I was speaking to a young man and he asked, “Why are we in debt, if we can just print our own money?” Well, honestly, my first reflex was to explain the nature of fiat currency, supply and demand, and any of the various myriad reasons that it didn’t work like that. Luckily, something else interrupted us, and I didn’t get the chance to bore him to death with a lifetimes worth of Economic theory. However, it did get me thinking that maybe he was a great illustration of the problem.
Our education system produced that young man, and hundreds of thousands of young minds just like him. Our school system will teach a ‘variation’ on the classics
Writing, and Arithmetic. What it doesn’t teach is Love of Reading, or
Comprehension of what one read, Concise writing (I am probably guilty of this
sin), or Actual Logical Thought, which makes Arithmetic function beyond the
2+2=4 range. Reading
Educators (versus Teachers) instruct young readers in the chore of reading making it a punishment and a drudge. This disdain follows them into their Adult lives, as they shun books and primary source documentation for the movie of the week or the popular TV sitcom. There is nothing inherently wrong with Movies or TV, in moderation, but too many of our young are loathe to expand their mind outside of what is prepackaged and homogenized for them. When they do read it is with reluctance and without comprehension, they struggle through the assigned texts dragging their feet and when completed, don’t remember what they read. When they do remember what they read it is in the most superficial way that every bit of meaning is lost to them. I contend that this is an intentional attack on the human mind, having forced myself to read the assigned work throughout school I found them to be boring and without style or substance. What they did contain though was a specific ideology, no longer was reading designed to teach you ‘how’ to think, now it is used to teach ‘what’ to think.
Modern education walked away from ‘the marketplace of Ideas’ and the sharing of human experience when it changed the writing requirements. Altering the character of Writing from sharing thoughts to a technical exercise designed to numb the brain and stifle the individual. I would rather read passion executed badly, than bland mush written brilliantly. Perhaps I am alone in this, but I’ve recently discovered the magic of the nineteenth century adventure novels. These are the beginning and basis of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Laura Croft”, and even “Star Wars”, none of these modern stories could exist without H. Rider Haggard and his “King Solomon’s Mines” or H. G. Wells “the Time Machine”. Now though children write with the passion of advertising copy or a technical manual, how many great stories have died at the hand of modern education?
Regarding Mathematics, most young people I’ve encountered recently can’t count back change, or compute simple arithmetic without the use of a calculator. I admit a certain amount of laziness on my own part when balancing the family budget, I prefer to use the calculator as a crutch but I could find the answer ‘longhand’ if needed. Too many of our young people have no understanding of how numbers function together, and the beauty of more complex mathematics. They are left with a substandard education, which we as parents are expected to pay for, that leaves them ill prepared to provide for themselves in the future.
Incompetence in any one discipline I could excuse perhaps, especially if it occurred in a single locality or across a specific racial or economic divide. That would be expected, for years we were told that “girls aren’t good a math” and we seem to have accepted that regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Since all areas of education seem to be a failure, I can only assume this is an intentional attack, which leaves the Questions…
Why? Who could possibly benefit? What purpose does an uneducated population serve?
I’ve only discovered one answer that fits all of these questions (and more)… An uneducated mass serves only the ruling elite. Without the ability to think and reason, to write with passion or to communicate complex thoughts and ideas, the mass are molded to serve and have no ambition to reach higher, to serve them selves first, not the state.
Educated people are free people; our Founders believed that, they lived it. How have we managed to forget that simple maxim…?