The authors of The Agile Manifesto I think agree more with you than with many of the process zealots selling books and classes about agile development. There has been a follow-up saying they never intended the formalization of their people over process rant into such strict processes, which makes sense.
The actual processes are largely inspired by Japanese manufacturing techniques. They get labeled "agile" mainly because that's the hot word and the original manifesto authors didn't trademark the word to sell books and classes.
I'm still unsure what part of any of this situation encourages you to keep saying that people who do test-first development or who have daily fifteen-minute status meetings are absolutely and definitely replaceable cogs who can't develop code and need to "code by numbers". That seems like one hell of an unsupported claim.