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Once social change begins it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid any more. We have seen the future, and the future is ours. Cesar Chavez
Religion is an all-important matter in a public school for girls. Whatever people say, it is the mother’s safeguard, and the husband’s. What we ask of education is not that girls should think, but that they should behave. Napoleon Bonaparte
Religion debauches education. Professor Richard Dawkins, with Christopher Hitchens & A C Grayling v Spivey & Neuburger & Scrutun
There is something exceedingly odd about the idea of sectarian religious schools. If we hadn’t got used to it over the centuries, we’d find it downright bizarre. Sectarian education has proved to be deeply damaging. It has left a terrible legacy. Richard Dawkins, The Root of All Evil? The Virus of Faith, Channel 4 2008
And yet it’s a strange anomaly that faith schools are increasing in number and influence in our education system. With active encouragement from Tony Blair’s government. There are already seven-thousand faith schools in Britain. But the government’s trust reforms are encouraging many more. Over half the new City Academies are expected to be sponsored by religious organisations. The most development is a new wave of private evangelical schools. ibid.
It is interesting – you find in the United States, there is a kind of anti-education hostility. It’s the sort of Sarah Palin constituency which does seem to actually be hostile to the New York, Boston, San Francisco educated elite. You know – We good plain folks from the middle of the country are just as good as you pointy-headed intellectuals. Richard Dawkins
Education has become one of the most fiercely debated political battlegrounds. Billions of pounds of our money are poured into schools every year. But there is an aspect of education that is rarely questioned – a slow creeping change in the make-up of our schools: one third are now faith schools. Richard Dawkins, Faith School Menace, More4 2010
We taxpayers fund the running of these schools. ibid.
It [Blair’s government] should have abolished the faith component altogether. ibid.
The other option of course is to fake a faith … It’s about the social level of pupils and the pushiness of parents prepared to jump through hoops to get their children selected. ibid.
But that very sense of identity tends to set them apart from others. ibid.
We’re in a lot of trouble ... because you people and sixty-two million other Americans are listening to me right now. Because less than 3% of you people read books. Because less than 15% of you read newspapers. Because the only truth you know is what you get over of this tube. Right now there is a whole – an entire – generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube! This tube is the gospel! The ultimate revelation! This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers. This tube is the most awesome god-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people ... And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome god-damned propaganda for us in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be paid to the truth on this network! So you listen to me. Listen to me. Television is not the truth. Television is a god-damned amusement park; television is a circus, a carnival, a travelling troop of acrobats, story-tellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion-tamers and football players – we’re in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the truth go to God. Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves! Because that’s the only place you’re ever going to find any real truth. But, man, you’re never going to get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear. We’ll lie like hell ... We’ll tell you any shit you want to hear. We deal in illusions, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day night after night all ages, colors, creeds, where are you now? You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that you’re own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like a tube. You eat like a tube. You raise your children like a tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name: you people are the reality. We are the illusion. Network 1976 starring Faye Dunaway & Peter Finch & William Holden & Robert Duvall & Ned Beatty, director Sidney Lumet
It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self. George Eliot, Middlemarch
But for the most part, women are not educated as they should be, I mean those of quality; oft their education is only to dance, sing, and fiddle, to write complimental letters, to read romances, to speak some languages that is not their native ... Their parents take more care of their feet than their head, more of their words than their reason. Margaret Cavendish 1624-1674, Duchess of Newcastle
Why then should women be denied the benefits of instruction? If knowledge and understanding had been useless additions to the sex, God almighty would never have given them capacities. Daniel Defoe, 1660-1731, An Essay Upon Projects, 1697
Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. Jane Austen
‘I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.’
‘Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.’ Jane Austen, Persuasion
Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal ... There is a tendency ... for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious – because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe – some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others – some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfilment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way. Noam Chomsky
Education is a system of imposed ignorance. Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent
The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on – because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions. Noam Chomsky