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SHAPING YOUR FUTURE, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT
On Sunday, October 2, a 4-page advertising section in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL announced contests, honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. There will be speech contests, art contests, and writing contests for students in Milwaukee schools. We Energies is the sponsor of the speech contest. Brady, a manufacturer of identification products is the sponsor of the art contest. The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL is the sponsor of the writing contest. The theme chosen by The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association for all the contests is, 'EDUCATION AND LEARNING HAVE BECOME TOOLS FOR SHAPING THE FUTURE'.
I could hardly believe my eyes. How many of us have been writing for the past 20, 30, and 40 years to warn people of the fact that the schools are using children to shape the future? Now, right out in the open for everyone to see and read, educators are admitting it. Children at all levels will be writing, speaking and making pictures about it as if shaping the future were a nice and simple thing every child from kindergarten through high school should understand and promote.
How can shaping the future be so easy? Auguste Comte (1798-1857), the father of sociology and the religion of humanity, devoted his entire intellectual life to plans for shaping the future. He published his six volume Positive Philosophy (1828-1842), System of Positive Polity (SPP), four volumes (1851-1854) , and Catechism of the Positive Religion, (CPR) (1852) to instruct his followers about methods to shape the future.
Children, the following are some of the things Comte had to say about what needed to be done to shape the future. Do you understand? Give a speech. Make a picture. Write an explanation.
1. REPLACE CHRISTIANITY WITH POSITIVE RELIGION.
EXCLUDE SERVANTS OF GOD -- In the name of the past and of the future, the servants of humanity -- both its philosophical and its practical servants come forward to claim as their due the general direction of this world. Their object is to constitute at length a real providence in all departments,--moral, intellectual, and material. Consequently they exclude once for all from political supremacy all the different servants of God -- Catholic, Protestant, or Deist -- as being at once behindhand, and a cause of disturbance. -- Comte quote from Encyclopedia Britannica, Fourteenth Edition, "Auguste Comte," Volume 6, Page 191.
SPIRITUAL REORGANIZATION -- The object of our philosophy is to direct the spiritual reorganisation of the civilised world. . . A new basis for morality is being gradually laid down. . . No important step in the progress of Humanity can now be made without totally abandoning the theological principle. . . Positivism proves more efficient than theology. SPP, vol. 1, P35,14,15,28
WOMAN PRIESTESS -- Woman is the spontaneous priestess of Humanity. . . All classes must be brought under women's influence, for all require to be reminded constantly of the great truth that reason and activity are subordinate to feeling. SPP, Vol. I, P.183.
WORSHIP OF WOMEN -- In a word the new doctrine will institute the worship of Woman, publicly and privately, in a far more perfect way than has ever before been possible. It is the first permanent step towards the worship of Humanity. SPP, Vol. I, 205.
2. ABOLISH MONARCHY
MONARCHY IS RETROGRESSION -- Politically, the only irrevocable point is the abolition of monarchy, which for a long time has been in France and to a less extent throughout the West, the symbol of retrogression. SPP, Vol. I. P. 93
LAST VESTIGE OF THEOCRACY -- At the present day to wish to abolish royalty in Russia would be even more absurd than to pretend to establish it again in France, although ultimately it must cease everywhere as being the last vestige of Theocracy. SPP, Vol. III., P. xxxvii.
3. INSTITUTE AND EXPAND COMMUNISTIC PRINCIPLE
POSITIVISTS ADOPT PRINCIPLE OF COMMUNISM -- So far, therefore, the fundamental principle of Communism is one which the Positivist school must obviously adopt. Positivism not only confirms this principle, but widens its scope, by showing its application to other departments of human life; by insisting that, not wealth only, but that all our powers shall be devoted in the true republican spirit to the continuous service of the community. The long period of revolution which has elapsed since the Middle Ages has encouraged individualism in the moral world, as in the intellectual it has fostered the specialising tendency. But both are equally inconsistent with the final order of modern society. SPP V1. P124
COMMUNISM LEADS TO POSITIVISM -- Communists are, without knowing it, preparing the way for the ascendancy of Positivism. SPP, Vol. I., P130.
4. LIMIT EDUCATION & ESTABLISH SOCIOLOGICAL CONTROL
MENTAL EDUCATION SUBORDINATE TO SOCIAL SYMPATHIES -- No one knows so well as the Positivist that the principal source of real morality lies in direct exercise of our social sympathies, whether systematic or spontaneous. He will spare no efforts to develope these sympathies from the earliest years by every method which sound philosophy can indicate. It is in this that moral education, whether private or public principally consists; and to it mental education is always to be held subordinate. SPP, Vol. I. P. 80.
USELESS ACADEMIC STUDIES -- Education thus will from the beginning have its goal marked out for it, and will thus never be wasted in useless academic studies. SPP, Vol. II., P. 299.
SERVICE TO HUMANITY -- Everything we have belongs then to Humanity; for everything comes to us from her--life, fortune, talents, information, tenderness, energy, etc. . . The whole of the Positive education, intellectual as well as affective, will familiarise us thoroughly with our complete dependence on Humanity, so as to make us duly feel that we are all necessarily meant for her unintermitting service. CPR, P. 213.
