Unicef.org says, “One of the most deplorable developments in recent years has been the increasing use of young children as soldiers. In one sense, this is not really new. For centuries children have been involved in military campaigns. What is frightening nowadays is the escalation in the use of children as fighters. Recently, in 25 countries, thousands of children under the age of 16 have fought in wars. In 1988 alone, they numbered as many as 200,000.”
The history of exploiting children is long, and child labor reached new extremes during the Industrial Revolution. Children often worked long hours in dangerous factory conditions for very little money. In fact, in 1900 when 40% of the U.S. population lived in poverty and less than 7% of children graduated from high school at age 17/18, eighteen percent of all American workers were under the age of 16. – History.com
Because of this history of exploiting children, in 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which included putting limits on many forms of child labor, and in 1949, an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act directly prohibited child labor for the first time. – Stop Child Labor.org
World leaders have also exploited children. From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German youth as a special audience for its propaganda messages. Hitler used his “Hitler Youth” program as a kind of “Boy Scouts” for the training of children to obediently follow him, and to prepare them to become his future soldiers. Hitler also gathered his youth together in large youth rallies that had a strong peer pressure effect in strengthening his grip as an authority figure.
From 1966 – 1976, Mao also used groups of militant university and high school students called the Little Red Guard that were formed into paramilitary units as part of his Cultural Revolution. These young people often wore green jackets similar to the uniforms of the Chinese army at the time, with red armbands attached to one of the sleeves. They were formed to help party chairman Mao Zedong combat “revisionist” authorities—i.e., those party leaders Mao considered as being insufficiently revolutionary. … Several million Red Guards journeyed to Beijing to meet with Mao in eight massive demonstrations late in 1966, and the total number of Red Guards throughout the country may have reached 11 million at some point. – Britannica.com
How exactly did Mao manage to rally these kids behind his cause? Well, propaganda had a lot to do with it. Posters were everywhere, and many young people also received copies of Mao’s “Little Red Book.” Officially called “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung,” one of the most printed books in history – only the bible has been printed more.
When one thinks of the Cultural Revolution – or Mao in general – the image that comes to mind is often of young Chinese feverishly waving their little red books in the air, reciting Mao’s quotes word for word. In a drastic move, Mao also had the nation’s schools shut down, calling on the youth of China to mobilize and support his cause.
That is why I think Eva Moskowitz has joined the ranks of leaders like Hitler and Mao. What she is doing with the children in her corporate Success Academy Charter schools is no different than what Hitler and Mao did. Eva gathers her youth together in large youth rallies and this has a strong peer pressure effect in strengthening her grip as an authority figure—exactly what Hitler and Mao did.
If you don’t know who Eva is, I suggest you read Eva Moskowitz is Out of Control by Daniel Katz, who asks, “Is Eva Moskowitz running a chain of schools or is she running the lobbying arm for her billionaire backers, who see the expansion of the charter school sector as a means for profit and as a means to break public sector unions?
The New York Times also ran a story about Eva and her autocratic tactics. “In a rare look inside the network, including visits to several schools and interviews with dozens of current and former employees, The New York Times chronicled a system driven by the relentless pursuit of better results, one that can be exhilarating for teachers and students who keep up with its demands and agonizing for those who do not.
“The high-pressure atmosphere at Success leads to substantial teacher turnover, though the precise rate is unclear. According to the latest school report cards, in 2013-14 three Success schools had turnover rates above 50 percent, meaning more than half the teachers from the previous year did not stay. …
“Most of the former teachers interviewed, however, said that they left not because of the workload, but because they disagreed with Success’s approach, which they found punitive. …
“Several former teachers and staff members said that they had also been uncomfortable with Success’s suspension rates.
“At Success Academy Harlem 1, as the original school is now called, 23 percent of the 896 students were suspended for at least one day in 2012-13, the last year for which the state has data. At Public School 149, a school in the same building, 3 percent of students were suspended during that same period. Statewide, the average suspension rate is 4 percent.”
Manipulators like Hitler, Mao and Eva want what they want and fight hard to attain their goals. But the tactics they use are also very effective weapons of power and control. – Psychopaths and Love.com
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.
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