John Taylor Gatto's Underground is a very rich resource for background readings. He names establishment names, big names, and many books by these big names expounding establishment goals. There is virtually no way to miss the overt pronouncements of what the establishment had in mind for itself and for the majority of the American people ... or the whole world.
It was based on the idea that human beings could be controlled the same as machines, that workers were part of the machinery, and that they had no free will. Whether they had read or understood the great economists such as those Ludwig von Mises studied under is questionable. Probably not. They must have sensed, however, that their plans would cause wealth to gravitate toward their own establishment interests, leaving the vast majority just sufficient to keep them content enough not to rebel. The establishment has been working on all of this since the time of Lincoln.
And it is working! The minority of decent people, such as Ron Paul, libertarians, and constitutionalists, are horrified, but we don't quite know what to do about it, except to educate people, and hope, in turn, these people will educate their children and others, one by one by one, each one educating two. This is how to restore both education and freedom.
Otherwise, I wonder how many people will die, be imprisoned, and/or be impoverished before there is an uprising here like the uprisings in the Middle East. If that happened, what we have could be replaced by something as bad or worse.
Therefore, we must educate. Not school, but educate, starting with the person in the mirror.
Freedom does not mean very much to people who do not think for themselves, and to think for oneself means to be educated, and then to educate.