“We psychologists typically construct tasks or tests to separate the children who can from those who cannot, the former then being labeled ‘smarter’ or ‘more mature’. The ideal curriculum-maker – like Socrates instructing the slave in the Meno – arranges things in such a way that everybody will understand, all will be among the ‘cans’ rather than the ‘cannots.’” Jerome Bruner, In Search of Mind, p. 181.
Did Socrates intend to convey anything useful to the slave in Meno? Was it the Pythagorean Theorem? Such a difficult lesson to follow without the accompanying sand diagram. Plus a gross exploitation, to boot. What brilliance was there in the simple deduction that a clever slave could be taught a complicated idea? Note how Socrates turned his back on someone he had just confirmed was a worthy student. Golden Age brilliance, indeed!
Aristotle’s take on slavery in The Politics shows what intellectual brambles thoughtful people must crisscross to adhere to the info elite. His babble, echoed below, recalls the fatal flaws slaveholders crammed into the American Constitution. Their “strict interpretation” successors conceal their psychopathy behind rumbling vocabularies and prestigious job titles. Such blatant deceit, repeated so often and so officially with no regrets, is the most insidious habit of weapon mentality.
“We may thus conclude that all men who differ from others as much as the body differs from the soul, or an animal from a man (and this is the case with all whose function is bodily service, and who produce their best when they supply such service) — all such are by nature slaves, and it is better for them, on the very same principle as in the other cases just mentioned, to be ruled by a master. A man is thus by nature a slave if he is capable of becoming (and this is the reason why he also actually becomes) the property of another, and if he participates in reason to the extent of apprehending it in another, though destitute of it himself. Herein he differs from animals, which do not apprehend reason, but simply obey their instincts. But the use which is made of the slave diverges but little from the use made of tame animals; both he and they supply their owner with bodily help in meeting his daily requirements.
“But it is nature’s intention also to erect a physical difference between the body of the freeman and that of the slave, giving the latter the strength for the menial duties of life, but making the former upright in carriage and (though useless for physical labor) useful for the various purposes of civil life – a life which tends, as it develops, to be divided into military service and the occupations of peace. The contrary of nature’s intention, however, often happens: there are some slaves who have the bodies of freemen – as there are others who have a freeman’s soul. But if nature’s intention were realized – if men differed from one another in bodily form as much as the statues of the gods – it is obvious that we should all agree that the inferior class ought to be the slaves of the superior. And if this principle is true when the difference is one of the body, it may be affirmed with still greater justice when the difference is one of soul; though it is not as easy to see the beauty of the soul, as it is to see that of the body.
“It is thus clear that, just as some are by nature free, so others are by nature slaves, and for these latter the condition of slavery is both beneficial and just.”
One of these days, someone will tell me why a hundred generations of Learners have had to ingest and regurgitate this hogwash. Why, in all our ancient Latin and Greek writings, none survive that called for universal freedom (except the works of Aesop). Why no trace remains of classical writings that declared slavery a scandal and called for the brotherhood of humankind — the literary equivalent of Spartacus’ Servile Rebellion.
How dare you suggest that human brotherhood might have been some mere offshoot of Christianity or a more recent monotheism, religious or ideological? How can you imply that ancient people did not understand that everyone belonged to one big family since the era of human comprehension began? That wise and generous spirits wrote on this topic ever since writing began? Whether they hailed from ancient Greece or beyond, they concluded that slavery was unjustifiable and forbidden by natural law — denying the econologic of slave masters and their historical scribblings that the children have been made to study ever since.
Moral imperatives against slavery were just as apparent to them, then, as they are to us today. Idealistic adolescents argued with their parents about them, then, just as they do today about social problems. Ethical philosophers were just as numerous (indeed, more so) than those brilliant hypocrites we worship in school: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, among others.
The Golden Rule never held a patent date. God and good parents have always taught the children to treat others just as themselves, since human understanding awoke.
Where did the teachings of these moral superiors go? Into the flaming maw of weapon mentality, that’s where.
Weapon management rejects the findings of the gifted; it dictates that tiny elites publicize nonsense, censor valid information and lie outright. Most info proletarians are never allowed to develop their God-given talents. Call it slavery, call it being a peasant or call it “choosing” to work as a third class stoker in the bowels of the Jive Drive — it has always boiled down to the same lock-down for info proletarians.
