Society for The Reclamation of Intelligence Founded in Education
Regurgitation. The modern zeitgeist of American culture and its outlook on education, its idea of the purpose of education, is a vicious and perpetual cycle, constantly driving the desire and underlying motivation for higher education to be simply success through the regurgitation of information. The true and secular meanings of life, debatably between, namely, the meaningful life, or the happy life, have been respectively discarded and subordinated to the ideas of wealth, success, fame, power, and political influence.
These five desires have become the new secular purposes of life, the new tenets of the New American Dream. Pure hedonism, pure avarice, pure influence and power, are the postmodernist’s paths to the ‘good’ life, achieved, or supposedly guaranteed, by education.
Even the best students out of high school (in fact, especially), the Valedictorians and top three percent of a graduating class, often achieved that position under the motivation of one or more of these tenets. When their parents told them the purpose of education, they most often fed it to them in the ideological form of probability for success. To do well in high school as to get into a good college, thus a good, well paying job, thus financial stability, and usually a good romantic partner and family in order to cope with the anti-metanarrative postmodernist’s newfound existential meaninglessness towards their midlife strife.
The few students who learn for the sake of learning, who take more home with them than simply homework, who find the purpose of education to be the intellectual and philosophical enhancement of life in itself, and who find the meaningful, happy life, the well-lived and virtuous life, not one motivated by shallow pleasure, popularity, and financial stability, often fall on the fringe of the top ten percent. This is because our high schools have been designed, both private and public, by the top three percent of the last generation and favor the type like themselves, who excel in simple rote memorization, the ability to fill in bubbles of the ACT/SAT (a test which tests one’s ability to take a test, not one’s ability to think on higher levels or conduct a deep conversation), science and math skills (that is, the simple ability to memorize and conceptualize rather than think on deeper levels in those subjects as well as the arts, humanities, and philosophies) and to do so under the motivation of not intellectual but financial stability in an increasingly convoluting society.
Counterintuitively, the majority of our higher education facilities, especially those of the Ivy League universities and liberal art universities, despite placing the strongest desire to attract the top three percent of the rote memorizing students, truly favor, at least at the micro-level, the philosophical and meaningful students at the fringe. Similarly, our society mirrors our universities. For our society (and not only the modern one, but universally and historically) has always been progressed forward by these fringe thinkers. The great scientists, writers, artists, leaders, and so on, were most often a resplendent example of their personality archetype, which in turn means they usually had the rare ability (more so in recent history) to appeal to both sides: the intellectual fringes and the hedonistic elites.
We must engender a society which promotes the truly thinking students: the students who strive under the motivation of education in itself and in meaning rather than the empty financial and successful stability that the elite follow, often under the faux visage poorly imitating their true superiors. -end-