SOFT FICHTEANISM – iii. Pragmatic Totalitarianism


Our educational policy must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture.[i]

Mao Tse-tung


Dewey’s inclination as both writer and thinker is to throw endless splashes of paint against the wall in the hope that a coherent picture may suddenly appear. It would therefore be impossible, in the present context, to account for all of his sundry attempts to bring sense to his calls for universal compulsory socialization. Fortunately, this is unnecessary, as long as we resist the temptation to follow him around with bread crumbs, and instead keep our eyes focused on his real goals, which are relatively straightforward. What is more, we have already examined them in some detail, for they are essentially Fichte’s goals, albeit with pinches of Marxism, sentimentalism, and even a little American optimism thrown in for a more fashionable exterior. Both to emphasize Dewey’s debt to Fichte, and to bring some focus to his multi-angled assault on human freedom and individual dignity, I propose to retrace the six main points of psychological manipulation that we isolated in examining Fichte’s scheme, this time supported by Dewey’s parallel arguments, rather than those of his great progressive predecessor.

(1) The schooling is to be uniform and universal, because there must be no dissenting voices or independent minds to question the social order, the love of which is the highest aim of this educational program.

The goal of ending dissent and independence is, of course, somewhat contingent upon the realization of the desired social order within the society at large. Developing progressive paternalist schooling within a less than fully authoritarian society is a game of incremental progress, and is beset with various kinds of resistance. Once the principle of state-controlled schooling has been established, however, the struggle is bound to resolve itself in favor of the school sooner or later, i.e., in favor of tyranny.

Dewey lays the groundwork for this process in the continuation of his historical speculation. In the past, he explains, there existed “a certain distinction between state and society,” where by society he means “the less definite and freer play of the forces of the community which goes on in daily intercourse and contact of men in an endless variety of ways that have nothing to do with politics or government or the state in any institutional sense.” This “freer play of forces,” left to its own devices, is fundamentally disagreeable to Dewey, as it was to Fichte, because when men are free to interact and communicate with one another in ways not filtered through, or connected with, the state, such intercourse will naturally and necessarily foster the thoughts and feelings of independent, private men—men whose daily lives bear witness to the fact that they do not need government to direct their daily lives, an awareness which is anathema to the social control sought by progressives.

The standard progressive rationalization for the insinuation of government into men’s private lives, first fully expounded by Fichte, is that, in effect, nature is not enough. It is not only that men, if permitted to live as their natural needs and inclinations move them (individually or socially), may not find their proper purpose. It is that they absolutely cannot find it through such a life. Rather, history must be reinterpreted as a litany of mankind’s failures to “advance” due to our continual dependence on the play of natural forces alone. As Fichte says, “where mankind has developed most it has become nothing.” Thus a comprehensive, systematic, and universal intervention is required to dam up the normal flow of human development and guide our race into new, previously uncharted waters. Only there may humanity finally receive its progressive baptism, and begin to develop toward its true destiny as a collective consciousness transcending its mere individuating matter, which is to say a pseudo-religious authoritarian state in which men submit their individuating matter to the state’s whims.

In a society with a long tradition of paternalistic authoritarianism, this artificial intervention in the name of the race, the folk, Germany, or what have you, is relatively straightforward. In nations with the traditions and sensibilities of freedom, however, there remains an annoying divide between state and society to deal with—this is Dewey’s way of describing liberal democracy, in which men expect and demand a large social space in which to live and breathe without the stifling effects of government involvement. In other words, in Dewey’s eyes, limited government and all those freedoms men of the nineteenth century had come to refer to as their natural rights constituted an unresolved social problem in need of a solution. Whereas Fichte could assert the familiar and accepted authority of the state to spread its tentacles freely throughout society, Dewey had to find a way around the burdensome evidence of men living and thriving with the state as a mere adjunct to life, rather than its end.

His ingenious theoretical solution was to conceive of school as bridging the theoretical gap between state and society, which is to say between the progressive elite and men’s private lives. Even with the state having “asserted itself” as the rightful provider of education, the gulf between state and society restricted earlier government schools to focusing excessively on what Dewey regards as incidental, non-social aspects of education, i.e., on intellectual development:

[F]or a long time the school was occupied exclusively with but one function, the purveying of intellectual material to a certain number of selected minds. Even when the democratic impulse broke into the isolated department of the school, it did not effect a complete reconstruction, but only the addition of another element. This was preparation for citizenship. The meaning of the phrase, “preparation for citizenship,” shows precisely what I have in mind by the difference between the school as an isolated thing related to the state alone, and the school as a thoroughly socialized affair in contact at all points with the flow of community life. Citizenship, to most minds, means a distinctly political thing. It is defined in terms of relation to the government, not to society in its broader aspects.[ii]

The earliest state-operated schools, he says, were confined in their work primarily to improving minds by disseminating knowledge, and secondarily to teaching youngsters the basic workings and responsibilities of citizenship, i.e., preparing them for their basic political duty in a modern society, self-governance. In other words—and this is what Dewey finds so objectionable—these schools were still, for the most part, leaving the arenas of moral education, the formation of life goals, and the development of general social skills, under the control of private families and other community influences, which means outside the grip of government overseers. (His claim that earlier government schools had no moral component is dishonest, of course. What he means is that they lacked the ubiquitous and near-monopolistic moral influence he desires.)

All that, however, was in the process of changing, which Dewey announces in the evangelical tone we have previously seen him adopt to praise the “ardor of creating a new world” that he claims to have witnessed under Stalin:

Now our community life has suddenly awakened; and in awakening it has found that governmental institutions and affairs represent only a small part of the important purposes and difficult problems of life, and that even that fraction cannot be dealt with adequately except in the light of a wide range of domestic, economic, and scientific considerations quite excluded from the conception of the state and citizenship. We find that our political problems involve race questions, questions of the assimilation of diverse types of language and custom; we find that most serious political questions grow out of underlying industrial and commercial changes and adjustments; we find that most of our pressing political problems cannot be solved by special measures of legislation or executive authority, but only by the promotion of common sympathies and a common understanding.[iii]

The usual progressive “Now is the time!” flourish of the opening sentence introduces the most remarkable declaration, namely that what men are “awakening to” is the awareness that the affairs of government are not the only “important purposes and difficult problems of life.” Prior to the late nineteenth century, men were not aware that community life had purposes and problems beyond those of government. Could anyone but a member of the progressive elite say such a thing, dismissing all previous humanity as narrow-minded sleepers? Notice that most of these newly discovered problems—which he cleverly qualifies repeatedly with the adjective “political” in order to take them out of the private sphere of life by definition—have to do with economics, science, and “underlying industrial and commercial changes”; this, to state the obvious, shows the influence of the Marxist strain of socialist thought on Dewey’s theory. The key point, however, is his conclusion that these supposed new problems, created by new material conditions, can only be solved through “the promotion of common sympathies and a common understanding.” That is, they require a new kind of thinking which is universal both in its dissemination and in its sensibility. This new collective spirit cannot be achieved without the leadership of the state as its promoter, in order to ensure universality; and it must permeate every aspect of life, far beyond the normal understanding of the purview of government, in order to have its proper transformative effect. As Dewey gleefully announces:

The isolation between state and society, between government and the institutions of family, business life, etc., is breaking down.… The content of the term “citizenship” is broadening; it is coming to mean all the relationships of all sorts that are involved in membership in a community.[iv] (Emphasis added.)

This clearly expresses the goal of Dewey’s social thought in general, which is to absorb all life and all relationships into the workings of the state, which means to end the essential distinction between man and state, nature and coercion, life and submission. And the means to this goal?

Change the image of what constitutes citizenship and you change the image of what is the purpose of the school. Change this, and you change the picture of what the school should be doing and of how it should be doing it.[v]

In other words, once all aspects of life have been subsumed within the progressive concept of an all-controlling state as moral guide, the public school must be reconceived as a training center for all aspects of life, in order to ensure that everyone thinks about and pursues his activities and relationships in the properly social way. Interestingly, Dewey would echo this line of reasoning years later in a lecture on German moral and political philosophy, attributing it this time to none other than Fichte:

The key to political regeneration of Germany was to be found in a moral and spiritual regeneration effected by means of education. The key, amid political division, to political unity was to be sought in devotion to moral unity. In this spirit Fichte preached his Addresses to the German Nation. In this spirit he collaborated in the foundation of the University of Berlin, and zealously promoted all the educational reforms introduced by Stein and Humboldt into Prussian life.

The conception of the State as an essential moral Being charged with an indispensable moral function lay close to these ideas. Education is the means of the advancement of humanity toward realization of its divine perfection. Education is the work of the State. The syllogism completes itself.[vi]

Fichte’s syllogism is also Dewey’s, the only significant difference being the latter’s eschewing of the religious overtones. It is worth noting that this later description of Fichte’s dialectic of morality-into-education-into-State-indoctrination serves as Dewey’s preface to an account of Fichte’s proposals for the socialist redistribution of property.[vii]

Public school, for Dewey, is the mechanism whereby the newly awakened man completes the dissolution of all distinctions between state and society at the moral and intellectual levels. The aim, clearly realized in practice today throughout the advanced world, is that when government gradually legislates and regulates its way into every facet of what used to be called the private sphere of life—property, moral behavior, health, charity, aesthetic ideals, personal opinions and the exchange of ideas—these strictures and coercions will be embraced by compulsory school graduates as long overdue, or at worst accepted with the same inevitability as death and taxes. The presumption in favor of the complete manipulation of life by the designing hand of government will already have been long established through the public school structure and spirit.

