John Dewey Envisions a Manufactured Will of the Populous

john dewey


John Dewey, sometimes referred to as the “modern father of experimental education,” espoused some interesting philosophies which are employed in our modern-day educational systems and texts.

He saw education as the preferred method of socialization, a process, “continually shaping the individual’s powers, saturating his consciousness, forming his habits, training his ideas, and arousing his feelings and emotions.” (“My Pedagogic Creed,” The School Journal, Vol. 54, No. 3, January 16, 1897, pp. 77–80)

Dewey’s thoughts of the nonexistence of intrinsic good (something that is good by its very nature) led him to hypothesize a notion whereby everything people do is merely a means to an end.  His concerns, and remedies for order in government would lead to a modern-day infringement on speech, as well as an educational system interested in molding orderly conduct by stifling opposing thought through regulation, and sometimes retaliation.

…while it is conceivable that one man or a few men should have a common will, in no intelligible sense can a multitude be said to exercise will. It must be manufactured, however, in order to have even a semblance of government (“Ethics of Democracy,” in The Early Works, 1882–1898: John Dewey, Vol. 1, p. 229).

There may be no better place to manufacture the will of future generations than in a school house funded by the federal government in the name of “the general welfare.”

You can read more of this in my book The Imprisonment of Self and be sure to follow me on any of my social media accounts Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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