In this era when technology transforms the world at an accelerating pace, offering us ever-larger magnitudes of potential disaster, it is questionable whether my students can survive the next fifty years if they remain in the grip of the traditional orthodoxies, the folk knowledge, the myths which allow the same elites to retain control. Only if my students are trained to order their priorities and test their predictions free of the covert command and metaphysical traps of ideological language-only then can they see the alternative options open to them. The ambient status quo is, after all, merely one violent option. There are many alternatives- none without violence, perhaps, but also not necessarily suicidal. That's the kind of alternative I want my students ready to see
Social science knows that antisocial and antilegal behavior is learned. Hence, the fundamental remedy for crime and misdemeanors must be sought in education and the institutions which contribute to it. Nobody, however, can facilitate the work of education as much as the law because it embodies "the moral sentiment of the people" (William Blackstone).
We have then, three ways in which general education should approach the issue of law and order: It should help educate people to live with it as it is-good or bad-lest they destroy themselves in lawlessness and chaos. It should help educate people to be participants in the processes whereby laws are changed, for without change they cannot express the true values of a changing society. And, finally, general education must help educate the people which make up the culture-the collective conscience-from which will flow the kind of law which need not be forced on them, but which they will live by willingly.
Downes, Alan; Fuhrig, Wolf D.; Brinkman, J. Warrren; and Noonan, John
"Violence and General Education,"
Perspectives (1969-1979): Vol. 4
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/perspectives/vol4/iss3/5