Consequences of a Poor Education

Educational standards in the West have been declining at an unprecedented pace. This isn’t a controversial opinion, and, while it can’t be demonstrated by attainment measures such as grades or the proportion of individuals attending higher education, it can quite obviously be demonstrated by the way in which criteria are constantly revised to accommodate the rapid lowering of intellectual ability displayed by most demographics today.

This isn’t just a matter of annoyance that riles baby boomers looking back with cynical nostalgia, but a serious point that has an extreme, potentially irreversible consequence for the direction of humanity.

Western thinkers and innovators have led the world for centuries, not just in the things they’ve achieved, technologies they’ve invented and ideas they’ve conceived of, but in their fundamental ability to define the world in which we live, and articulate this in a coherent fashion. And the real tragedy of the modern world is that this ability is almost lost to history.

The problem is self-perpetuating, and it increases in severity at an exponential rate. Individuals who, of course, generate the collective, are becoming less and less well read in the most important sense, and this in turn produces a new generation who lack the verbal dexterity and basic vocabulary to describe fundamental truths, ethics, and the basic meanings of life. Sadly, representatives of this generation go on to produce the academic material on which the next generation is nurtured.

Each generation progressively loses the ability to articulate the most important truths that differentiate modern, Western civilisation from all others. They become, as it happens, the barbarians at the gates who’ll ultimately bring down the West; it requires no outside invader if the constituent parts of the whole lose entirely the ability to articulate the value of their own civilisation.

Naturally, and with typical indolence, I write this as a diagnosis rather than a prescription. In any event, there is probably no means through which this situation can be rectified, so we have only our ability to pass judgement remaining.

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