The EDITORIAL TEAM OF “THE NINE COMMENTARIES ON THE COMMUNIST PARTY”  |  Epoch Times

The Epoch Times is serializing a translation from the Chinese of a new book, How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

Previous Chapters: 

The Specter of Communism in Western Universities

Communist Elements in Primary and Secondary Education

3. The Goal: Destroying Education in the East and West

With the aim of corrupting education in the West, communism can wait hundreds of years if necessary and achieve its goal over generations of change through progressive education. China has 5,000 years of profound cultural traditions. However, owing to specific historical conditions at the time the communists came to power, they were able to use the Chinese people’s mentality of quick success and instant benefit. This induced the Chinese people to adopt radical means that rapidly separated them from tradition in a matter of decades. In this manner, communism achieved its goal of corrupting education and humanity in China.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, when Dewey’s progressive education began to corrode the United States, his ethnic Chinese followers returned to China and became pioneers of modern Chinese education. British cannons had destroyed the self-esteem of the Chinese people, and the intellectuals were eager to find a way to strengthen the nation. The communists exploited these conditions to set off a so-called New Culture Movement that repudiated China’s traditions.

The movement attacked culture and was a rehearsal of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. The New Culture Movement has three main representatives: Dewey’s disciple, Hu Shi; Chen Duxiu, one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party; and Lu Xun, who was later praised by Mao Zedong as “the chief commander of China’s cultural revolution.” Li Dazhao, another founder of the Chinese Communist Party, also adopted an important role in the cultural movement of the later period.

Criticizing China for the faults of its traditional path of development, the New Culture Movement attributed China’s accumulated weakness over the past hundred years to traditional Confucian culture and advocated abolishing Confucianism. Traditional culture was viewed as “old culture,” while all Western culture was treated as new. Traditional beliefs were criticized for not adhering to the ideas of science and democracy. This movement was the forerunner to the heated May Fourth movement and started the first wave of thorough subversion of traditional ethics and values. At the same time, it laid the foundation for Marxism to invade China from the West, allowing it to take root, sprout, and grow.

In education, among the greatest harm wrought by the New Culture Movement was the campaign to promote the vernacularization of written Chinese. As advocated by Hu Shi, Chinese-language education in primary schools was changed to the teaching of vernacular written Chinese. As a result, after one generation, the majority of Chinese people were hardly able to read and understand classical Chinese. This meant that The Book of Changes, the Spring and Autumn Annals, Dao De Jing, Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huangdi Neijing), and other traditional books were now inaccessible to the ordinary student. Instead, they were treated as esoteric content for the specialized research of scholars. China’s 5,000 years of glorious civilization was turned into mere decoration.

In the development of Chinese culture, it was divinely arranged that the written classical Chinese language be separated from the spoken language. In China, over the course of history, there have been many large-scale assimilations of different ethnic groups and multiple relocations of China’s cultural center of gravity, thus the spoken language was constantly changing. But due to the separation between the spoken language and classical Chinese used in writing, classical Chinese remained largely unchanged. Qing Dynasty students could still read and understand the Song Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, and even pre-Qin Dynasty classics. This allowed traditional Chinese culture and literature to be transmitted unbroken over thousands of years.

However, communism caused the Chinese people to sever their cultural roots through the language. At the same time, by combining the written language with the spoken language, it became easier to mix in deviant words and phrases, thus pushing the Chinese people yet further away from tradition.

The literacy campaigns and popularization of culture in elementary education that were undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) before and after its establishment subjected their captive audience to direct and explicit brainwashing. For instance, the first few phrases learned by students in literacy classes and the first year of primary school were propaganda like “long live Chairman Mao,” “the evil old society,” and “evil American imperialism,” phrases that fully exemplify the clear hate-based class struggle ethos the Party demanded.

Compared with deviant ideas that progressive education mixes into children’s books (like Heather Has Two Mommies), although the two movements differ starkly in a method, they are both essentially a form of ideological indoctrination imposed on the young. Chinese children who are educated in this way grow up to defend the CCP’s tyrannical regime of their own initiative, vilifying and lambasting people who talk about universal values. Children educated in the Western environment grow up to be part of the angry student mobs that prevent speakers from talking about traditional values and accuse them of discrimination.

Not long after the CCP established its regime, it began its thought-reform campaign against intellectuals, focusing on university campuses and high schools. Its main objective was to reform intellectuals’ perspectives on life, force them to forsake traditional moral principles, and give up the philosophy of first improving oneself, then extending that to one’s family, state, and the world. It used a Marxist class-based view of the world and life, from the perspective of the proletariat class.

