Tuesday, April 17, 2012


On April 6th, 1913, the headline in the NY Times screamed: COMPULSORY CIVIC SERVICE PROPOSED FOR CHILDREN; Prof. Royal Meeker of Princeton Offers a Plan Which He Believes Would Solve Many of the Problems Arising Out of Our Imperfect System of Education. in which you will find the following: (The PDF of the article is freely downloadable)
No private or parochial schools should be permitted to trespass upon the child's time of preparation for the service of the State.

This line(beginning paragraph 3) stands out like a sore thumb, until you see paragraph 6:

All the children of the whole community should be educated together in the elementary schools in order to accustom them to co-operative thinking and action, so that when they come into full citizenship they will not be obliged to begin their social and political education at the beginning.

Indoctrinating the children into good little statists. The fourth paragraph of the second column:

At this period the children should be formally drafted into the service of the State, with solumn dedicatory services. This dedication of the youth to the service of the State should be made as impressive as possible. Every important institution employs elaborate ceremonies, for ceremonial is firmly rooted in the psychology of man.

This is important to understand about the early 20th century progressives. They often employed(and still do to this day) psychological tactics and observations in order to better achieve their causes.

This article does make "good points" with respect to the move from student to productive citizen and other problems, but the default thinking is that the state is the answer, and that's dangerous. The people can always solve problems better than the government.(Save those handful of things elaborated in the Constitution: National Defence, etc)

Royal Meeker was an advisor to Woodrow Wilson and was also Commissioner of the BLS from 1913 to 1920.


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