Info elites are no smarter than their host proletarians. On the contrary, elites pick their replacements from among the proletarians for their orthodoxy, combativeness as demonstrated in sport and battle, and loyalty through family ties to the info elite — not exceptional brilliance or compassion. Those whose empathy is stunted enough to satisfy weapon requirements have little use for compassion, much less for the compassionate.
The academic community pigeonholes likely candidates for entry into the info elite. Educational careerists eject gifted peace mentors. All those idealistic young teacher burnouts offer a perfect illustration of this triage: their idealism and compassion sacrificed on the altar of weapon regimentation. For details, see Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America, by Page Smith, Viking Penguin, Harmonsworth, England, 1990. Like the work you are reading, it could find no publisher in the United States because it was way too inflammatory and (im)pertinent.
Let’s say that the Earth is a remote lobe of a universal, trans-dimensional brain. On this lobe (in the anthrosphere), billions of human neurons interact by way of more or less effective networks that could only accommodate a few hundred million human “cells” in real comfort at current levels of peace incompetence.
First off, proper nutrition rarely reaches each cell. Many people have a hard time merely subsisting from day to day. The rest of us compensate our misery with shameless over-indulgence even though the quality of our ample food supplies may be just as dubious. Starving for rare micronutrients, we stuff our face with bulk GMOs and “anti-health food.”
The Earth produces enough good food for everyone; it has always done so, barring catastrophe. Yet our distribution networks are so shabby, the world’s population splits into thirds. The first, with its pandemic of obesity, diabetes-inducing addictions, obscene pets and ghastly meat livestock: vastly overstuffed; the next, underfed; the third, starving. In other words, those provided with enough clear water, with just enough borderline potable water, or bad water and not enough of it.
We’re exhausting the Earth's fertility, yet half the food we produce goes to waste. And we make no effort to exploit wasteful pests (bacteria, fungi, molds, insects and vermin) as small-footprint, high-protein food sources.
This hypothetical planetary organism suffers from perpetual stroke, its heart is in partial arrest and its frame flails between hypertrophy and necrosis. Many poor adults find just enough nourishment to get by; their vulnerable children are more or less starved and poisoned from conception. Childhood starvation and pollution degrade youthful Learning in rich and poor nations alike.
If everyone of good will were to rally behind a good plan, (the way polio had been eradicated until resurgent fundamentalists and Western neo-Gestapo agents reversed this achievement) everyone on Earth could be fed, housed and cared for properly — you name it. That would be a thousand times more clear-cut and profitable than managing the poverty-based world war we prepare for so meticulously. Think about that.
Second, our thought processes are hopelessly muddled and our learning tools, outdated. Even “educated” majorities take way too long to assimilate new concepts and ideas: a full generation or longer, assuming they bother to do so at all. Occasionally, popular culture adopts an idea more advanced than what the status quo’s dogma would allow. For example, it has begun to challenge the absolute value of 19th Century science otherwise frozen in place. Info elites often retain ideas beyond their useful shelf life.
Trump and his supporters indifferent to the truth accuse the news media of not favoring pro-Trump propaganda. Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about “fake news” of this kind and how to resist it. No-one seems to care that the lovers of truth set themselves up for this ambush by failing to call the media to task for selective rejection of the truth. From 1990 until 1994, a weekly called The Lies of our Times published falsehoods, inaccuracies and deliberate omissions in the weekly content of the New York Times, the “newspaper of record for the country.”
Within each mind, random ideas surface to consciousness. We retain those ideas – no matter how brilliant – about as fleetingly as the memory of a dream. We must reinforce them right away so that they register into long-term memory. Otherwise they are forgotten and return to the collective superconscience for retrieval at some more propitious date, perhaps in the mind of someone more prepared to receive them.
This is the case for our fundamental definition of reality. If solitary confinement or sensory deprivation cut us off from reality for too long, we go insane.
It is difficult to find a specialist or a document to repeat, deny or confirm some transient thought; almost as much for scholars as for everyone else. Writing down a slippery idea often becomes a misleading chore.
Go ahead and try it. Sit in a good armchair and come up with some novel and arcane insight. Then get up to find someone, some book, class or recording, to repeat, elaborate, confirm or challenge your inspiration. How long did it take you? Hours? Days? In most cases, especially with a truly innovative thought, it would take longer than the few moments your short-term memory retained the original idea.
The best scholars cut short this time-delay in any way they can. They cultivate special study skills, document collections and peer information networks; they hoard reference sources and information contacts. In this way, they can confirm or deny the latest ideas as soon as they get up from their armchair or faster by computer, by telephone or in person.
