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#558#559#560#561 Episode #562 - Our Biggest Enemy is Ourselves
(Deschooling Society 1)



Sat 30 July 2011  John Taylor Gatto, Ivan Illich (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week we look at the need to deschool ourselves both as individuals and collectively, by relying more on our own wits and those of our personal contacts and less on the dying impersonal centralised institutions which dominated 20th century developed life. The title is a quote from an extended interview with John Taylor Gatto, which we follow by reading the first chapter of Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society.
After Lyn's reading of Gatto's Underground History of American Education on air, I am still surprised to receive Emails from regular listeners who are uncertain whether mass compulsion schooling in USA was actually a scheme of an elite few to help make the rest of society compliant and more easily managed. In fact it barely qualifies as a conspiracy since although its origins have been hidden in recent years, its perpetrators were open about the enterprise at the time. I hope this week's show will clarify this point, and perhaps facilitate some more introspection amongst victims of mass compulsion schooling as to how we continue to be affected by it.

In hour 1, the first section of an extended John Taylor Gatto interview by Gnostic Media. After introducing himself and his connection with schools, Gatto focuses on USA, making connections between the process of schooling and the wider social frauds such as 'free markets' and 'representative democracy'.

In hour 2, we read the first chapter of Ivan Illich's seminal work of 1970, Deschooling Society. In the first chapter, Illich makes connections between schools and other key institutions of modern life, such as hospitals, the military and police forces, clarifying that while his book is focused on schooling, the same points apply broadly to all the centrally managed, hierarchical institutions of modern life. His suggestion is to reverse the ever grander ambitions of managers and bureaucracies to run people's lives for them by the creation of new means uncontrollable by technocrats. To the modern ear, his ideas sound very similar to a description of WWW-based social networking services - impressive, considering they were made in the 1960's.
Thanks to Gnostic Media
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