Professors of the old generation, in particular, have to repeatedly criticize themselves, confess, and accept being informed on, monitored, and criticized by their colleagues and students. They were even made to acknowledge and eliminate “counter-revolutionary thoughts” in their own subconscious minds, which were called aggressions against the proletariat class. Of course, this was much more intense than the sensitivity training of today. Some were unable to take the humiliation and stress and committed suicide. [58]

Subsequently, the CCP began adjusting faculty and departments in universities. It greatly diminished, merged, or eliminated departments like philosophy, sociology, and those related to the humanities, leaving many comprehensive universities with only Soviet-style science and engineering faculties. This was because the CCP was unable to tolerate the threat to its tyrannical rule from any independent ideological perspectives on politics and social issues. These were associated with the humanities-related faculties, which had academic freedom in the days of the Republic of China. At the same time, Marxist politics and philosophy were made mandatory for all students. The entire process was completed within two to three years. In the West, communism took an entire generation to establish new disciplines with the aim of ideological indoctrination and the injection of Marxist thought into universities. Although the speed differed greatly between the two, they achieved similar results.

In 1958, the CCP started its education revolution, which had the following notable features: Firstly, education was emphasized as a tool that should be used in service of the proletariat. Under the leadership of the Party Committee, students were organized to prepare the curricula and teaching materials. In the Chinese language department of Peking University, sixty students spent thirty days to write a 700,000-character treatise called the History of Chinese Literature. [59]

This fully exemplified what progressive education was about: The teaching methods should be “student-centric,” focused on “exploratory learning” and “cooperative learning” — that is, what to learn and how to learn it was all to be discussed and decided by the students themselves. The objective was clear — eliminating “superstitious beliefs” in authority figures (which was meant to instill an attitude opposed to tradition), magnifying students’ self-centeredness, and laying the foundation for rebellion during the Cultural Revolution to come.

Secondly, the union of education and productive labor was to be emphasized. Every school had its own factory, and during the height of the Great Leap Forward, teachers and students smelted steel and tilled the land. Even a university that had previously focused on social disciplines, like the Renmin University of China, operated 108 factories. In name, this was to let students “learn by doing,” but in fact, students learned nothing.

In the subsequent Cultural Revolution, students were mobilized to destroy all forms of cultural heritage associated with traditional culture, be they tangible or intangible (see Chapter Six for details). This again echoes the counterculture movement that took place in the West. After the Cultural Revolution started, Mao Zedong felt that the situation of “bourgeois intellectuals” ruling the schools should not continue. On June 13, 1966, the CCP issued a notice to reform university admissions and started the “corrective action campaign”: University entrance exams were abolished, and large numbers of “worker-peasant-soldier” students were enrolled.

The film Breaking With Old Ideas, produced during the Cultural Revolution, reflected the reason for this reform: “A youth who grew up in a poor farm is not sufficiently literate, but the calluses on his hands from hard farm work qualify him for enrolment.” A school principal said: “Can you blame us for their low level of literacy? No! This debt should be settled with the Nationalists, the landowners, and the capitalist class [the oppressors]!”

In the West, there was a professor who published a paper claiming that mathematics exams lead to racial discrimination (because students of certain ethnic minority groups have lower math scores compared to white students). [60] Another professor published a paper that said math standards based on the higher scores achieved by male students leads to gender discrimination against females when they are held to the same standard. [61] Qualifying students for the university level based on the calluses they have and attributing lower math scores to racial and gender discrimination are all methods that communism uses to dumb down students and stunt their intellectual growth.

After the Cultural Revolution, China resumed its university entrance examination. From then on, this exam has become a key part of the education system and the ultimate objective of primary and high school education. Under this utilitarian education system, many students became machines that learned only how to pass exams, without the ability to think independently for themselves or to distinguish right from wrong. At the same time, Marxist philosophy, politics, and economics have stubbornly remained mandatory exam subjects.

In the minds of students who are cut off from tradition, right and wrong and good and evil are all evaluated according to communist standards: Thus after the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred, many students cheered. Primary school students declare that they want to become corrupt officials when they grow up. University students prostitute themselves and become surrogate mothers for cash. Communism has hijacked the younger generation.

Conclusion: Returning to Traditional Education

The education system shoulders the future of a country, a nation, and human civilization. It is a long-term endeavor whose impact extends through centuries or even millennia. Looking back at the past one hundred years, the American education system has all but been broken by the infiltration and influence of communist ideology. Parents and teachers have had their hands tied and cannot give students a good education. Schools, which should have cultivated students’ talent, have instead indulged them and led them astray. The whole society is deeply worried about students’ lack of morality, low skill level, fragile psychologies, and bad habits, as well as the chaotic, anti-traditional and anti-social trends they’re caught up in. This is to witness the forces of evil devouring the descendants and the future of mankind.

