Tag Archives: education

I read books. I know stuff.

How wonderfully passionate are the many ways that Socrates and Plato try to convince us that the only safe way that leads us to happiness, is education. Plato dreamed of public libraries, public lectures, education being a basic element of a free city-state.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau says: “If you wish to know what is meant by public education, read Plato’s Republic. Those who merely judge books by their titles take this for a treatise on politics, but it is the finest treatise on education ever written.” [Emile, or On Education (1762)]

No wonder why the great Cicero was seen most times with a book in hand.

CICERO (1)

 

*Literal translation is, of course: “If you have a garden in your library, nothing will be lacking.” [Epistulae ad familiares 9.4]

 

Propaganda

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” –Winston Churchill

A comprehension on a satisfactory level of the functions and mechanisms of propaganda makes you a better citizen.

WW2 poster
WW2 poster

I always believed that propaganda should be taught in high-schools. If I was to defy this term I’d simply say that it’s to disseminate a message to people through specific mediums, for a specific aim. Many believe that there’s no negative sign before this noun. It’s the use of it that can be characterized as positive or negative. Propaganda evolved into a real ‘science’ during the 20th century. The word itself takes us back to the 17th century and the origin of the term, when Pope Gregory XV founded a department charged with the spread of “the Faith”, the famous Congregatio de Propaganda Fide.

In the 20th century two names easily stand out: the great Vladimir Lenin and his most successful “disciple”, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Most techniques and methods still used today were created or perfected by those two masterminds of propaganda.

Lenin in his office
Lenin in his office
Goebbels in his office
Goebbels in his office

The Decalogue of a Good Teacher

*According to Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Quotation taken from the 3rd vol. of:

“The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell” (p. 71—72)