Brett Veinotte on Horrors of State-Run Schools and Schooling
by Anthony Wile
The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile: Winning
Brett Veinotte has worked in private education for the last 10 years,
in a variety of activities. As host of the School Sucks Podcast,
every week Brett shares his discoveries about American schooling
with thousands of listeners. He is also now the vice president of
a tutoring and educational consulting company in New Hampshire.
Brett worked as an Outdoor Education Leader at a boarding school
lin Vermont in 2000, then taught at the Great Expectations school
in Manchester, Vermont from 2004 to 2006, where he designed new
curricula for all classes he taught, including American History,
World History, Media Ethics, Film History and a variety of mathematics
courses. While teaching at Great Expectations, he completed masters
level coursework in educational leadership, and the secondary education
certification program at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
After leaving Great Expectations in 2006, Brett began to work exclusively
as a private tutor in the greater Boston area. Much of this work
was related to standardized test prep but also included providing
essay writing support to college applicants, leading training sessions
for prospective teachers planning to take state certification exams
and serving as a liaison between parents and public schools to address
student needs and parent concerns. He also worked as writing consultant
to a London School of Economics graduate student, advising on foreign
policy issues and Austrian School Economics.
Give us some background on School
Sucks Podcast. How did it start? What does it do now?
School Sucks Podcast began in 2009, and it was intended to be a
sharp, comical and pop-culture-friendly exploration into something
that most people couldn't care less about. Unfortunately, it's something
that significantly affects us, in ways that most folks never even
Our aim is
to take the word "education" back from the state. Today
that word is a euphemism for compulsory indoctrination funded by
threats of force against property owners, designed to serve the
needs of the power elite. What education really is: a lifelong pursuit
of self-directed, intrinsically motivated and purposeful knowledge
acquisition. Public school and education are more antonymous than
Give us some background on yourself and where you were born and
I was born in Pennsylvania, in a town I later discovered was run
by the mafia. I used to really like sharing what I thought was an
exciting fact. So imagine my disappointment when I eventually realized
that all towns, cities, counties, states and countries are controlled
by some form of organized crime.
I grew up near
the New Hampshire seacoast. After some moving around for college
and career, I came back to NH. I highly recommend it as a place
to settle down.
You had ten years in education. Tell us about that.
I was once on track to be a certified public school teacher in the
state of Massachusetts. Despite my original career goals, I managed
to avoid teaching in public school. However, I was trained to teach
with public school teachers. My student teaching experience was
in a public high school, and in even private school I was introduced
to the burden of "state standards." When I left private
school, I found that the system had followed me into private tutoring
(grades, college pressures, student apathy, etc.)
At some point,
around 2005, I began exploring the so-called "failure"
of the public education system, how and why it "failed"
and the subsequent widespread implications. Once I came to understand
the history and intentions of government schooling, I realized that
it is only a failure for those who believe its purpose was enlightenment.
When we come to understand that the intentions were conditioning,
handicapping indoctrination and control we have to acknowledge its
said, not only did I want to stop participating in the problem,
I also wanted to find some means of evaluation and action that would
be a dramatic departure from any previous educational reform debate.
Those desires, after a few failures, eventually manifested in my
tutoring company and School Sucks Podcast.
When did you decide that education wasn't doing what it was supposed
It's an interesting question because what I eventually realized
is that government school is doing exactly what is was supposed
to do. I think many libertarians reach a point, probably early in
their development, where they ask some variation of this question:
"Is our society managed by the dumbest and most myopic people
on the planet? Or is there just some other agenda we're not being
Up to this
point, human history is basically playing in a loop. It's a continuous
story of how a small group of people controls a large group of people,
by fear or by force. And this is achieved by keeping most of the
large group relatively ignorant and hopelessly dependent on the
supposed leadership of the smaller group. It's predators and prey,
and government school is just one of the predators' newer tools.
And in 21st century America, if people don't believe this applies
to them, they are simply the latest dupes in this cycle.
