The militarization of Education: Marine High School to Open in Atlanta
May 5, 2009
Earlier this week, residents of Atlanta, Georgia, voiced opposition to a military high school in DeKalb County. The DeKalb Marine Corps Institute is scheduled to start classes in August at the Heritage Center off Briarcliff Road in north DeKalb, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It will be funded with public money.
“Some DeKalb County residents said they were being kept out of the loop and with public dollars the at stake the community should have a say,” Leigha Baugham wrote on Monday for Fox 5 in Atlanta.
“The DeKalb Marine Corps Institute will focus its academics on math and science, coupled with a military-style regimen. It will have a principal and a commandant,” the Journal reported on April 2.
School officials support the idea of a Marine-run high school for “struggling students.”
Military schools are not a new concept. Chicago has schools dedicated to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. About 500,000 students are involved in high school military programs across the United States, according to the Chicago Tribune. In 2007, PBS’ Online News Hour reported that over 10,000 Chicago high school students wear a military uniform to class. Minorities make up 92 percent of the cadet population. Only 4 percent are white, compared to 8 percent of the general Chicago public schools population.
Atlanta’s Marine school is yet another example of the ongoing process of militarization in American society. Infowars has reported on the presence of uniformed soldiers at public events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Boston Marathon and the incremental militarization of law enforcement.
West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran Andrew Bacevich who teaches international relations at Boston University argues that the United States is becoming not just a militarized state but a military society, “a country where armed power is the measure of national greatness, and war, or planning for war, is the exemplary (and only) common project,” writes Tony Judt in a review of Bacevich’ book, The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War.
Among democracies, only in America do soldiers and other uniformed servicemen figure ubiquitously in political photo ops and popular movies. Only in America do civilians eagerly buy expensive military service vehicles for suburban shopping runs. In a country no longer supreme in most other fields of human endeavor, war and warriors have become the last, enduring symbols of American dominance and the American way of life.
Bacevich notes that in a militarized society the range of acceptable opinion inevitably shrinks. Criticism of the government is portrayed as betrayal and opposition to war and mass murder is considered treason. Bacevich cites James Madison, who wrote in 1795 that no nation can “preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
It is all coming together for our rulers. In addition to acclimating the citizenry to the presence of uniformed and armed soldiers at public events and working beside local law enforcement in violation of Posse Comitatus, Obama has called for a “civilian national security force” that is “just as powerful” and “well-funded” as the existing U.S. military, in other words state-supported vigilantes in the name of “homeland security.”
The militarization of education is part of the process. School officials in Atlanta may declare the planned Marine academy will help “students at risk,” but it will also produce obedient and militarily disciplined young adults who will not question their leaders. For the New World Order, the perfect citizen is not only one who will not question authority but one that will carry our orders.