I call this process, the Armchair Formula. Only a few thousand tenured professors and intelligence clerks operate under optimized Armchair Formulas. Even college students lack the means, motive and opportunity to research freely.
The World Wide Web is just beginning to refine this Armchair Formula. That will benefit everyone privileged enough to gain access to it. It augurs well for Learner transformation whether or not we grasp its long-term benefits. Predictably, it has been the least publicized and least capitalized benefit of the Web, also the one we take the least advantage of.
Especially nowadays, Learners must satisfy many certification criteria before they’re encouraged to learn. University obstacle courses bristle with monetary and geographic hurdles, arbitrary credentials, certifications and performance criteria. Every step of an academic career must be negotiated, up to and including the “highest” rungs of scholarship.
Academia is not so much interested in “what” we want to learn, as “why” and “how” it is supposed to be taught. If we want to obtain its services, our knowledge must serve some other purpose: status, moneymaking, job placement and propaganda manipulation. Instead of enhancing intellect, college professors erode it. They bury their students’ interests under compulsory trivia until their ultimate studies are reduced to one research thesis.
The academic community erects massive barriers between itself and the laity. Amateur scholars have a hard time keeping up with professional scholars on any given topic. Decades of secondary studies (for the most part a waste of time) must be certified in order to achieve a student-teacher relationship with relevant scholars. A Learner cannot access information she needs unless she commits years of study to one avenue of research. From then on, she must submit the fruits of her zeal to the whims of her academic superiors.
Universities are intellectual catacombs. Most research is buried there, never to see the light of day again. Admitted, most of it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on — in conformity with the general rule: “95% of everything is crap.”
"… but in every era and every country and every category, evil swarms and the good is rare." Voltaire, Romans et contes, « Le monde comme il va », Garnier Flamarion, Paris, 1966, p. 104.
Some of it might prove much more valuable if granted more careful consideration. And a lot more precious research got nipped in the bud before it could be undertaken. Catacombs haunted by frustrated ghosts …
Today’s academic ziggurat is founded on masses of illiterates and semi-literates. On their shoulders roosts a shrinking bunch of undergraduate and graduate scholars. On their pointy-heads perch a handful of certified academics. The upper management of schools devotes itself only to the logistics of education: finance, politics, sports and business. The higher those directors climb the ziggurat of academia, the more they distance themselves from actual Learning.
Learners will flip these pyramids upside down. Three tiny minorities of deliberate know-nothings, religious fanatics and the disability-illiterate will collect in the buried mouthpieces of these Learner horns of plenty, and massed Learners will share their topics of passion from their bells open to the sky. This arrangement may be the ultimate substitute for our bureaucratic/industrial jobs, once automation and post-industrial efficiencies induce near-total unemployment.
Corporate propaganda never tires of warning us about the exploding population of retirees versus a shrinking count of workers, and the consequent necessity of shrinking retirement benefits. The ultimate outcome of this incessant propaganda may be hundreds of millions of ex workers added to the scandalous count of the poor in the richest societies mankind has ever known.
This may justify the next wave of fascist genocide, when all those old birds with gaping beaks may be driven into the blast furnaces of newly built death camps (free electricity!) instead of being taken care of at much greater expense. We self-indulgent baby-boomers are the likeliest candidates for this sorry fate; our studied indifference to current abuse may earn us this fate.
No one addresses the fact that, for every modern worker, hundreds and thousands of machines just as taxable have multiplied productivity and corresponding corporate profits by thousands of times.
Those exploiters’ exponential takings might shrink a little by honoring their obligation to prior workers. They will choke on them unless they recognize their obligation and honor it. Their future profits will freeze up and throttle them otherwise. Such colossal, propaganda-driven stupidity in the service of weapon technology! The peaceful variant would see through those cooked books and make amends without a second’s hesitation.
Progressive, government-subsidized education, no matter how crude, boosts downstream prosperity. The adoption of this policy on a global scale would skyrocket world prosperity. Other alternatives will just lead to some variant of Auschwitz for those former workers, in the name of raw corporate greed. Good luck with that!
Music education offers an elegant model of open Learning. This teaching relies on voluntarism — at least in theory; horror stories abound of children forced to practice music against their will. On PeaceWorld, this exercise would be limited to those who loved to do it. It favors small classes and one-on-one tutoring; it begins at the earliest receptive age and accelerates with the pupil’s growing talent. Maturity of performance is expected by puberty with ongoing improvement though adulthood.
