Tag Archives: social engineering

Social Engineering and Facilitating an Enriched Environment

My first reaction to Newt Gingrich’s statement opposing both “left-wing and right-wing social engineering” was that I agree completely, but I need to be careful what I wish for here and think about what is negative “social engineering” versus what is a societal consensus on an “enriched environment” that facilitates moving our larger community forward.

My own awareness of the dark side of social engineering was catalyzed by reading radical educator John Taylor Gatto’s book, The Underground History of American Education, where he at times bluntly challenges the institutions in our society (including our public education system) dedicated to improving our behavior, for our own good whether we like it or not. Says Gatto in the book’s prologue…

The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real.

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Five Themes of American Conventional Wisdom Part 2: Scientism & the Culture of Professionalism

Following up on yesterday’s post, “Five Themes of American Conventional Wisdom”, I continue the thread by looking at my friend Ron Miller’s second theme (from his book, What Are Schools For?) which he labels as “Scientific Reductionism”. What intrigues me most in his text is his description of science as a belief system or “ism” (scientism) and the “culture of professionalism” that emerged in America from that belief system.

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