Lovolution: a non-violent, romantic revolution; the evolution of revolution;
the Gaia Movement for planetary transformation.
This essay analyzes the mission statements of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to illustrate the struggle for liberty within American Higher Education. The two opposing ideologies within education are brought forth: that education has an idealistic mission to try to save humanity through individual self-knowledge, and that the mission of education is to produced qualified workers for the market ecomony. Both viewpoints verbalize the need for a democratic foundation, but the reality is that democracy cannot survive in a "free market" economy where the accumulation of private wealth has created a government and educational system controlled by the myth that the motivation behind school and work is to make money.
The paper concludes that we need to establish a new form of governance, the democracy/meritocracy model, where our natural aristocrats, that is our most virtuous educators, guide the masses to build leisure cities so that all members of society have the time to participate in the democratic process. The egocentric nature of the capitalist myth is no longer adequate for our evolving global consciousness.
A "mission statement" of a university can be compared to the preamble of a nation's constitution since they both articulate the social vision of an organization or civilization. A statement of a university's mission attempts to define the university's function in a way that illuminates its vision of individual, community, and world development. This paper ana- lyzes two mission statements published by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in an attempt to discover its view of the exact purpose of institutions of higher education, one from the 1989 Plan III Report and the other from the 1987 Self-Study.
The Chancellor's job is to articulate the campus' mission to the external and internal constituencies. The Vice Chancellor is responsible for advancing the research mission of the university. In January 1987, the Provost asked the Campus Planning Council composed of fifteen administrators, faculty, and students to draft a formal mission statement for the campus. Drafts of the mission statement were printed in the campus newspaper, the Collegian, to allow the entire university community to make comments, and were reviewed by all campus governance bodies. Taking their criticisms into account, the statement was revised several times and finally endorsed by the Faculty Senate, the President, and the Board of Trustees.
There are two opposing ideologies outlined in the Self- Study mission statement: one appears to holds forth idealistic democratic values whose purpose is to change society to be just, egalitarian, and humane, while the other recognizes the existence of inequality, the need for competition, and maintenance of the status quo in the name of "excellence" as the purpose of higher education. Such inconsistencies makes it difficult to determine the true mission of the University, purveying a sense of hypocrisy, fragmentation, and contradiction which is reminscent of schizophrenia, rather than clarity of vision and honesty of purpose. Robert Birnbaum in How Colleges Work observes, "As colleges and universities become more diverse, fragmented, spec- ialized, and connected with other social systems, institutional missions do not become clearer; rather, they multiply and become sources of stress and conflict rather than integration" (Birnbaum 1988, 11). Certainly the mission statements of the University of Massachusetts reflect this kind of conflict.
A positive-sounding ideology is reflected in the following passages from both the 1987 and 1989 statements. A university education must provide students with a set of values that will serve them for the rest of their lives. These values include respect for truth, and free inquiry, respect for others, respect for the environment, and respect for the values underlying a democratic society (Plan III, 6). We seek a society where life is to be enjoyed, and in which every person has the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential (Plan III, 6).
In general, UMASS seeks to embody the traits that it hopes to transmit to its students; to be a macrocosm of the ideals that society cherishes in the individual citizen. As such, it seeks to reach beyond its grasp, to remain open to new ideas, and to be willing to test assumptions, to achieve a greater breadth of vision and a greater depth of compassion; to appreciate its natural gifts and the opportunities it has been presented; and to bequeath more than it has inherited (Self-Study, 14).
These passages describe an idealistic mission for the the University. It endorses the notion that in society one should have the opportunity to achieve one's full potential. It is not just a place to generate new ideas, but to "test new assumptions." It is a place of compassion, a place that represents the ideals we believe should be embodied within individuals. Can we assume that the university's mission is wholistic in that it should provide students with values which respect the environment? If so, the university should be a place which is built to live in harmony with nature, allowing the individual to follow the command of the ancient Delphic deity, "know thyself." What could be more important to civilization than a university whose role is to be a model or experiment in living wisely?
An opposing ideology expressed in the mission statement rests on the basic unacknowledged assumption of our society, that is, money is power. Our nation is not a democracy where all have an equal opportunity to find themselves and a voice in the deci- sion-making process, but rather we are ruled by a plutocracy, a government where material wealth is power. The measures of success are rarely related to talent and virtue but are largely equated with financial acumen.