Music is one of the few fields of Learning where true mastery goes unsuppressed. We enjoy a Golden Age of tempered music because this restricted field has zero impact on weapon management, so the best teaching methods are tolerated.
Just as a golden age of Rock and Roll was founded on near-universal music training in the primary and secondary schools of the Western world, contemporary pop music is based on primitive, country-western yodel-bleats and the thumping patter talk of hip-hop: the outcome of decades of underfunded education in music and everything else but the minimum requirements of corporate greed.
It is ironic that crime may be the only other trade that complies with these learning directives. Indeed, the budding criminal engages in crime as soon as he discovers his interest in it. The courts send all but the best criminals to “reform” schools and penitentiaries where veteran crime instructors await them. Their other educational and vocational alternatives are carefully sabotaged. Many emerge from prison to perform more and more sophisticated infractions. We don’t punish criminals for their crime but for demonstrating incompetence by getting caught. Weapon society practices Darwinian selection for better criminals. Big surprise! By prioritizing penal punishment above civilized sequestration, re-education and cultural re-assimilation, we are just reinforcing a weapon outcome at the cost of increasing criminal recidivism.
Many other prejudices put a brake on Learning. One weapon myth presumes that knowledge is a privilege to be rationed according to arbitrary qualifications.
Another asserts that information must be discovered and confirmed locally to be valid. Insolent claims to the contrary, rabid nationalism (each nation claiming its own is the evil twin nemesis of every other) and national frontiers are gross barriers to Learning. Crouching behind these obstacles, patriots and fundamentalists promote blatant obscurantism. National governments pirate information, standardize educational mediocrity and foster redundant research.
Unique breakthroughs are carefully guarded corporate secrets in defiance of scientific transparency. Science violates straightforward principles of scientific inquiry once it’s placed at the beck and call of corporate and military interests. They insist on secrecy and proprietary knowledge. Secret science is like soundless music: worthless to anyone but its paid practitioners. Of what worth is knowledge no-one else may know? This is the main reason that the corporate science of the 21st century has not reflected the exponential productivity of the last two. The war on terror has compounded this problem with its knee-jerk suppression and homogenization of information flow.
Just as corporate weapon Christianity herded Europe’s people into a Dark Age of ignorance, corporate weapon technology is herding us into a new Dark Age of suspicion, paranoia and fostered anti-science.
Another weapon myth insists that information immediately available solely to a secluded elite is more valuable than that which many proletarians may acquire more gradually.
In plow field and smokestack societies, an item’s rarity raised its value. Zero-sum anal retentives competed for restricted advancement opportunities — social, economic and reproductive. Their feeding frenzy brought forth info elites that wallow in relative opulence but unprincipled degeneracy, surrounded by an abject mass of info proletarians.
Appalled by this injustice, the righteous have abandoned any claim to leadership that was always theirs by right. In the absence of fair role models, even exceptional ones, weapon leaders are left to imitate their worst exemplars.
Thus, the long-term, public example of better leaders – common knowledge for everyone – is more important to society than the latest high-tech secrets known only by a privileged few. Near-total transparency would be even more beneficial. The application of correct knowledge creates wealth. Common knowledge is more fruitful than secrets stockpiled in obscurity for their status-value. In the commerce of ideas, distribution creates wealth, and generosity leads to prosperity.
This paradox promises us untold prosperity. We’re like pirates who’ve lost their treasure map: bewailing our poverty and flinging ourselves on the ground in tears over a deeply buried treasure trove, even though our plight is self-induced and we could easily correct it. Look! There’s the map!
Competitive education is about as sensible as for-profit sex. Both are cooperative endeavors where competition is a losing proposition. Short-term, it produces trivial gains or outright loss; long-term cooperation offers more promise.
Learning Networks could stretch and entwine with a lot more elegance than clumsy production/consumption machinery. We could do this at little expense for much greater rewards.
In the meantime, academia crowns itself with wreaths of compulsion whose tendrils smother any usefulness it could once claim. Once most students emerge from this ordeal, they shun further study beyond the minimum required for their job. They consider Learning a sorry chore best left to journalists, government spokespeople and commercial copywriters: info mercenaries paid to satisfy hidden agendas with censorship, oversimplification and the rote repetition of official lies. They throw out any idea that deviates from the mass media norm and that cannot be co-opted to enforce it.
Learners will handle Learning as if it were the ultimate play. When in doubt, they will favor truth over lies, and humanism over privilege.
