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#627#628#629#630 Episode #631 - The Neglected Genius of John Taylor Gatto
(Extended Childhood and Western Spirituality)


John Taylor Gatto a few weeks before his crippling strokes of 2011

Sat 24 November 2012  John Taylor Gatto
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week, exceptionally, we hear two pieces from a single speaker, John Taylor Gatto. He is in poor health having been slow to recover from a stroke last year, so we reflect on his genius with two classic talks: "Bianca, You Animal, Shut Up!" and "The Neglected Genius of American Spirituality".
In episode 608 we heard a little about John Taylor Gatto's childhood from his Underground History of American Education. That has been the only time he has appeared on for over a year since I hoped that episodes 562-566 had clarified the perniciousness of certified schooling. The depth of Gatto's scholarship is such that he has a lot more to contribute to understanding the state of modern US (and global) society, and he is unflinching in his instruction to have no truck whatever with the idea that institutions should be in charge of individuals.

In our first hour we hear a somewhat cut down version of Bianca, You Animal, Shut Up!, the keynote talk at the 20th Anniversary Conference of Growing Without Schooling. In this beautiful and sensitive talk, Gatto describes the effects on children of mass confinement schooling and how this serves the interests of a hierarchically directed, society that is directed by corporations.

In our second hour, we hear The Neglected Genius of American Spirituality, which Gatto gave at the Conference on Spirituality in Boulder, Colorado. Gatto examines the project of the great industrialists of the late 19th and early 20th century, the establishment of what Illich termed the 'The New World Religion'. Again, he is unequivocal in his damnation of the massification and Dumbing Down of the population so that they can be rendered predictable, unimaginative and perpetually childish in order to smooth the machinery of Social Control so that the top dogs can stay that way for ever.

We conclude the show with a brief update on Gatto's condition and a pointer to
Some of this episode's content is repeated in episode 681.
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