ This is still the best way to begin. Who is actually putting out the money to underwrite this? There were key families who were proud enough of their heritage to have left behind a family record. By looking, not only at the immediate architect of a school plan, but looking at the grandparents, the great grandparents, as far back as you can trace, you can follow the continuation of ideas - like the one we went through a few minutes ago - that jumps from Calvin to Spinoza to Fichte to Darwin to Arthur Jensen.
Just how does this deep, often tacit, white supremacy, and it implicit imagined-racism, express? The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jewish men, women and children by the Nazi regime and its white supremacist collaborators. Collaborators?
Kodak: Kodak’s German branch used slave laborers from concentration camps.
Coca-Cola, specifically Fanta. Coke played both sides during World War Two… they supported the American troops but also kept making soda for the Nazis.
Ford: Henry Ford was Hitler’s most famous foreign backer. On his 75th birthday, in 1938, Ford received a Nazi medal, designed for “distinguished foreigners.”
Standard Oil: The Luftwaffe needed tetraethyl lead gas in order to get their planes off the ground. Without Standard Oil, the German air force never could’ve even gotten their planes off the ground.
Chase Bank: Chase froze European Jewish customers’ accounts and were extremely cooperative in providing banking service to Germany.
IBM: custom-build machines for the Nazis that they could use to track everything… from oil supplies to train schedules into death camps to Jewish bank accounts to individual Holocaust victims themselves.
George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
Here we find the solid historical foundation for today’s latest, 14 August 2019, and why it is not supprising.
Trump Official: Statue of Liberty Poem Is About Europeans (Associated Press)
Top Trump administration official says that the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants into the country is about “people coming from Europe” and that America is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”
Added Note: This comment too is an old pecking order justification and strategy…
“It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
The comments on Tuesday from Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, came a day after the Trump administration announced it would seek to deny green cards to migrants who seek Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance. The move, and Cuccinelli’s defense, prompted an outcry from Democrats and immigration advocates who said the policy would favor wealthier immigrants and disadvantage those from poorer countries in Latin America and Africa.
“This administration finally admitted what we’ve known all along: They think the Statue of Liberty only applies to white people,” tweeted former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate.
The administration’s proposed policy shift comes as President Donald Trump is leaning more heavily into the restrictive immigration policies that have energized his core supporters and were central to his 2016 victory. He has also spoken disparagingly about immigration from majority black and Hispanic countries, including calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals when he launched his 2016 campaign. Last year, he privately branded Central American and African nations as “shithole” countries and he suggested the U.S. take in more immigrants from European countries like predominantly white Norway.
Cuccinelli said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday night that the Emma Lazarus poem emblazoned on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty referred to “people coming from Europe where they had class based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class.”
Lazarus’ poem, written in 1883 to raise money to construct the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal and cast in bronze beneath the monument in 1903, served as a beacon to millions of immigrants who crossed past as they first entered the U.S. in New York Harbor. It reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Cuccinelli was asked earlier Tuesday on NPR whether the words “give me your tired, your poor” were part of the American ethos. Cuccinelli responded: “They certainly are. Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
A hard-line conservative from Virginia, Cuccinelli was a failed Republican candidate for governor in 2013 after serving as the state’s attorney general. He backed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for president in 2016 and for a time was a harsh critic of Trump.
He is one of a slew of immigration hardliners brought in by Trump to implement the president’s policies. He was appointed to the post in June in a temporary capacity, which doesn’t require Senate confirmation.
Trump, asked Tuesday about Cuccinelli’s comments on NPR, appeared to back him up.
“I don’t think it’s fair to have the American taxpayer paying for people to come into the United States,” Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One for Pennsylvania. “I think we’re doing it right.”
Immigrant rights groups strongly criticized the Trump administration’s new rules for immigrants receiving public assistance, warning that the changes would scare immigrants away from asking for needed help. And they voiced concern that officials were being given too much authority to decide whether someone is likely to need public assistance in the future.
Another Democratic presidential candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, also condemned Cuccinelli’s comments. “Our values are etched in stone on the Statue of Liberty. They will not be replaced,” she tweeted. “And I will fight for those values and for our immigrant communities.”