Noam Chomsky on what we learn in school

The video below is a short but very interesting speech from Noam Chomsky in response to a question about the truth and agendas in Western education. At first, Chomsky's comments about education can seem very anti-establishment, iconoclastic and a bit extreme. Part of me, when I was watching it, though 'Noam, aren't you being over the top?' But I think he's right. It is very hard to break free of indoctrination, especially if it starts its work on you when you're young and continues throughout your life; It's even worse when there's very few people around who are willing or able to spot the indoctrination. The control the indoctrination creates is so strong that even though I've spent years discovering how wrong the textbook view is on critical subjects, I still feel uncomfortable stating it openly.

In my book 'How science shows…', I try to show how far our official facts about the world are from the actual truth about the universe, ourselves and our history. Keep in mind that nothing in the book is a belief; all of it is based on solid evidence, science and logic, exactly the tools we're supposed to use to work out what's true and what's not. By the end of the book, the list of important facts that are completely different from the 'official view' are astonishingly long. Here's a short sample from that list:

1) Reality and physics - The official line, drummed into us, is that only physical things exist. This is not only wrong but impossible, according to the scientific evidence itself. Instead, our minds must bring reality into existence, an answer stated categorically by many of the famous quantum physicists of the last century. On that matter, in an episode of the Big Bang Theory, Penny asks Leonard if he made any progress in his work that day in the field of theoretical physics. Leonard responds that, in truth, no one's made any progress since the 1930's. It's a funny line but it's also true, because post-war civilian physics refused to accept that minds created reality, a blinkered and foolish attitude that's left civilian physics going around in circles for seventy years. Post-war military physics, by comparison, seems to have no such qualms and their progress looks to be very different. For more on the lunacy of Materialism, check out my book or this blog article about the Big Bang.

2) The origins of civilisation - The official line is that before 4,000 BC, we were primitive hunter-gatherers. There is ample evidence that this is completely wrong and that advanced civilisations existed during our last ice-age and before. Enormous underwater city foundations dotted all over our planet are blatant evidence that we had cities and technology at that time. Neither is there any scientific reason to say that such early progress was impossible. In fact, it's bizarre to stick with the belief that we couldn't have developed technology and cities at that time. Genetically, we have been able to make such advances for 100,000 years; why on Earth would we hold back from technological progress for 94,000 years?

3) Our technological progress - The official line is that no one developed iron tools on this planet until around 1200 BC. This is impossible, since the Great Pyramid, which was built over a thousand years before, cannot have been built with copper tools. It contains huge granite chambers and was built to an astonishing level of precision. The only rational explanation for its existence is that someone in 3000 BC possessed very sophisticated technology.

The above list is probably enough to be going on with. Some people might say that if such important matters were true then we would have them as part of our education but I think that is a naive view. Information is power, as the old adage states, and we live in a society where a very small number of people possess most of the wealth. Understandably, such people do not want to empower the general public as such a project might be noble, but it would probably lead to a serious redistribution of wealth, which they really don't want. Unfortunately, this desire on the part of the elite to keep the population stupid and ignorant is also helped by the tendency of humans to be extremely conformist and obedient, as shown by the following psychological study:

Overall then, I'd have to agree with Noam; our education system spends a lot of its time telling us crap to protect the power and wealth of a tiny elite. Ironically, even though Noam's pointing out the negativity and irrationality present in education, he was only able to become well-known and talk about the subject because he was a great success in his academic field (in linguistics, to be precise, which the elite probably don't care about at all). Therefore, I'd say use his story as a guide. Don't drop out. Instead, stay in the system but with a plan to manipulate it to a good end.