Saturday, November 03, 2012
The Time Must Come
The time must come when men will understand that the highest function of government is not to legislate but to educate, to make not laws but schools. The greatest statesman, like the subtlest teacher, will guide and suggest through information, rather than invite pugnacity with prohibitions and commands; his motto will be, Millions for education, not one cent for compulsion. The state, which began as the conquest and taxation of peaceful peasants by marauding herdsman, will become, again, as it was for a moment under the Antonines, the leadership of a great nation by great men. We need not so despair of our race as to believe that government will be in the hands of politicians forever. Day by day a hoard of knowledge rises; generation after generation the heritage of culture grows, and finds transmission to a larger minority of mankind; soon men will not tolerate the charlatans that we have suffered so patiently and so long. Our children’s children, lifted up by our care, will choose their rulers more wisely than we chose. They will not ask for lawmakers but for creative teachers; they will submit not to regimentation but to knowledge; they will achieve peace and order not through violence and compulsion, but through the advance and spread and organization of intelligence.
Will Durant, The Pleasures of Philosophy, Chapter XVII, In Praise of Freedom, Simon and Schuster, New York, Fifth Cloth Edition 1964, pg. 287