Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Classical Education and Wealth
The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth that it prevents you from achieving - Russell Green.
This quote has been spread around the internet with some popularity. Have you stopped to consider what is means and is it true? The premise of the quote is a utilitarian education will enable you to get wealth, while a classical liberal education will keep you from gaining that wealth.
Does a classical education teach you to despise thing? This would be his first major flaw, or lack of understanding. A classical education does not teach you to despise anything. That may be a personal quality flaw of a person, but one that is rejected by classical education. A classical education, when done properly, teaches you a love for learning and gives you a mind to explore the world around you, even a world you may not participate in. That is the beauty of it, a classically educated person is not tied down to one industry. Consider that today’s college graduates will average 3 jobs in the first 5 years out of school, and a very high percentage of those will no longer be working in the field they specialize in.
This fact shows that a utilitarian education does not work for the majority of students, and they will likely have to teach themselves a new trade, after preparing for a certain trade for 18-22 years. A classically educated person knows how to learn and will be able to adapt to the changing job market.
The Utilitarian idea of work hard in school, go to college and get a good job that may have worked for a temporary time in history, is no longer the case. Look at unemployment, job turn over numbers and the masses clamoring for someone else to help them. The plea of those who cannot due for themselves is have the government or some big company due for them.
If you are indebted to someone than you are their slave. That credit card bill, house payment and car payment make it so you have to be a good citizen and comply to whatever hoops they want you to jump through. I’m not advocating being a bad citizen or not being a great worker, but if you have bigger concerns such as gaining wealth, paying your next bill that you won’t really have the time or energy to be a good citizen. The benefit of a utilitarian education is not wealth, but slavery to your government and those who you want to think for you.
The benefits of a classical education is that you do not make Gold you god. Wealth is not something you despise; it is something that you do not have to strive for, because you know real wealth isn’t measured in dollars and sense, but friendships and freedom. This drives people whose only goal in life is to beat the Jones nuts. The only logical conclusion you can come to is that this quote does not ring true.