Saturday, December 6, 2008

Education Take II - Bringing Everyone Inside the Society

The last post that was on Global Gleanings was written in disgust of the way that school children of a certain social status were being continually deprived of their civil rights that guaranteed them an equal education. While this problem is not new, these times are, and without an education in today's world life gets tough pretty damn quick.

Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short is how Hobbes described the outcome of empowering the common man back in the 1600's, it turns out that history proved him to be perfectly wrong, that is exactly the fate of an uneducated man in the age of Capitalism. We know now because of Jefferson for one, who knew that for any Democracy to survive and thrive the population had to be literate. The US, with policy based on those principles became the best place on earth to be average.

It holds forth then that for Democracy to be fair, every citizen must be provided the opportunity to become equally literate. Despite the 3rd President's best efforts we still have children being sentenced to a life of mediocrity for no other crime than being born in a bad school system, not having a parent that can pay for better schools or provide an alumni advantage into an Ivy.

Imagine the world of the future where nutritional advantages are gone, education is as free as broadcast television and the lessons that are to be learned fit each child like a well made glove. The benefit to all of mankind would make the middle class, or even the rich of the last century appear deprived, there would be few limits to what can be accomplished with an entire globe of educated people. Education won't solve every problem, but it will allow everyone to participate in the effort to solve every problem. It will bring about the real decline in exploitation of populations and it will bring everyone into society.

Bringing people into society sounds like a odd goal, what does that do for an individual, does it feed people, cure people, end bigotry and bias? The answer to all of those questions, somewhat surprisingly, is yes. History has shown that the initial ingredient of empathy is inclusion, newspapers in the 1700's never covered poor people's problems, they didn't cover slaves deaths, or the problems of people that were deemed to be exotic or foreign.

We still do this today, we call people aliens when they live 50 miles south of San Diego, because the Hutus and Tutsi's have funny names and live in Africa we ignore their slaughters while we make movies and build museums about the Holocaust, a slaughter of people that were "outside of society". We don't enslaves people of color in the US anymore because we work, serve in the Army and now even elect them President.

Education has always been an exclusionary device, and still is today. We need to end it soon so we can become the world that we should be, breaking down all barriers for all individuals, lineage, economics, geography and ethnicity is what we must do.

Until we do this the US and the world will be less than it should be, and in the future be looked at as "the dark ages" are today.