HIGH PRIEST OF HUMANITY -- The sixty republics of the regenerated West will have no other habitual bond than a common education, community of manners and customs, and common festivals. . . The High Priest of Humanity will be, more truly than any medieval pope, the only really Western Chief. CPR P. 248
5. CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENT TO CONTROL MAN & CLAIM LAND
ENVIRONMENT CONTROLS MANKIND -- In order then to regulate or to combine mankind, Religion must in the first instance place man under the influence of some external Power, possessed of superiority so irresistible as to leave no sort of uncertainty about it. This great principle of social science is at bottom merely the full development of that primary notion of sound Biology--the necessary subordination of every Organism to the Environment in which it is placed. . . A sound theory of Biology thus furnishes the Positive theory of Religion with a foundation wholly unassailable; for it proves the general necessity for the constant supremacy of an external Power as a condition of unity for man, even in his individual life. SPP, Vol. II., P. 12.
EARTH TO BELONG TO THE GREAT BEING: -- The Great Being in its full prime, will take possession of its domain, the Earth, marking its proprietorship by effecting all the improvements compatible with the order of the whole, in accordance with the principle that particular action must in all cases be subordinate to the general unity. SPP, Vol. IV., P. 54.
HUMAN SPECIES RELATIONS WITH ANIMAL RACES -- The last step in the systematic direction of Human activity is the ordering of the largest relations, the relations of the human species, as a collective personality, with all the animal races amenable to discipline, with a view to making the order of things in which we live as perfect as possible. SPP,Vol. IV, P. 311.
WORSHIP OF PLANTS TO BE RESTORED -- They may thus be regarded as ministering to the necessities of the Great Being, and merit our respect as the principal agents of material providence. On them depends the possibility of combining the whole of living nature in a vast and permanent struggle against the forces of inorganic nature. The worship of Plants, spontaneously maintained for so long a time, arose in a confused feeling of this participation. Grown obsolete since the fall of Fetichism, these simple instincts of reverence will be restored to their proper place by Positivism, which recognises the duty of appropriating all that is really valuable in former systems. All that is necessary for their incorporation into the final religion, is to transpose the objective belief to the subjective point of view. Thus transformed, these expressive signs give a new and nobler meaning to the commonest actions of life. SPPV1, 481.
6. DESTROY MORAL AUTHORITY AND CRUSH PERSONALITY/INDIVIDUALISM
PERSONALITY ABOLISHED -- We must get rid of personality in every shape, even of the personality of an imaginary being, if we would found a powerful and enduring discipline in the name of humanity. SPP, Vol.IV.249.
HEART OVER INTELLECT -- All those who have formed a sound judgment of the recent progress of Positivism may now judge, by comparing the past with the present, of the impulse that has been given to the full development of my philosophical task; consisting in the entire systematisation of human life on the basis of the preponderence of the heart over the intellect. SPP. Vol. I. P. xvi.
REASON AND ACTIVITY SUBORDINATE TO FEELING -- All classes, therefore, must be brought under women's influence, for all require to be reminded constantly of the great truth that Reason and Activity are subordinate to Feeling. SPP,Vol. I., P. 183.
INDIVIDUAL LIFE HAS NO EXISTENCE -- The only real life is the collective life of the race; individual life has no existence except as an abstraction SPP, Vol. 1, P. 292.
FORCE AS BASIS OF GOVERNMENT -- Social science would remain for ever in the cloud-land of metaphysics, if we hesitated to adopt the principle of Force as the basis of Government. SPP V2, 247.
DIMINISH INFLUENCE OF CHARACTER -- When the system is fully regulated, the effect of this will be to secure greater unity by diminishing the influence of personal character. SPP, Vol. II. P. 237.
GIVE UP RIGHT TO FREE INQUIRY -- The requisite convergence of the best minds cannot be obtained without voluntary renunciation on the part of most of them, of their sovereign right to free inquiry. Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, Translated by Harriet Martineau, George Bell, London, 1896, Vol. II., P. 170.
HUMANITY SUBSTITUTES FOR GOD -- Everywhere the relative definitively takes the place of the absolute, and altruism tends to bear down egoism, whilst a systematic method takes the place of a spontaneous evolution. In a word, Humanity definitively substitutes herself for God, without ever forgetting his provisional services. CPR, P. 294.
7. CONTROL PUBLIC OPINION
THE PUBLIC IS THE JUDGE -- Again, the primary principle of Positivism, which is to judge every question by the standard of social interests, is in itself a direct appeal to Public Opinion; since the public is naturally the judge of the good or bad effect of action upon the common welfare. Under theological and metaphysical systems no appeal of this sort was recognised; because the objects upheld as the highest aims of life were purely personal. SPP, Vol. I. P. 111.
PROPER ORGANIZATION OF PUBLIC OPINION -- Having defined the sphere within which Public Opinion should operate, we shall find little difficulty in determining the conditions requisite for its proper organisation. These are, first, the establishment of fixed principles of social action; secondly, their adoption by the public, and its consent to their application in special cases; and, lastly, a recognised organ to lay down the principles, and to apply them to the conduct of daily life. SPP, Vol. I. P. 112.
CREATION OF PUBLIC OPINION -- Thus working men and philosophers are mutually necessary, not merely in the creation of Public Opinion, but also in most cases in the manifestation of it. Without the first, the doctrine, however well established, would not have sufficient force. Without the second, it would usually be too incoherent to overcome those obstacles in the constitution of man and of society, which make it so difficult to bring practical life under the influence of fixed principles. SPP, Vol. I. P. 117. Click below for part 2.
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Erica Carle is an independent researcher and writer. She has a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin. She has been involved in radio and television writing and production, and has also taught math and composition at the private school her children attended in Brookfield, Wisconsin. For ten years she wrote a weekly column, "Truth In Education" for WISCONSIN REPORT, and served as Education Editor for that publication.
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How can shaping the future be so easy? Auguste Comte (1798-1857), the father of sociology and the religion of humanity, devoted his entire intellectual life to plans for shaping the future.