(2) The basic practical purpose of government schools is to give the state the means of separating children from their parents by force.

Here is one area where Dewey’s dewy-eyed sentimentalism has it all over Fichte’s sweeping decrees. And the advantage is more than merely stylistic. As you will recall, Fichte insisted that the most essential step in establishing a proper state-controlled education system is to raise children in government facilities completely separated from the private family. His reason was that the family home exposes children to the practical needs and responsibilities of adult life, and this teaches them to be petty and selfish, i.e., to think about their personal well-being and how to secure it, when the primary social aim of state schooling is to inculcate unmitigated devotion to the collective. Dewey, though sharing Fichte’s perspective, clearly recognized the practical unlikelihood, at least in his time, of completely separating all children from their parents, and furthermore the difficulty of persuading a society imbued with a deep-rooted sense of the inherent worth of the individual human being (denigrated as “individualism”) that its children should not learn how to fulfill personal goals. He therefore preferred to embrace, distort, and exploit the family feeling, incorporating the family into his effort to undermine the family.

As we saw in his praise of the Soviets, he assumes the incrementalist position that compulsory schooling weakens the family attachment by its very nature, and hence that forcing a radical separation is unnecessary—time will do the trick. He was certainly correct about this, and subsequent history has only reinforced his assumption. In The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera offers us a wonderful image for an epochal change that occurs right under a civilization’s nose without anyone noticing. Blackbirds, he observes, which were driven from many areas during the early period of industrialization, have not only survived the displacement, but have now readapted and migrated into the industrialized areas. They have left their forests behind and become city birds. This is a remarkable shift in the economy of life on Earth. And yet, as Kundera notes, “nobody dares to interpret the last two centuries as the history of the blackbird’s invasion of the city of man.”[viii] We always imagine we know which events are of grand significance, when in truth we may be allowing surface noises to obscure the truly important. It is common today for conservatives to decry the breakdown of the “traditional family” as though this were a recent occurrence; as though a few feminists and gay rights activists had destroyed the human heritage. In truth, Dewey had his eye on those blackbirds a century ago. They migrated to the factories and skyscrapers when the attractions of the concrete slab and the flash of artificial light began to outweigh the appeal of the green forest and the glint of sunlight on the river. Feminism and “LGBT rights” are mere souvenirs of a bird already long flown. Dewey had it right: Public school killed the family.

To help this process along, however, and to put a sentimental face on it, Dewey frequently frames the case for the all-encompassing indoctrination program of his ideal school as a matter of improving on the work of the family itself. A prominent instance, from School and Society:

If we take an example from an ideal home, where the parent is intelligent enough to recognize what is best for the child [implied: Most real parents are not intelligent enough to raise their own children], and is able to supply what is needed [implied: Most parents are not able to supply “what is needed”], we find the child learning through the social converse and constitution of the family. There are certain points of interest and value to him in the conversation carried on: statements are made, inquiries arise, topics are discussed, and the child continually learns. He states his experiences, his misconceptions are corrected. Again the child participates in the household occupations, and thereby gets habits of industry, order, and regard for the rights and ideas of others, and the fundamental habit of subordinating his activities to the general interest of the household.[ix] (Emphasis added.)

Notice, first, how Dewey discusses the dynamic of normal family life as though it were an impossible dream, thereby preparing the reader for the obvious next step. Furthermore, I draw your attention to the specific description of the kind of conversation that should take place: “He states his experiences, his misconceptions are corrected.” The child is not to be describing his thoughts, opinions, judgments, but merely sharing his subjective experiences and feelings; and these are to be “corrected,” so that he will subsequently experience things in the right way. This is not a matter of semantics. As we shall see, Dewey is adamant that prior to adulthood, the student is to be discouraged from seeing language as a means of expressing thoughts, and encouraged to communicate primarily about the subjective aspects of his activities, so that his subjective understanding of his experience may be manipulated into the shape most conducive to the ultimate goal of Dewey’s model of education, which is foreshadowed on the micro-level by the “fundamental habit” he saves for last among his list of outcomes in an ideal home: “subordinating his activities to the general interest of the household.”

The purpose of this family-friendly introduction, you will have noticed, is to pretend sympathy with the efforts of parents while providing a new, socialistic interpretation of why parents do what they do. You may have thought the purpose of household chores was to encourage feelings of self-reliance and personal responsibility, to habituate the child to believing that he must do productive things in order to deserve life’s rewards, and to prevent idleness and sloth by giving him a taste of the satisfaction of earning his keep. But no, Dewey insists that the purpose of these activities is to teach the child to subordinate himself industriously to the will of an abstract entity, “the household,” and to accept the existing social order. One hardly needs a schematic diagram to understand what will take the place of the household once this entire process is shifted to the societal level.

After carrying on to describe how the ideal home would have a workshop, a miniature laboratory, and opportunities for outdoor excursions in nature, he arrives at last at his predictable point:

Now, if we organize and generalize all of this, we have the ideal school.… It is simply a question of doing systematically and in a large, intelligent, and competent way what for various reasons can be done in most households only in a comparatively meagre and haphazard manner. In the first place, the ideal home has to be enlarged. The child must be brought into contact with more grown people and with more children in order that there may be the freest and richest social life. Moreover, the occupations and relationships of the home environment are not specially selected for the growth of the child; the main object is something else, and what the child can get out of them is incidental. Hence the need of the school. In this school the life of the child becomes the all-controlling aim. All the media necessary to further the growth of the child centre there. Learning?—certainly, but living primarily, and learning through and in relation to this living.[x]

“Learning through and in relation to living” sounds benign and right. After all, is this not what learning at its best ought to be? But to one who would ask, “Isn’t this just what we mean by learning as a function or extension of the private family?” Dewey has provided a simple answer: Family life is not really living, but merely a “meagre and haphazard” approximation of living. If you ask, “Why can’t the child simply meet a larger group of adults and other children naturally, among his extended family, or in the course of normal life in the community?” Dewey will answer: But those relationships are not “specially selected for the growth of the child,” unlike the expertly designed social setting of the school, where the adults are carefully trained to play the role of “real adults,” while the children are perfectly organized to simulate a “real society.”

If this reasoning seems as ridiculous to you as it should, you might excuse Dewey’s desperate stretching of common sense by considering what you would say if you wanted exactly what Fichte wanted—the annihilation of the private family as a rival influence to the state—but knew you could never get away with saying it directly. Dewey’s clever solution is to say that he wants what every family wants for its children, but at a more perfect level. And he works on defenders of parenthood by suggesting families ought to feel guilty if they do not submit their children to the authority of the school, for “the occupations and relationships of the home environment are not specially selected for the growth of the child,” whereas at school “the life of the child becomes the all-controlling aim.” This is Dewey’s typically sophistical way of restating Fichte’s straightforward point about family being a harmful moral influence.

The larger purpose here, as usual with Dewey, is partially submerged in the thick goop of his argumentative style. The big lie is the idea that “generalizing” the ideal home (as he describes it) in abstraction from the family produces the same result in a more perfected form. To the extent that Dewey’s own account of the effects of the ideal home deserves any credence, we immediately find one difference so fundamental that it nullifies all superficial likenesses: The child raised in that home is learning a devotion and allegiance to the good of the family and to its particular members; his counterpart raised in Dewey’s ideal school is learning a devotion and allegiance to the state, and to an abstraction called “society.” It is not difficult to see how the second kind of devotion weakens the first. The child’s loyalties and perspectives are not being broadened, but merely shifted from the private realm rooted in nature and his own natural needs to the public realm of the state and its needs. The goal is not primarily learning, nor an improvement of what the family can offer. The goal is to destroy the chief rival to the undivided loyalty the progressive state requires, a rival that would enliven the individual spirit and keep men rooted to progressivism’s nemesis, nature.

Dewey’s specious reasoning provides another crystal clear instantiation of the progressive illogic of universalization described in “The Standards Trap” and encountered repeatedly since. It also provides me a good opportunity to dispel a possible misunderstanding. I am not suggesting that the family constitutes a perfect world, or that devotion and allegiance to family at all levels is the ultimate aim of life. Full maturation may entail a recognition of the spiritual limits of the family attachment itself. Even in everyday terms, it is well-understood that growing up involves a continuous series of challenges to familial authority, and if the process is successful, a gradual assertion of the young man’s or woman’s independent judgment, and freedom from the exclusive influence of “the general interest of the household.” In a healthy family, this process of self-assertion and developing independence is ultimately a source of pleasure and satisfaction for everyone, parent and child alike. Growth within the artificial “household” of the state school, however, is expressly designed to have exactly the opposite effect. That is, whereas the healthy family home is aimed at producing an independent individual prepared at last to do what one of our time-honored metaphors tells us we must, namely leave the nest, the compulsory school is meant to prepare its charges to be held and permanently entrapped, intellectually and morally, within the constricting embrace of the state’s collective household.

The family, which loves its child, is calibrated to guide that child out of his dependent condition and into mature adulthood. The state, which loves its power, is calibrated to prevent that development from occurring. That is why Dewey, like Fichte and all other progressive advocates of compulsory schooling, ultimately sees the family as an enemy. And that is why such men have spent two centuries slowly and deliberately destroying it.

