This morning, while replying to a comment, I suddenly had a thought. I have been wondering for a long time why we, the people, continue to be so easily manipulated by those who rule us, why war never stops. Why is it that the good people of America seem paralysed and don't seem to know how to get rid of their despotic President? Is it because no one is there to tell them what to do? Why have we allowed global warming to occur, economic inequality, etc?
We are, after all, educated and intelligent. We are supposed to be able to think for ourselves, to question everything we're told, to be able to gather evidence, evaluate it, then, as citizens, act upon our findings in a responsible manner. But for some reason the bulk of us are apathetic, suckers for advertising, for political spin, for theological indoctrination, for nationalistic propaganda, for capitalist brain-washing, for racial elitism, for gender stereotyping, etc. There can be only one answer: we are not that intelligent and, worse still, we're not educated at all. We only think we are!
Educational institutions in the main are dull, uninspiring places peopled too often by dull, uninspiring and often lazy teachers who, over a period of years (while they think constantly about the next holidays and the size of their superannuation payout), slowly lobotomize each child they come into contact with.
Armed with their frequently boring curriculum and static exams which encourage rote learning, many teachers and lecturers fill student's minds with loads of facts most of them of absolutely no use to the student in later life (I had to learn calculus and read Chaucer in the original and I've never used either once). They surreptitiously encourage conformity, discourage questioning and implant the idea that the answers to everything are to be found in books (I have a boy in High School currently so I'm up to speed with what is really happening).
They, cogs themselves in an educational machine, too often prepare students to become willing cogs in the capitalist machine, to go with the flow, to accept whatever society dishes up, whatever their media, politicians and governmental authorities tell them. Conformity reigns!
Of course this lamentable state of affairs is exactly what our rulers want: a largely compliant, non-thinking population who'll believe anything. Never has the word 'sheeple' been so appropriate. Never have so many been conned by so few.
Has it always been so? No! The students in France led the French Revolution. Where are such activists today? All most undergraduates seem to think about now is getting high paying jobs. Where are the fearless academics who'll speak out, who'll criticize the Government, who'll condemn capitalism? They dare not in case they lose tenure or vital multi-national funding.
Education must be completely changed. People must be taught to think, to question and then to act otherwise the word democracy means nothing!
Perhaps it already does!
P.S. There are some good teachers. About 10% of them!