Opinion part two: justice and education

Thinking about the issues discussed in the post, I cannot help but consider the rottenness of my present attitude. I do not like that I cannot any longer find the way to respect all opinions because I find some to be unworthy of respect. I am writing book about education and it begins with discussion of a dilemma related to this sentiment, the goodness of democratic society a reality that regularly proves democracy, in practice, to not be sane enough or humane enough to serve humanity well.  Democracy too often is destructive and/or cruel and, as issues arise that concern the irreversible, decisions make democratically threaten all that exists.  I took up reading again Ortega y Gasset’s Revolt of the Masses, a book published in 1930 that argues against popular democracy and for recognition of a class of people more able to make decisions in the name of the whole because they dedicate time and energy to thinking about the issues–discovering relevant information, analyzing it rationally, debating conclusions, doing things such as these as a regular part and a substantial part of their existence.

Ortega y Gasset suggests rule by the few who are qualified.  The book argues for an educational system that broadly expands that class of people Ortega y Gasset believes worthy and able of making sane and humane decisions.

Of course, in his world, as things were shaping up (or down), he had reason to be desperate for immediate change.  Hitler was coming.

Maybe these are times as desperate but, despite my fears as to what is happening presently in the world, I argue that in the immediate present we design the school system that will qualify all, at least almost all, for participation in sane and humane decision making so that a real possibility for a sane and humane popular democracy is created.

I don’t know if we have the time or the will or agreement enough to take such a path so, I cannot say that I have faith in popular democracy as a form of governance to make the nation, the world, more democratic, effectively democratic, this meaning that the welfare of all is the first and foremost consideration, the desires of those curtailed if necessary to make the world a more equitable and just place.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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