ing jobs continue to flee the country. In the 1950’s, 33 percentrnof jobs in the United States were in manufacturing. In 1996,rnthe figure is 16 percent. Much of this job loss is due to our recklessrnleap into the global marketplace, but some of it, as the Motorolarnexample shows, is due to the implosion of our educationrnsystem in the 1960’s.rnSo much for what the New World Order does not teach.rnWhat does it teach? A good sample of what goes on inrnclassrooms can be gleaned from dear author, a book of lettersrnwritten by junior high and high school students to the authorsrnof books they have read. Mark Mattox of Portage, Michigan,rnhurt his foot jumping on a trampoline and was stuck at homernfor two weeks. In boredom he began reading Johann DavidrnW)ss’s Swiss Family Robinson. Mark lox’cd the book and wroternWyss (via Our Weekly Reader’s Read magazine and the Libraryrnof Congress’ Center for the Book). “Mr. Wyss, you haverncertainly succeeded in making an incredibly sad environmentalistrnout of me. Your work is definitely one of the strong outcriesrnagainst pollution and overpopulation I have ever seen,rnheard, or read in my entire life; what is contained within yourrnbook is an entire world that our self-centered race has taken uprnin its massive hand and squeezed to a cruel and unneededrndeath.” Mark’s letter is a tribute to the success of our educationalrnsystem. Adventure, danger, loyalty, a fast-paced tale.rnWhat do these all add up to for a well-trained catechumenrnin our schools? Why, a strong outcry against pollution andrnoverpopulation, naturally! All we need, to show intellectual diversity,rnwould be a letter from a young “conservative” praisingrnthe book as an argument for the importance of family values.rnLinetta Alley of Bridgewater, Virginia, thanked BetternGreene, author of The Summer of My German Soldier. “Thisrnbook gave me such a different perspective on how prejudicedrnour country is.” Discovering American prejudice is an importantrnpart of our educational system. Astum Khan of RollingrnMeadows, Illinois, in a letter to Alex Haley about The Autobiographyrnof Malcolm X, described his situation. “I was Indianrnand Muslim, and everyone knows how Americans feel aboutrnthose who are different. You are an outsider. A stranger. Nobodyrnwants you. You can make as many white friends as vournwant, but when it comes right down to it, they’re American;rnyou’re not.” (You may have been wondering how grateful immigrantsrnare for our immigration policies.) Cinger Brandeenrnwrote to Lois Lowry, “I live in a small town in Oregon, where Irnsee bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination every day.”rnThe books these children read are often mentioned as schoolrnassignments. Out of 75 letters in dear author, two are written tornAlex Haley, two to Anne Frank, and three to John Steinbeck.rnFive letters are on books concerning the holocaust, includingrnJane Yolen’s Briar Rose and Jerzy Kosinski’s Painted Bird. EmilyrnJudge of Wheaton, Illinois, wrote to Elie Wiesel: “I was assignedrnto read Mght and literally groaned when I discovered itrnwas about the Holocaust. I felt that I had heard enough aboutrnthis horrible time period and didn’t understand why teachersrnpersisted in making me read such graphic accounts…. As I finishedrnthe book, I threw it across my room, angered and disgusted.”rnSome parents have similar reactions. I once talked to arnparent who could not understand why his daughter was assignedrnAnne Frank’s Diary two consecutive years in publicrnschool. Eventually Emily repents and there is a happy ending.rn”Thank you for the courage you had to write Night. Neverrnagain will I shut myself off from reality.”rnReligion is not totally lacking from the modern publicrnschool. For example, dear author’s index includes entries forrn”Judaism” and “Muslim.” The entry, “ancestors,” refers to arnletter by Betty Chu of San Francisco, thanking Laurence Yeprnfor his Child of the Owl. “Now I understand why my motherrnprayed to my ancestors with me,” she writes, in one of two referencesrnto her family’s ancestor worship. The absence ofrn”Christian” from the Index is a slip, but perhaps not an accident.rnLacey Murphy writes to thank Janette Oke for The Callingrnof Emily Evans, which helped Lacey in her decision to becomerna missionary. She mentions church and Vacation BiblernSchool explicitly. Breeann Songer of Ellicottville, New York, isrnmore discreet in her letter to Madeleine L’Engle. “From yourrnbooks I can tell that you believe in God and His ways the samernway I do. I thought it was wonderful when you said He makesrnsure each star has a name so they won’t feel unwanted.” Exceptionally,rnthese last two authors seem not to have been readrnas school assignments.rnFor these students, politics are, in Thomas Short’s phrase,rn”Oppression History.” No one thanks Jefferson or Madison orrnTocqueville for making sense out of our system, or WinstonrnChurchill for telling the story of the English-speaking peoples.rnJason A. Booms of Ubly, Michigan, wrote to Leon Uris: “I canrnrelate to the peasants in the Trinity book in many ways. Likernthem, I am growing up in a farming village, I am Catholic, andrnI too feel the pressures of a foreign rule. The major differencernis that my foreign rule is my parents and the teachers whorngrew up in a different world.” The lesson Bill Campbell ofrnFlint, Michigan, learned from Niccolo Machiavelli was thatrnpoliticians have not changed since the 16th century and Billrnno longer wants to be one. At least he learned an intellectualrnlesson, although his response to it was typically emotional.rnIn contemporary education, sympathy or revulsion is the requiredrnresponse, not critical assent or dissent. No one writes tornthank C.S. Lewis for trying to puzzle out a rational basis for religiousrnfaith. Brad Lockard of Jackson, Kentucky, did write tornJim Garrison to thank him for teaching him to question authority.rn”By the time I finished the book, I had formed my ownrnopinion: the government helped to kill Kennedy…. Your bookrninspired me to challenge even your view on the governmentrnand the assassination.” Brad thinks that swallowing Garrison’srnhypothesis lock, stock, and barrel is his own opinion and is evenrnquestioning Garrison. This is the best example of a criticalrnmind among the 75 letters. It will come as little surprise thatrnthere are no letters to George Orwell.rnThe confirmation classes of our public schools do not requirernhigh-level mathematical skills or reading knowledge of arnforeign language. Critical thought itself is unnecessary for therntravel agents and Wal-Mart clerks of the future. Perhaps somedayrnthev may be asked to memorize what seems to be the naturalrncreed or international anthem for our day, penned andrnsung by someone who may turn out to be one of the great poetsrnof the coming World Monoculture, Aspen’s own John Denver.rn”I’m sorry for the way things are in China. I’m sorry for thernway things used to be. More than anything else I’m sorry forrnmyself.” For the Christian, God is Love. For the product of ourrnsecular indoctrination, the individual is a god, and, like an emotionalrnversion of Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, these gods spendrneternity contemplating themselves in self-pity. Fortunately, inrnits infinite providence, the international community, thernground of all being, knows how to take care of these self-obsessed,rnself-pitying gods. <6rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn