Friday, July 6, 2012

Covert Influence Target: American Education—Obama, Ayers, and Counts

Covert Influence Target:   American Education—Obama, Ayers, and Counts

American academics and educators who carried on long-term relationships with Soviets or communism.  They developed both overt and covert ties to the Soviet Union.  An ex-communist, Louis Budenz provided a guide to understanding the backgrounds of academics who, following the communist conspiratorial methodology, refused to state their true beliefs or communist affiliation.  Budenz revealed the actions and affiliations of academics from the 1930s to the 1960s, when it was impossible to be an overt Marxist in the US.  KGB-sponsored fronts provided academia with cover for their actions in support of the Soviets.  One Columbia University professor, Bernhard Stern, was a member of 40 communist fronts during the immediate post WWII years.  At the same time, Stern testified before Congress and pled the 5th Amendment, refusing to answer questions on the grounds that he might incriminate himself. 

The 5th Amendment ploy was regularly used by the communists when faced with exposure.  While pleading the 5th is not an automatic indictment, and is a Constitutional right, we can now look back at the historical record and see that virtually every one of the witnesses before the House Un-American Activities Committee who pled the 5th were communists.  As Budenz, the ex-communist, pointed out, you cannot identify communists by their words, but rather by their actions.  If it walks like a duck, it is very likely a duck.  Stern is but one example of the academics who were at the beck and call of the Soviets, using KGB tactics to spread the noxious anti-American covert influence payloads.  And their use of the covert action motto—admitting nothing, denying everything, and making counter-accusations is another confirmation of their covert action links. 

In writing my book, Willing Accomplices’ I examined the KGB infiltration of the American Kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) education system in the early 1900s through the 1960s.  The Soviets did not neglect their covert efforts to infect the roots of American society.  As Budenz said, “In undermining a nation such as the United States, the infiltration of the educational process is of prime importance…The Communists have accordingly made the invasion of schools…the major consideration in their psychological warfare designed to control the American mind.” (Budenz, p. 208)  In 1937, during the height of the Popular Front surge of support for socialism, American communist teachers were exhorted by an article in a Communist magazine to “…affect the children’s thinking, and they must mobilize other teachers…without exposing themselves.” (Budenz, p. 209)  The American education mafia was diving deeply into John Dewey’s philosophy of Pragmatism, which holds that there is no real truth, and no absolute good or evil.  This theory fed into the hands of the Communist covert influence operators. 

 Because the leaders of the Progressive educationists wrote a lot, we have a good record of the communist inspired philosophies that the transmitted into American classrooms. For example, George Counts was a carrier of the communist covert influence message into K-12 education.  In the late 1920s, through the early 1930s, Counts traveled extensively in the USSR, where he was surely met and cultivated by the KGB.  His book, Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order? (1932), reveals the goals of the Soviets in the title, annihilation of the American social order.   Counts’ covert influence operations were substantial.  Russia provided him with a Soviet textbook, initially used in the Soviet Union as an indoctrination tool for children in their education system.  The Russians provided Counts with an English translation, which he brought to America and published.  His introduction to the book, New Russia's Primer: The Story of the Five-Year Plan (1931), waxed eloquently and enthusiastically in support of a collectivized economy.  This book is a good example of a typical communist covert influence payload.  Without actually calling for the communization of American society, and speaking in the coded language of covert influence, Counts laid the foundation of a logical and reasonable argument. Readers were left to come to their own conclusion that communism was the only path possible.  In reality, even as Counts was writing his introduction, Stalin was carrying out unbelievably grotesque repression of the Russian masses.  Counts’ other writings similarly carried the communist covert influence message into American schools of education and elementary and high school classrooms. 

John T. Flynn served on the Board of higher education for New York state from 1933 to 1944.  during his tenure on the board of education, New York State undertook an investigation of communist infiltration of the education system.  Flynn, a self defined liberal, could not believe the charges against numerous teachers, most of whom he knew personally.  The trials conducted by the state resulted in guilty verdicts for a total of 35 teachers.  According to Flynn, these teachers were not merely Socialists or leftists, but Communists.  Flynn was shocked to discover the infiltration of his own system by the Communists.  Clearly, the Communists were using the covert influence template of the KGB.  Flynn spelled out very clearly what he saw the communist mission to be: “a seductive form of propaganda for collectivism – this propaganda takes the form of teaching openly as possible, cautiously if necessary three things.  First, that our American system of private enterprise is a failure.  Second, that our republic of limited powers is a mistake.  Third, that our way of life must give way to a collectivist society in which the central State will own and operate, or plan and finance and control, the economic system.” (Flynn, in Scott and Hill, p. 159)  )  Clearly Flynn, an educational bureaucrat, saw the results of the Communist covert influence operations.  However, unable to see the forest for the trees, he focused on the 35 teachers who were found to be spreading the communist propaganda in his state schools, and was unaware of the great covert war unfolding around him. 

Flynn, on the front lines of the struggle against the collectivization of American society, saw the enemy.  He quotes from Counts’ 17 volume study of social science in American schools, “… ‘the age of individualism is closing and a new age of collectivism is emerging.’  The report then proposed that the teachers go to work upon the minds of their pupils to prepare them for the new collectivist society.”  (Flynn, p. 160)

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