May 26, 2010


"Today we still maintain that we like democracy and self-governance, and we also think that we like freedom of speech, respect for difference, and understanding of others. We give these values lip service, but we think far too little about what we need to do in order to transmit them to the next generation and ensure their survival. Distracted by the pursuit of wealth, we increasingly ask our schools to turn out useful profit-makers rather than thoughtful citizens. Under pressure to cut costs, we prune away just those parts of the educational endeavor that are crucial to preserving a healthy society.

"What will we have, if these trends continue? A nation of technically trained people who do not know how to criticize authority, useful profit-makers with obtuse imaginations. . . . [A] suicide of the soul. What could be more frightening than that?"

Martha C. Nussbaum, Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2010), at 141-142.