If the institution indeed embodies the values society desires for its citizens, it defines merit as behavior which facilitates progress through the corporate structure. Since society assumes that the way to break out of the circle of poverty and become upwardly mobile is through the college degree, the schools become the new determiners of the privileged class: a college degree becomes a barometer separating the working class from the middle class. It follows that economic development for individual gain is presumed by the institution to be the key to personal happiness and the way to achieve a healthy state.
In Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich writes about the "hidden agenda" behind the school system (Perkinson, 1976). The more education a person receives, the higher the standard of living that person will accept, which means the more the person will be able to consume. Therefore Illich thinks that schools are the great polluters of the environment. Conditioning students to become workers in the consumer society conditions them with the falsehood that the planet has an unending supply of natural resources and the way to progress is through expanding free markets around the globe. Because of this assumption the university has, ineffect, become an arm of industry whose mission is to train workers. Professor Samuel Bowles of the Department of Economics at the University wrote in the Collegian in 1989 that the two goals the High Tech Council wants from the University are: "top level research to result in product development and profits for the major companies, and a trained personnel able to staff the lower-middle echelons of the high tech firms in sufficiently great supply to keep salaries in line." Students are taught to accept the slavish reward incentives the system has to offer regardless of the negative effects it has on others and the planet's ecology. They are taught that freedom is based on a free-market economy and democracy means freedom to make a profit and purchase consumer goods. Passages from the documents cited earlier revealing aspect of the University's mission are stated: The Commonwealth should remain "one of the nation's leading industrial states"(Plan III, 4).
As we move towards the year 2000, the public services we provide will continue to reflect the changing needs of the society and economy. These include higher levels of economic development, stiffer competition, and increasing social need for access to new knowledge and for a well-educated and highly trained workforce. Although our original land-grant tradition was rooted in agriculture, public service now extends as well to industry, to the urban setting, the nation, and the international community (Plan III, 5).
One can clearly see the opposing set of values as laid out in the mission statements, one of which is more likely encourage students to conform to society's existing economic inequalities and injustices which exploit and pollute the natural environment, and the other which tries to foster nurturing of the creative and unique gifts of each student in the hope that they will aspire to seek a humane role in human destiny. One maintains the status quo, and the other struggles to create a new social meaning for the individual and the world. Robert Paul Wolff declares, in The Ideal of the University, "The evil inheres in the system itself, and nothing short of a radical separation of the university from society, or even a reorganization of society itself, can replace false values with true values and education for repression with education for liberation" (Wolff 1968, 55).
Victor Ferkiss asserts in The Future of Technological Civilization, "There is only one alternative to the subversion of human civilization by alien forces, and that is the creation of utopia" (Ferkiss 1974, 213). The alien force which afflicts our institution of higher education is the force which has firmly established an artificial aristocracy perpetuating the industrial image of "ideal" development.
What is Wisdom?
The mission statements begin by stating that the university "shares a fundamental mission with all great universities: the acquisition, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge through teaching, research, and service." One needs to ask: what is "knowledge" since knowledge seems to be the key word describing the university's mission. The Webster's New International Dictionary (Webster 1956) defines knowledge as:
4) the act or state of understanding; clear perception of fact or truth; familiar cognizance; cognition. Knowledge acquired by the senses or by feeling or intuition (or the internal sense) has been variously called knowledge of acquaintance, or immediate knowledge, intuitive knowledge, sensitive knowledge, etc., knowledge obtained by intellectual processes of abstraction and comparison has been variously called knowledge about, or abstractive knowledge, intellective knowledge, representative knowledge, etc.
Knowledge has typically been seen as embodying two distinctly different ways in which one acquires knowledge, the intuitive or immediate way which is internally realized, and the intellective or representative way which is external and can by verified through scientific method. Here again we see a split defini- tion of the concept of knowledge. The University increasingly has come to represent this sort of dualism in its own purported goals.
The university awards Doctorates of "Philosophy," not Doctorates of "Knowledge." Webster's definition of philosophy is:
1) Literally, the love of wisdom; in actual usage, the science which investigates the most general facts and principles of reality and of human nature and conduct; specif., and now usually, the science which comprises logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and the theory of knowledge. Webster further explains that during the time of Socrates philosophy comprised all learning. There were no clear divisions in the field of knowledge even though there was a distinc- tion made between philosophy and the technical and practical arts.