(3) The primary adult contact in the daily life of the pupil is to be the government-trained teacher, whose chief role is to see to it that children learn to regard the sacrifice of their interests, minds, and goals to the needs and priorities of the collective as not only their highest moral obligation, but the only legitimate source of satisfaction.

Dewey is fond of talking about utilizing the child’s interests in the process of education. He means interests strictly in the sense of curiosities or drives, and not at all in the sense of personal happiness or purpose. The child’s interest, in that second sense, is precisely what school is intended to eradicate, both practically and psychologically. A child is not to care for his own interest—that is, for what is ultimately good for him as an individual human beingbut is to live for the collective.

As we have seen, Dewey bemoans the fact that in the family home, the relationships and activities are not “specially selected” for the sake of the child’s growth, and contrasts this supposed deficiency with the school environment, where “the life of the child becomes the all-controlling aim.” Aside from the usual progressive elitist’s condescension of assuming that parents do not think about what is best for their children except incidentally, another basic question arises here: Should the life of the child become “the all-controlling aim,” in the sense that Dewey intends?

In a normal, decently healthy family—no ideals required—adult concerns and priorities (including those related to the rearing of children) give the household its focus and purpose. Through observing and questioning the strange goings on around him, along with the occasional chastening experience of having his feelings or desires of the moment overridden by other, more adult interests or needs, the child learns some of the most valuable moral lessons. He learns that there is a world and a sensibility that he will have to work hard to come to understand. He learns that while he is important to those he admires and loves, he cannot be their primary point of interest at all times, that he does not “own the world.” (This, in turn, encourages him to carve out a space for himself, to learn to think and act independently.) He learns that it is pleasant to be helpful to those one loves, rather than merely to receive benefits. He learns that when his elders seem to be thwarting or overlooking his interests, they are often actually thinking of greater benefits for him down the road, and therefore that life is to be understood and pursued as a continuum in which the present must often be servant to the future. He learns that sometimes he will have to work things out for himself—that neither does the world owe him everything simply because he wants it, nor would such a condition even be desirable. Overall, and perhaps most importantly, he learns that adulthood is the deepest concern and purpose of the household, of family life, and of his life.

Dewey’s pseudoscientific laboratory, by contrast, is designed to obliterate all those lessons of home life, because their cumulative result is the bane of the collectivist state, namely thoughtful, maturing youngsters who do not wish to remain dependent children forever. It is in this sense correct to say that in the government school, unlike the family home, “the life of the child becomes the all-controlling aim.” This, in fact, is Dewey’s theory of education in sum: the means to creating a universal social condition of which childhood is the all-controlling aim.

How far is Dewey prepared to go in using the school to undermine the family’s influence? Consider this early account of the meaning of the artificial society or alternative reality he seeks to universalize through compulsory schools:

The intellectual and moral discipline, the total atmosphere, is to be permeated with the idea that the school is to the child and teacher the social institution in which they, for the first time, live, and that it is not a mere means for some outside end.[xi]

Consider the implications of the idea which Dewey has italicized in this passage. This notion, which is to permeate the school environment, will obviously have a very different significance in the minds of teachers and children. For teachers, it is a performance, a pretense—teachers are to be trained to misrepresent themselves and their feelings to their students. This is consistent with Dewey’s overall conception of education as—to use the vocabulary in vogue during his later years—propaganda. Children, to state the matter plainly, are to be raised in an atmosphere presided over by insincere and manipulative adults. Indeed, I would suggest that this insincerity and manipulativeness are the core of the training ritual we call teaching certification. Comprehensive state-mandated teacher training was Fichte’s idea, and we have seen to what use he wished to put his “qualified” teachers. Of course, the human mind is famously capable of masking itself from itself, which means that most modern public school teachers, who were indoctrinated within the government school atmosphere as children before they underwent training as teachers, probably do not consciously perceive themselves and their role the way Dewey describes it here. But that does not make Dewey’s description any less accurate; it merely demonstrates the subtle workings of the self-perpetuating doomsday machine that is public school.

This is an appropriate opportunity to note Dewey’s frustration, expressed in a turn of the century article entitled “Pedagogy as a University Discipline,”[xii] at the absence of a fully developed academic system for the study of teaching methodology. There is a grave need, he argues, for two distinct levels of pedagogic study. The first would be schools “whose function is to supply the great army of teachers with the weapons of their calling and direct them as to their use.”[xiii] But beyond this there must be schools dedicated to the training “not of the rank and file, but of the leaders of our education systems,” the top of the bureaucratic and political pyramid of government schools, “teachers in normal and training schools, professors of pedagogy, superintendents, principals of schools in our large cities….”[xiv] These are the presiding scientific experts of education, determining methods and policy for entire communities, and hence delimiting the range and meaning of the work to be carried out by the “rank and file” teachers.

However, although this becomes obscured through time and practice, such pedagogic “science” is ultimately subservient to something entirely pre-scientific which stands silently but commandingly above all the experiments, data, and observations: a specific, chosen goal. The first real “pedagogic” question is not “What are the most empirically supportable methods of attaining the desired results?” but rather “What are we ultimately hoping to achieve with our teaching?” And this implies a series of ensuing, increasingly fundamental questions: “What is the proper and justifiable goal of education?” “What is the best way for a human being to live?” “What kind of thing is a human being?” By emphasizing and aggrandizing the supposedly objective science of pedagogy, the compulsory school titans have followed the progressive norm as applied in all areas of government over these past two hundred years: Create a hierarchical bureaucracy and set it in motion toward an outcome never fully and openly debated; before long, the internal debates about methods and effectiveness, data and provable outcomes, will take over the public consciousness, obliterating the fundamental question that was never properly decided, and will never be raised again, namely “What is the purpose of all of this?”

The present survey of the history of the ideas that created the public education establishments of the late modern world—not the “science,” but the underlying philosophy—is intended to highlight the precise answer to that pre-scientific question, as offered by the men who made these establishments possible. We have now seen the answer from various angles, and heard it from various lips. The purpose is the submission of the individual human being to the interests of the state, i.e., of the progressive elite. To punctuate this, given what we have seen, consider Dewey’s explanation of the lack of a proper apparatus for the American student of higher pedagogical method:

If they become dissatisfied with their pedagogical horizon, there is at present very little resource save a journey to some German university which has recognized the need of advanced, as well as elementary, pedagogics.[xv]

And then, bemoaning the American resistance to “any close, systematic and centralized direction and supervision of education on the part of a governmental authority,” he makes a plea for universities to take on this role as a substitute for the sadly lacking “bureaucratic control.” The educational establishment itself, he argues, must come together “on the basis of co-operation” to “accomplish what the central educational departments of Germany and France accomplish under the [superior] conditions prevailing in those countries.”[xvi] (Notice how precisely this sentiment is echoed in the writings of Rockefeller’s General Education Board, as detailed in Part One, “Compulsory Mass Retardation.”) Of course, Dewey’s hopes have, for the most part, long since been realized, in his nation and throughout the civilized world. The planet’s schools are now full of teachers who have all been trained to pretend that school is “the social institution in which they, for the first time, live”—and perhaps even almost to believe it.

For a straightforward example of the distinction I am making between the scientific study of methodology and the pre-scientific goal-setting which, though gradually forgotten, is in fact the controlling process, we may turn to Dewey’s own teachings on pedagogy. In 1895, the University of Chicago Press published Dewey’s “Educational Ethics: Syllabus of a Course of Six Lecture-Studies.”[xvii] The work is exactly what its title suggests, a course syllabus, and Dewey concludes his plan for Lecture I, titled “Ethical Problem of the School,” with a series of “Exercises” for students, specifically several questions for further analysis. The questions are all in the same vein, but two particular examples jump out as exemplary of the issue at hand:

  1. Point out phases of excessive individualism in existing social life that seem to you to be developed or reinforced by existing school methods. State these methods and how they operate in this direction….
  2. Give negative instances [of the lecture’s postulate concerning the role of school]; that is, show where methods which fail in realizing present powers also hinder or prevent realization of social service.[xviii] (Emphasis added.)

These are “methodology” questions, but completely dependent for their purpose and direction on predetermined and controlling principles of education involving a specific and contentious theory of human nature, according to which the chief problem of late nineteenth century American society was its “excessive individualism,” and the primary role of school is to train people for “social service.” Once one becomes enmeshed in these pseudoscientific “how” questions, however, one tends (and is intended) to forget that there are alternative answers to the implicit “why” questions—the predetermined principles of education and human nature—in which the “how” questions are grounded.

In the final analysis, Dewey talks a lot about the specialness and dignity of the teacher, but in fact his intention through all this pedagogical training, elementary and advanced, is to reduce the significance of the “rank and file” teacher in favor of the overarching and generic controls imposed by the system. In other words, he is in agreement with the principles expressed in 1834 by John Duer: The government teacher must be “properly trained, and properly examined, and watched, and controlled, and, above all, properly rewarded.” Teacher training and certification mean exactly this: Individualized, personal teaching is out; the professional guild of tethered state agents is in.

I believe that the child should be stimulated and controlled in his work through the life of the [school] community.

I believe that under existing conditions far too much of the stimulus and control proceeds from the teacher, because of neglect of the idea of the school as a form of social life.

I believe that the teacher’s place and work in the school is to be interpreted from this same basis. The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences.[xix]

In other words, the imposition of ideas and the habit-formation are to come from the “social life” of the school, meaning from the design set in place by the elite overseers of the system. The teacher’s job is merely to facilitate this process. If there is one vocation on Earth that must never allow itself to be reduced to a “rank and file,” it is the teaching vocation. Public education has reduced teachers to exactly that.

