Friends, as this forum is for thinkers I am reproducing one paragraph from an article published in TRUTHDIG, one written by Chris Hedges about the U.S.. It is beautifully written and encapsulates much of my own thinking which has featured in many of my posts.
The Perversion of Scholarship
“Corporate culture, which now dominates higher education, shares the predatory culture of the military. These cultures are about subsuming the self into the herd. They are about the acquiring of technical, vocational skills to serve the system. And with the increasing budget cuts, and more craven obsequiousness to corporate donors, it will only get worse. These forces of conformity are hostile to the humanities that teach students to question assumptions and structures, that prod them to seek a life of meaning and an ethical code that challenges the blind, utilitarian obedience to power and profit that corporations and the military instill. We will, I fear, continue to turn out the intellectually stunted and maimed, those who know school football records but no philosophy, drama, art, music, theology, literature or history. The goal of an education is not, in the end, to tell students what to think but to teach them how to think.”
The sentence which I believe has most import for today I have outlined in bold. Probably I would take ‘theology’ out of the list because surely it is irrelevant in 2012 (unless it is examined objectively and historically as evidence of how easily most humans can be conned). The saying that: ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ is true in every respect!
‘Intellectually stunted and maimed!” Yes, folks, if you go to college or university and get only vocational training, it’s no wonder that you end up as cannon fodder for the Corporations and the Military and the Politicians.
If your mind has never been exposed to the great philosophers and their wise, profound thoughts about life and you’ve only been exposed to the Corporate Robber Barons and their miserable little deformed, grasping perspective on life then you are stunted for life.
And what is the effect if a student has nil exposure to psychology, sociology, and biology, etc, and the works of famous writers who weave amazing stories about humans and the bleak human condition and human cruelty and depravity and bravery and courage. You are handicapped for life!
And what about the importance of being educated to see the pros and cons of different political and economic systems, to examine them, to evaluate them, and to be taught how to change them when they fail to provide equality of income or representation or become misused by psychopaths and warmongers.
Surely each graduate should leave his place of learning with this basic knowledge otherwise he or she is not educated (able to question) but is an unthinking human robot who can be manipulated at will by the Oligarchs and Politicians and Shonks that infest our world.
Universities in Australia, the same as those elsewhere, are being turned into Corporate entities because of funding pressures. The rationale is: ‘You give us the graduates we want (who’ll do as they are told and make us a lot of money) and we’ll give you lots of BIG donations!’
But even worse, one top Australian University, Sydney, is in the process sacking staff and closing down courses so it can afford a swimming complex! WTF?
So, fellow thinkers, what do you think about the Hedges paragraph and my few elaborations. Is there truth there perchance? Are we educating a society full of morons, human robots, and sheeple? What will be the eventual result: a totalitarian government, BIG BROTHER, nuclear annihilation…?