- Aug 2023
If leisure and political power requirethis education, everybody in America now requires it, andeverybody where democracy and industrialization penetratewill ultimately require it. If the people are not capable ofacquiring this education, they should be deprived of politicalpower and probably of leisure. Their uneducated politicalpower is dangerous, and their uneducated leisure is degrad-ing and will be dangerous. If the people are incapable ofachieving the education that responsible democratic citizen-ship demands, then democracy is doomed, Aristotle rightlycondemned the mass of mankind to natural slavery, and thesooner we set about reversing the trend toward democracythe better it will be for the world.
This is an extreme statement which bundles together a lot without direct evidence.
Written in an era in which there was a lot of pro-Democracy and anti-Communist discussion, Hutchins is making an almost religious statement here which binds education and democracy in the ways in which the Catholic church bound education and religion in scholasticism. While scholasticism may have had benefits, it also caused a variety of ills which took centuries to unwind into the Enlightenment.
Why can't we separate education from democracy? Can't education of this sort live in other polities? Hasn't it? Does critical education necessarily lead to democracy?
What does the explorable solution space of admixtures of critical reasoning and education look like with respect to various forms of government? Could a well-educated population thrive under collectivism or socialism?
The definition of "natural slavery" here is contingent and requires lots of context, particularly of the ways in which Aristotle used it versus our current understanding of chattel slavery.
Democracy and Education was written before the assemblyline had achieved its dominant position in the industrialworld and before mechanization had depopulated the farmsof America.
Interesting history and possible solutions.
Dewey on the humanization of work front running the dramatic changes of and in work in an industrial age?
Note here the potential coupling of democracy and education as dovetailing ideas rather than separate ideas which can be used simultaneously. We should take care here not to end up with potential baggage that could result in society and culture the way scholasticism combined education and religion in the middle ages onward.
- Dec 2016
about their expectations
The less we expect of our people, the less democracy we have.