2 hrs · "Neither [Milton nor Aristotle] would dispute that the purpose of education is to produce the good man and the good citizen, though it must be remembered here that we are not using the word 'good' in any narrowly ethical sense. The 'good man' here means the man of good taste and good feeling, the interesting and interested man, and almost the happy man.... Vocational training, on the other hand, prepares the pupil not for leisure, but for work; it aims at making not a good man but a good banker, a good electrician, etc.... You see at once that education is essentially for freemen and vocational training for slaves. That is how they were distributed in the old unequal societies; the poor man's son was apprenticed to a trade, the rich man's son went to Eton and Oxford and then made the grand tour.... One of the most dangerous errors instilled in us by nineteenth-century progressive optimism is the idea that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism." ~C.S. Lewis
Elizabeth Bowen, Charley Dewberry and 2 others like this.
Charley Dewberry Jacob- If you have it on your fingertips where in Lewis is this quote from? If you don't have it I can of course google it.
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Jrcb Swnsn replied · 1 Reply
Dan McLaughlin If free men work and there are no slaves, both education and vocational training are needed. Are education and vocational training mutually exclusive? The educated man must work and the workman must be educated. An educated man that does not work grows thin. The uneducated worker creates a monster.
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Dan McLaughlin Julie suggested that I change the above from "creates a monster" to "creates Donald Trump.
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Jrcb Swnsn In the same section Lewis says: "When societies became, in effort if not in achievement, egalitarian, we are presented with a difficulty. To give everyone education and no one vocational training is impossible, for bankers and electricians we must have and they must be trained. Our ideal must be to find time for both education and training: our danger is that equality may mean training for all and education for none -- that everyone will learn commercial French instead of Latin, and 'knowledge of the world we live in' rather than great literature. It is against this danger that schoolmasters must fight, for if education is beaten by training, civilization dies."
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Dan McLaughlin Knowing Lewis I knew that he understood the balance and had said it better someplace else. It is just that the line "vocational training for slaves" poked me with a sharp stick.