When did public schools get their start – in Germany?
While there are sparse examples of compulsory schooling going all
the way back to ancient Greece, the pre-German-Unification Kingdom
of Prussia is probably the most significant step. However, the system
in Prussia was simply a new method of perpetuating a practice that
was already thousands of years old, and that was the science of
turning human beings into controllable and predictable resources.
In Prussia, the goals were militaristic; the rulers and elites wanted
a reliable fighting force, with soldiers who wouldn't be made less
efficient by annoying habits like the exercises of volition and
Tell us more about the Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.
Bismarck was a Prussian aristocrat, credited with masterminding
the German Unification under Prussian rule in the latter half of
the 1800s. He was like a brilliant chess player; he thought way
ahead. However, like Hitler many generations later, he was able
utilize an already existing momentum of German thought to ultimately
achieve his goals.
Key to Bismarck's
plan was a popular embrace of nationalism and a strong ethnic identity.
At the time Bismarck began to implement his plans, the schools had
been building that momentum for at least two generations. The success
of his "Blood and Iron" speech speaks to the impact the
schools were already having. In this speech, he criticized the ideas
of diplomacy and multilateral decision-making, and argued instead
for concentrated power and military aggression. And the people,
who were ultimately the victims of this agenda, happily embraced
Didn't he plan for Gymnasiums to educate children by grade to bond
them for eventual warfare?
Yes. And this is the genesis of the age-based sorting system we
still see in schools today. Like I said, he thought way ahead.
How did Bismarck's horrid system expand around the world?
The Prussian system was imported to the United States in the mid-19th
century by a Massachusetts politician named Horace Mann. He praised
the system for its efficiency and regimentation but he was also
forced to acknowledge the abusive nature of the Prussian model.
Amazingly, he simply dismissed this concern by claiming that such
a control structure could be used for good ("the perpetuation
of republican institutions") in the United States.
Didn't it get a foothold in America because of Irish prejudice?
As early as the 1860s it was a factor. It was no coincidence that
a system formed in Prussia to instill a sense of ethnic superiority
and the mystical idea of nationalism would have the same effect
in the United States.
immigrants were big targets. There was a strong xenophobic desire
to stamp out diversity in general, and the school system was even
embraced by the KKK for that potential molding function.
it expanded quickly around the country. As a simple and general
rule, when one government observes another devising a clever and
subtle new way to control its subjects, the observer will imitate
Give us some insight into John Dewey. What was his impact on modern
Dewey was a so-called educational reformer who came along roughly
two generations after the system's implementation. In retrospect,
we could say that Dewey's reform was actually an acceleration of
the existing system's worst features. In a nutshell, Dewey asserted
that an individual's mind was essentially property of the larger
I believe that
he believed he had the best of intentions but the actual results
of his ideas were monstrous. Dewey believed in the eventual emergence
of what he might have called a 'humanistic society based on the
principle of interdependence.' Or state socialism, if you strip
out all the euphemisms.
helped introduce the look-say method of teaching literacy, or teaching
illiteracy if again we strip out the euphemisms, that was not his
most significant contribution. Dewey seemed to understand that the
schools were a profound power for indoctrination in nationalism
and ethnic superiority, and he wanted to use this power for an even
'greater good': the inculcation of collectivism. And to achieve
this, individualism had to be significantly downgraded.
was all about the greater good. That sounds nice. But what is it,
who decides it and how many smaller goods should be sacrificed to
achieve or maintain it? He once wrote: "Every teacher should
realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of
the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth."
Okay, so who defines "proper" social "order"
and "right" social "growth" for all? Moral,
mentally healthy people don't seek that kind of power.
What is your mission going forward at the podcast?
Simply put...expansion, empowerment and exposure. For the last few
months I've been working very hard to tap into YouTube, where I
believe there is a huge group of young people ready to embrace our
message. In every podcast and video, I try to include a strong message
about how demented and philosophically corrupt government schooling
actually is. So no matter where a person starts, they get some introduction
to this message. I hope that this realization helps rebellious or
labeled (ODD, ADHD) students realize that it's the system that is
defective. Not them.