Instead, official “education” is a monotonous grind. Schools impose a prison atmosphere of incarceration and regimentation that prepares their inmates for the punishing routines of the barracks square, the battlefield, criminal courts and munitions plants.
Weapon managers dictate that education be a slow torture, an intellectual manual at arms and a repetitive drudgery. According to them, it should be a drain of time, interest and energy. Every hour of every school day, nit-picked and nit-picking teachers disgorge predigested curricula. Disinterest in those topics and interest in others are seen as punishable offenses. Everyone must drag pass through this dozen-year Calvary at the pace of the slowest.
Young Learners are naturally inquisitive. They delight in learning the most trifling things with or without adult approval. Schools suppress this curiosity. Instead of encouraging info proletarians, they regiment them without mercy.
From our first day in school to canned graduation rites, we endure years of fostered boredom, meaningless repetition, stifled initiative and quashed curiosity. Cultural pap is force-fed and regurgitated in endless competitive examinations. Homework merely franchises this intellectual garage sale; it saturates children's private time with mind-numbing drudgery.
Anxious parents and school officials resist every effort to enrich this gruel. Age-cohort bullies, know-nothing parents and petty adult tyrants dominate school culture. The lowest common denominator marks the high tide of cultural achievement. To put it mildly, precocious Learners are in for a hard time.
Children in Finland got the highest standardized test scores in the Western world. They were the only ones to benefit from fifteen minutes of recess for every forty-five spent in class. Nowadays, everyone, including those Finish children, must satisfy the brutal norms of paramilitary, para-educational bureaucracies.
This ferocious acculturation is so widespread, it must serve some hidden purpose (weapon mentality). It is somewhat relaxed in private schools where info elites warehouse their own children. Class snobbery, crushing discipline, isolation from the family, religious mumbo jumbo and cockpit competition combine there to subvert Learning.
I can hardly imagine a worse way to learn anything — except how to endure the most thorough terror and boredom. There is no better way to repress natural curiosity and no better way to prepare for war.
In his book Burro Genius, Victor Villaseńor wrote that went to several classes of young students and asked them, “Who here is a genius?” In kindergarten, everyone’s hand shot up; by third grade, no one dared. This is what weapons education achieves.
It will be up to Learners to identify the genius of every student and nurture it. If a student has nothing but destructive tendencies, those must be exposed as early as possible and housebroken with even more affection and doggedness: those last infinitely more efficient than punishments applied later.
These recommendations would lead nowhere if they were practiced the way they are today: as an exception by a few gifted teachers dealing with a few gifted students, despite the educational orthodoxy and its tolerated majority of mediocre rejects. To make progress, we must practice it universally. Instead of advancing a few high-merit students selected from a neglected mass of the mediocre ones, we should cultivate every student’s foremost talents. Almost every student is genial in one or more topics of their choosing. We must become sharp enough to encourage their choice. The blame for that failure belongs to us, not to those innocent students.
In self-defense against current “instruction,” common folk take complacent pride in their ignorance. What choice do they have, since their tender talents were crushed early? All they have left are sports, commercial advertising and the media stupidity that frames them. Raw genius winds up seeming more threatening to them than raw greed.
Three topics dominate popular discourse: sports, sex and money. They have nothing to do with civilization’s major advances. Instead, they divert attention from progress and blind it. Men escape into macho fetishism and statistics-driven sport; women, into the trivia of gossip, shopping and fashion.
Once these prejudices overtake a society, its members turn into pawns of the Routine of Evil. Once mass propaganda has crippled our moral faculties, we may expect nothing more from our leaders than expert wrongdoing, unforeseen consequences and inevitable catastrophe. Distracted by the empty summons to “pursue happiness,” we forsake our neighbors’ flight from misery and our duty to assist them.
We “lucky” somnambulists condemn ourselves to self-indulgence, over-consumption and social insignificance. Wearily, we warehouse, care-take and re-inventory mountains of redundant stuff; stuff we never needed to begin with, that can’t be sustainably afforded in any case. This clutter, merely the industrial proxy for the world-wrecking junk and stew of chemical toxins that total war calls for.
The unlucky poor are stupefied by a lifetime of toxic malnutrition, engineered misery and cultural anxiety, their despair deepened by their inability to fulfill basic needs, achieve basic comforts and secure the goodwill of the authorities.
It’s no accident that education and military conscription became compulsory around the same time, after the French Revolution. These military requisites were brought to their logical conclusion by Jules Ferry, whose Law of 1882 mandated free, secular and mandatory education for all French children. He was a fanatical French colonial imperialist. The other military/industrial nations would match his law within a few decades.
