Good and evil. Image: iStock
Good and evil. Image: iStock

The universal remedy of so many is education. When asked: “What’s education?” many reply: “Education stands for wealth and socialization while transporting knowledge.” Others say, “Education is institutionalized homogenization of different levels.” Especially from the left, you hear: “Education for all!”. A nice idea, right? But what does it really mean?

In many Western countries the political agenda to welcome people from abroad relies on education as a remedy through which a common sense, a homogenized level of understanding is to be created, wherefore people are in education programs, the kids in schools, the grown-ups in vocational training, colleges or universities. Institutionally, students obtain an upgrade of what to think, what to believe in, to differentiate right from wrong, but mostly not critical thinking…

In contrast to religion and tradition, education is the maxim of many confident to handle any integration challenge while rejecting the maxim on the right of strong borders and closing the borders against “foreign” influences.

Ideology aside, when looking at education analytically – not ideologically and culture-centered –  it is not facts that are conveyed but content

Ideology aside, when looking at education analytically – not ideologically and culture-centered –  it is not facts that are conveyed but content, a propagated collection, a canon, meaning values and convictions, what many considering themselves educated regard as facts.

Those willing and able to put ideology aside might realize: On the surface via education facts – often thought of as truth – are transported, but subliminally values and convictions, since self-evidently the “best content” is without the desired impact, when not accepted by recipients with values and convictions deviant from the presented content.

Why is that left out even by the political left, who consider themselves educated in their ideologically ingrained analysis and approach? What is also widely unreported is that many people with different cultural backgrounds perceive Western education as left side and expansive economic endeavors of Western corporations as the right side of a double-edged sword, often considered as cultural imperialism, self-evidently when taking groups into account such as the northern Nigerian terrorist organization “Boko Haram” (translated: “Western education is evil”).

Analytically speaking, criticism of ideology is widely under-highlighted by the media, perhaps for a “good” reason, as criticism of ideology scrutinizes 360°, therefore also the practiced propagation of democracy of a certain kind, meaning a worldwide forcefully and militarily installed (Western) ideology in liaisons with (Western) corporations exploiting natural and human resources of a region, cultural imperialists are “interested in”, i.e. falling in, a model Asian regimes with expansive influence on other continents copied.

Many people propagating democracy don’t have democracy in mind, as many tribes worldwide can go on in age-old archaic traditions they are used to, live in stark contrast with human rights, without any public attention, as long as these tribes inhabit regions that are economically worthless and unattractive to corporations.

Exporting the “American Way of Life” worldwide has a long and dreadful history: After cultural imperialists systematically took land from and killed large numbers of Native Americans, the survivors of this “ethnic cleansing” were expelled from their ancestral land and deported to and “herded up” in reservations, without any economic interest for the government and companies, areas sans natural resources to exploit, only to be driven away again, once profitable natural resources were discovered in their reservations, which suddenly gained economic value for the government and businesses.

Moreover, Native American children were systemically forced into Western education, meaning they were snatched from their parents, transported to boarding schools, wherein they were inculcated with Western values and convictions in an effort to make them”good Americans,” while being prohibited from speaking their native language, wearing their traditional attire and using their genuine symbols.

Exporting the “American Way of Life” worldwide has a long and dreadful history

This US doctrine of cultural imperialism against Native Americans – whereupon an area in the Black Hills sacred to Native Americans was chosen by the US government as the site for carving in stone the heads of US presidents (Mount Rushmore National Memorial, finished in 1941)  – was still practiced in the 1960s.

All this reminds one of the age-old conflict between good and evil, a battle based on a binary friend-foe-scheme, Manichean logic, fought between ideologies, science and religion, a war, wherein conveniently each side considers itself good and the others as enemies, as false, as evil.

Many people, heavily relying on education as a cure-all, seemingly forget: No matter how good they consider themselves, it’s not truth or facts they transport with education, but analytically speaking, only content considered as truth or facts. All sides rely on education to pass on content they consider right to their youth, filling the young with content beneficial for the continuance of the ideology, meaning values and convictions the given side – even on the left – considers right, as the truth, and therefore the others’ position as lie, propaganda, false or even evil.

Referring to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s book: Beyond Good and Evil, it’s beyond good and evil, it’s about you, your self-reflection and emancipation from political power play, ideology, manipulative agendas of groups and parties – even in science and media – urging you not to reflect but to follow them in blind faith. Therein “impeccable” authorities claim to propagate “the truth” and to be always closer to “the truth” than you are, an undemocratic attitude reminiscent of the very same religion those people condemn while themselves demanding your subordination to their propagated content, i.e. to believe them, adopt their convictions, share their values, and submit to their belief system exclusively.

Analytically speaking, it’s beyond good and evil, beyond truth or facts, it’s all about you, what you believe in, what you sponsor with your attention and devotion. It’s up to you, how you lead your life, whom you follow: yourself or somebody else. You decide. One exit: Take the qualities that work best for you from ideology, religion and science.

Immanuel Fruhmann

Dr. Dr. phil. Immanuel Fruhmann is an Austrian philosopher and educationist specialized in philosophy of science and language, cultural and social philosophy, as well as adult education, with years of experience in analysis of geopolitics and giving philosophical and educational insights to the public. He is psychotherapist in training and works as coach and consultant as well as writer. Fruhmann is a Knight of the Order of St George, a European Order of the Imperial House of Habsburg-Lorraine,...

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