Educational philosopher, John Dewey, believed this distinction divided ethics into ideal goods and material goods. The intrinsic goods, whether religious or aesthetic, were separated from the daily life material needs which are constant and urgent, and which are the great concern of the masses of people. This separation has caused the aesthetic and religious to loose it's power because it has lost its connection with daily life needs. Dewey concludes that what humanity needs is to fused the age-old duality between the natural sciences, and the arts and morality.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries philosophy was further divided into the physical sciences or natural philosophy, and the social sciences and psychology or mental and moral philosophy. Again we see the division between the internal and external means of seeking truth.
The word wisdom cames from the Indo--European root verb, "weid," which means "to see," the same root as "vision," or "I have seen." Wisdom reveals its messages in stammers, images, symbols, paradoxes, and riddles (Doczi 1981).
The difference between knowledge and wisdom is that wisdom is discernment of judgment, whereas knowledge is the result of acquiring information. Wisdom is the juno (word for female genius) and genius of putting together knowledge in aesthetic, meaningful, and ethical ways. Wisdom synthesizes, and integrates, where as knowledge analyzes, separates, and differentiates. Wisdom sees with the mind's eye in wholistic and unified ways. It envisions relationships, where as knowledge is verified through the senses and understands both the diverse and specific. Knowledge is specialized while wisdom is generalized, and in order to have social harmony there needs to be a balance between the two creative forces. In Art and the Occult, Paul Waldo-Schawartz writes that in "our world of materialism, estranged from its underlying occult rhythms," we are "out of touch with its wellsprings of archetypal knowledge" (Waldo-Schawartz 1975, 33). Wisdom, the guiding principle of knowledge, has the power to construct a new social vision, cultural fiction, and universal dream.
The Need for a New Global Dream
All societies manifest a cultural fiction. They are the essence of ideologies and utopias which create the basic assumptions and value structures of a society. The modern United States still lives under Thomas Jefferson's myth of the "American Dream" of personal freedom, property rights, and success for every enterprising person.
In Art Imagery and the Mythic Process Dorthea Blom explains, "When we speak of the mythic process we mean the fusion of history, parable, and event--plus a way of seeing--that determines the value system we live by" (Blom 1977, 3). Myths may be good and true, meaning that the individual is participating in the mythic process by exploring it on a personal level which leads to an "evolving relationship with self, world, and God" (Blom 1977, 3), or may be are false and bad for society when they use the process to indoctrinate individuals within a society with an undesirable value system. All the world's great philosophies have been mythic attempts "to harmonize and to ennoble, by the use of esthetic, religious, scientific, and other symbols, the most universal, most profound meanings and purposes that men can perceive, however dimly, in a given culture" (Brameld 1956, 141).
The mythmakers are the artists/intellectuals. Societies, both primitive and modern, have had their artists who play important roles in creating the social myth. Myths arise out of the fact of and need for the communal experience. It joins the past and the future by organizing the values of the culture. It balances the social/self-process by addressing the problem of the role of the individual in society. Critic Sir Herbert Read states that the artist is the "mediator between our individual consciousness and collective unconsciousness, and thus ensures social re-integration. It is only in the degree that this mediation is successful that a true democracy is possible" (Read 1963, 4). Nietzche pointed out that myth is a "concentrated picture of the world." Thus, the mythmakers are the chosen ones who have the wisdom to envison an Ordered World of peace and love.
Democracy is based on the expression and opinions of the individual, not the group as in totalitarianism. William Riley Van Buskirt points out in, The Saviors of Mankind [sic], that there are two forces at war within the consciousness of humans--the spirit of the group and all its social handicaps, and the juno and genius of the individual "pitted against the unfavorable features of society and Nature" (Van Buskirt 1929, xi).
Van Buskirt states what when the conflict between the individual and their social heritage is slight, the bondage may not be greatly felt and conformity to the existing mythology will follow. But when there is a marked difference between the social ideals and the individual's necessity to express personal liberty, two possible situations are likely to result. First, the individual may defended the new faith in word, but not in practice. Her or his life will be a direct contradiction to everything which she or he says and writes. However, when the individual does not have the freedom to act according to her/his conscious, a revolution is sure to occur from the inner need to work out her/his own destiny. This arises from a more honest and clear perspective on the situation. The individual publicly breaks from the old order and begins to advocate a new regime which is "more in accord with the fundamental nature of the new generation." The values of the old order will be seen as "incompetent, uncongenial, and hostil" (Van Buskirt 1929, 525).
