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Show Notes: Who Watches The Watchmakers

Does anonymity mean cowardice, does it equate to avoiding responsibility.  The Founder Fathers did always reveal their identities.

Who Are The Watchmakers

The Watchmaker is a figure from the concept album Clockwork Angels by the Canadian band Rush.  It is set in a dystopian future where the Watchmaker has created a society powered by steam, and each individual’s life is planned through the Watchmaker’s calculations.  A precise, controlling engineer, the Watchmaker jealously guards his role as a Prime Mover.  Many parallels can be drawn between the captains of industry on the late 19th and early 20th century and the Watchmaker, many of these historical figures had plans to scientific engineer our society.  Did they succeed?

Frederick Taylor, Architect of Principles of Scientific Management in Education

Many credit Obama or even Hillary Clinton with the introduction of strong collectivist principles into our education system, marrying Marxist disguised as DEI and political correctness.  While they were agents who accelerated a plan set in place long ago, the process of eliminating teaching the founding principles of our nation began in 1903.

And many icons of the early 20th century were responsible.  Feeling armed with the ability to engineer manufacturing efficiency and various revolutionary modes of transportation, these men felt as though it was their duty to engineer society.  Communism was but one tool, applied abroad.  Most other tactics were home grown in the US by elites.

The majority of the material present here is from John Taylor Gatto’s book The Underground History of American Education, Chapter Nine The Cult of Scientific Management.

Frederick Taylor

Frederick Taylor was the first to conduct a formal study on productivity and proudly claimed “What I demand of the worker is not to produce any longer by his own initiative, to execute punctiliously the orders given down to their minute detail.”  His life studies culminated in the book Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1907.  It is considered the seminal work in efficiency.  There principles were turned upon education with devastating effect.

As we have discussed many times in Severed Conscience and during other podcasts, the Prussian education system has been responsible for limiting thought while “training” students to conform and narrow their focus on specialization.  The Prussian school was a reaction to the French and Napolean invading Europe, and Germany was dismayed that a sense of national spirit was lacking in the German population, as many did not defend their lands against the French. Taylor, born to a rich family, attended a Prussian school.

Taylor summarized his managerial discipline as:

  • A regimen of science, not rule of thumb
  • An emphasis on harmony not the discord of competition
  • An insistence of cooperation, not individualism
  • A fixation on maximum output
  • The development of each man to his great productivity

The goal was to make workers interchangeable:

  • Mechanically controlled work pace
  • Repetition of motion 
  • Tools and technique selected for worker
  • Only superficial attention is asked of worker – keep the production going

“In the past Man has been first.  In the future the system must be first”. 

Progressivism is rooted here:  break from the past, use new research to redesign life, adjust your attitude to love your work is a socialist creed echoed by Taylor.

Scientific Management Applied To Schools

Industry was used as the example of success, identifying output and productivity as the key factors of measurement over thinking.  Education was in crisis, there was a desperate need for reform.  In 1903 The Atlantic Monthly published an article by William Bagley with new requirements:  teachers would be obedient to administrators, students MUST be obedient and rigid routine was to be implemented.  By 1910 articles began to praise some institutions stating “Our universities are beginning to run as business colleges”.  

Then a campaign against public school began. From the NEA and Carnegie came the following mission:

The character of our education must change with the oncoming of the years of this highly practical age.  We have educated the mind to think and trained the vocal organs to express the thought, and we have forgotten the fact that in four times out of five the practical man expresses his thought by the hand rather than mere words.

While technical training is vital, so is imparting the ability for a person to use their mind.  What the industrialists wanted to limit thoughts of liberty and ideals that would perhaps disobey.  This would affect efficiency.

Bill Gates has been very vocal about education, and the Gates Foundation has funded efforts in all 50 states to ensure that Common Core is fulfilled in schools.
His nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given about $44 million to outside groups over the past two years to help shape new state education plans required under the 2015 law, according to an Associated Press analysis of its grants. The spending paid for research aligned with Gates’ interests, led to friendly media coverage and had a role in helping write one state’s new education system framework.


Over the past 20 years Gates has spent 53 billion on education

And a component that Gates has always been interested in is tracking students’ data. 


inBloom Background

New York was the last inBloom participant to share data statewide, involving the personal information of 2.7 million students, and intended to do this without any parental notification or consent. 

Note that Bill Gates talking about efficiency in school systems is not new:  in 1910 the NEA had a similar message for education.

All over the country our course are being attacked and the demand for revision is along the line of fitting mathematical teaching to the needs of the masses

Henry Ford and Lenin

In 1918 Lenin urged the adoption of Taylor’s methods for Soviet industry and society. Lenin wrote:

The war taught us much, not only that people suffered, but especially the fact that those who have the best technology, organization, discipline and the best machines emerge on top; it is this the war has taught us. It is essential to learn that without machines, without discipline, it is impossible to live in modern society. It is necessary to mast the highest technology or be crushed.

Henry Ford adopted Taylor’s ideals and became so enamored with their success he envisioned villages where workers would live and be assisted by scientific management. “A great business is really to be human.”

The Soviet Union adopted fordizatsiya – observe all working conditions, enforce obedience, keep production running.

The result of Taylorism can been seen as a two tier system: rigid oversight for workers who can be interchangeable while the upper crust is allowed to be the “thought leaders”.  As long as the system is served, pride of work, excellence are irrelevant. 

Monitoring Unrest

J.P. Morgan has been attributed with the idea that in order to subvert resistance and revolution, the underground movements must themselves be subsidized, bringing them under closer scrutiny.  Funding from governments, foundations and corporations would be a mechanism to keep a finger on the pulse.  This is similar to Cass Sunstein’s objectives under the Obama administration to infiltrate social groups, gain influence, then “nudge” them into desired behavior.

Back To Jefferson And Individuals

Scientific Management is adverse to drive, individuality and striving to improve when applied to completely that we lose our ability to think. What is not exercised will atrophy.  Education must teach the principles that we possess liberty and have the responsibility ourselves to maximize that opportunity.  That is incumbent on the individual.  When education does not build those tools for independent action and good skills that will help a person sustain themselves, they will become a dependent cog in a system of technocrats.

Jefferson understood the power of agrarian society where you had to exercise your rationality to survive:  it is your best gift, it takes education to develop it.  It’s what will power a child’s dreams and goals. 

I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.

… experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth, that, possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes … whence it becomes expedient for promoting the publick happiness that those persons, whom nature hath endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or other accidental condition or circumstance

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