Lord Rees-Mogg:
British Lord Repeats The Policy --
Only Educate the Top 5 Percent

by Nancy Spannaus

Printed in The New Federalist, 1995.

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Jan. 10 (EIRNS) -- When Lyndon LaRouche and his associates attack Outcome Based Education (OBE) and school privatization as a deliberate oligarchical policy of ``dumbing down'' the population, some may think we are exaggerating. They should take a look at an article by British Lord William Rees-Mogg in the Times of London from Jan. 5. Under the title ``It's the elite who matter,'' Rees-Mogg argues that ``in future Britain must concentrate on educating the top 5%, on whose success we shall all depend.''

The British Lord couches his argument in terms of making his own rust-bucket economy ``competitive,'' but the underlying philosophy toward all people comes shining through in his ``projections.'' First, there is the assumption that we are entering the post-industrial ``Information Age,'' where mass production will be unnecessary.

According to Rees-Mogg, ``In some ways, Britain is better placed to compete in the information age than it was in the mass production age which is closing. The information age will be driven by communications and services, including financial services.... The next century--like the 19th--will probably be the age of the professions, with an emphasis on rare skills, and Britain is still a professional and relatively elitist country. What has been considered our cultural backwardness may prove an advantage, as a different cultural time-lag has been to Japan.... The next century will be the age of tax havens.''

The second assumption is that this new era requires dropping the policy of mass education. We quote:

``There are fascinating implications here for education policy, and they are highly unfashionable. The 20th-century view has been that the economics of mass production required mass education, perceived as the universal provision of modest educational skills. The 21st century will require greater emphasis on the higher skills of the ablest students. The factory system provided repetitive jobs at high wages; the information system will require very high skills in non-repetitive work. In international competition, perhaps 5% of the population will produce 80% of the national income, and the employment of the 95% will depend on the success of the few.''

If all this sounds like Newt Gingrich to you, you are on the ball. Gingrich and his ilk get their ideas from the likes of Lord Rees-Mogg.

The Nature of Man

Rees-Mogg is right about one thing: The idea of the ``Information Age'' based on financial speculation and manipulation goes along with the idea of eliminating mass education. Such a society, as the thinktanks of the anti-American and anti-republican Conservative Revolution argue ad nauseam, cannot afford to provide what they consider the luxury of universal education.

But both the idea of the Information Age and that of educating only the elite rely on an even more basic oligarchical assumption--the axiom that the bulk of mankind must be treated as beasts, not as individuals created with the divine spark of reason by their Creator. The oligarchical axiom attempts to rule out the requirement of nurturing, through social and political institutions, the creative reason required to produce scientific and technological progress for the future of all mankind.

The British ruling elite, for whom Rees-Mogg speaks, have a long history of such a policy of menticide, which lawfully leads as well to genocide. In a 1992 book titled ``The Intellectuals and the Masses,'' Oxford University professor John Carey profiled the reaction of the British elites to the (British) Education Act of 1871. A few quotes give the flavor of the disdain:

  • ``The spectre of famine, of the plague, of war, etc., are mild and gracious symbols compared with the menacing figure, Universal Education, with which we are threatened''-- George Moore of Cambridge University, 1888.

  • ``Universal education has created an immense class of what we may call the New Stupid''-- Aldous Huxley, 1934.

  • ``Let all schools be closed at once. The great mass of humanity should never learn to read and write''-- D.H. Lawrence.

The Republican Tradition

It was the Christian humanist, republican tradition which Europeans had brought to America, which the British oligarchy wished to stamp out. The growth of the movement for privatization and OBE is simply a new tool in the British cultural warfare arsenal.

As LaRouche put it in his pamphlet, ``Creativity in Science, School, and Song'' (which locates the evil of the Conservative Revolution's education policy), what is at stake is the future of the human race.

``As in Europe, so in the young United States, the leaders understood, that to win and to keep a republic, the future citizen must be rendered literate in Classical Christian Humanist culture. Just as the ante bellum slaveholders made it a capital offense to teach an African-American slave to read, so those Americans devoted to a free republic rightly knew that a universal literacy up to the standard of European Classical Humanism, was the precondition for preservation of individual freedom.

``The young United States was the `test tube' in which the most advanced culture of Europe was unleashed. Like the Brotherhood of the Common Life, like the Oratorian teaching-order in Italy and France, like the Erasmians in England, and the followers of Friedrich Schiller's and Wilhelm von Humboldt's education reforms in Germany, our founders knew that such a universal education was the foundation for the securing and preservation of political freedom.

``Conversely, the oligarchical `conservatives' understood, then and now, that to restore and preserve an oligarchical system anywhere, the overwhelming majority of the population must be reduced to a state of brutish ignorance and superstitions.''

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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac.

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