Educating American Citizens: Trump's Proposals and LaRouche's
“The individual who contributes to making society Good is worth a thousand times the individual who wanders through life scattering only individual good deeds. For, a bad society will crush the good contributed by its individual members. Who makes society Good thus preserves the goods contributed by thousands and millions of individuals.”
-Lyndon LaRouche, The Science of the Human Mind
Determined to make society good, President Trump has upped the ante in the battle against what seems to the cascading evil permeating our educational system in his most recent Agenda 47 policy plank. The short video is entitled: “Protecting Students from the Radical Left and Marxist Maniacs.” Noting that the present system subsists on rising tuition costs for what amounts to a system of radical left indoctrination, his plan frees our young people from the Left’s obsession with controlling human thought. He would cleanse the present college accreditation system by firing “Marxist maniacs and lunatics” and making accreditation dependent on new standards, inclusive of defense of the achievements of Western Civilization, protection of free speech, elimination of wasteful administrative positions, removal of “diversity, equity and inclusion” bureaucracies, and provision of meaningful job placement and career services. He will direct the Department of Justice to pursue federal civil rights cases against schools which engage in racial discrimination under the guise of “equity” while seeking restitution for victims of equity policies.
He notes that this can be accomplished through executive action and budget reconciliation measures—including taxing endowments, and fining noncompliance. His statement ends with the declaration that, “We are going to get this anti-American insanity out of our institutions once and for all. We are going to have real education in America.”
To get a good idea about what real education in America should look like, we can turn to the many writings of Lyndon LaRouche, and LaRouche’s fundamental assertion that, “Genius can be taught.”
LaRouche asserts that the individual’s God-given creative powers can become self-conscious through the small group classroom social process of reliving those discoveries in science, technology, and the arts from the past which opened new frontiers and revolutions in knowledge and technologies. Each such discovery involves the discovery of a higher order solution to what appears to be a fundamental paradox in past or present knowledge. The re-living of such original discoveries fires the imagination and the innate powers of the human mind, building an intellectual confidence aligned with the fundamental principles of the universe. LaRouche elaborated this in his book, “Genius Can be Taught”.
LaRouche knew that something was amiss in the educational system as far back as the 1920s, when he was attending elementary, or what he called “blab school.” In his school, students simply repeated lessons blabbed by the teacher—a process which produced standardized mediocrity at best. In revolt from the “blab school,” he made regular trips to the local library, and began his independent study of great philosophers, scientists, and writers across history. The scientific ideas of Gottfried Leibniz caught his attention and formed the basis of his lifelong work to educate himself and then society at large. The new standard of secondary education and college education must be based upon the student’s personal rediscovery of history’s great ideas and principles, coupled with study of classical and foreign languages and cultures, and the history of both civilization and the United States.
LaRouche expounded on this idea in another of his writings, “On the Subject of Education”.
“To understand the present,” LaRouche wrote there, “a citizen must know the substance of our nation's, and civilization's past. Otherwise, the discussion of the so-called issues of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Federal Constitution, becomes degraded to arbitrary, ignorant speculations, even meaningless banter. . . More recently, the standard of literacy has departed the concern for truth and has replaced truthfulness with so-called ‘sensitivity’ to the irrational ‘feelings” of other persons.”
Writing all the way back in 1999, before the internet accelerated cultural alienation and the twin evils of nihilism and narcissism, LaRouche observed:
“Relative to the schools of thirty years ago, today's typical student is pushed out of civilized life, into a feral state of de-socialization, a state which Heidegger defined as ‘thrown-ness.’ The satanic quality of violence, which has lately erupted within so-called ‘white, middle-class’ schools, as in the Littleton massacre, is the natural outgrowth of the influence of the kind of existentialist outlook, imported to the U.S.A. from the notorious ‘Frankfurt School’ circles of Weimar and Nazi Germany.”