Now let us consider what Dewey’s carefully manufactured “total atmosphere” of the school means for the mind of the child. He is obviously not party to the deception or artifice being perpetrated upon him by the adults. Thus, Dewey’s hope that the school should be “the social institution in which they, for the first time, live,” applies as a matter of psychological truth for the child, who is to be imbued with the feeling that this artificial progressive world is the real one, superseding or erasing all prior experience, and pointing to nothing beyond itself—“it is not a mere means for some outside end.” The natural process of the self-actualizing, maturing being, aiming for some higher end the meaning of which he can barely understand, but toward which he is drawn by the constant attractive force of the mysterious adult world around him, is to be stymied by locking his mind in child-world, in which his “interests” are to be exploited to lead him on a journey to a more perfect, more skilled, and more permanent version of childhood.

He will be taught how to do socially useful things, and how to accept his social role peacefully, perhaps even to like it; that will be his “adulthood.” Meanwhile, the basic emotional dependency, fear of standing alone, and need for external guidance intrinsic to childhood will become permanent conditions of his soul. It is the teacher’s role to hold the child in position, gently and with love, until the community of the school can complete its work of beating him into submission:

I believe that every teacher should realize the dignity of his calling; that he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.[xx]

The age of spiritual and intellectual growth is over; we live in the age of “social growth.” Hence the new education does not require teachers. It requires “social servants” and maintainers of “proper social order.” The teacher is subservient to the ruler, wisdom to power. Education is propaganda.

(4) The public school environment and its rules and obligations both depend on and foster the weakening of the population’s sense of “mine and thine”; sacrificing oneself to the collective becomes less complicated as one loses any clear perception of one’s “self,” which is to say of one’s personal claim on the time and energy one is giving to the world.

There is a common misconception, a by-product of the progressive assault on the history of Western philosophy, that the divide between today’s political “left” and “right” corresponds to an ethical divide regarding the proper moral attitude of the individual toward his fellow human beings. According to this rendering of things, the socialist (or, more recently, “liberal”) believes that a man ought to care for others, while the “capitalist” (“conservative”) believes a man is not obliged to concern himself with the plight of his fellow men. Hence our modern notion of a political moderate or centrist (or Canadian) as one who believes commercial trade is necessary for economic stability, but not at the expense of large-scale, cradle-to-grave government programs that answer to the need to care for others. This misconception has become so much a part of the popular psyche that it has had an alienating effect on the so-called right. On the one hand, there is the general guilty conscience of the conservative, continually thinking he must prove he is not such a bad guy, in spite of being aligned with an uncaring political position—in other words, that although he believes a market economy is more productive, he is truly a progressive in his heart. On the other hand, there is an entire political sect, libertarianism, which originally took its bearings from this supposed moral divide, and, finding only blood and oppression on the side of “caring for others,” decided, in effect—and in some cases quite literally—to accept the “selfish” label and run with it.

The popular misconception causing all the trouble is rooted in a deliberate philosophical distortion, one so strained and onerous that it is not at all surprising, in hindsight, that it has filtered down to the general ethos in a more comprehensible form. The misconception, again, is that the difference between progressivism and non-progressivism pertains to how the individual ought to behave toward others; specifically, that it is a difference of moral rules. In fact, the special distinction of progressivism turns not on how the individual ought to act, but rather on whether the individual exists. (Conservatives are sometimes tongue-tied when progressives claim their views are more consistent with Christian ethics. The proper answer would be that Christianity is inseparable from the metaphysical primacy and spiritual imperatives of the individual soul, which progressivism denies outright.) As we have seen, Fichte developed his Kantianism into the neo-religious position that the individual as such is merely a partial perspective, a facet of the universal mind that reveals itself to itself through its march into the imaginary Future, and therefore that a man who clings to the perception of himself as a distinct entity is by definition immoral. This is Fichte’s “sensuous” agent, living for his own pleasure, including the quest for his own selfish immortality, because he has not yet come to understand himself as a mere emanation of the universal mind, the collective consciousness, the state. From this point of view, which was taken up by Hegel and the other idealists, and then co-opted and transformed into equivalent notions in subsequent philosophical movements in Germany and beyond, there is no question of the individual man as such being moral. He is immoral insofar as he continues to perceive himself as an individual, and to pursue his ends as his ends. There is, strictly speaking, no such thing as individual morality. There is only the collective Will, acting through us toward its self-revelation, a process which we thwart with our “individualism.”

The supposed moral divide which has filtered down to the modern political vernacular as that between the “caring” and the “uncaring” approaches to life is, properly understood, actually a metaphysical divide between the collective and the individual, universal consciousness and the personal soul. The question German idealism raised, and that has become the essential political question—whether we choose to face it squarely or not—is, “Do you ultimately exist independently of society?” The progressive, if he is being honest and understands his own position, answers “No.” That is why, as we have seen repeatedly, progressives of all stripes insist that the first step in the “new education” (a phrase favored by both Fichte and Dewey) is to separate children from any influence that might entrench them in the habits of individual existence (i.e., nature), so that they may be drawn, from the earliest point, into the (artificial) habits of collective thought and collective will.

On Fichte’s rendering, as you will recall, the progress from individual to collective being is expressed as the development from the low form of consciousness, “dim feeling,” to the high, “clear knowledge.” The former, we must remember, is the state of most men throughout all of history, for it is the state of consciousness in which we are born, and which develops through unimpeded growth and freer forms of education; the latter “must be carefully fostered in the community”—that is, it requires state intervention to derail what had hitherto been regarded as natural moral development—and leads to a higher kind of race that understands itself as a universal “moral order,” and therefore places no value on itself independently of that order, i.e., of the state. The process of education is thus moral, not in the sense of teaching children the golden rule and the like, nor in the sense of seeking to develop permanent character—the Aristotelian or Christian virtues, for example—but in the sense of completely reforming what it means to be a moral subject, away from perceiving oneself as an independent being with goals and obligations rooted in one’s nature (remember Fichte’s rejection of free will), and toward perceiving oneself as part of an abstract moral order that is willing its idealized destiny collectively.

The influence of this kind of thinking on the young Dewey was marked and profound. His early writings (perhaps his most philosophically interesting, written before he found his political mission) are often imbued with the language of German idealism, as may be seen in his first major work, Psychology,[xxi] which includes the invocation of God as the meaning of intellectual intuition,[xxii] and the emphasis on moral will as the ultimate identity of the “universal self.”[xxiii] Most significantly for us, Fichte’s two kinds of consciousness, “dim” and “clear,” corresponding to pre-idealist and idealist morality, respectively, find their exact equivalents in Dewey’s Outlines of a Critical Theory of Ethics,[xxiv] with Fichte’s Cartesian term “consciousness” replaced by the more empiricist word “self.”

It has already been shown that the self is not necessarily immoral, and hence that action for self is not necessarily bad—indeed, that the true self is social and interest in it right. But when a satisfaction based on past experience is set against one proceeding from an act as meeting obligation, there grows up a divorce in the self. The actual self, the self recognizing only past and sensible satisfaction, is set over against the self which recognizes the necessity of expansion and a wider environment. Since the former self confines its action to benefits demonstrably accruing to itself, while the latter, in meeting the demands of the situation, necessarily contributes to the satisfaction of others, one takes the form of a private self, a self whose good is set over against and exclusive of that of others, while the self recognizing obligation becomes a social self—the self which performs its due function in society.[xxv]

The “private self,” also designated “the ‘selfish’ self,”[xxvi] is immoral, because, to use non-Deweyan language, it acts to satisfy a desire rooted in individual moral habit, i.e., character—which Dewey distorts as “recognizing only past satisfaction.” Meanwhile, the “social self,” which acts not from desire guided by character, but rather from submission to social “function,” is good. The classical or Christian conception of the virtuous man is immoral; the Fichtean self-denying slave to the collectivist social order (the state) is moral.

In case you imagine I am mischaracterizing a simple distinction between doing bad things and doing good things as something more nefarious, Dewey himself clarifies the matter:

As it is in the progressive movement of morality that there arises the distinction of the law-abiding and the lawless self, of the social and the selfish self, so in the same aspect there comes into existence the distinction of the low, degraded, sensual self, as against the higher or spiritual self. In themselves, or naturally, there is no desire high, none low. But when an inclination for an end which consists in possession comes in conflict with one which includes an active satisfaction—one not previously enjoyed—the contrast arises. It is wrong to say, with Kant, that the bad act is simply for pleasure [and here, incidentally, Dewey caricatures Kant’s position, presumably to distinguish it from his own]; for the bad act, the choice of a past satisfaction as against the aspiration for a wider good, may have a large content—it may be the good of one’s family; it may be scientific or aesthetic culture. Yet the moment a man begins to live on the plane of past satisfaction as such, he has begun to live on the plane of “sense,” or for pleasure.[xxvii]

The phrase “the progressive movement of morality” is your clue that we are in the land of idealism, in which mankind has at long last discovered its higher collective self, and is therefore finally able to interpret its past existence, including its past moral life, in this new light. That is why Dewey says that the distinction between social and selfish selves “arises,” or “comes into existence.” He is not making the ordinary kind of moral distinction between bad actions and good actions. He, like Fichte, is distinguishing bad morality from good morality, the old type from the new.

