Friday, May 02, 2014

Encouraging ignorance

What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination of every kind of human excellence - moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how "democracy" (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods? ... In a word, we may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when "I'm as good as you" has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish.The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway the teachers - or should I say, nurses? - will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men. The little vermin themselves will do it for us.

Screwtape
"Screwtape Proposes a Toast" in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters

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