By contrast, he elaborates the process of student discovery of valid universal principles and the accompanying unleashing of the creative powers of mind as follows:
“All competent education rests upon a grounding of the pupil’s power for solving real-life problems, through re-experiencing, as faithfully as possible, the original act of discovery of a validatable universal principle, whether in science or art, a discovery effected by an original discoverer, usually one from the earlier generations, even the distant past. This aspect of public education is rightly viewed as ‘the cultivation of the cognitive powers of the individual pupil's mind.’
“Through this experience of re-enacting validatable original discoveries, the student learns to recognize, within the privacy of his, or her own sovereign powers of cognition, those non-deductive methods of thinking which occurred within the mind of the individual making some validatable discovery of universal principle, from the past.
“This power of cognition, which sets the individual person apart from, and above the beasts, can not be programmed into a digital computer, can not be described at the blackboard, nor by any other expression of today's notion of ‘generally accepted classroom mathematics.’ It is known in a three-fold way.
“1. It is known by re-enacting a validatable original act of discovery of a universal principle, as in reliving that experience from a creative genius of the past.
“2. It is known by examining the relationship between the act of discovering, cognitively, the new principle, and the nature of the experimental, or comparable proof of the universality of the discovered, proposed new principle.
“3. It is known by sharing the act of discovering and validating such an historically validated creative solution, with other persons, such as a small group of classmates and teacher. Thus, the existence of the experience of that act of cognition, as demonstrated to exist in the mind of another person, and as shown to have a common physically-efficient expression as a result of its existence, becomes the means by which that act of cognition becomes a recognizable, and efficiently existing object of a social form of conscious knowledge. All of the validatable discoveries of principle respecting Classical artistic composition, have the exact-same quality of certainty as socially cognizable knowledge.
“This cognitive, creative potential, unique to the human individual, is not subject to observation by means of sense-perception, but it is known with certainty by the means I have indicated, nonetheless. In fact, what we know in this way, is known with a certainty which no rational person would ever ascribe to notions associated with mere powers of sense-perception of objects.”
Examples for study of Classical science and culture include the Dialogues of Plato, the scientific writings of Archimedes, Eratosthenes, Cusa, and Kepler, the epics of Homer, the New Testament, the writings of Dante, Shakespeare, Schiller, Keats, and Shelley, the musical compositions of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms, the great art of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Raphael.
Some paradoxes stand out as examples of this discovery process: How did Kepler determine the orbits of the planets—when all he could see were points of light in the sky? How did Eratosthenes determine the circumference of the earth—most people thought it was flat? How did Beethoven compose the greatest music known to mankind—while he was going deaf?
As an economic scientist, LaRouche emphasized that education was central to all economic and societal progress, since the power of human labor, the power of the individual human mind determines any economy’s progress or its decline. “We do not measure education as learning;” he wrote, “we measure it as the cultivation of the cognitive activity of the individual, in respect to both universal physical and Classical-artistic principles. We measure, thus, the relationship between the cultivation of that cognitive activity, and the development of man’s power in the universe.”
This brings us back to Trump’s Agenda 47. A real education policy results in incredible transformations of the productive power of society, and the Goodness of society. It is a major task made lighter by the infectious optimism and “fit” to the nature of the human mind embodied in LaRouche’s “real education” method itself. LaRouche concludes that:
“Bringing back U.S. public education to the levels of competence commonplace during the 1960s, is a mammoth work. Retraining most teachers for that will not be feasible during the short term. The feasible approach is to infect public education with cognitive influences and let the success of cognitive methods spread the infection.
The fact that the existing, recent decades’ trends in policy of practice have produced such a terrible result in so many aspects of national life, brings us to the kind of crisis-point referenced by Percy Shelley in his ‘Defense of Poetry.’ This is a time of crisis, when the population is ripe for a great increase of ‘the power of imparting and receiving profound and impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature.’ The institutions, and the general population are now ripe for sudden and profound reforms. Government must foster the emergence of the kinds of leadership needed within the pores of relevant public institutions.”