Democracy becomes the religion of a new world vision for personal liberty. Education needs to be converted from "education by and for mediocrity into an education by and for individuality" (Dewey 1970, 488). John Dewey writes in Character and Events, "Democracy will not be democracy until education makes its chief concern to release distinctive aptitutes in art, thought, and companionship. At present the intellectual obstacle in the way is the habit of classification and comparisons" (Dewey 170, 492). He continues,
Now we welcome a procedure which under the title of science sinks the individual in a numerical class; judges him [sic] with reference to capacity to fit into a limited number of vocations ranked according to present business standards; assigns him [sic] to a predestined niche and thereby does whatever eduation can to perpetuate the present order (488).
The true revolutionary force an individual is endowed with is by entering into the social/self mythic process in artistic ways. Hence, in order to change the University and the world, we must change the myths on which the society is founded by becoming the embodiment of *lovolutionary thought.
Plutocracy and Democracy
The commercial industrial society did not foster a new social thrust towards individual autonomy, a necessary ingredient for democracy, but worked in the opposite direction cultivating the mass mind. It used sexual imagery among other "pleasure" myths, to promote consumer fetishism; manipulating the mass media and mass education to indoctrinate the world. As a result, a commercial fiction arose which motivates the University to turn many students into corporation workers motivated by grades, diplomas, and profits. Those students who are genuinely interested in their fields still must be engaged in traditional measurements of success in order to receive academic credentials. Once out of academia, most students have no other choice but to find employment within the profit motive economy.
The "acquisition, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge through teaching, research, and service" as referred to in the mission statements will continue leading us down the highway of military/industrial supremacy and ultimate oblivion since in most cases only the kinds of teaching, research, and service which support the national purpose received funding and teaching positions. Without the will to discern where our collective knowledge is leading us, and a purposeful effort to synthesize the vast amount of information our society is generating, the University will continue to be a blind spot in society, man- ipulated and dominated by the major funding sources of the University--industry, foundations, and state and federal governments. Leonard Minsky and David Noble write in "Corporate Takeover on Campus," that "many universities have acquired a distinctly commercial orientation. Commercial considerations have come to dominate academic decision making about the allocation of university resources" (Minsky and Noble 1989). Governments are not in and of themselves the "enemy." Their tendency to be a self-serving bureaucracy is what hampers their functioning in the public welfare and they certainly perpetuate the money myth.
George Counts in Educator for a New Age edited by Lawrence J. Dennis and William Edward Eaton, explains the problem of hypocrisy facing educators in the United States. Honest teachers live, and in many cases become property owners, in an economy of limited access, while teaching students the democratic ideals that all people have the right to equal opportunity when in fact few people ever have the opportunity to become part of the decision making process. He writes:
On the one side is the democratic tradition inherited from the past; on the other is a system of economic arrangements which increasingly partakes of the nature of industrial feudalism. Both of these forces cannot survive: one or the other must give way. Unless the democratic tradition is able to organize and conduct a successful attack on the economic system, its complete destruction is inevitable (Dennis, 1980, 101-2).
Counts concludes that there is no longer any choice between individualism and collectivism, but rather we must choose between two different forms of collectivism: "one essentialy democratic, the other feudal in spirit; the one devoted to the interests of the people, the other to the interest of a privileged class" (Dennis, 1980, 103). In order for democracy to survive, Counts sees no other way accept by creating a new economic foundation.
Creating the Good Society
Aesthetic wisdom has the ability to revolutionize the "information age" by being able to put the empirical data together in ethical ways. Wisdom plans for the future in the best possible way, not for the benefit of a few, but for the entire human race. Wisdom acts upon science, for wisdom believes that knowledge (in Latin, science means knowledge) leads to truth. Wisdom constructs meaningful ways to change behavior based on truth. Now the task becomes to translate a humane, science-fiction vision (utopias are a genre of science fiction) into reality. Utopian thought leads us to the basic question which has not yet been properly, that is, sufficiently, addressed in academia: how do we create a good society?
