John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #2: Into the Custody of Community Experts

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Could Professor Arthur W. Calhoun really have gotten away with publicly advocating for children to pass from blood families “into the custody of community experts” all the way back in 1919?  Here’s some of what he said in his  A Social History of the Family from Colonial Times to the Present:

The Sinister Summary:

Problem: Modernization in industrial and social life (allowing women to work alongside men in factories) has made it impossible for parents to successfully perform their parental functions.

Not the Solution #1:  Encourage parents to find an independent livelihood outside of the factory/corporate system that would provide them with the time and resources to raise their own children.

Not the Solution #2: Ease restrictions on small businesses.

Solution: Allow qualified community experts to perform the complexer functions of parenthood.

Source Mention: Page 1

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #1: Why Children Work

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.  Here’s a link to Helen Todds Why Children Work: The Children’s Answer, published by McClure’s Magazine in 1913:

This is certainly a fascinating historical document.  While I’m as skeptical of the integrity of the journalism of 1913 as I am of the journalism of today, I find Ms. Todd’s account to be sobering.

Personal Reflection: I find it strange that our contemporary view of child labor is still largely framed by the the mental images that we hold of the factory conditions of the early 20th century.  In this age of the service economy would it be possible to reach a compromise that could provide safe opportunities for children to be more productive members of society?  Can they be any more than tax evaders who occasionally engage in illicit lawn mowing, dog walking, and babysitting?

Source Mention: Page 1

Ignorance is Kinda Understandable

We live in an age of uninformed people with strong opinions.  Our lack of knowledge is understandable.  There’s a lot of new stuff to keep up with every day.  Plus, there’s the whole entirety of human history to try to absorb and process on the fly.  On top of that, people keep secrets and tell lies.

Everyone of us views reality through a lens of false perceptions and beliefs.  Given how widespread this condition is, it would be silly to quickly ascribe sinister motives to someone over a difference of opinion.

The constant finger pointing and score keeping is sucking too much joy from this world.  Frankly, I’m getting tired of it.  Let’s try to cut some of it out.  There will still be plenty of real bad guys left in society to keep us on our toes.

My Silly Old Uncle

Uncle Sam

I have an uncle who spent over $125, 000 to put my cousin through school.  My cousin graduated without mastering the fundamental skills provided in a basic Grade 3 education.

I’ve got another cousin who will start kindergarten next fall.  My silly old uncle is set on opening up his wallet again to send the young one through the same system as the hopelessly useless graduate.

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