To be perfectly clear—that is, to set Dewey’s meaning apart from his carefully loaded phraseology—the bad, selfish, immoral self, the self “whose good is set over against and exclusive of that of others,” may include the self acting “for the good of one’s family,” or for “scientific or aesthetic culture.” Notice that even Dewey himself, in attempting to characterize such a man as immorally motivated, is compelled to place his ascribed bad motive, “sense,” in scare quotes. We are not talking about the pleasures of sense in any ordinary conception, but rather in the specialized conception previously utilized by Fichte. The low, “sensual” motive, for Dewey as for Fichte, includes all motivation traditionally understood to be exemplary of good character. Indeed, by including “scientific or aesthetic culture,” he seems to have tidily summarized the entire realm of classical virtue, moral and intellectual, as comprising “bad action.”[xxviii]

To say that a man willingly acting for the good of his family is setting his good over against and exclusive of the good of others is patently absurd—or would be, had we not all been raised as what Allan Bloom dubbed “practical Kantians.”[xxix] The badness of the man’s act, you see, lies in his having derived satisfaction from anticipating the good he would do for others, rather than simply from having done his duty. That is, the fact that his pleasure answers to a desire to help his family, presumably rooted in past satisfactions related to having done some good for his family or other people, shows that he is acting for his own private (natural) happiness, rather than for the artificial contentment of the “social self,” which arises from having fulfilled one’s due function in society disinterestedly. This is the precise moral trick whereby progressive authoritarians seek to separate us from the natural desires and attachments that render men resistant to abstract collectivist indoctrination, and communities resistant to abandoning human nature for servitude.

Personal happiness cannot be a legitimate moral aim for the progressive or higher self, which is inherently “social.” The entire classical philosophy of virtue is wiped out at once. The man who loves the act of theoretical reasoning for its own sake, Plato’s and Aristotle’s divinely happy man, is virtually the textbook case of Dewey’s “selfish self.”

Here we see Dewey recasting Kant’s ethics through the filter of Fichte’s despotic idealism. Indeed, he is merely paraphrasing Fichte’s two kinds of consciousness, albeit with the rhetorical emphasis on morality rather than knowledge—a distinction without a difference, since both philosophers identify knowledge as, in effect, the self-revelation of a universal moral will. Through this argument, we find Dewey beginning to develop the social philosophy that informed his mature theory of education.

We have already seen some of the ways he proposes to bring this progressive world of ideal or “social” selves into reality through state education. One very revealing statement of the general principle involved may be found in The School and Society. Dewey devotes a chapter to Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel, the early childhood education specialist who created the concept of kindergarten. Froebel was a student of Pestalozzi, who as we have seen was the pedagogue preferred by Fichte and Humboldt. Dewey approves of Froebel’s general approach, though criticizing his underlying psychological theory. He begins this chapter by relating a story from the early days of the University of Chicago Laboratory School, regarding a woman who asked to see the school’s kindergarten:

On being told that the school had not as yet established one, she asked if there were not singing, drawing, manual training, plays and dramatizations, and attention to the children’s social relations. When her questions were answered in the affirmative, she remarked, both triumphantly and indignantly, that that was what she understood by a kindergarten, and that she did not know what was meant by saying that the school had no kindergarten. The remark was perhaps justified in spirit, if not in letter. At all events, it suggests that in a certain sense the school endeavors throughout its whole course—now including children between four and thirteen—to carry into effect certain principles which Froebel was perhaps the first consciously to set forth.[xxx]

The “let’s all hold hands and sing” approach to early childhood education—a morally questionable impulse even with legitimate kindergarten-age children, is to be applied throughout the schooling process, according to Dewey. Of course I am caricaturing the method to make a point; for a more straightforward account of the idea, we may turn to Dewey, who isolates the first general principle of the approach this way:

That the primary business of school is to train children in cooperative and mutually helpful living; to foster in them the consciousness of mutual interdependence; and to help them practically in making the adjustments that will carry this spirit into overt deeds.[xxxi]

Overt deeds that carry out the spirit of mutual interdependence: There will be no acting alone, acting in the interest of one’s own personal development, or thinking that is not socially directed in the sense of being subservient to the imperatives of state progress. Ideally, once the spirit has been properly “adjusted,” the idea that any of those things could have been desirable will have been rinsed from it entirely. (Remember Fichte’s phrasing of this point: The child “must not even hear that our vital impulses and actions can be directed toward our maintenance and welfare, nor that we may learn for that reason, nor that learning may be of some use for that purpose.”)

Dewey is very fond, in certain contexts, of claiming that his theory of education satisfies the impulses of both individualism and socialism, as though that made any sense. For those inclined to give any credence to these claims as evidence of Dewey taking a “moderate” position, consider that his career as a teacher and writer began in a still-young nation which was explicitly founded on the principles of that eighteenth century form of individualism which he regarded as the great barrier to social progress. As with his discussions of the “ideal family household,” and his constant invocations of democracy, this claim to be achieving a happy marriage of individualism and socialism is, given the overall thrust of his philosophy, an obvious rhetorical ploy to lull the inattentive observer into accepting transformative progressivism as a legitimate variant form of Americanism. (American progressivism of the first half of the twentieth century was routinely framed as true patriotism and the validation of the American pioneering spirit.) What Dewey’s combination of socialism and individualism means in practice is that every individual should be afforded the opportunity to develop himself in the direction of a more complete servitude to the state, or, to use Dewey’s typical phrase, social service. This, as we saw in Part One, “Individualism vs. Individuality,” is his “new individualism.”

Here is what the joint satisfaction of individualism and socialism entails, when built into Dewey’s model of education:

I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform.

I believe that all reforms which rest simply upon the enactment of law, or the threatening of certain penalties, or upon changes in mechanical or outward arrangements, are transitory and futile. [Note: these methods would not, according to Dewey, be unjust or oppressive. They would merely be futile. Here Dewey plainly anticipates the view of the situation promulgated and popularized many years later by Antonio Gramsci.]

I believe that education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction.

I believe this conception has due regard for both the individualistic and socialistic ideals. It is duly individual because it recognizes the formation of a certain character as the only genuine basis of right living. It is socialistic because it recognizes that this right character is not to be formed by merely individual precept, example, or exhortation, but rather by the influence of a certain form of institutional or community life upon the individual, and that the social organism through the school, as its organ, may determine ethical results.[xxxii] (Emphasis added.)

The goal is “social reconstruction,” the transformation of societies founded in the modern spirit of practical liberty into socialist collectives. This goal requires the externally imposed “adjustment” of human motivation and activity to create a new spirit of acquiescence to the “social consciousness,” which, given Dewey’s dialectical sublation of the “social” into the concept of the state, would more accurately be called “state consciousness.” The path to this social or state consciousness is education. Education itself is a function of the state. The syllogism completes itself.

And at this point I remind the reader of Dewey’s attempted distinction, in his address to the League for Industrial Democracy, between his “democratic” model of education and the totalitarian model:

The noble distinction of a democratic society lies in the kind of unity it establishes between education and politics. It is for the people to instruct their officials, not [as in totalitarianism] for a few officials to regulate the sentiments and ideas of the rest of the people.

Meet John Dewey, totalitarian sophist.

Furthermore, we see in this part of Dewey’s pedagogic creed another iteration of the progressive school theorist’s diminution of the individual teacher. Only a broader social order into which the child’s activities may be organically interwoven can truly develop the proper collectivist character; individual tutelage or example can never give rise to a firmly socialistic spirit. The appropriate question for today—my question, in fact—is the reverse: Can anything resembling a firm and enlightened ethical individualism ever be developed within the intrinsically socialist moral order of public school? For my own answer to this question, I defer to Dewey. In an outline not intended for publication, “Plan of Organization of the University Primary School” (1895),[xxxiii] he explains the psychological aims of his Laboratory School project:

The child being socially constituted, his expressions are normally social. The child does not realize an activity save as he feels that it is directed towards others and calls forth a response from others. Language, for example, whether speech, writing, or reading is not primarily expression of thought, but rather social communication; save as it realizes this function it is only partial and more or less artificial, and fails, therefore, in its educative effect, intellectually, as well as morally.[xxxiv]

I emphasize that this is not a description of human nature or of typical behavior; it is Dewey’s summary of the psychological outcome that forms the essential goal of the progressive school. The intention is that the product of the school machinery should no longer be what it was when it arrived, namely a natural human being. It must come out at the other end as a “socially constituted” child who “does not realize an activity save as he feels that it is directed towards others”—that is, he should have no will to act at all except insofar as his action will further the purposes of the collective. He will not express his thoughts—even having independent thoughts must be regarded as a failure of the school program—but only share in “social communication.” In all that he does and says, he will be living not as himself, but as a mere cell of the new social mind.

(5) Public education’s main political function, the complement to its moral aim of inculcating unthinking devotion to the collective, is to sort everyone into ranks and roles determined and controlled by a permanent ruling class.

As we watch the West imploding morally and politically, with Europe defenseless, socialist, unwilling to mount a resistance against a resurgent medieval Islamism, and seemingly tired of adulthood, and with American students of Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky presiding over—not governing, properly speaking, but simply standing astride—the nation on whose fate rests the hope of civilization, it may be difficult to recall that progressivism was actually intended to work. That is to say, all universal consciousness talk aside, the practical political hope of the movement, from Fichte’s opening statement on down, has been society ordered as a well-oiled machine, a universal selfless assembly line keeping the technology operational, meeting all deadlines, and always smiling when the supervisor walks by. (Dewey added finger paintings on the refrigerator for a touch of creativity.)