Herman H. Horne, a professor of the History of Education and the History of Philosophy at New York University who dead in 1946, (Bulter, 1966) proposed that the aim of education is truth, beauty, and goodness. Goodness asks the moral question: what is the good society? Beauty asks the aesthetic question: What does it look like? How is it designed? Truth asks the intellectual question: What facts do we need to know in order to build the good society? The curriculum needs to be based on the characteristics of this ideal society, or "neutopia" (a new good place) by means of a radical philosophy of education, a moral theory of development based on the picture of a neutopian world order, and the analysis of the existing built environment so that students will be able to understand the root causes of the social problems such as who owns the land and the distribution of wealth. By looking at the existing architecture and all the functions within the buildings such as where the food, electricity, water, etc. comes from, and where waste goes, the inefficiency of the society can clearly be seen. In Annals of Earth David Orr writes:
The study of campus resource flows, and the development of campus policies would lead to a second and more important result: the reinvigoration of curriculum around the issues of human survival, which is a plausible foundation for liberal arts. This emphasis would become a permanent part of the curriculum through research projects, courses, seminars, and the establishment of interdisciplinary programs in resource management or environmental studies. By engaging the entire campus community in the study of resource flows, debate about the possible meanings of sustainability, the design of campus resource policies, and curriculum innovation the process carries with it the potential to enliven the educational process. I can think of few disciplines throughout the humanities, social sciences, and sciences without an important contribution to this debate (Orr 1989).
For the social idealist, the purpose of education is it makes one into a self-educating individual, and the primary question such individuals must personally address is what is their role in forming neutopia? What job is one naturally qualified to do which helps the species evolve? No one is able to tell a student what role is right for her or him since it is through self-discovery where truth is found. In Wisdom and Education Douglas E. Lawson exclaims, "True enough, some wars of men against men are won with material weapons. But man's ultimate war is against all the dark forces of his own nature. It will be won, if at all, by his enlightened mind; for without liberalized understanding there can be no vision and no wisdom" (Lawsom 1961, 89). Teachers do provide examples of liberated selves, persons who Erich Fromm calls the "Masters of Life," who guide students in directions of inquiry and critical dialogue.
However, a part of the mission statement express an intention which is far more pragmatic, appearing to ignore the larger ideal. In the industrial society, many university admini- strators see education as a means of training students to fit into the economy, an economy not directed by ethics, but by profits. Aristotle also thought the role of education was to mold students to fit into the political system under which she/he lives. Our educational system certainly molds students to con- form to the political/economic system. It reinforces human character traits which are destructive: egotism, selfishness, and greed, traits which if allowed to prevail, will lead to global catastrophe. Our educational system does not encourage juno and genius, nor those who aspire to create a better future.
Call For Action
Is the action wisdom must take to translate knowledge, that is create a new social vision based on justice, the reason why such action was not a part of the mission statement? Wisdom is achieved through experience and education fertilized by the internal pro- cesses of intuitive knowledge, the moral or mental philosophy of the "humanistic sciences." Now, in the university setting the humanistic arts and the physical sciences are in discernible conflict with each other--economically, politically and psycho- logically. Since the nineteenth century, the mechanized view of science has dominated over the humanistic arts to the point that now the unethical applications of the technological sciences have pushed the human race and other species of plants and animals to brink of extinction. The physical sciences which foster knowledge can be used in commercial ways receive far more funding support from corporate state than the humanistic arts which seek to create an alternative worldview to world capitalism. Even visual arts are regarded for their commercial worth, not for their potential to philosophical values. In The Decline of the Intellectual, Thomas Molnar writes "as we enter the age of technology and barbarism, art in its multiple forms grows side by side with bureaucracy and machinism as a sort of tranquilizer against both, as a right of the citizen to catch his breath while collective devices slowly crush him" (Molnar 1961, 155). Paul Goodman called us "a commercially debauched society."
People who have an aptitude for intuitive knowledge, but are weak in intellectual knowledge even have difficulty in being admitted to the University, since admittance tests are largely based on intellective knowledge. SAT tests do not measure a person's ability to see conceptual relationships, openness to new ideas, creativity, and native intelligence, and resolve to work hard. The university has not only lost allegiance to the ideal and love of wisdom, but uses admissions criteria and funding policies which are biased against certain people, as ways of ignoring or eliminating individuals or programs who may be threatening because they work towards attempts to revolutionizing our way of thinking and living. Glassman, Swatos, and Ronon, write in Bureaucracy Against Democracy and Socialism that the problem of modernity is "not socialism versus capitalism but bureaucracy versus democracy." They think that socialism and capitalism are so tied to bureau-cracy that either one offers a variable alternative for the future. The University is not run on democratic principles nor is it perceptibly a meritocracy. It is subject to the same kind of bureaucratic control as the rest of our government, espoused by the myth of "free enterprise."
