17 July 2010

Story I DO follow

"You have to be asleep to believe it."

Bigger problem is that it goes back decades. "All that is best in human life depends on a certain kind of self-respect, self-determination; a man who has allowed outside pressure to dictate the ends for which he shall live can never be more than a slave.

Our modern State education is mainly designed to produce convenient citizens, and therefore dare not encourage spontaneity, since all spontaneity interferes with system. There is a tendency to uniformity, to the suppression of private judgment, to the production of populations which are tame towards their rulers and fericious toward "the enemy"." - Bertrand Russell. 1923.

But the best part is this. Want to think? Don't go to school it seems. I'm puzzled however by the CEO effect. If they say they want creativity, why is creativity punished by workplaces? It often manifests itself in "inefficient" ways, like questioning methods, seeking improvements over status quo and authority, etc. One would think a good CEO would seek to reward innovative thinking to acquire more products or services under their aim. Instead, an army of middle managers are deployed to beat out of the system what was not crushed by the educational system. Very strange.

Russell's critique and advice still seems adequate, decades later.

"That a good community is a community of good men and women - of men and women, that is to say, who live freely but not destructively or oppressively."
"As things stand, we know the sins of our enemies, but not our own; thus indignation produces merely an increase of mutual enmity".
"...Given equal opportunity for all, we may hope that there will be much more of such work than there has hitherto been. But there will be none at all if the State, in its schools, sets to work to mould the minds of the young according to a uniform plan. There must be the utmost encouragement to freedom of thought, even when it is inconvenient to bureaucrats."
"The fight for freedom is not to be won by any mere change in our economic system. It is to be won only by a constant resistance to the tyranny of officials, and a constant realisation that mental freedom is the most precious of all goods. Mechanism has its place; its place is the in the material side of life, the provision of the food and clothes and houses without which we cannot live. But it has no place in what makes life worth preserving, in art and thought, in friendship and love, or in simple enjoyment. These things demand freedom - not only outward freedom, but freedom in our minds and hearts. Such freedom is too little respected in our schools and in the schemes of economic reformers. It is in danger of being lost through the tyranny of purely material aims. But no perfection of organisation can ever compensate for its loss: and nothing can prevent its loss unless we remember that man cannot live by bread alone."
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