One of the Many Things I Haven’t Learned in School
Ben B.

Chomsky’s words have always been insightful, like surgical pins, but today seem positively prescient, in particular in regards to education. The idea, to contrast with what you are presenting here, is the urgency of indoctrinating the ruling classes, and distracting the masses with (he doesn’t say it, but you can hear it between the words) false news and invented frenzy:

“The unstated premise-and even the responsible men have to disguise this from themselves-has to do with the question of how they get into the position where they have the authority to make decisions. The way they do that, of course, is by serving people with real power. The people with real power are the ones who own the society, which is a pretty narrow group. If the specialized class can come along and say, I can serve your interests, then they’ll be part of the executive group. You’ve got to keep that quiet. That means they have to have instilled in them the beliefs and doctrines that will serve the interests of private power. Unless they can master that skill, they’re not part of the specialized class. So we have one kind of educational system directed to the responsible men, the specialized class. They have to be deeply indoctrinated in the values and interests of private power and the state-corporate nexus that represents it. If they can achieve that, then they can be part of the specialized class. The rest of the bewildered herd basically just have to be distracted. Turn their attention to something else. Keep them out of trouble. Make sure that they remain at most spectators of action, occasionally lending their weight to one or another of the real leaders, who they may select among.”

The tough question that your article poses is, what SHOULD ‘education’ look like, particularly if, again as Chomsky suggests, people tend to be a lot more intuitively inclined and creatively gifted before they enter into moulding, shaping, doctrinal institutions of “learning”?

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