Professor Tomislav Sunić: Modern education and the destruction of culture
by The Editor
Speech delivered at the Traditional Britain Conference to the Traditional Britain Group by Professor Tomislav Sunić on 18th October 2014 - 'Modern Education and the Destruction of Culture'
Due to incessant semantic shifts over the last one hundred years the word “culture” has become meaningless. It denotes everything and therefore it means nothing. It can express a political or a theological belief; it can also stand as a label for someone’s sexual life style, or someone’s choice of drugs, such as speed culture, grass culture, or meth culture. The word culture has become so liquid today, just like the liquid times we all live in today. The modern meaning of the word culture has nothing in common with the original meaning of the word, which until recently denoted the cultivation of man’s soul or character. The same semantic aberrations can be observed with the word “education,” a word which used to be the basis of culture, but a word which has today acquired a purely mechanical and utilitarian meaning. In the American English language it is common to hear the phrase; “my son and my daughter need to get education”—as if education is a perishable commodity.
The incessant usage of the word education should not come as a big surprise. After all in our postmodern liberal system everything has its price tag -- and consequently nothing has its value. In the German language the words culture, i.e. “Kultur,” and “Kulturkampf” (culture war) had a very specific metapolitical meaning, particularly during the period of Romanticism. Culture bearers, or Kulturträger in the early 19th century Germany, be they itinerant poets or library-bound philosophers, played a crucial role in the identity building process of the German people and other peoples in central Europe.
Another lexical and conceptual headache, with all due subsequent legal and political nightmares for non-conformist thinkers, started some 40 years ago with the introduction into the American language of the compound noun “multi-culture.” This word has no etymological basis. In fact, the word “multiculturalism” is an insidious euphemism for multiracialism. However, given that the usage of the word “race” is avoided by the media and politicians —except when used in smearing “white racists” - it had to be packaged into more multi-romantic and cultural wordings.
Early Education; Violent Christianization
Culture, education, propaganda are closely intertwined fields in political process and none of them can be conceived of separately. They go hand in hand. Education comes from the Latin verb “educare”, which denotes the action of breeding animals or taking care of plants in the field. The second meaning, however, comes from the Latin verb “educere” whose verbal root, is “duco/ducere” means to lead or to guide. It was a common view among our ancestors that knowledge only, dispensed by a sage, helps young man get a necessary veneer in humanizing and civilizing himself. We can already make our first critical remark, namely heredity, or race, or metaphorically speaking, nature, as crucial as it is in our identity building process and in our political behavior, is of meager value unless accompanied by appropriate educational nurture. A lazy and an undisciplined white student, even if possessing a good and healthy body and demonstrating high IQ is of little benefit to his society. Conversely, a low IQ white student, with modest conceptual skills, if disciplined and committed to his studies, can be of significant benefit to his community.
In ancient Greece studying Homer was considered of crucial importance for a good life of a good citizen. The educational values held in high esteem in ancient Greece were the cultivation of body and mind and unquestionable readiness of sacrifice for his community. The survival of the community, which was well recorded in ancient Sparta, presupposed the subordination of each citizen to the collective will. The Greek ideal of a good citizen and a good ruler was adopted later by ancient Rome. Each good patrician house in ancient Rome prided itself on having a slave scholar from Greece who instructed the patricians’ sons in the Greek language and in ancient Greek myths. The notion of individualism, such as we know it today, was considered a mental aberration. The worst punishment an ancient Greek could incur for committing a crime was not death, but forced exile into a foreign land or forced subsistence on a desolate island.
During the Middle Ages and until the Renaissance of the late 15th century, but even for a long time after, the Church played a crucial role in education. Often a clergyman was a statesman and the other way around. The dispute over the realm of education and politics, between the Church and the emperor was severe, as shown in century long disputes between the two aristocratic factions in Italy, the so-called Guelphs and the so-called Ghibellines, the Ghibellines demanding a more secular imperial rule, while the Guelphs advocated a strong papal role in the realm of politics.
The chief Christian name associated with good education was Thomas Aquinas, whose work was viewed as an indispensable tool for good scholarship in the following centuries. We must also single out early religious orders such as the early Catholic Benedictines from England who had been active in proselytizing Christianity to the pagans in continental Europe. Catholic schools and convents during the Middle Age in Europe laid the foundations for modern quality education, a notion that still prevails among many conservative thinkers.