What are some of the big issues you will continue to cover?
That's where the exposure comes in. One of the aims from the beginning
of the show was to encourage critical thought. I want young people
to have the tools to detect and deflect government and corporate
propaganda. And they won't get these tools in school.
began a series on logical fallacies, where we take a critical look
at intellectually insulting ruses like Mitt Romney and the viral
video, KONY 2012. I want to help young people built their intellectual
self-defense, so they can identify and expose dangerous frauds.
Between the schools, the mainstream media and politics there is
no shortage of new dangerous frauds in need of exposing.
How should people feel who work in the current system?
That depends on how much they've discovered about it. I remember
how I felt at different stages in my career, even in private school.
From my own experience, it's a gradual process that begins with
denial and rationalization. My only advice for these people is to
be honest with themselves. However, they should also be realistic
about what they can do.
What should they do?
People used to tell me: "if you want to change the system,
you have to work within the system." And that is the world's
worst advice. People who believe in that idea should try the following:
Pick a place you really want to visit. Take a picture of that place
and put it up on the wall. Set up a treadmill in front of the picture
and then get on and start walking towards your destination. Call
me when you arrive there and then I'll consider your advice.
First, a government,
or government program, really can't change for the better. It simply
grows and rots until it collapses on top of its dependents. It is
designed to stay the same for the people who are benefiting from
its current state unions, service contractors and politicians
in the case of the schools.
the powers that such individuals would be up against, they should
ask themselves: "How small and non-efficacious do I want to
feel?" The whole work-within-the-system suggestion came right
out of the system and is designed to make people feel worn down
and powerless, so they will eventually give up and begrudgingly
accept the status quo.
I can't tell
others exactly what they should do but I can say that what I've
done has been very rewarding and empowering for me personally. I
What kind of advice do you give to parents and children?
To young people: Please don't take what I say as the final word
on any of these topics. Please do you own research and carefully
consider any course of action before you take it. Act in accordance
with reason and individual purpose.
is not a one-size-fits-all solution. My advice would vary greatly
on an individual-to-individual basis. One of the most frustrating
encounters is with the people who want to me to talk to them like
I'm a politician. They'll ask, "So what's the solution?"
as if such a person exists who knows what is right for millions
of strangers. People who ask questions like that seem to have absorbed
all of school's most destructive messages: obedience to authority,
trust for those in power and conformity to a single way of doing
or thinking about something.
that I have in common with Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum:
I don't know how to solve complex social problems and I don't know
exactly what is best for millions of unique individuals with a wide
variety of needs, concerns and desires.
the difference: I won't pretend that I do. I won't lie to you, promise
you things, insult your intelligence and delude myself into believing
I could have such wisdom or power. I'm not a politician.
What kind of advisory services are you involved in?
That's the perfect follow-up question. I am the vice president of
a company that provides tutoring and college consulting services.
In my work, I meet with people one-on-one, analyze needs and then
make suggestions or take action based on those unique needs and
goals. I try to present a wide spectrum of choices, to show young
people that they have a myriad of options.
I have been
shying away from college consulting in the last few years, because
I was realizing it was more of a service for parents. I feel like
a more accurate name would be "Let me present you to my son
or daughter as an expert and then I'll pay you to tell them why
they have to go to college..." consulting.
Do you think this growing anti-public school movement you participate
in is turning into a full-fledged power?
First, I don't wish to present myself as anti-public school. I try
to express my philosophy in the affirmative. I favor and value individualism,
curiosity, critical thought and voluntary interactions. And school
is a widely accepted institution that honors none of these things,
and yes, that needs to be pointed out.
I'm also unsure
about the word movement. I have identified many other individuals
and projects working with a similar philosophy and towards similar
ends. We are allies but we certainly do not speak with one voice.