This is why Fichte, after elevating his listeners’ souls with talk of divine love, historic moments, and mankind transcending its material nature on the path to a future lived in the pure realm of collective imagination, rounds out his educational proposal’s idealist picture with the all too realistic nuts and bolts element that forms the practical heart of modern public schooling—the vetting process. After all, a society carefully regulated into psychological uniformity through compulsory communes, propaganda, and the continual smoothing out process of the “social centre,” as Dewey calls it, could hardly ensure the desired sense of collective purpose if the products of the system were subsequently allowed to do whatever they wanted to do with their adult lives. Of course, the school’s system of collectivization does half the job, by delineating the child’s available options and possibilities of life during his years spent in its alternative reality, so that in the end he will restrain himself, whether the gate is left open or not. But spiritual shrinkage and restraint are not the only purposes of this schooling. Its products, though deliberately weakened and homogenized in certain ways, are nevertheless meant to be useful, i.e., to serve a social function—which, again, is a polite way of saying a state function.

You will recall Dewey’s loopy logic of the historical impetus of specialization in education, which by operating entirely on the abstract societal level in effect rendered a principle of specialization without regard for the specialists. According to this reasoning, newly conceived possibilities or methods necessitate not social space (freedom) in which they might develop, but rather government management to make the new methods socially useful. This is what comes of thinking of human action through the idealist lens of historical evolution—everything that happens is by definition an act of society taken universally, and hence cannot be properly conceived of at all in terms of its particularities. If specialization means society’s introduction of new, more narrowly focused ways of performing tasks or developing ideas, then something—some social entity standing outside the specialization process itself—must provide the mechanism whereby the new task or idea may be incorporated into the existing social framework. In reality, individual human minds provide the mechanism of incorporation, by means of the natural developmental agencies called private communication and personal choice. The abstract societal perspective on the process, however, requires an equivalent cause on the ideal level, an abstract universal mind, if you will. The progressive finds his inevitable solution: The state must be the entity with the task of incorporating the new. Hence new specialization, and the newly configured division of labor it naturally entails, must be controlled by the state, for only in this way may it be comfortably absorbed into the existing society.

That this progressive model of the industrial state is suggestive of the internal structure of a large business enterprise is not insignificant. The difference, of course, is that a business figures out what it needs, and then seeks available and willing employees with the required skill sets, whereas the state, by contrast, figures out what it thinks society needs, and then coercively mass produces the workers required to fill those roles. (How much more efficient business could be if only it had the coercive apparatus of human mass production on a society-wide scale at its disposal.…) Public school is the worker factory. In this factory, the future workers’ minds will be molded to accept their roles in that larger society of which the school is meant to be a spiritual microcosm.

Dewey’s great contribution to the development of this notion of factory schooling was not its basic purpose; that predated him by many decades. What he achieved, rather, was the blending of this moral atrocity into a semi-systematic overall philosophy that would combine the best elements of Fichtean idealism with a pragmatic accommodation to the realities of representative government and corporate interests, and a subtler focus on the developmental psychology needed to move a society from its pre-progressive starting point to its fully collectivized end point. Hence:

The school, as an institution, must have a community of spirit and end realized through diversity of powers and acts. Only in this way can it get an organic character, involving reciprocal interdependence and division of labor. This requires departure from the present graded system sufficient to bring together children of different ages, temperaments, native abilities, and attainments. Only in this way can the cooperative spirit involved in division of labor be substituted for the competitive spirit inevitably developed when a number of persons of the same presumed attainments are working to secure exactly the same results.[xxxv]

Interestingly, the one reasonable practical proposal in Dewey’s theory is the only one that has gained little traction in the general development of public schooling, namely dispensing with the strict separation of children into age-grades. It is worth speculating as to why this is not usually attempted. The reason is very likely a simple matter of logistics and structural impracticability, when dealing with children on the scale required of a public school system, and where formal standardized assessment is essential to the program. This indicates a fundamental problem with the whole Laboratory School concept. The isolated, limited context of the Laboratory School itself is the hidden premise in every “experiment,” such that Dewey’s own conclusions are subject to the same logical error he makes in developing the theoretical basis of his school out of the workings of the private family, namely invalid universalization. And of course, Dewey’s desire for the weakening of age-segregation may be satisfied quite easily and naturally, and with benefits far beyond Dewey’s wish to develop “cooperative spirit”—outside the context of universal public school.

To continue with his description of the school as worker factory: 

The end of the institution must be such as to enable the child to translate his powers over into terms of their social equivalencies.… This implies:

  1. Such interest in others as will secure responsiveness to their real needs….
  2. Such knowledge of social relationships as to enable one to form social ideas or ends.
  3. Such volitional command of one’s own powers as to enable one to be an economical social agent.[xxxvi] 

Reread those three requirements carefully, and you will see that he has merely broken down the Marxist creed “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” for easy analysis on a university blackboard. So the children must be trained to think in the manner of idealized socialist workers. (Real socialist workers, of course, are human beings, and therefore have conflicting interests deriving from the remnants of their natural motives which are likely to survive even the most rigorous and scientifically designed indoctrination. These nature/artifice conflicts will probably always render any forced universalization of the “cooperative spirit” more awkward than a progressive might like.)

Substituting the cooperative spirit supposedly involved in division of labor for the competitive spirit developed when people of “the same presumed attainments” are seeking the same results is an interesting notion. The explanatory focus on the mental state of the children is convenient, as it elides the trickier implication of this discussion, which is that the state will be intimately involved in the process of determining each person’s role in the economic machinery of the larger society. And this, as we have seen in detail, is where standardized grading enters the picture. I have explained that the universal and generic system of grading, as it has evolved, is a complete artifice drawn out of the hot air of scientific schooling, a.k.a. the abandonment of teaching, and serves only the good of social engineering. Dewey verifies this, articulating the clearest rationalization for the practice: 

I believe that all questions of the grading of the child and his promotion should be determined by reference to the same standard [i.e., social service]. Examinations are of use only so far as they test the child’s fitness for social life and reveal the place in which he can be of the most service and where he can receive the most help.[xxxvii] (Emphasis added.) 

And when the place where the child “can be of the most service” has been revealed, then what? Then, particularly if the testing determines that his place is in a slot within the division of labor that might seem less than desirable or fulfilling in itself, we must count on his “fitness for social life”—that is, his level of cooperative spirit—and the ability of the social center to “interpret to him the intellectual and social meaning of the work in which he is engaged.” And if his grade in “fitness for social life” class is a little low—that is, if he has retained some of that “competitive spirit” which the education process was designed to blunt, and therefore shows signs of not accepting his assigned role peaceably—then what happens? I suppose then he is due for some remedial socialization via the “social centre,” lest he become one of Barack Obama’s bitter Bible- and gun-clingers.

In any event, all theoretical idealism aside, Dewey’s education model is in large part an elaborate two-pronged system of socialist job-training, vetting people for the needed social roles, and then indoctrinating them to accept those roles submissively. It goes without saying that the freer mechanisms of determining the necessary social roles and sorting people into them, Nature and Chance—that is, free minds, open communication, voluntary relationships formed for mutual benefit—can also achieve a successful division of labor. And this voluntary division may answer more satisfactorily to practical needs, because the pairing of needs and specialization will occur organically and through the direct interaction of human beings, unlike the artificially-induced simulacrum of organic social relations imposed through Dewey’s public school indoctrination, which answers only to needs determined by government experts thinking about last year’s problems, with specialization circumscribed by the state’s bureaucracy-laden five year plans and what have you.

But it also goes without saying that state oversight of the division of labor, education as population-control, and government-standardized training and vetting of workers, offer one definitive advantage over Nature and Chance: stability. I do not mean legitimate political stability in the sense of a well-ordered community of generally good people living generally good lives. I mean hierarchical stability, along the lines of a traditional caste system, but one superimposed on an industrial economy.

William Ayers, the guy from President Obama’s neighborhood,[xxxviii] and the archetypal 1960s communist rabble-rouser, loves John Dewey. So did John D. Rockefeller, the archetypal capitalist tycoon. There is no paradox here, no contradiction, no misunderstanding. Dewey is the philosopher of the industrial, sentimentalized caste system that we adorn with names like “social democracy.” The modern West was in the early stages of being undermined by German-inspired education reformers before Dewey was born. But it was John Dewey, adapting Fichte for non-authoritarian audiences, who made it internationally acceptable, almost nice, to say “Don’t be selfish—you live for the state.”

(6) The teaching of literacy is to be stalled as long as possible. The artificial community in which the prisoners of the government education system are to be raised is to function and develop as an oral, pre-literate culture.

This is another area where Dewey’s thought, benefitting from his more practical pedagogical focus, and also from the added perspective of the Marxist materialist dialectic, transcends Fichte’s rather heavy-handed approach. Fichte’s demand that no one be taught how to read and write until the socialist-idealist indoctrination program is complete was probably far-fetched and implausible in an advanced society with a literary history. To state this another way, Fichte was slightly too honest about his reasons for requiring that children be prevented from gaining access to old ideas and old exemplars of human life. Progressive education theory would need to ferment for a few generations before it would mature into a perfect rationalization for withholding early access to past thought, or better yet, for anticipating and undermining the effects of such access where it cannot be withheld outright. Dewey provides that rationalization.

