my next topic: education

I have written a series of threads this morning and I don’t see them
as separate and different topics, I see them as variations on a theme…

next is the age old question of education… this question of education drove
much of what the Greeks acted and thought about…or as they called it,
Paideia…not only how was it taught, but what was taught…

the point of Paideia was to achieve Arete, which means excellence…
education was meant to help people become excellent at their
appointed task…the early Greeks thought of Paideia as being
the search for excellence as being a Warrior…the Greeks thought of
the Iliad and the Odyssey as educational tracts, not just as being entertainment…

the point of Achilles was to give an example of what one was suppose to be, Achilles
is a educational tool…as is Odysseus is an educational tool, Paris not so much but
Hector was meant to be an example of excellence…in other words, each character is
meant to be an educational example… of what should be what we humans are,
what we are suppose in be in the quest of, is exemplified by each character…
the characters are meant to be what we should be pursuing by their actions…
and we see this today in the examples set by such leaders as Washington
and Lincoln… Washington, I cannot tell a lie, for example and Lincoln,

“with Malice toward none; with charity for all; with the firmness in the right,
les us strive on to finish the work we are in”

these are not just random words thrown out “ad hoc”, these words are meant
to be an ideal of what it means to be human…

both Washington and Lincoln are setting examples of what it means to be
human, of what we should be aiming for, in both words and actions…

both Washington and Lincoln are meant to be educational standards for
us to follow and they are to guide us to become better human beings…

there are two schools of thought about modern education…
the first lasted from roughly 1600 to about 1900 and the second has
gone from 1900 to today… the first school of thought was that education
was meant to create a Humanist, to create a gentleman…not to teach
any specific skills but to create someone who could adapt to any situation…

the second school has been since 1900 and the point of education is to
teach someone a skill in which they can earn a living… education isn’t meant
to teach us to become better human beings but for us to become better workers…
our priority is to make profits for business, not to improve who we are…
or to become better human beings…

and so we have turned education into one who has some sort of skill to
make money, instead of achieving Arete or becoming a better person…

education is meant to pursue money/profits… and that is the only goal
of education… notice the distinct demand of the conservative to eliminate
anything that doesn’t make money… thus we have the conservative demand
to end the ARTS, music, sports that don’t make money, literature… if it doesn’t lead
to one making money, it is eliminated… to create better workers is the goal of
education today, not to create better human beings…

the conservative belief that education is the three R’s…
reading, writing and arithmetic… skills to have to pursue a job,
not to better oneself…and given the basic failure of education to
reach even these minimal goals of reading, writing and arithmetic,
we must question the modern educational system…

if we are not teaching children to become better human beings and we
are not teaching basic skills as reading, writing and math, then what is
the point of education?

and on this basis, has the modern conservative attack the educational
system… or we as we might say best said by Pink Floyd…

“We don’t need no education”

the conservative considers modern education as nothing more then
propaganda by the left… and the left has lost any understanding of
what is the point of education…

and so we must ask, what is the point of education?

and I hold that the modern failure of education to be a failure
of deciding what is the actual point of an education…

why do we educate children?

what is the point of or the meaning of being educated?

what is the goal?

and because we haven’t figured it out, we have lost the
point of the educational system…

once we make a decision as to what is the point of education,
then and only then, can we have education become a success once

why do we educate children? to become better workers or to become
better human beings?


what is the point of being educated?

what is the goal we are aiming for when we “educate”?

as with any project, the goal, the destination becomes all important…
what is the final goal of being educated?

I was “educated” for about 14 years… and what was the point of that education?

to gain knowledge? and what are supposed to do with that knowledge?
to be worker bee’s? is that really the only possibility we foresee with people?

we claim that people/children can become whoever they want to be, but we don’t
actually act upon that belief… for we can only reach our possibilities if we
are educated to see or to work out those possibilities… and this is something
that education clearly doesn’t do…the declaration of Independence was signed
in 1776…ok, what can we do with that information, that knowledge?
basically, we can’t do anything with that information/knowledge… it has no value
of any kind because it is an useless fact that has no context…

so what if the declaration was signed in 1776? if we put that knowledge into some
context, the declaration was a document that is full of enlightenment ideals…
suddenly, we have something…recall, Sapere aude… “dare to know” or it could
be “dare to be wise” so what wisdom lies within the declaration?

