I spent most of my teaching career in a large Southern California school system, The Azusa Unified School District. Before telling you what I learned about that experience, I will start out by saying that when I first started teaching there, I became friends with a young Arab-Syrian teacher who became employed there at the same time I did.
A large school system is just one big political hell. Alliances are constantly being made and broken. A friend one day is your enemy on the morrow. Promises being made and never fulfilled. "Systems" for improving education are installed. Those who openly support the "system" are pampered and treated like heros. The "Illuminati" or perpetuators of themselves are the administrators. The "people" are the teachers. The "students" are the "nothings."
When the "system" wears out or proves it has no validity, another one is installed in its place. The partisans in the previous system become pariahs and are shunned at teacher's meetings. The new heroes are the partisans of the new system. The next year after that, they are destroyed and new "champions of humanity" come to the so-called "rescue." During all this time, the "Illuminati" or administrators manage to keep their heads afloat and on their shoulders - some of the time. It all becomes a huge wheel that constantly makes 360 degree revolutions, smashing everything in its path, sparing no one and nobody.
About ten years before we retired, my Arab friend and colleague became a multimillionaire, making his fortune in Las Vegas stocks and big land deals in the California High Desert. I noticed that both the "people" (teachers) and the "government" (the administrators) hated and feared him.
The "people," used their free periods grading papers, smoking, and complaining about all the injustices in the world, often griping about how stupid one president was and what THEY'D do if they were in power, while he used his free periods making big stock deals over the phone with his broker. The "people" said it wasn't "fair" for him to use "company time" in such frivolous matters. Esau (the Arab) said he didn't care what they thought.
Since we had been friends from the start, their fear of him kept my throat from getting cut several times, for I was regarded as "unamerican," for being so footsy with Mexicans. Also during those last ten years, Esau and his wife got a divorce.
After our retirement, both of us moved up here to the California High Desert. I came here because I had saved insufficient money during my working career and needed to buy into a low-cost manufactured housing project. Esau needed to be near his large land investments which were pulling him in millions of dollars, occasionally on a monthly basis. It was this time that he met and married my wife's niece Grace who is 30 years younger than he.
After moving up here, Esau become obsessed with the idea of going into politics. Being a Christian Fundamentalist, he thought he could save the world for just Christ and himself only, by getting elected to some post. Finally, he became mayor. From the very start, he became a tyrant, just like his Arabian potentate counterparts back in the Arab states. I begged him not to try to use dictatorial powers in a city that ran on the managerial system. I said, "Esau, the real power here is the City Manager. Your position is ceremonial. Let it be ceremonial and nothing more. Attend all the big parties and functions, with young Grace hanging on your shoulder. Live it up. Don't bring your fist down on everybody. Don't take advantage of your position to multiply the millions you already have."
Well, he wouldn't listen. In the end, all of us, even I, had to cut him down, and our 35 year old friendship came to an abrupt end. Right now, it shows signs of starting up again, but it will never be so close as before.
Martin, what I told you is the millennial story of mankind, which happens over, over, and over again, waiting for the time when man wakes up and applies the only possible solution: a non-sectarian spiritual solution.
Good luck - on the "other side." You'll need it.
Your Friend, Gene D. Matlock