Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chomsky on the education system

4 comments:

Paul P. Mealing said...

I've always been a fan of Chomsky's. His commentary reminds me of Russell's famous quote about education stifling all the curiosity in a child (or words to that effect).

I've worked in engineering over the last 40 years, and, from my experience, engineers are generally conservative (politically), but, if you read New Scientist, scientists are amongst the most questing of thinkers.

I agree with what he says about the 60s - we did question and challenge everything - and I still believe subsequent generations have benefited from that; even though a number of religious conservatives point to the 60s as the time when Western society's social glue (read: institutinalised marriage between heterosexuals only) was seriously challenged (Cardinal George Pel, Archbishop of Sydney, makes specific reference to this time and this effect).

Chomsky's comments go to the heart of conservatism versus liberalism. It's a struggle that will continue right through the 21st Century, and beyond.

Regards, Paul.

Kosh3 said...

So drug dealers are critical thinkers bucking deferential acceptance of the ideology of the masses. In a trivial sense, yes - they certainly have stepped outside of what is socially accepted. In any meaningful sense? Oh come on.

Christopher Gray said...

So while he's decrying the education system for making us unquestioningly obedient, he's also saying that we should believe his theories despite his admission that "he can't prove any of this", essentially relying on his position as a great academic authority to back his claims. My irony meter needs an upgrade.

Ever since 'Manufacturing Consent', whch was largely excellent, Chomsky has been like a man with a new hammer, where everything looks like a nail. I think he's over-stretched this position more and more until it's looking rather thin and fragile...

Paul P. Mealing said...

I should have raised it before, but Chomsky's concern about education creating conformity and unquestioning obedience is well founded. The famous Milgram experiments performed at Yale in the 1960s are evidence for that concern.

Regards, Paul.