Tuesday, September 09, 2008


“To discover what part education can play in the present world crisis, we should understand how that crisis has come into being. It is obviously the result of wrong values in our relationship to people, to property, and to ideas. If our relationship with others is based on self-aggrandizement, and our relationship to property is acquisitive, the structure of society is bound to be competitive and self-isolating. If in our relationship with ideas we justify one ideology in opposition to another, mutual distrust and ill will are the inevitable results.

“Another cause of the present chaos is dependence on authority, on leaders, whether in daily life, in the small school, or in the university. Leaders and their authority are deteriorating factors in any culture. When we follow another there is no understanding but only fear and conformity, eventually leading to the cruelty of the totalitarian state and the dogmatism of organized religion.

“To rely on governments, to look to organizations and authorities for that peace which must begin with the understanding of ourselves, is to create further and still greater conflict; and there can be no lasting happiness as long as we accept a social order in which there is endless strife and antagonism between man [woman] [the human] and man [woman[[human]. If we want to change existing conditions, we must first transform ourselves, which means that we must become aware of our own actions, thoughts, and feelings in everyday life.

“But we do not really want peace, we do not want to put an end to exploitation. We will not allow our greed to be interfered with, or the foundations of our present social structure to be altered; we want things to continue as they are with only superficial modifications, and so the powerful, the cunning inevitably rule our lives.”

“The only moral or righteous action is voluntary, and understanding alone can bring peace and happiness to men [humans].”
“Belief, ideologies, and organized religions are setting us against our neighbors; there is conflict, not only among different societies, but among groups within the same society. We must realize that as long as we identify ourselves with a country, as long as we cling to security, as long as we are conditioned by dogmas, there will be strife and misery both within ourselves and in the world.”

”The constantly repeated assertion that we belong to a certain political or religious group, that we are of this nation or of that, flatters our little egos, puffs them out like sails, until we are ready to kill or be killed four our country, race, or ideology. It is all so stupid and unnatural. Surely, human beings are more important than national and ideological boundaries.

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