Ernest Becker writes in Beyond Alienation that "by accepting democracy as a fact of economy and politics, rather than as an ideal of the imagination, the American experiment has proved in its turn that no state on Earth has been willing to serve as a vehicle for the education of man" (Becker 1967, 50). He believes that the enemies preventing the creation of a liberated culture are the collective behaviors to which people have become conditioned, such as the accumulation of private property and the anxieties about their material welfare if there were alterations in this prevailing life-style. People fear the visions--creative energies--which they so desperately need.
A Place For Innovations
If the University of Massachusetts were to be truly sincere about its mission as articulated in the idealistic passages of the cited statements, in which the university is said to be a place to try out new assumptions and innovations while respecting the environment, we would in fact have a truly wise philosophical foundation for education. It would foster and encourage a real public effort to question the ethical applications of research, starting with military research and research which is conducted largely for economic gain. Marcus G. Raskin postulates in New Ways of Knowing that a dialogue created between scientists and the public, should be particularly in the academic arena, about the ends of scientific research. Raskin and Bernstein write:
The explanations and the everyday activity of scientists rest upon their myths. For myth is far more that fiction and anything but falsehood. Myths are the narrative of the fundamental beliefs and codified rational constructions of science. The values embodied in both the explanations and the myth systems of persuasion cannot be divorced from judgments about good or bad. Scientific judgments and myths can be evaluated pragmatically: How will they eventually affect people and nature? How do the people who will live with the ultimate effects of applying that science perceive the likely effects of current inquiry? Through a dialogical process, involving as many of those affected by the inquiry as possible, we could see many concerns which will otherwise remain invisible (Raskin 1987, 82).
A mistress plan for the physical environment of the campus and community which utilize the best inventions science and technology have to offer could also be developed. The university would become knowledge-in-action using the expertise of the faculty to create a new pattern of cultural behavior. The campus "in the application of knowledge to contemporary problems" (Self-Study 1) would teach us a new way to live our daily lives.
For example, the current plan to provide more energy on the University of Massachusetts campus is to build a new coal power plant to provide electricity. Yet, it is widely acknowledged that acid rain in the Valley is causing damage to the ecology and much of the acid rain is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Shouldn't the University be a center where alternative energy, such as solar power is utilized, rather than a place which burns fossil fuels? In the Self-Study, the University mentions its pride in its Environmental Institute which monitors acid rain, but is the University committed to acting upon the Institute's findings and knowledge of alternative means of generating energy by stopping its own contributions toward the causes of acid rain? If not, can one again perceive the contradiction: the planet's ill-health is ignored by the very University whose researchers discover and study its illness!
Even though the University has an "efficient" bureaucracy, an information "anarchy" still exists. No one in a sufficiently powerful position to restructure the university, utilizing the knowledge the professors are generating. Becker emphasizes the importance of the long standing dream to synthesize knowledge. He asserts, "the utopian question, then, is the proper question for meeting the challenge of evolution. What would be the nature of the synthesis of knowledge, and its proper relationship to social reconstruction in our time?" (Becker 1967, 72).
Writer H.G. Wells called for the creation of a World Brain or World Encyclopedia which would reorganize and reorient inform ation and education throughout the world. The World Brain would be constantly changing and growing, revising and replacing out dated information. All research institutes and universities would feed into it making it more and more alive. Wells imagines, "Such an Encyclopedia would play the role of an undogmatic Bible to a world culture. It would do just what our scattered and disoriented intellectual organizations of today fall short of doing. It would hold the world together mentally" (Becker 1967, 57). In Critical Path Buckminster Fuller also envisioned the need for a world brain which he defined as a world-wide problem- solving computer database where we would put all the information about the world's natural resources. This computer would then help the world managers to know how to distribute the resources wisely.
