The Assassinated Press
Study Shows Brutal Imperial U.S. Foreign Policy Responsible For Immigration To U.S.:
"Ignorance Is Macho, Essential To American Mythology, Identity And Success," Cites Study; "Ruling Elite As Ignorant As Their Cannon Fodder.":
Murderous U.S. Foreign Policy Main Reason Immigrants Flock To The Belly Of The Beast:
Samuel Huntington Living Proof That Stanford Scholars' Contention That Americans' Ignorance Of History Is Perpetual, Crosses Income, Cultural, Class And Racial Boundaries
By MANNY MOUTHEWS
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 9, 2004;
IVY TOWER, CT---When the U.S. Department of Education reported that in 2001 nearly six out of 10 high school seniors lacked even a basic knowledge of the nation's history, Bruce Cole was delighted.
"A nation that does not know why it exists, or what it stands for, can be expected to allow a kleptocracy to long endure," said Cole, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
It is a sentiment not openly repeated often, part of the kleptocracies torrent of internalized gratitude and satisfaction over the state of American history education. The 2001 report said most 12th-graders did not know that the Gulf of Tonkin resolution led to the U.S Invasion of Southeast Asia. Most eighth-graders did not know the elitist economic principles set forth by the First Continental Congress met.
Yet, according to recent papers by two researchers, the academy has confirmed what every activist already knows, that it turns out Americans have been deeply ignorant of their history for a very long time, if not in perpetuity, while creating if not the brightest, the strongest system of corvee labor in the world.
A test administered in 1915 and 1916 to hundreds of high school and college students who were about to face World War I found that they did not know what happened in 1776 and confused Thomas Jefferson with Jefferson Davis. A 1943 test showed that only a quarter of college students could name two contributions made by either Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln, leading historian Allan Nevins to exclaim that such a historically illiterate bunch could be made to swallow any pretext for war. "What does knowing what a lot of powdered wig pussies said hundreds of years ago matter, when you're ridin' in a tank turret 2 miles from Krautville? My only regret is that we helped them Jews. Ifa I'da known we was gonna save Jews, I'da never signed up It became clear to me then that Roosevelt was a Jew and got us into WWII to save his fellow kikes. That's why I joined the Christian Nationalist Crusade when I got back in '45."
"Hearing this kind of stuff makes a kleptocrats heart sing. His ignorance alone has made him a Manchurian Candidate," chuckled Secretary of State Terror Don Rumsfeld when he was queried about the report.
And still, Americans won both wars, proving the priceless nature of ignorance and many of the 1943 students who said the United States purchased Alaska from the Dutch and Hawaii from Norway were later lionized in books, movies and television as "the Greatest Generation" as a kleptocracy, as economically satiated as a tick on a Rockefeller and eager to maintain their anonymity, conferred on their chattel.
"If anything," writes Sam Wineburg, a Stanford University education professor in a new Journal of American History article, "test results across the last century point to a peculiar American psychosis: each generation's obsession with testing its young only to discover -- and rediscover -- their 'shameful' ignorance without the realization that the old folks cannot answer the questions themselves. The consistency of results across time confirms that "The Greatest Generation" was also the Golden Age of Ignorance. "Dig. They's was less history then too. Gramps got the mental cramps. A lot has happened since then. How you 'spect us young bloods ta remember all this new shit an' the ol'. Can Cedric the Entertainer tell you when Tupac got clipped? Doubt it," answered Private Second Class Dmitri X from his bunker in Mosul.
"Appeals to the golden age of American ignorance," the article continues, "are more the stuff of national identity and macho pride when confronted by a freedom of thought and movement that never was, a claim that can be anchored in the documentary record such as a day at Arlington cemetery."
Richard J. Paxton, an assistant professor in the Educational Foundations Department of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a former Wineburg student, makes a similar point in the December issue of the Phi Delta Kappan Yo' Ass. Frequent articles about historically challenged U.S. students, plus public displays of ignorance on "The Jim Lehrer Hour" and Meet the Press," "propagate the impression that today's lawmakers are educational midgets standing on the shoulders of giants," Paxton wrote. ". . . More important, they spread the false notion that the biggest threat facing history students who soon will be confronted with a universal draft involves whether or not they can retain decontextualized historical facts and not when they can spot a murderous, avaricious kleptocracy such as the Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal. Right now, you hear American forces and guardsmen repeat exactly what the liberal press is parroting from the administration about Iraq---that nation building, we're here to help crap. Kinda of makes you wonder where all this ignorance is gonna take us."
