Sunday, November 22, 2015

Education and Ideology



We learned yesterday that Witch Hunts tied directly to the Renaissance, Reformation, and growing intellectualism of the late Middle Ages.

So why would education stop terrorism?

Education does not stop violence or terrorism. Osama Bin Laden undoubtedly attended some of the best schools in Saudi Arabia. Bashar Al-Assad, currently dropping barrel bombs on civilians for fun and gassing his own citizens, trained in the United Kingdom. Pol Pot studied engineering in Paris.

On the other hand, you have this guy, who spent probably less than a single year in any form of schooling in his entire life:

Common ideology and common cultural practices can prevent terrorism, but that is simply no guarantee. Education informs and instructs the young, yes, but can just as easily instill values contrary to Western liberalism: Communism, Nazism, Socialism, and Maoism all found homes in the schools, and all instructed generations of young people  in ill-guided philosophies.

All of these philosophies were, in turn, developed by learned men and women of certain social structure.

Mass education and mass literacy in the 19th century led to an ideologically motivated populace that led directly to the killing fields of the 20th.

That's what education ultimately wrought. True, we have learned our lesson and have avoided another Great War the last 70 years, but education has gotten us no closer to universal, disarmed utopia.

At least, not outside Western Europe, and I specify Western Europe, as Eastern Europe is now under attack from Russian expansion.

Obviously, I support education, but we must remain realistic about what education can actually accomplish, and the real risks we face when we train young, possibly dangerous minds.

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