These frighteningly prophetic words were spoken in 1972 by psychologist and Harvard University professor B.F. Skinner (1904-1990). Skinner was a self-described "behaviorist," who believed that free will is an illusion and that all human preferences are the result of random reinforcements of previous random activities. Humans, to Skinner, were no more than the dogs that his contemporary Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) had trained to salivate at the sound of a bell.
Skinner carried his belief to its logical conclusion. In 1971 he wrote, "We must delegate control of the population as a whole to specialists – to police, priests, teachers, therapists, and so on, with their specialized reinforcers and their codified contingencies." In other words, the non-reasoning human automatons have to be trained to conform. But to conform to what?
If man is, as Skinner contended, incapable of intelligent self-direction, then to whom is it that we "must delegate control of the population?" Are "police, priests, teachers, therapists, and so on" not men, subject to the same inability to think creatively that Skinner has ascribed to all men? If so, then his proposal amounts to the blind leading the blind.
The gapping hole in Skinner’s philosophy is, of course, that he never applied it to himself. If he had, his entire hypothesis would have fallen apart. The fact that he spent years devising elaborate experiments with pigeons and mice to produce data in support of his contention, is blatantly glaring evidence that that contention is a delusion. Skinner’s own actions were those of an independently motivated and activated mentality. They were not the actions of a pavlovian dog!
Skinner’s influence on education has been pervasive – and disastrous. Since the forces behind puppet President Jimmy Carter instituted a federal Education Department in 1979, the focus of "education" in the United States has been "to improve the way in which [Americans are] controlled." We have seen American History revised to portray the founders of the American Republic as scoundrels and buffoons. We have watched as our children were inculcated with the poison of homosexuality and indoctrinated with the psychopathic hatred that is Islam. And now, we are presented with Common Core, an obvious attempt to dumb down America’s youth to the condition of pavlovian dogs, trained to salivate at the sound of their master’s bell.
American so-called "education" has become tragically counterproductive. What we need today is scientists and engineers – people who can give the lie to Skinner’s fantasies and apply, as they have for millennia, their incentive and innovation to solve our problems and improve our lives. We do not need more gray smocked epsilons. We have too many Democrats already.