By the way, universal conscription is a weapon misnomer. The entire military age population (from the post-pubescent cohort to that middle-aged including males and females) has always been liable for call-up on demand. The only limitations were the number of weapons available; the need to staff workshops and farms with women, children, old folks and war slaves when necessary; and the enormous logistical burden required to hold armies together despite their tendency to sicken, starve, run riot and fall apart.
It is only recently that bloated industrial capacities caught up with birth rates by reducing almost the same tempo of mass mortality. Until then, making weapons and keeping them out of the hands of rebels were self-limiting tasks, and some justification remained to separate trained combatants from civilians. That rule no longer holds. No difference remains between armed and unarmed combatants. We have all become the legitimate targets and the routine victims of warfare.
For example, military pilots, submariners and commandos undergo elaborate rituals of initiation, training and graduation, rituals like those ancient knights used to undergo. Their equipment and steeds cost more and more lifetimes’ wages, too.
For the most part, peasants took the resulting blows in the face. While the rewards of weapon technology have gone to smaller and smaller minorities, its spiraling costs have been born by the rest of us, the poor foremost.
The so-called free market sanctions personal ambition within parameters carefully constrained by weapon technology. This is an incredible advantage compared to older weapon dogmas that crushed personal dreams under obligations of caste. This last barrier to excellence (weapon technology) may soon come down. At last, financially independent Learners will pursue their talents wherever they may lead. At that point, we may anticipate untold abundance.
In the meantime, most of us receive a nominal education corresponding to the complexity of our society’s weapon systems… and no more. Barely educated citizens are taught to curb their curiosity, serious culture and imagination. In their place, a lot of useless trivia is fed to them and they are taught to prefer this force-feeding. They should be more or less handy with tools (in direct proportion to the complexity … etc.). Tamed to blind obedience, they should be comfortable with independent decision-making only under rigidly predefined circumstances. Most of them are expected to be politically naive, closed-minded, indifferent to their political obligations and intolerant of progress. They should be cryptically self-destructive and violent on a hair trigger. In moderately good health during their military years, they should be indifferent to preventive care and ready to cripple themselves for no apparent reason.
The majority of info proletarians are imbued with these attributes: the ones most useful ones for modern armies. Once a military age cohort has “completed” its mandatory miseducation, weapon management grants its favorite candidates nominal license to study and climb their career ladders. This economic subversion is so harsh that many youths have no choice but to join the military, the unemployed and/or the world of crime. Banks, insurance companies and public service agencies redline entire neighborhoods for no other reason than socio-economic and race prejudice. Legitimate capital never reaches these ghettos, only criminal funding that coaches more war.
Poverty is the most expensive social policy by far — but the best nursery for additional legions of good soldiers.
The International Monetary Fund, the Politburo and hobbled UN agencies have abused Third World nations in this manner for decades. They have promoted showboat, mega-buck projects to pay off local elites and increase their addiction to Wimp institutions. Meanwhile, the average standard of living has shrunk from runaway population growth, expropriated public services and ecological devastation, all induced by paramilitary corporations.
Why doesn’t everyone benefit from a mandatory college education? Or, better yet, four years of subsidized, non-college skills for each young adult? This subsidy already exists for soldiers dispatched in wartime. Why not for civilians in peace? After all, there’s mandatory High School. Why impose that cut-off, when a college degree is virtually mandatory to get a job these days?
In comparative biology, the longer the stage of infantile development, the better prepared the adult animal will become to survive. Wouldn’t this be the case for young human beings?
A weapon state’s educational system selects an elite officer corps to command a vast majority of enlisted and civilian slaves: armed and unarmed combatants. The demand for weapon managers dictates the exact number of degrees awarded. In this way, universities triage a new generation of info elites from the info proletariat. Mandatory college education doesn’t exist because colleges (both those non- and for-profit) produce enough military officers and bureaucrats already. Deliberately centralized weapon technology is glutted with talent while atomized peace technology starves at the same time.
Universal education is just another weapon myth: a carrot dangled in front of peace mentors to co-opt their goodwill efforts. In the United States, 60% of the population has done some time on the university treadmill. That doesn’t mean much, since nearly 60% are functionally illiterate, more choose not to vote, and only a handful gain ready access to the corridors of power.
We should feel guilt about that and make amends.
Some specific Learner methods – replacing the top-down, mass-consumption, “tell-and-test” educational systems of today – are discussed in the chapter Computer Yellow Pages.