Curtis Dahlgren
Whom the gods wish to con, they first make illiterate
By Curtis Dahlgren
November 22, 2023

There are some sentences that should never be completed:

"America has been good to us, but..."

"Thanks for the history lesson, but..."

"Public education could be improved, but..."

IT'S A CULTURE WAR. I attended a one-room country school and I learned how to read in less than six weeks – in kindergarten. I overheard more American history in first grade than most teachers hear in 4 years of college. In fact, a poll recently revealed that most seniors in our 'top-notch' universities couldn't identify George Washington as the general of the Revolutionary army. Teachers now say little George didn't cut down that cherry tree, but if he had they'd hate him for that too!

America's kids now know "Memorial Day" as "the day the pools open." I've run into three grads of the high school I attended who didn't know what the fourth of July commemorates. We asked one guy about that and he said "Fireworks!" When we gave him a clue, "England," he said, "Beatles!" Even the majority of Brits today know very little about their Empire and can't identify the people who are pictured on their money. But Elton John is a "knight"! Whom the gods wish to enslave, they first make illiterate, and this is all by design. In one generation we went from Treasure Island to Gilligan's Island to Fantasy Island to Temptation Island. It's a literal war on our American culture.

Prime Minister Thatcher said, "Be warned. A powerful, radical left-wing clerisy is bent on destroying what every past generation would have understood to be the central purpose of education – that is, allowing (in the words of Edmund Burke) individuals to 'avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations, and of ages.' A society needs only one generation to abandon the task of learning and transmitting its culture, for that culture to become an alien, lifeless irrelevance . . . [and] the cultural revolutionaries will drown out what Lincoln called 'the mystic chords of memory' with jarring cacophony. . . . " [National Review, 12/22/97]

The educational "Establishment" Mrs. Thatcher referred to no longer hides its true agenda. Did you ever wonder why "history" disappeared from the curricula and became lumped under the umbrella of "social science"? A few years ago at its national conference, the National Council for the Social Studies had as its slogan, "TRANSFORMING CULTURES, Past Present and Future." Which, being translated, means "Rewriting the past so as to transform the present culture into a more politically correct future (my source for this information was from an actual badge worn at their national "conference"). As George Orwell said, "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past [i.e., history]."

It's called social engineering. The first step was to say that the Founding Fathers were Deists. After a while, educators talked about "a more HONEST history" in which the rest of the "myths" (heroic facts) about the "Founders" were tossed out. Today the Founding Families are talked about, if ever, in terms of slavery, dead white Anglo-Saxons, out-of-date Western Civilization. These "Establishment" educators want the masses to be just literate enough to read a ballot, but not so literate as to study issues on their own and make up their own minds. They will save you all the trouble and just tell you what you must think!

We have gone from one extreme to another. In the 1830s, the Philadelphia Public Library refused to keep any works of Thomas Jefferson because he was unable to "comprehend" the trinity, and therefore "pursued by relentless clerical hatred" ("Jefferson" by Padover, abridged, p. 120). Even though Jefferson was a believing man, and said so, we have gone from one ditch into the other. From his Freedom OF Religion to Freedom FROM Religion. In the bill for establishing religious freedom for Virginia, he said "[We] do enact that . . . all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." Saying that today could get you jail time in Canada.

On September 17, 2003, Canada's House of Commons passed a "hate-crimes" bill that essentially classifies the Bible as "hate-literature." Quoting certain parts of it could win you up to five years in prison! And these results are trying to come to a school near you. Yes Virginia, today's "Book Burners" are the National Council for the Social Studies, the "Schools of Education," and those who give them support, including your friendly local school board. We have been conned by Academania.

P.S. The foregoing was my third column (September 21, 2003), edited very slightly. In re-posting it, I just want to add some quotations that I've recently discovered:

"Write the vision and make it plain upon a tablet, that he may run who reads it." – Ecclesiastes (500 BC)

"It is not wide reading but useful reading that produces excellence." – Arestippus (400 BC)

"It is quality rather than quantity that matters." – Seneca

"Reading is the best medicine for the sick man, the best music for a sadde man, the best counsel for a desperate man, the best comfort for one afflicted." – John Florio (1578)

"Reading is to the Mind what Exercise is to the Body." – Joseph Addison (1709)

"Reading makes a full man – meditation a profound man." – Ben Franklin (1738)

"Some read to think, – these are rare; some read to write, – these are common, and some to talk, – and these form the great majority." – C.C. Colton (1820)

"Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought." – Helps (1849)

"Run as we may, we still must read." Phyllis McGinley (1940)

"He who runs may read and he who sits should forbear to carp." – H.A. Hooten ("Why Men Behave Like Apes," 1941)

PPS: That was the year of Pearl Harbor, and more of the holocaust (when the Jews were essentially just "medical waste"). The people who just watched things happen had no reason to decry "What Happened."

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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