One of the most interesting dramatic developments in Plato’s Symposium—his dialogue in which several prominent Athenians give speeches about the meaning of Eros in their lives—is Socrates’ choice to frame his speech as a mini-dialogue between himself as the student and the priestess Diotima as his teacher. This surprising twist, given the exclusive manliness of the surrounding discussion, would deserve attention under any circumstances. In today’s university classroom, however, the teacher is conscious of the need to emphasize this intrusion of a feminine perspective for sadly modern reasons, in addition to all the good philosophical ones. Once, after a lecture introducing Socrates’ speech, I received first impressions e-mails from two intelligent female students. The first wished to express her appreciation for Plato’s presentation of Diotima, since she had been deeply upset, in her literature classes, to learn how Western culture had previously excluded and suppressed women’s voices. The second explained how she felt let down, after anticipating the appearance of a female speaker, to see Diotima expressing herself in terms that seemed to validate traditional gender stereotypes.

These were two keen and serious students, so I was happy to walk through the issues with them. But I was also struck by the way latter-day progressives, with the litany of politicized “isms” through which they force us to interpret everything, have amplified the essential difficulty facing the teacher of old books, namely the struggle to draw students gently away from the Now, meaning from the presuppositions and half-conscious biases that are the greatest obstacles to real learning. One who thinks he already knows will not seek knowledge. The present, in psychological terms, can become a choir of little voices that drowns out fresh perspectives with its constant chant of “We already know.” Thus learning, viewed subjectively, may be described as a series of instances of rejecting the present—that is, of finding glimmers from beyond your accepted horizon of the moment that force you to rethink what you thought you knew. The gift of literacy turns the entire past of human civilization into one ever-growing repository of weapons we may use in our lifelong battle to overcome our narrow, time-bound selves.

There are two ways schooling may destroy this gift of the human heritage, the gift of lost but always recoverable possibilities, without actually withholding the written word outright: Short-circuit the essence of literacy, the immediate communication between minds across time and space; or propagandize literacy itself into disrepute and disuse. Dewey employs both methods. In fact, he effectively invented the first, understood as a practical educational methodology. This is the method embodied by my two Symposium students.

Reading the past through the prism of the present is an inherent shortcoming of the human condition, because the here and now is always the mind’s path of least resistance. We love our own, and what is more, we believe we understand it. Old wisdom, by contrast, teases us with a dance of seemingly limitless veils. There are problems of evolved word meanings, impenetrable allusions and examples, and the inevitable challenges of trying to understand what someone was saying without fully understanding the particular context, alternative voices, and shared experiences to which he thought he was responding. Therefore, the prism of the present must always be our initial point of view; the hope is that the colors it separates when placed under the light of the past will be enough to grab the soul’s attention, and to tempt her to seek a better perspective, imperfect though any vantage point must be.

Progressivism, however, is precisely the philosophical position that the present is necessarily truer or more complete than the past—that the past as such cannot teach us anything until we have imbued it with the meanings of the present. Past men, in effect, must learn from us, not we from them. Progressive reading strategies and interpretive theories are intended to produce a more sophisticated, crystalline prism that attracts the eye with its own shiny edges, so that the viewer hardly notices the separated colors of the past at all, or sees in them only a pale reminder of the beauty of the prism itself.

Reading Plato from the feminist perspective means judging Plato against the standard of the present, rather than challenging the present from the perspective of Plato. Whether the resulting judgment be approval or disappointment, the opportunity for learning from beyond our moment is lost, or rather deliberately sealed off from view. To teach young people, through progressive “critical theory,” to interpret the thought and society of the past (or even that of their immediate naïve surroundings) from a pseudo-scientifically verified superior view is to trap their minds permanently in the Now, which means nothing less than to prevent learning.

Here is Dewey’s explanation of how history ought to be taught: 

I believe…that history is of educative value in so far as it presents phases of social life and growth. It must be controlled by reference to social life. When taken simply as history it is thrown into the distant past and becomes dead and inert. Taken as the record of man’s social life and progress it becomes full of meaning. I believe, however, that it cannot be so taken excepting as the child is also introduced directly into social life.[xxxix] 

In other words, history should only be presented to students on the condition that the interpretation of past events and men be carefully controlled in advance. Specifically, the past must be interpreted in terms of the progressive development of mankind toward its newly-discovered social self—a “people’s history,” if you will. Dewey shows his psychological astuteness (and his tyrannical soul) by insisting that even this loaded form of historical study must be undertaken only within an education setting that is structured to foster the collectivist principle—it must be taught “as the child is also introduced directly into social life”—so that the child may see and feel the direct relation between the attitudes inculcated in his daily life and the historical antecedents of this social consciousness. In other words, the carefully programmed interpretive filter might not “take” in the student’s mind without the pre-established emotional buttress of his being raised in an environment, the school, that teaches socialism through its very structure.

From this reasoning, it follows that the past should not be studied at all outside the well-controlled intellectual context of a complete socialist upbringing. The classical liberal, or at least non-socialist, might perceive the past as containing examples of humanity’s struggle for freedom, or against excessive government authority. Only the properly trained collectivist can be sure to see what he ought to see, namely examples of society’s struggle for progress toward the universal State. This is to say that the past should not be presented until it has been stripped of its genuine educational value, which lies in its separation from the present. When Dewey says history without the prefabricated progressive interpretation is “dead and inert,” he merely means that nothing is alive and active unless it is consistent with the present as experienced in the socialist school. This is how you close a mind to thought and learning forever.

A similar principle is applied to literature. The biographies of heroes, for example, should be taught only as examples of society providing for the needs of “social progress,” and not as examples of individual achievement, or as beautiful writing.[xl] Individual achievement, of course, is precisely what Dewey hopes to brand as a social taboo. The beauty of language—particularly past language—is dangerous, as it might expose children to the value of individual minds, or to the value of language itself, particularly written language, as a means of expressing thought. 

Language is almost always treated in the books of pedagogy simply as the expression of thought. It is true that language is a logical instrument, but it is fundamentally and primarily a social instrument. Language is the device for communication; it is the tool through which one individual comes to share the ideas and feelings of others. When treated simply as a way of getting individual information, or as a means of showing off what one has learned, it loses its social motive and end.[xli] 

I draw your attention to Dewey’s way of explaining the specific evils that result from teaching children to see language as the means of expressing thought, namely that it makes language “simply a way of getting individual information” or “showing off.” This is strictly my personal judgment, but I would say that only a man who truly hates the human race could describe discursive reasoning this way.

To summarize, Dewey’s first case against offering children the gift of the human heritage is to stipulate that the past must be exploited exclusively for examples of how previous peoples were groping toward the great revelation of progressivism, or, as has become more popular these days, how they were systemically prevented from achieving this revelation.

His second method of eliminating the destabilizing influence of past ideas—the anti-literacy propaganda campaign—is more straightforward, and improves upon Fichte’s simplistic proposal to delay the teaching of literacy as long as possible, although in its practical effects Dewey’s enhancement may seem more cosmetic than substantial. Seeing that Fichte’s extreme plan would never fly in a free nation, he exerts his considerable powers of advanced mealy-mouthedness to promote a workable compromise—so workable, in fact, that it provides a remarkably clear account of what has happened to literacy in our time.

In an article entitled “The Primary-Education Fetich,”[xlii] Dewey makes one of his cleverest cases for the destruction of traditional “three Rs” education. The particular “fetich” of his title is literacy: 

There is…a false educational god whose idolaters are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study.[xliii] 

In particular, Dewey bemoans the traditional focus on reading and writing during the first years of school. Noting that this “false god” is generally defended on the grounds of having stood the test of time, Dewey offers a perfect progressive response (in the post-Marxist style): 

On the contrary, the fact, that this mode of education was adapted to past conditions, is in itself a reason why it should no longer hold supreme sway. The present has its claims…. To educate on the basis of past surroundings is like adapting an organism to an environment which no longer exists.[xliv] 

This is Dewey’s case for progressive schooling in a nutshell. And what is the precise difference between past and present conditions that warrants de-emphasizing reading and writing in childhood education? 

The existing status was developed in a period when ability to read was practically the sole avenue to knowledge…. To avoid intellectual chaos and confusion, it was necessary reverently to retrace the steps of the fathers. The régime of intellectual authority and tradition, in matters of politics, morals, and culture, was a necessity, where methods of scientific investigation and verification had not been developed, or were in the hands of the few.[xlv] 

Put simply, why read when you can do? Modern industry and socialized schooling have created conditions in which every child may learn from hands-on involvement with the carefully controlled material world, using scientific methods. This new scientific socialism renders the old régime, whose divine and earthly authorities are deposited in your library, obsolete. Politics, morals, and culture are now to be developed through the micromanaged growth of social consciousness in the public school. Literacy is no longer important as it once was, before progressivism found the scientific key to human development. (Incidentally, there is an interesting book to be written cataloguing the categorical statements, in every important testament in the history of progressivism since Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, that we have now found the key that answers all the questions mankind has struggled with forever, and that if the reader is patient, he should have the whole Truth delivered to his doorstep sometime early next year. The strangest part of it is that this is one area where the progressives were not dissembling—they really believed this, and I suspect their heirs today still do.)

