Clyde Greeno says: >My "humbug" to formalism refers not to the role of formalism as a vehicle for advancing professional knowledge in mathematics. [When writing mathematical theories, I tend to be formalistic.] Rather, the worldwide reliance on formalism as a mathematical foundation for core-curricular education in mathematics has filtered the majority of students out from mathematics-dependent studies, out from college studies, out from school, or (all too often) out from civilized life. Those formalistic underminings of humans' personal mathematical potentials have been of enormous costs to mankind and thus to the progress even of professional mathematics. "Humbug" not *within* mathematics, proper, but within the context of mass education in and about it.
Without assessing your claims of "damage" (I'm in no position to do so) I can sort of agree that it might appear that mathemetics, by historical standards, went on something of a foundations bender in the mid 19th century (presaging perhaps, the collective insanity that was the 20th century?.)
And while I've tried to communicate how much was learned in that process, it also seems to have filtered down to the schools in ways that do seem, either counterproductive, or at least, rather unnecessary.