Who do you consider your colleagues?
Accessibility is one of my favorite features of the new media; people
you once admired from afar can quickly become your friends and collaborators.
I have made some really meaningful connections with people like
Richard Grove, Wes Bertrand, Gardner Goldsmith, Jason Osborne, Stefan
Molyneux and Laurette Lynn. If I needed a cohost for a show, those
names would be at the top of my list.
Are there plans for a larger coalition?
Not specifically. The only purpose of any cohesion would be to spread
the message faster, further and more efficiently. However, I accept
that any meaningful philosophic and social evolution is a very gradual
hear the word coalition I picture political action. So I shy away
from that because I do not believe the government is in any way
legitimate. And according to government school textbooks it would
appear that any complex social, economic or cultural problem can
be solved quickly and efficiently by simply involving the state.
That is fiction. There are zero major problems in this country today
that were caused by not-enough-government-involvement.
How are you making a difference?
Most importantly, what I do makes a major positive difference in
my life. That's the number one reason why I do it. Beyond that,
I recognize that my impact has been modest as far as its reach.
The show has millions of downloads but I know very little about
what the results of those downloads are for the individuals on the
other end. I have received roughly 1000 emails and comments from
people who claim the show had a profound impact on their lives.
It might not seem like too many but it's more than I ever could
have reached if I had confined myself to a classroom.
How can parents and children make a difference?
I would suggest focusing on actions that can make a direct difference
in their personal lives. For parents, offer your children alternatives
to these government indoctrination centers. For students who are
stuck there, ask questions. Questions are what can stop ridiculous
and corrupt ideas from becoming world religions and political ideologies.
Curiosity is very powerful if it's being practiced by enough people
What kind of education SHOULD children have?
The kind they would have without government school: a natural, intrinsically
motivated, personalized and rewarding one. And that would mean a
thousand different things for a thousand different learners.
Where do you stand on home schooling?
It depends. If it is used for the purposes I just described, it's
great. That's unschooling. That's natural and respectful to the
child. However, if it's used for Rick Santorum purposes to
shield children from reason and reality I strongly oppose
What do you think of higher education?
I have mixed feelings. It depends on a person's goals. College is
not the 13th grade, and it a very expensive place to figure out
what you want to do.
In the last
two generations, there have also been some hints of a scam. In school
and society, we see all of this pressure for students to attend
college, regardless of their long-term goals, or lack thereof. In
government, we see heavy subsidies being shoveled into higher education
easy money that students who learned nothing about debt can
get their hands on. These subsidies send a signal to the colleges
that they can raise tuition. So now we have a situation where more
graduates are finding themselves $150,000 in debt in an economy
with no jobs.
What is the real function of education? Isn't it to make somebody
Education is a natural process, not a synthetic one; curiosity is
the real teacher. We are all autodidacts until institutionalized
How does the US as an empire fit into public education?
Everywhere. The schools produce obedient conformists who rarely
question authority the perfect fighting force. The curriculum
is stocked with subtle but consistent messages of nationalism (we
call it patriotism), just war (making the world safe for democracy)
and geopolitical superiority (America is the best) three
rationalizations for military aggression.
Do you have any thoughts on why education ended up like this?
Because it's run by government. Because it is based on the threat
of force. There was no other way for it to end up, and I believe
it is exactly what it was intended to be. Education has too much
potential a control tool to be left to individuals, families and
usually has a very finite life. When prisons are built everywhere
and filled with people, revolution becomes inevitable. However,
oppression can continue indefinitely when the prisons are built
somewhere they can't be seen, like in the minds of people. And that's
that there are aggressive and predatory criminals in this world.
Some use myopic brut force to carry out their crimes guns,
knives or fists. But the smartest and most resourceful have always
used government. It's the best place to hide criminality in plain
Is there a power elite pushing the world toward global governance?
