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Poverty, Militarism and the Public Schools


Poverty, Militarism and the Public Schools

Robert C. Koehler

What’s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system — or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that can’t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment.


These military “games” are very realistic and the young folks quickly learn to kill and build up points. By the time they are 17 and can join up, they’ve conquered hundreds of enemy countries and killed thousands of “enemies.”

  • However, these “games” don’t show the stench of bodies in the rubble, the smell of blood, urine, feces. They don’t show you the look in the eyes of a person as you pull the trigger. They don’t bother to show you that a wound is more than the loss of a few points. You don’t see the agony of a shattered limb, the disorientation from a blast too close to your head. You have not been “conditioned” to the feelings as you cradle a wounded, dying, child in your arms, or hold a buddy as his life ebbs away.
  • I think this may well be at least a partial cause of PTSD, and may account for many of the military and ex-military suicides we are seeing.
  • I think it is time to put aside the expensive toys of war and use the schools to teach empathy, reason, and peace. Relearn the fact that it is far better to help a person than beat and starve one.


Poverty and militarism goes hand in hand. It was started from Sparta and still continuing. Obviously, having no regular skill and finding no honorable to way live, young people at early stages join the military. So the administration needs some conflicts somewhere around the world to engage them in combats. That way the weapon industries could sell the weapons to the US government at any price and that perpetual move will cycle constantly. Only the people of this land could break it which is immensely difficult for them. Besides majority of them are just lamb.


Mars rules and/or what makes for a Military State in the mold of Nazi Germany:

A. “Kevin Merwin told me. “There’s opposition to the wholesale militarization of youth in Chicago. It’s the most militarized school system in the country, if not the world.” Indeed, according to various sources, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 young people in the Pentagon’s JROTC program, with “military academies” — often in spite of furious community opposition — taking over portions of 45 of the city’s 104 high schools.”

Militarize the schools! (check)

B. Glamorize war, violence, guns, and super heroes in movies (check)

C. Turn war into a game that will appeal to adolescent boys … think of all those videos funded by the MIC (check)

D. Turn love, romanticism, tenderness into things SISSIES feel in order to cut off any chance of establishing empathy or compassion (check)

E. De-fund education, social programs, and job training for jobs that actually exist so there’s a military draft backdoor (check)

F. Allow the military to get away with murder by pushing wars of aggression, not holding the MIC’s head honchos to any financial accounting, and “losing” both wars and billions of dollars (check)

G. Elect leaders who equate martial foreign policy with Statecraft (check)

H. Repeat lies about American exceptionalism, the nation being victimized on 911, the need for a War on Terror endlessly (check)

I. Embed pro-military forces all across the MSM so that the case for war is always justified, its critics silenced (check)

J. Use false flag events periodically to maintain Fear Levels (check)

K. Implement a total surveillance drift-net so that all citizens will be spied upon, or consider themselves as such. (check)

L. Maintain ubiquitous men (and a few women) in uniform to make Policing every facet of society into an unquestioned “norm.” (check)

M. Turn the MIC into the muscle behind the corporate powers’ financial interests, particularly with respect to exploiting resources in foreign lands (check)

N. Shame anyone who challenges militarism by insisting they hate America or are unpatriotic, etc. (check)


30% of all Lego kits contain at least one weapon…the brainwashing starts even before the kids are of school age.


O. Suggestion

Develop new lethal technologies in secret e.g., DARPA so ethical considerations that might inform political pressure against development and ultimate deployment are by default silenced. These malevolent technologies and designs are at the very least near production, or already in production, disseminated, and implemented at any point of public awareness i.e., too late for the public to do a damn thing about it.


