Friday, March 18, 2016

Preparing for a Culture

Education prepares you for culture, and the kind of education you receive will prepare you for particular kinds of cultures. A liberal education will prepare you for a liberal culture. An illiberal education will prepare you for an illiberal education.

There are of course a variety of illiberal cultures, ranging from theocratic cultures to secular illiberal cultures, from national socialism to international socialism and progressivism to postmodernism. The kinds of educations you would receive in each would involve some sort of unifying, totalizing world view or propaganda-- that is, the "right way" of viewing things. The result would be that you would in fact be for all intents and purposes trained in a particular way of thinking rather than having your thinking freed. But it would result in the creation of a particular kind of culture.

From the perspective of preparing you for culture and tradition, these are clearly forms of education. Yet from the perspective of freeing you to challenge tradition, it is at best a weak form of education.

Yet it would not be fair to training to call this training, either. When you are trained to do something, the goal is for you to master it so well that you can achieve things with it. In the sense that you master something through memorization, you can be considered to be "trained," but in fact, you can't really do much if anything with it other than continue to insist on the maintenance of tradition and to oppose any changes to that tradition, to maintain culture as is.

No, it is properly understood as education. Illiberal education is still education. It is still preparing you for a culture. Whether it's a good one or a healthy one is another issue entirely.

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