“We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility…”

and then later,

“we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal”

the knowledge that is presented in the declaration is twofold, that we are engaged
with “in order to form a more perfect union”… that means we don’t have a perfect
union, and we must work at making America a “more perfect union”
and secondly, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal”

these twofold truths lie at the heart of the American experience…

but these truths are hidden, dismiss by modern education because we cannot
use them as “skills” in which to make a living, to be useful Americans, which really
means to be “worker bees”… what does it matter to a worker bee that we are attempting
“to form a more perfect union” and that “all men are created equal”…

the only point of being a worker bee is to make profits for the corporation…
anything else is immaterial to the task at hand which is to make profits for
corporate America… all men are create equal if they are all worker bee’s…
but that is to sell short the possibilities of the human being…

the goal isn’t to create more or better worker bee’s, the goal is to create better
human beings… and to do that requires us to give human existence some
context, some meaning as to why we exists?

to make human beings better worker bee’s is to reduce the possibilities of
human existence… the goal and the point of education is to make one
aware of what is possible for us as human beings…what are the possibilities
for us? that is the goal of education, to explore and understand what is
possible for us to achieve…I can be more, so much more then a simple
worker bee in some factory lite… but I cannot explore that possibility
because I have no choice…I must waste my life engage in an animal task
as making a living… I am wasted as millions of people lives is wasted
in being worker bee’s, and not in exploring what is the possibilities in our lives…

education is exploring what is possible for us beyond being a worker bee…

but the power to be aren’t interested in me finding out what my possibilities are,
when I could be a “productive” American… making corporate America more
and more profits…if I live to my predicted age of 76, then I will have roughly
8 years of retirement to me… and that is after 45 plus years of working for
corporate America… and most of those 8 years will be in ill health…
the cost and benefit of working vs what we get in retirement just isn’t worth the
effort of 45 years of work…my life has been wasted… as your life has been wasted…
in being a “productive” Americans we waste our lives working for corporate America…

and we would know this if we were “educated” to be better human beings instead
of being educated to be better worker bee’s…

so what is the point of education?
what is the goal?

you tell me…


now the point one might suggest is to become educated enough to avoid
being a worker bee… but even management is being a worker bee, just
a better paid worker bee…even a CEO is just a worker bee… and is that
really the best possibility we can find for human beings? being a well paid worker
bee as oppose to being a lowly paid worker bee?

in fact, I call into doubt the entire premise of human existence is
to work and make a living… a study of the effort versus the cost in just
working for living, is not worth effort of working for 30 or 40 years…

you don’t get enough benefits of working to justify the cost you face when
you work for corporate America…

and that is the real value of education… realizing that we are wasting our lives
in working for corporate America… there is no point…

think about it… what is the value of working for 40 years in corporate America?

what would you get out of it? for me, I got a bad back and bad knees and
hips that barely work…and I will get roughly 8 years of retirement to enjoy
before my predicted death… is that worth 45 years of abuse in working
for corporate America? no, no it is not… and had I seen this when I was
younger, I would have rather live on the streets then be reduced to
being a worker bee in corporate America…

we live to work instead of working to live…

to be even more blunt, my life is a waste because I spent 45 years working
and gaining absolutely nothing by that 45 years of work… there is no benefit
of any kind working… to continue on, to work for 45 years to get just 8 years
of retirement has no justification… I would be better off dead then spending
my entire adult life working for, basically nothing…now one might think,
Kropotkin, you are being overly dramatic… am I?

think about it… is 45 years of working worth just 8 years of retirement and
the ill health that I face because of the 45 years of work?

no, a cost benefit analysis of the benefit of work vs what is gained is simply not worth it…

and then one might ask, ok, Kropotkin, what is worth the cost? and here come
the point about education and the possibilities we have in our lives…

it is by education that we can see the cost/benefit factor of spending 45 years working…

we can better see our possibilities by being educated… for being educated in
becoming a better human being is to be better informed as to what our
possibilities might be…

to be educated means to see what is possible for us… in all our possibilities,
not just as worker bee…