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Power-defined education, culture and world affairs

Mar 08,2018 - Last updated at Mar 08,2018

At the core of this concise discussion is the contention that cultures structure and constrain education in ways that benefit a certain, often-condescending, society. Usually, the beneficiaries of such a system exercise disproportionate influence over the unspoken acceptance of a stronger form of education over another. Our collective ability to tolerate an orderliness that is often internationally inconsistent is testimony to the effectiveness of powerful cultural values as an attenuating control on those perspectives and interpretations, which excessively deviate from the usual norm.

A more scrupulous scrutiny of the manner in which culture is a social construct that subsequently structures the education of the members of a particular society is beyond the scope of this brief discussion. However, it is important that the reciprocally deterministic nature of education, and the role that dominance plays in this relationship, be rightly understood.

Cultures have numerous formal and informal mechanisms, which seek to ensure any society hold a common worldview that it is effectively transmitted from one generation to the next. While education may bear the primary responsibility, its rewarded values and attitudes are generally consistent across common social institutions and associations.

The danger of this practice is that most individuals representing a given culture are presented with a considerably narrow range of competing interpretations of their lived experience to create a false logical consistency. The result is that most of us have developed a phenomenal capacity to proceed through life uncritically, to accept some core values and resultant practices as the sole vision of reality.

Believing that there is a single, central and appropriate response to the complexity of global affairs, nations often propose solutions that demonstrate an indifference to the context of those impacted by a controlling power or culture. This occurrence should by no means provoke any astonishment, as our systems of education persist in structuring an intellectual perspective, one that is consistent with dominating, if not wrong, options and choices for the unconsidered solution for most international problems was and is narrowly defined by diverse versions of democracy and free markets.

As is characteristic of congruent imperialistic approaches, the two are explicitly linked. Lamentably, an analysis such as this plainly holds only for particular cultural value systems and conditions. A conceptual exploration of the meaning of democratic practices and the nature of markets may hold the potential for highlighting the choices that may not be the right choice for all nations.

For nations need to learn to talk with each other, to have a common ground for a mutual understanding of each other, to create their own friends, not enemies and to live with their differences, not for them!

In short, let us educate ourselves to create more refined opportunities to explore best-educated practices to rightly identify nations and their cultures and simultaneously develop an intellectually effective engagement with the civil world at large. We need to bring a little more knowledge, compassion, justice and fairness into world affairs, and, thereby, increase chances for nations to live in peace and friendship based on mutual respect and trust.

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