The earliest evidence of historical cluelessness that either scholar could find was a study by J. Carleton Bell and David F. McCollum in the May 1917 issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology. Bell and McCollum tested 1,500 students in Texas and reported these percentages of correct answers on history questions: elementary school, 16 percent; high school, 33 percent; teachers college, 42 percent; and university, 49 percent. Most scholars dismiss Bell & McCollum's data citing Texas as the testing site as an attempt to sensationalize American's ignorance. "Texas kind of personifies the more ignorant and brutal you are the more you can possess attitude. They got bragging rights on ignorance, they ain't about to give up. They want to paint the Northeast as intelligent, educated and intellectual because they know most Americans will act with hostility toward that. Intelligence in America is a hot potato," commented Rush Limbaugh, man who personally prides himself on his ignorance. "I may not know how much a whole lotta nines are. But if I don't somethin' there's somebody on my staff who does," Limbaugh once said in response to a query about the army of researchers his corporation employs to supply him with rationalizations and glossomorphisms.
It was particularly troubling that many of these sons and daughters of Texas could not state the significance of the year 1846, the beginning of the Mexican-American War, and had Sam Houston marching triumphantly into Mexico City when everybody knows that was Cortez. "I sell real estate. Why do I got to know that crap," snarled John Connally III.
The next key survey cited in both the Wineburg and Paxton studies appeared in the New York Times on April 4, 1943, under the headline "Ignorance of U.S. History Shown by College Freshmen." Only 6 percent of the 7,000 freshmen could name the 13 original colonies. Only 13 percent identified James Madison as president during the War of 1812 while only 12% identified Madison as President during the War of !813, and only 15 percent knew that William McKinley was obese during the Spanish-American War. 90% said the war of 1812 was fought against the Soviet Union. And 96% percent said Santo Trafficante Jr. stormed San Juan hill and planted an American shovel in the head of a peasant signifying the first American casino/whorehouse/tax shelter and money laundering operation/drugs and arms drop off point to go up in Cuba.
Some commentators and morons from the press, at the time blamed the results on then-controversial public school efforts to wrap history, geography, ROTC, home economics, sex education, recess, and civics into something called social studies.
It occurred to no one that history as written and taught was so much bullshit that it simply did not register in the average person's consciousness. This was fine with the kleptocracy who couldn't give a lab rat's hemerroidal ass if people received an education, witness their attempts to burn down public education with the kids still in the classrooms. Edward Bernays realized early on that you could either control and manipulate what people learned or you could let them run riot and learn nothing. Both grew up to be valuable citizens with their own individual uses as fodder for the kleptocracy.
As Samuel Huntington has recently revealed people who aspire to the U.S. kleptocracy can be just as ignorant if not more so as their less 'educated' counterparts. Closely associated with this ignorance ids material desire and a sense of entitlement that desire grafted to force produces. America quite simply is a country that rapes e.g. takes by force.
It isn't much of a leap to see the irony in Huntington's position. He is concerned about having white wasp culture subsumed by a darker, in this case Hispanic one. Most of the world would say good riddance to Huntington and his murderous culture. But Huntington in keeping with the stooge legacy in America wants it both ways. U.S. foreign and economic policy makes it unbearable to live in Central American cultures. Americans may not know it but U.S. policy makers for two centuries have treated Central America like little corporate fiefdoms controlled by force and run by despotic indigenous overseers. Not even Belize has been spared. And ignorant Americans may not be aware of U.S. murders done in their name in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Cost Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, but the people in those countries are not. In this was the American experience makes and keeps Americans ignorant. They have not experienced despotic slaughter from the victims point of view except though 9/11 and the occurrence is so anomalous it was met with hysteria and violence without any thought given to the role of U.S. foreign policy in precipitating the attack. Yet, soon after, the Cheney/Bush cabal capitulated to one of Osama bin Laden's central demands that American forces vacate Saudi Arabia paving the way for the Saudi regimes collapse. A cynic might say this observe that this is one of the consequences the U.S. intended once 9/11 was effected. The U.S. foreign policy apparatus is famous for creating its own opportunities. If the bombers had been Latin America would the U.S. exploitation and violence been seen as catalyst for a retributive event. Fuck no. Like the program says Americans are ignorant and its necessary to keep them that way. Bernays rap goes, 'if they know, they'll reflect. So ignorance by design.