Among the forty-five goals listed in the 1958 classic The Naked Communist, the goals for education are the following: “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.” [62]

Looking at American education, these goals have not only been achieved, but the situation has also become worse. Due to the political and economic strength of the United States, American culture is the object of admiration and emulation by countries around the world. Most countries use the United States as a model for educational reform. American teaching concepts, teaching materials, teaching methods, and school-management practices have affected many countries. So to a certain extent, changing American education is tantamount to changing education around the world.

Both at the beginning of Creation and when human civilization is corrupted, there are enlightened beings or saints born. These enlightened beings or saints are precisely a group of people known as “teachers.” For example, Socrates, the founder of the ancient Greek civilization, was an educator. In the Gospels, Jesus also called himself a teacher. Sakyamuni Buddha has ten names, one of which is “the teacher of heaven and man.” Confucius was an educator, and Lao Zi was the teacher of Confucius. They tell people how to be human, how to respect God, how to get along with others, and how morality may be improved.

These enlightened beings and saints are the greatest educators of mankind. Their words shaped the major civilizations and became fundamental classics of all civilizations. The values they teach and the ways they go about improving morality allow each individual to achieve spiritual transcendence and health. Individuals with healthy minds are essential to social health. It is no wonder that these greatest educators have come to a similar conclusion: The purpose of education is the cultivation of good character.

Eastern and Western classical education, which has been practiced for thousands of years, inherits the culture that God has given to people and retains such precious experiences and resources. According to the spirit of classical education, both talent and integrity are important criteria for judging the success of education. In the process of reviving the tradition of human education, the treasure of classical education is worthy of preservation, exploration, and learning.

People with high moral values are capable of self-governing. This is the social norm that the American Founding Fathers hoped for. Those who are morally noble will receive God’s blessings, and through diligence and wisdom, will obtain material abundance and spiritual satisfaction. More importantly, people with high morality allow society to proliferate and last for generations. This is the revelation of enlightened beings and saints, the greatest educators of mankind, for how today’s people may return to tradition.

References

[1] A Nation at Risk, https://www2.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/risk.html.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008), Chapter One.

[4] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (Gabriola Island, BC, Candda: New Society Publishers, 2005), 12.

[5] Charles J. Sykes, Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves but Can’t Read, Write, or Add (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1995), 148–9.

[6] Thomas Sowell, Inside American Education (New York: The Free Press, 1993), 4.

[7] Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail (Ravenna, Ohio: Conscience Press, 1999), xvii.

[8] Robin S. Eubanks, Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon (invisibleserfscollar.com, 2013), 48.

[9] Ibid., 49.

[10] Ibid., 45–46.

[11] “Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries,” Human Events, May 31, 2005, http://humanevents.com/2005/05/31/ten-most-harmful-books-of-the-19th-and-20th-centuries/.

[12] Mortimer Smith, And Madly Teach: A Layman Looks at Public School Education (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1949). See also: Arthur Bestor, Educational Wastelands: The Retreat from Learning in Our Public Schools, 2nd ed. (Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1985).

[13] John A. Stormer, None Dare Call It Treason (Florissant, Missouri: Liberty Bell Press, 1964), 99.

[14] I. L. Kandel, “Prejudice the Garden toward Roses?” The American Scholar, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Winter 1938–1939), 77.

[15] Christopher Turner, “A Conversation about Happiness, Review – A Childhood at Summerhill,” The Guardian, March 28, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/28/conversation-happiness-summerhill-school-review-mikey-cuddihy.

[16] Alexander Neil, Summerhill School: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing (New York: Hart Publishing Company, 1960), Chapter 3.

[17] Ibid., Chapter 7.

[18] Joanne Lipman, “Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results,” The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2013, https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-tough-teachers-get-good-results-1380323772.

[19] Daisy Christodoulou, Seven Myths about Education(London: Routledge, 2014).

[20] Diane West, The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing down Western Civilization(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008), 1–2.

[21] Fred Schwartz and David Noebel, You Can Still Trust the Communists… to Be Communists (Socialists and Progressives too) (Manitou Springs, CO: Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, 2010), back cover.

[22] Stein v. Oshinsky, 1965; Collins v. Chandler Unified School District, 1981.

[23] John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher’s Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (The Odysseus Group, 2000), Chapter 14.

[24] Diane Ravitch, “Education after the Culture Wars,” Dædalus 131, no. 3 (Summer 2002), 5–21.

[25] Steven Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States (1985), 16, https://archive.org/details/pdfy-6IKtdfWsaYpENGlz.

[26] “Inside a Public School Social Justice Factory,” The Weekly Standard, February 1, 2018, https://www.weeklystandard.com/katherine-kersten/inside-a-public-school-social-justice-factory.