Here is another critical remark. We should not forget that early Christian education in Europe was carried out by the Catholic missionaries from early England, like Saint Boniface, who were aided and abetted by Christian Frankish rulers, first by the emperor Charles Martel and later his grandson Charlemagne. Their spreading of Christian education was carried out by means of gigantic ethnic cleansing and through serial mass murders of dozens of thousand of people of Germanic stock, such as Frisians and Saxons in the north and later on other pagan German and Slavic tribes in the East. Granted Charlemagne saved Europe from Muslim invasions, but he also decapitated the flower of European youth.
Such a rapid success could not be psychologically explained by the proselytizing of Boniface, nor through the assistance of the Holy Ghost. It was only possible as result of dreadful pressure of the state upon the subjected heathens. (Robert Luft, Die Verchristung der Deutschen (Munchen: Ludendorffs Verlag 1937, p.55) (https://archive.org/details/Luft-Robert-Verchristung-der-Deutschen)
In the legal code Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, i.e the“Ordinance concerning Saxony," (http://www.academia.edu/775061/Charlemagnes_Jihad_Viator_37_2006_pp._33-51) of the late 8th century Charlemagne made it quite clear that any pagan from Saxony must be put to death if he refuses to be baptized. In hindsight it sounds like an early Bolshevik ukase against anti-communist rebels. Those early European inhabitants in continental Europe could not identify with a new monotheistic mindset of Judaic and Levantine provenance and its instant soul salvation techniques. Exactly the same violent reeducational process, albeit in a more secular fashion took place one thousand and two hundred years later, following WW II, during the so-called Allied reeducation of the German people.
The Enlightenment; The Beginning of The Thought Police
The period of so-called modernity, a period roughly stretching from the late 18th century Age of Enlightenment to 1945, gave political birth to America, modern Europe, and later on to the communist Soviet Union. The Age of Enlightenment is often described in European high school textbooks as the “pedagogical century”, or the educational century. Yet, before we start praising the period of Enlightenment, which dethroned former religious and political lies we must also keep in mind that it carried its own myths. Just as the period of Enlightenment was a grandiose epoch in dislocating former dogmas, it ushered in new and bizarre beliefs which are still alive: a) the myth of eternal progress; b) the myth of equality: c) the myth of perpetual economic growth, followed by the loss of the old Greco–Roman sense of the tragic.
The French Revolution was the next political product of the Age of Enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson, during his ambassadorship in royal France had made some friends among the French who were to become important figures during the French Revolution. Surprisingly, the French revolutionaries were also inspired by ancient Greece, Spartan mores, Greek clothing and educational discipline of the old Greeks. The famous red French revolutionary cap ( bonnet phrygien) was the replica of the ancient Phrygian cap worn by many citizens in ancient Greece thousands of years ago.
A young and important French revolutionary and a self-proclaimed educator Saint Just : (1767 -1794) wrote in his Fragments sur les institutions républicaines (http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/saint_just/fragments/fragments_institu_republ.pdf) that children belong to their mother up to 5 years of age - if she can feed them, and to the Republic until their death. The child and the citizen both belong to the homeland. Common education is necessary. Discipline of children must be rigorous.
The Fascist style public schools, universities, both in NS Germany and in Fascist Italy were largely secular. The educational role of the Christian clergy in NS Germany was far less prominent than in other affiliated pro-fascist countries in Europe of that time. Clerics and priests played a far less significant role in the Third Reich than the Catholic clergy did in other countries of Europe. Religious affiliations of students in NS Germany had no role whatsoever in building their national consciousness which was largely determined, unlike in Italy and elsewhere in pro-fascist Europe, by ancestry and race. There were students in the Third Reich who came from pagan, Protestant, agnostic and Catholic homes. By contrast, sects such as Jehovah Witnesses or Christian Scientists and many other cults were banned. In the educational process of other friendly Axis countries, such as Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Belgium, or Slovakia, the educational role of Catholic schools was of paramount importance. The Catholic clergy in those pro-fascist countries shaped to no small degree the educational policies of local fascist authorities. Both National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy, irrespective of the fact that they were signatories of the Concordat, had frequent diplomatic tensions with the Vatican, especially regarding their teachings on race, a curriculum considered contrary to the ecumenical and multiracial teachings of the Church.