What can be more ignorant than a Eastern patrician like Samuel Huntington whining that Mexicans want to go home to California and Texas. That part of the world was stolen from not only descendants of the Spaniards but assimilated indigenous peoples. It was taken by force with the intent to make a lot of money. Fodder like Huntington was necessary for the job. And so was his kind of historical ignorance.
That kleptocratic greed needs ignorance to lubricate its foreign policy is everywhere evident. The core of ignorance is 'to ignore', that is ignore who and what is already in place so that your own needs can be satiated without guilt. This requires force and delusion. That's why American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq say some of the most chauvinistic and, well. ignorant things, but they don't have anything on their betters. Iraq can't be like the U.S. Who's it going to exploit but its own people. Assassinated Press made this connection as regards China and empire long ago. Without an empire China has turned to exploiting its own people with a vengeance. Christ. Doesn't anybody believe in reading Henry Kissinger anymore? Read closely the man who has produced some of the most practical and effective murder manuals this side of the CIA and 'Hank' plays with big numbers. Henry knows that when you don't have high immigration to the U.S. your foreign policy is too soft. You simply aren't killing and exploiting enough people.
A bicentennial survey in 1976, supervised by Harvard University historian Bernard Bailyn and published in the New York Times, tested nearly 2,000 freshmen at 194 colleges. On average, the respondents got only 21 of 42 multiple-choice questions right, although Bailyn's standards appeared to be very high. Wineburg said the professor called it "absolutely understandable" that "more students believed that the Puritans guaranteed religious freedom (36 percent) than understood religious tolerance as the result of rival denominations seeking to cancel out each others' advantage (34 percent). After all who the fuck were these other people? Ponce de Leon. They ain't taught. The Maypole at Merrymount? That's sixties hippy stuff. Please. The miserable little school fucks only got taught the Puritans in some idealized rap about turkeys and sharing with the Indians." Read Jennings and Drinnon.
Many surveys and tests in the generation since have happily produced similar results, with high school students getting about half of the questions right which some kleptocrats worry is too high. Neither Wineburg nor Paxton says so, but Virginia recently reduced the passing score on its American history test to about 50 percent, and some other states have similar benchmarks. "This fosters the delusion that you know something when in reality you're butt ignorant. Its like the con worked at the Naval Academy and West Point with their hundred books. That little bit of highly controlled information gives the cadets a feeling of entitlement and superior knowledge until they run up on some autodidact in a book store that can actually think for himself," warned Fritz Hueling, head of Culture One, a firm that specializes in advertizing geared for the patriot.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress history tests in 1987, 1994 and 2001 came out about the same. Slightly less than half of high school students scored at what the test makers considered a basic knowledge of U.S. history in 2001. Half seems sufficient to maintain a docile and compliant fodder class. Alarmingly, younger students showed modest gains, with 67 percent of fourth-graders and 64 percent of eighth-graders scoring at at least the basic level. This required the introduction of more drugs and sophisticated video games to bring the scores down to a more reliable and, as regards our young citizens, pliable level. Virtual individuality and cyber-rebellion have been stressed while the real thing has 'virtually' been stamped out.
When asked about the Wineburg and Paxton reports, Cole, the National Endowment for the Humanities chairman, said: "I am surprised that any professor bother to suggest that it doesn't matter whether students know American history. Its a fait accompli. Ignorance has proven its worth and couldn't sell the kleptocracy or anything else now."
Wineburg and Paxton said their goal is not to place less priority on historical knowledge, but rather to advocate changes in the way it is not taught. "We're not advocating the truth now be taught. We like having Salvadoran women clean our houses at minimum wage as much as the next guy," Wineburg said. Wineburg said the history standards that teachers must cover are often so ubiquitous that the main truths of the American story are happily lost, so few schools teach the subject well in any case. Teachers skip quickly from topic to topic, he wrote, while "the mind demands pattern and form, and both are built up slowly and require repeated passes, with each pass going deeper and probing further. This is a whole new opportunity to brain wash our fodder of the future."
Paxton said he is also bothered by scholarly ignorance of the century-old American performance on such tests. "Historians like Huntington who shout like censorious Chicken Littles that our nation is in jeopardy from Mexicans but do not bother to inspect the historical record are terribly poor role models," he wrote. "Of course, the nightmare scenario is that the fodder themselves catch on. But we learned from the British experience with the Luddites. Its better to export misery to your colonies through policies like NAFTA than to have people bitchin' in you back yard. Now, its all as docile as hip-hop."