[27] History Social-Science Framework (Adopted by the California State Board of Education, July 2016, published by the California Department of Education, Sacramento, 2017), 431, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/documents/hssfwchapter16.pdf.

[28] Ibid., p. 391.

[29] Stanley Kurtz, “Will California’s Leftist K-12 Curriculum Go National?” National Review, June 1, 2016, https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/will-californias-leftist-k-12-curriculum-go-national/.

[30] Phyllis Schlafly, ed., Child Abuse in the Classroom (Alton, Illinois: Pere Marquette Press, 1984), 13.

[31] Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 35.

[32] B. K. Eakman, Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality through Education (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1998), 109.

[33] William Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), 16–17.

[34] Thomas Sowell, Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas (New York: The Free Press, 1993), 36.

[35] Ibid., Chapter 3.

[36] “Death in the Classroom,” 20/20, ABC Network, September 21, 1990, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbiY6Fz6Few.

[37] Sowell, Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas, 38.

[38] Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It, 32.

[39] “We Teach Children Sex … Then Wonder Why They Have It,” Daily Mail, August 1, 2004, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-312383/We-teach-children-sex–wonder-it.html.

[40] “Focus on Youth with ImPACT: Participant’s Manual,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://effectiveinterventions.cdc.gov/docs/default-source/foy-implementation-materials/FOY_Participant_Manual.pdf?sfvrsn=0.

[41] Robert Rector, “When Sex Ed Becomes Porn 101,” The Heritage Foundation, August 27, 2003, https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/when-sex-ed-becomes-porn-101.

[42] Norman K. Risjord, Populists and Progressives (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 267.

[43] Madeline Gray, Margaret Sanger (New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1979), 227–228.

[44] Rebecca Hersher, “It May Be ‘Perfectly Normal,’ But It’s Also Frequently Banned,” National Public Radio, September 21, 2014, https://www.npr.org/2014/09/21/350366435/it-may-be-perfectly-normal-but-its-also-frequently-banned.

[45] Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It, 53.

[46] Maureen Stout, The Feel-Good Curriculum: The Dumbing Down of America’s Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing, 2000), 1–3.

[47] Ibid., 17.

[48] B. K. Eakman, Educating for the ‘New World Order’(Portland, Oregon: Halcyon House, 1991), 129.

[49] “Teacher of the Year Ceremony,” C-Span, https://www.c-span.org/video/?39846-1/teacher-year-ceremony

[50] Sol Stern, “How Teachers’ Unions Handcuff Schools,” The City Journal, Spring 1997, https://www.city-journal.org/html/how-teachers%E2%80%99-unions-handcuff-schools-12102.html.

[51] Troy Senik, “The Worst Union in America: How the California Teachers Association Betrayed the Schools and Crippled the State,” The City Journal, Spring 2012, https://www.city-journal.org/html/worst-union-america-13470.html.

[52] Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It, 39.

[53] Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman, Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children (Washington D. C.: WND Books, 2015), Chapter 14.

[54] Schlafly, Child Abuse in the Classroom, 14.

[55] Valerie Strauss, “A serious Rant about Education Jargon and How It Hurts Efforts to Improve Schools,” Washington Post, November 11, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/11/a-serious-rant-about-education-jargon-and-how-it-hurts-efforts-to-improve-schools/?utm_term=.8ab3d85e9e45.

[56] Stormer, None Dare Call It Treason, 104–106.

[57] Regarding the criticism of “common core,” see Duke Pesta, “Duke Pesta on Common Core – Six Years Later,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyRr6nBEnz4, and Diane Ravitch, “The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students,” New York Times, July 23, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/24/opinion/sunday/the-common-core-costs-billions-and-hurts-students.html.

[58] There are many such cases. For examples, readers to refer to Zhou Jingwen, Ten Years of Storm: The True Face of China’s Red Regime [風暴十年:中國紅色政權的真面貌], (Hong Kong: shi dai pi ping she [時代批評社], 1962). Web version available in Chinese at https://www.marxists.org/chinese/reference-books/zjw1959/06.htm#2

[59] Luo Pinghan, “The Educational Revolution of 1958,” Literature History of the Communist Party, Vol. 34

[60] Robert Gearty, “White Privilege Bolstered by Teaching Math, University Professor Says,” Fox News, October 24, 2017, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/24/white-privilege-bolstered-by-teaching-math-university-professor-says.html.

[61] Toni Airaksinen, “Prof Complains about ‘Masculinization of Mathematics,’” Campus Reform, August 24, 2017, https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9544.

[62] W. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Communist (Salt Lake City: Izzard Ink Publishing, 1958, 2014), Chapter 12.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email