I'm not sure if it's one group or several but as a student of history
I know what people in power want: more power. And we can certainly
see evidence of that push in institutions like The UN, The Council
On Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, The EU, IMF and the World Bank.
Where does public schooling fit into this larger globalist focus?
Aren't children being brainwashed into globalism?
Even though there might be some messages that lead to an embrace
of globalism, this indoctrination wouldn't have to be so direct.
Because public schooling inculcates obedience, intellectual apathy
and conformity, most people can be tricked into accepting or even
embracing any agenda that powerful elites wish to pursue
welfare, warfare, corporate bailouts, fiat currency, progressive
taxation, property seizure, the drug war, Homeland Security, etc.
Globalism would just be one example of many.
Websites and resources you recommend?
Thanks for your time and keep up the good work.
This is a really
interesting interview for those who want to confront the horror
of public schools squarely. There is probably not a person alive
in the Western hemisphere who has not been damaged in some way by
state-run education or its ramifications. The segregation of children
by grade over a long period of time guarantees certain pathologies.
via standard tests and other measurements, the powers-that-be apparently
want to cull the "top performers" as soon as possible
and send them on alternative tracks, through Harvard, Yale and Oxford,
from where they are thence seeded in various globalist institutions
around the world.
Those who participate
in this program may not actually know they are culled. In fact,
that is the beauty of the current system. Those who are participative
may rise as high as they want to and come, eventually, to realize
the full parameters of what they are involved in ... or they may
distance themselves or remove themselves entirely. In this way the
current sociopolitical and economic system is self-selecting, with
sociopaths who are the most willing to participate rising the fastest
and going the farthest.
This gets into
the larger issue that we have often discussed regarding the lack
of authenticity that modern society inflicts on even its most successful
individuals. If one accepts the reality of, say, a dynastic power
elite with arms in London's City, Washington DC, the Vatican, Tel
Aviv, etc., then one likely also accepts that elite's world-spanning
to create a so-called New World Order involves an entire program
of destabilization and propaganda. In order to move the mass of
people, especially in the West, toward this goal, constant manipulation
is required. Almost everybody involved in "mainstream"
professions is somehow entangled in this web. Doctors end up dispensing
deadly pharmaceutical concoctions; lawyers end up ensnared in the
judicial-penitentiary complex; teachers labor in school systems
that poison the minds of children and cripple their spirits.
we'd like to think, the Internet Reformation is changing all that.
Increasingly, as people discover their own manipulation, they seek
a way to overcome it. That's just what we think Brett Veinotte is
doing. Here's a fellow who has traveled through the indoctrination
of the current pedagogy and figured out a way to make a living that
doesn't stifle his voice or sense of fair play. That's an accomplishment
though parts of this interview may seem gloomy or unpromising, we'd
like to think the overall message is uplifting. Like so many other
elite promotions, state-run education is under attack and people
like Veinotte are courageously leading the way to a less compulsory
future without so much formalized mind control.
This is a big
problem for the elites. As people discover they CAN lead authentic
lives within the larger matrix of elite domination, they begin to
try to do so, and it is highly improbable that they will voluntarily
return to their old lives and lies. Again, this is a process, not
an episode, and it is one that here at the Daily Bell we spend a
good deal of time analyzing.
someone, in our view, who epitomizes this trend and we thank him
for the good work he is doing. Every child salvaged from the viciousness
of state-run schooling is a victory for decency and the potential
of the human spirit.
with permission from The
Wile is an author, columnist, media commentator and entrepreneur
focused on developing projects that promote the general advancement
of free-market thinking concepts. He is the chief editor of the
popular free-market oriented news site, TheDailyBell.com.
Mr. Wile is the Executive Director of The Foundation for the Advancement
of Free-Market Thinking – a non-profit Liechtenstein-based foundation.
His most popular book, High
Alert, is now in its third edition and available in several
languages. Other notable books written by Mr. Wile include The
Liberation of Flockhead (2002) and The Value of Gold (2002).
© 2012 The
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