Why Education Matters

Even if democracy is not dead in America as evinced by massive popular interest and massive popular participation in the previous two elections we have had, democracy is in chaos and disarray to a certain extent. Arguably, indications of the chaos and disarray of democracy in America go as far back as the ‘Iowa Caucus’ in January 2020. Traditionally, arrangements such as the ‘Iowa Caucus’ and certain primary elections were tailored towards a particular capacity, and they were accustomed to absorbing a certain level of turnout. 

But 2020 showed that the traditional arrangements could not handle novel levels of capacity and turnout. Hence, even though the democratic spirit is still alive and well in America, democracy as a system is in chaos and disarray, and this can pose serious challenges for the system in the near to long-term future. And in a way, the chaos and the disarray foster the ‘election denialism’ and vice versa, in addition to fostering notions and perceptions in the Eastern world that democracy is not a sustainable political and social system. 

Arguably, dealing with the chaos and disarray of democracy requires a transformation of the traditions, values, and the ideology which have underpinned the system up until this present moment. This transformation, however, is easier said than done. This transformation, as mentioned before, occurs mainly through education, which until now has been monopolized by a certain class of Americans. In a way – although not fully, given that deep literacy is different than the information overflow and information intake that is generated by globalization and technology – the monopolization of knowledge and information by a certain class in America might be breaking, for better or for worse. As I have mentioned a number of times before, without Amazon, none of this magic would have happened. 

Education – in addition to art – facilitate the mental transformation which in turn enables all other economic and social transformations, as mentioned before. Education and the ‘supersession’ of the ‘pleasure principle’ which is enabled by education is also a coping mechanism for a widespread neurosis which has gripped our society as of late. Neurosis, as Freud argued, amounts to the inability to deal with reality. In turn, reality is ‘tragicomic’ – hence, the difficulty for many people to cope with reality and thus the grip which neurosis has on many Western societies. It follows that education is the only real and viable tool or mechanism at our disposal which enables us to both cope with reality and to transform reality to a certain extent. 

The mental transformation through education and the modification of the ‘pleasure principle’ which comes as a result of the mental transformation through education renders love as both the ideal to be attained and the likely outcome of this transformation. Love is essentially the sole safeguard between the individual and what is otherwise a dangerous and ‘tragicomic’ reality. In turn, the “sphere of love” which envelops highly sensitive people who face difficulties in coping with reality is itself complex and paradoxical. As Freud wrote: 

“The whole sphere of love in such people remains divided in the two directions personified in art as sacred and profane (or animal) love. Where they love they do not desire and where they desire, they cannot love.”

Hence, whenever and wherever love manifests, it is always sacred. All love is sacred, and there is nothing more sacred than love. Moreover, love can only be debased and defiled by the base desires and the base instincts which would obstruct and prevent love in the first place. 

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