Hostility to race was of no big help to the Catholic clergy in Eastern Europe after the communist takeover in 1945. The prime target of communist repression after the war was the so-called fight against clerical –fascism or “clero-fascism.” The only exception was communist Poland. Even under Communism and during the Cold War, Catholic schools in Poland enjoyed a significant margin of educational maneuvering, which Catholic students in other communist countries in Eastern Europe could only dream about.
The year 1945 was not just a catastrophe for the vanquished Whites but also for the winning Whites. The trial of Nuremberg laid the legal foundations for the new world order which has remained intact over the last seventy years. The so-called period of postwar political denazification has ever since been going on hand in hand with the process of reeducation. Every German citizen still knows well the ominous meaning of the German word Umerziehung, which means literally “reeducation” in English, but which has a far stronger psychological resonance in the German language and in the German ears.
Immediately after WWII all German public servants, teachers and academics, born before 1928 had to fill out the Allied Questionnaire consisting of 130 questions, prodding them on their ties with former NS Germany, their religious affiliations, their marital status, and their sexual life. Accordingly, the US and English occupying authorities in Germany classified all intellectual suspects into 3 categories; a) NS party members, b) NS sympathizers c) NS fellow travelers. In most cases teachers or public servants, who were grilled by the Allied investigators, were banned from holding jobs in the public sector or from teaching. In addition, thousands of scholarly books, especially those from the fields of genetics, heredity or dealing with the Jewish question were removed from library shelves, destroyed, or shipped overseas.
Multicultural Education; A Path to Civil Wars
What first comes to mind is the reeducational role of the Frankfurt School and Jewish academics who returned from the USA to Germany after the war. Undoubtedly, many Jewish scholars, on their reeducational mission in postwar Germany had personal scores to settle with their former German colleagues who had served in NS Germany. But one must also look at the broader picture. The American scholar was also one of the big time reeducators in postwar Europe who institutionalized a new method of “progressive education” in teaching democratic canons, not just in politics but in the daily life of students. We should also note that there were planeloads of Bible preachers flown by the US President Truman to Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan whose task was to spread the gospel of American democracy to the defeated European and Japanese barbarians. This does not seem to be new. Similar educational process, albeit on a far lesser scale, is being tested anew in Iraq and Afghanistan today. More peaceful, yet more effective are also American government sponsored lecturers or private teachers today on their mission in post-communist Eastern Europe.
Although the prime goal of post WWII reeducators was to revamp the mind of the German people, ironically the same process spilled over with its full force into the schools of the victors’ children. American and British high school and college students have been no less exposed to the latter day Allied propaganda than their counterparts in continental Europe. The content of their curriculum has been virtually the same. One can notice throughout a sharp decline in the study of classics and the decline in discipline among students.
Content-wise one must single out a relatively new and forceful introduction of mandatory courses, such as the study of the Holocaust and gender studies. Teaching of these courses should not come as a surprise as they both reflect the educational climate following WWII. As far as modern gender studies are concerned, the dynamics of the egalitarian dogma, which has become the founding myth of the modern West, has had its logical results. The widespread belief that all humans, all peoples, all races, all groups, all genders are interchangeable means also they are expandable. Young students in America and Europe, under cover of some fictitious freedom of choice, are encouraged to tinker, temper or even consider changing their race or sex. The Marxist buzzword “workers of the world unite,” having become by now funny and obsolete, has been replaced in higher education by a more fashionable slogan; “gays and lesbians worldwide unite.”
In conclusion we must agree that the foundation of the modern multicultural, stateless, rootless, and raceless system is the logical outcome of the end of World War Two. The system, in which we all live today, was not a chance result of a wicked person or some conspiracy theorist, but a logical and well planned outcome of the belief in progress and equality.
The biggest problem in modern multicultural education is that it is conflict prone. Eventually, multicultural classes end up harming students from host countries as well as migrant non-White students. An African-American student from Compton in LA, or an Armenian American student from Glendale, or a French- Algerian living in Marseille, etc., is frequently exposed to the curriculum on foreign victimhoods, notably the Jewish Holocaust, while rarely hearing a word from his professors about the victimhood of his own people. This inevitably leads to interracial tensions. There is enough empirical evidence showing that multiracial schools create a fragile and explosive environment in which each ethnic and racial group yearns to be the first in the limelights—each nurturing jealousy and hatred against the other.
Every multicultural society is a deeply inhumane system. In the long run it becomes self- destructive and breaks up in civil war. Thank you.