This Samizdata post is a response to the type of “today’s students are dogmatic zealots with no logic skills” article being written – pointing out that if there are flaws in the younger generations’ reasoning abilities, the fault properly lies in their teachers’ failure.
This is indeed both an indictment of the educational establishment, especially middle and high school: a mind trained by indoctrination is not likely to be swayed by reason once it reaches college-age.
But isn’t that an interesting dynamic? The generation of protests, of “question authority,” who benefited from reason and logic and the study of the classics – once they became The Man, they burned the ladder behind them. Now students are taught, not to question authority (except where that “authority” is a caricature of traditionalism), but to mindlessly repeat the slogans of their upbringing, to chant sacred “truths” and to accuse anyone who questions of heresy.
The ability to reason is a measure of power. The Boomer generation destroyed a great deal of the world that raised them – it does not surprise me one whit that they have done as much as they can to keep the next generation from doing the same to them.
Because the ability to reason, to observe reality and evidence and change one’s preconceptions based on evidence – that is the only way to break out of a cult’s indoctrination. Of course those who hold power in that cult don’t want the rising generation to be able to question their authority!