Dewey notes that “the advent of quick and cheap mails, of easy and continuous travel and transportation, of the telegraph and telephone, the establishment of libraries, art-galleries, literary clubs, the universal diffusion of cheap reading-matter, newspapers and magazines of all kinds and grades…have worked a tremendous change in the immediate intellectual environment.” And the result of this “tremendous change”? 

The capital handed down from past generations…is no longer amassed in those banks termed books, but is in active and general circulation, at an extremely low rate of interest.… The significance attaching to reading and writing, as primary and fundamental instruments of culture, has shrunk proportionately as the immanent intellectual life of society has quickened and multiplied.[xlvi] (Emphasis added.) 

This hardly needs comment. John Dewey, the most influential force in education throughout the civilized world today, is here making the explicit case for what we now call the dumbing down of society. The by-products of all the centuries of intellectual effort and innovation having now been realized in practical life, we may dispense at last with the burdensome chore of preserving and studying those efforts themselves. The masses have telephones and newspapers, quick transportation and even dime novels for those who wish to keep up the antiquated habit of reading. So why do they need the old “great books”? I suspect that if you could hold this argument clearly before your mind simultaneously with Dewey’s claim that public education in an industrial democracy places the people into the position to “instruct their officials”—I mean if you could really hold the two ideas side by side in your mind for just a moment—you would experience an epiphany of the meaning of Dewey’s whole political philosophy, and of the politics of late modernity in general.

Dewey’s claim that literacy, at least of the sort that would entice the child to private reading and writing, is no longer essential to primary education, is further supported by this clever point: 

The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion. Just because literature is so important, it is desirable to postpone the child’s introduction to printed speech until he is capable of appreciating and dealing with its genuine meaning.[xlvii] 

We have already seen what Dewey means by “genuine meaning,” and why he believes socializing children before they can read is essential to their proper reception of this meaning. I do not know at precisely what age a child ought to learn to read, and to be encouraged to read good literature privately. Contrary to the assumptions of scientific pedagogy, I assume the proper age varies considerably from child to child. But I know that if a child is to be submitted to indoctrination in a socialist re-education camp, I want him to be able to read and learn independently before the indoctrination overwhelms his thought processes, while he is still able to receive ideas from outside the prison of the present without a built-in critical theory to stifle their potential ennobling effects on his soul.

Dewey’s argument that early literacy was more important in the past when men had no other connection to the world’s knowledge, whereas now we have the telegraph, telephone, and newspapers, is like a farmer saying he no longer needs rain and sun to grow his crops, because he has a rainbow. That rainbow world sums up the moment through which we are now living—the final stages of hollowing out the amassed wealth of millennia in the names of science, culture, and progress. Our mind-numbing mass entertainment, our propagandizing news media, our exhibitionist “social media,” and our access to instantaneous means of communicating our experiences and feelings, rather than thoughts, constitute the ersatz happiness of a civilization that has forgotten what happiness means. Hesiod, Parmenides, Aristotle, Dante, Locke, and Swift are now ghosts in the world they made possible, but which has subsequently rendered them obsolete: the world of sitcoms, CNN, Facebook, and a million indistinguishable “stars” squealing on about their childish feelings. Perhaps the only great writer of the past who truly lives today is Alexis de Tocqueville—not because he is widely read, of course, but because, through his admonition about the threat of soft despotism, he inadvertently provided democratic totalitarianism with its grammar book.

The most common defense of Dewey the man and thinker against charges that he embodies a totalitarian impulse is to cite the vocal anti-communism of his final years. His defenders awkwardly dismiss his initial praise of Stalinist Russia—written, you will recall, when he was sixty-nine years old—with a red-faced shrug, or even attempt to qualify it after the fact with a little Deweyesque fudgery of their own.

A typical example of this is Dewey’s obituary in the New York Times,[xlviii] which defines him as “an avowed anti-communist,” but also as “too big a man to be sneered at as an ‘armchair Bolshevist,’” saying “his convictions were those of an essentially honest man.” Delicately touching upon this honest man’s outrageous distortions and quarter-truths on behalf of the Soviet Union and other dictatorships, the obituary observes: 

Dr. Dewey saw the good as well as the bad in countries where the masses were groping for new social systems. He visited Russia, China and Turkey; saw for himself, and maintained his views in the face of public opinion in this country. He condemned hasty judgment of the affairs of other peoples and pointed to the flaws at home in no uncertain terms. 

I suppose Dewey’s description of the Stalinist regime that he “saw for himself” as “democratic beyond the ambitions of the democracies of the past,” as advocating “the universal good of universal humanity,” and as embodying his beloved “cooperative principle” “much more organically” than could ever be achieved in his own country, are merely examples of condemning “hasty judgment of the affairs of other peoples.” I suppose we must accept this interpretation, for the only other possibility is that Dewey must be described with a word that simply will not do in polite discussion of the thought and writing of a major philosopher: liar.

Here, for me, is the last word on Dewey’s philosophy of education, the conclusion of his 1902 speech to the National Council of Education: 

Men will long dispute about material socialism, about socialism considered as a matter of distribution of the material resources of the community; but there is a socialism regarding which there can be no such dispute—socialism of the intelligence and of the spirit. To extend the range and the fullness of sharing in the intellectual and spiritual resources of the community is the very meaning of the community. Because the older type of education is not fully adequate to this task under changed conditions, we feel its lack and demand that the school shall become a social centre. The school as a social centre means the active and organized promotion of this socialism of the intangible things of art, science, and other modes of social intercourse.[xlix] 

These words, written as a rousing finale for a speech presented to teachers, describe the meaning of public school flawlessly. For all his effort to seem moderate in his “demand,” we must ask this question: Once men accept the “socialism of the intelligence and of the spirit”—that is, of the mind—as admitting of no dispute, what argument do they have against the socialism of the mere material products of the mind? John Dewey knew the answer. We are all living it.


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[i] Mao Tse-tung, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1960), 44.

[ii] SSC, 75.

[iii] SSC, 75.

[iv] SSC, 76.

[v] SSC, 76.

[vi] Dewey, German Philosophy and Politics (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1915), 72-73.

[vii] The German Philosophy and Politics lectures were composed during WWI, and Dewey’s thesis there is, on the whole, a negative judgment of the practical effects of German idealism. The judgment, however, focuses on the irrational nationalism fostered by these ideas—an obvious concern to air publicly in 1915—not on their devolving of man’s identity and purpose upon the state, per se. The latter, as we have seen, is a principle with which Dewey is fundamentally in agreement. He merely wishes to channel this collectivist impulse toward internationalism and “peaceful” submission to the collective, rather than nationalistic militarism. In short, in his public posturing, Dewey made great efforts to differentiate his own views from those of the idealists, particularly Fichte. He did this by emphasizing the peculiar nationalism of the movement, an easy target when speaking to a non-German audience. If you re-read the passage from Democracy and Education with which I began Part Two of this book, you will see the same tone: accentuation of the dubious side of the idealists’ German destiny talk, to mask the many ways in which his own theories, in their fundamentals, mimic those of men who had come to be considered politically suspect in English-speaking world.

[viii] Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, translated by Michael Henry Heim (New York: Knopf, 1980), 197.

[ix] SS, 35-36.

[x] SS, 36-37.

[xi] Dewey, “Results of Child-Study Applied to Education,” (1895), in The Early Works of John Dewey, 1882-1898 (hereafter Early Works), edited by Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972), vol. 5, 206.

[xii] Dewey, Pedagogy as a University Discipline (1896), hereafter PUD, in Early Works vol. 5.

[xiii] PUD, 281.

[xiv] PUD, 281.

[xv] PUD, 282.

[xvi] PUD, 282-3.

[xvii] Dewey, “Educational Ethics” (1895), in Early Works vol. 5.

[xviii] Ibid., 293.

[xix] Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed (New York: E.L. Kellogg & Co., 1897), 9. Hereafter MPC.

[xx] MPC, 18.

[xxi] Dewey, Psychology (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1887), hereafter Psy.

[xxii] Psy, 244-245.

[xxiii] Psy, 417-424.

[xxiv] [xxiv] Dewey, Outlines of a Critical Theory of Ethics (Ann Arbor: Register Publishing Co., 1891), hereafter OCTE.

[xxv] OCTE, 216-217.

[xxvi] OCTE, 218.

[xxvii] OCTE, 219-220.

[xxviii] OCTE, 219.

[xxix] Bloom, Closing of the American Mind, 122.

[xxx] SS, 111.

[xxxi] SS, 111-112.

[xxxii] MPC, 16-17.

[xxxiii] Dewey, “Plan of Organization of the University Primary School” (1895), in Early Works vol. 5, hereafter Plan.

[xxxiv] Plan, 226.

[xxxv] Plan, 225.

[xxxvi] Plan, 225.

[xxxvii] MPC, 9.

[xxxviii] Cf. my “Revisiting the Guy in Obama’s Neighborhood,” American Thinker (March 22, 2012),

[xxxix] MPC, 11.

[xl] SS, 158ff.

[xli] MPC, 12.

[xlii] Dewey, “The Primary-Education Fetich” (1898), hereafter PEF, in Early Works vol. 5.

[xliii] PEF, 254.

[xliv] PEF, 254.

[xlv] PEF, 255.

[xlvi] PEF, 256-7.

[xlvii] PEF, 264.

[xlviii] The New York Times, “Dr. John Dewey Dead at 92; Philosopher a Noted Liberal” (New York: New York Times, June 2, 1952),

[xlix] SSC, 86.

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