Militarism is like all stupid and violent human habits – religion, smoking, animal slaughter, etc. – get them hooked while young and impressionable.


i checked out the gamer website linked in this article, but didn’t want to sign in. kohler sums the problem up so well saying that memorial day has become a grand celebration of “arrested development”! indeed, i often think that today’s u.s. citizen resembles brick or maggie reliving the glory days of high school while never emotionally reaching adulthood. from my studies of adolescent psychology i learned that even up to age 25 young adults on average feel a sense of invulnerability and they will remain forever young. well, i guess when 16 is an entire life span age 30 looks to be an eternity away. the military has realized this for a long time and that’s why the youth are recruitment targets. even before this explosion of rotc programs, our u.s. history books glorify this nation’s military accomplishments–"the good guys keeping the world safe for democracy. (deMOCKracy?) i saw that sobriquet in a recent discussion. good one, huh? gee, the teen whose folks complain about a messy room or an unfinished task seizes an opportunity to become an admired american hero in our culture of hero worship.

maybe we should go outside the system and start our own learning centers, art, music, philosophy and a variety not focused on every student passing the same test–and definitely not focused on war. in this current imperial militant culture of death so many attributes and natural talents atrophy for lack of encouragement and appreciation. not just for the children but we could start small discussion groups to help “brick and maggie” grow up. and, darn it! learning can be fun, too. for example, music is vital to understanding mathematics. there’s more to music than a military march!

i notice that the “hillary vs. donald” discussions inspire lots of comments. this corporately sponsored imperialistic war machine cannot be change by replacing one little cog. we need to figure out why the wheels of war keep spinning faster ever faster. we know why the pentagon and arms manufacturers promote war, don’t we? GREED and we see that the promise of glory attracts the despondent adolescent, but we need to figure out why so many adults cannot outgrow the desire for a government to protect and monitor our morality. the natural emotion of fear is used to coerce and control. once enough of us grasp what’s behind the emotional blackmail then, only then, can we begin to work together toward an exciting yet peaceful and harmonious society. let’s face it there are those who get hooked on war, they like the brutality and sense of empowerment. most of us, i feel, want something better. let’s help each other reach a happy cooperative mindset. i do agree with thom jefferson that “knowledge is the true currency of democracy!”

“do you want to play a game?”
“C. Turn war into a game that will appeal to adolescent boys … think of all those videos funded by the MIC (check)”–souixrose.

surely, we can devise better games! 'cause our “leaders” suffer “arrested development” too.

p.s. steve in my book firefighters deserve the title “hero” especially one who also write poetry. :slight_smile:


i know, we feel so overwhelmed, but let’s not give up. the veterans for peace and veterans against the wars are taking a stance to re-educate. and here’s another from today’s democracy NOW! broadcast.

An unlikely voice has emerged challenging the drone warfare program: former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Chris Antal, who spent time based in Afghanistan. In April, he wrote an open letter to President Obama detailing his reasons for leaving the U.S. Army Reserves, citing his opposition to the administration’s use of drone strikes, its policy on nuclear proliferation, and what he calls the executive branch’s claim of "extraconstitutional authority and impunity for international law."


Why, thank you!


Another hero! May he live long, and prosper.


definitely! although antal’s resignation awaits the paperwork before he’s officially out, here’s a copy of his resignation sent to obama with lots of accompanying signatures. gee, maybe those with printers could reprint his speech, get more signatures to emphasize our agreement. *note–obama has yet to respond.

AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Chris Antal, I was wondering if we could end with you reading your resignation letter to President Obama in your own words.

REV. CHRIS ANTAL: I’d be glad to do that.

“Dear Mr. President:

“I hereby resign my commission as an Officer in the United States Army.

“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. armed drone policy. The Executive Branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing.

“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The Executive Branch continues to invest billions of dollars into nuclear weapons, which threaten the existence of humankind and the earth. I refuse to support this policy of terror and mutually assured destruction.

“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. policy of preventive war, permanent military supremacy and global power projection. The Executive Branch continues to claim extra-constitutional authority and impunity from international law. I refuse to support this policy of imperial overstretch.

“I resign because I refuse to serve as an empire chaplain. I cannot reconcile these policies with either my sworn duty to protect and defend America and our constitutional democracy or my covenantal commitment to the core principles of my religion faith. These principles include: justice, equity and compassion in human relations, a free and responsible search for truth, a commitment to the democratic process, and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

“Respectfully submitted,

“Christopher John Antal”