Role of the Neutopian Thinker
In order for the World Brain to order knowledge in aesthetic and compassionate ways, a universal principle based on justice and the ecology of the planet must be established. Creating this principle is the work of the neutopian who analyzes general knowledge in wise and intuitive ways. Becker acknowledges, "The utopian sets himself [sic] the task of imagining the union of the most complete, best developed, furthest advanced knowledge possible, with the most careful, complete social reconstruction" (Becker 1967, 71). The role of the utopian is to fuse moral issues with scientific facts to make a blueprint for positive social development. Without this utopian principle designing the best way society should be expanding, the university will continue to be a part of the military/industrial machine.
How do we start to implement this neutopian educational philosophy throughout the bureaucratized world? How does one "act locally while thinking globally?" Paul Goodman affirms that in America we live without a polis, or community. Instead, we live in an bureaucratic system. Without a true polis people become resigned or cynical, playing the games of the rat race without believing in it. Like Plato, Goodman thought the polis was the center of education as well as the center of government.
Living Without a Polis
An example, to illustrate the governance structure at the University of Massachusetts at the School of Education is an example that illustrates Goodman's point that we live in bureaucratic system and not a polis. In 1989, the School of Education joined in the campus-wide campaign to begin providing a "quality education." The Dean called for a Faculty Governance Committee to come up with a proposal to restructure the governance system of the School of Education.
The past governance system operated by means of representatives making up a School Assembly responsible for voting on changes in school policy. During the student rights movement in the early '70's, when the majority of students attended full time, the Assembly was very popular, and became the culture of the school. Some sessions there was standing room only in the Marks Meadow auditorium, but during the 1980's when the majority of students in the School of Education could no longer find scholarships and were forced out of economic necessity to become part time students with other obligations outside school. Students having little or no time for social committments, the Assembly had become unsuccessful in recruiting people to serve and show up for it. However there was reason to believe that there was little attempt to publicize the opportunity on a school-wide basis.
Even though the School Assembly was responsible for decision-making at the School of Education, many important and controversial issues were never placed on the School Assembly's agendas, e.g., when elimination of certain programs within the School of Education were being considered. The Future Studies Program is one such example. The fate of the 20-year old doctoral program, the only one of its kind in North America, was decided behind the closed doors of the administrators' offices. It was abolished even though the Provost had promised the students that the program would survive. Administrators had secretly decided otherwise. Future Studies students had recourse to no public appeal body.
The Dean's Faculty Governance Committee came up with a plan to eliminate the School Assembly and replace it with an Advisory Council, a small committee of division chairpersons, faculty members, professional staff, classified staff, undergraduate student, graduate student, totaling twelve people. Ten faculty or twenty-five other people in the School of Education who wanted to call an assembly of the School's community on a controversial issue could do so, as an additional proviso. The faculty committee admitted their system was oligarchal, but they felt it would be the most efficient system to govern the bureaucracy.
Democracy/Meritocracy From of Governance/Education
At a public hearing, presided over by faculty members, to address concerns and issues with their Governance Committee's proposal, an alternative student proposal was presented. It was called "a democracy/meritocracy model" in which governance would be centered around a public forum in which all members of the School of Education would have an equal voice. The forum would address controversial issues concerning the School of Education and the society at large such as: What is global educa- tion? Who controls education? What is the difference between education and indoctrination? Who should be taught? What should be the curriculum? Which programs should be eliminated and why? Is the current restructuring of the School of Education evolutionary or regressive? How do new educational technologies change the structure of the classroom?
The forum would allow everyone in the School of Education an equal opportunity to influence the decision making process. Decisions would not be made solely by a small group, but would be publicly discussed and debated. The goal of the forum was not only to make governance decisions, but to educate the public to the controversial issues in education affecting their lives and the lives of others.
The forum in the democracy/meritocracy model provides an opportunity for sapiential authority, the concept coined by Robert Theobald and Tom Paterson, to arise from the structure (Pulliam 1982). This authority is derived not through title or rank as in the case with traditional structural authority, but through knowledge and ideas which others then support. Sapient- ial authority differs from structural authority in that sapient- ial authority gives participants the opportunity for critical analysis of the opinions of others, where as structural authority expects students/staff to be uncritical of information given or decisions made.
Structural authority supports the military/industrial authoritarian worldview in which power is derived from one's position or rank. It is used to protect incompetent individuals and regulations, in other words, bureaucratic tyranny. Sapient- ial authority implies self-governance and autonomy through the realization of internal morality, whereas structural authority is governed by external will and unilateral constraint.
In summary, there are two kinds of leadership: one which establishes domination hierarchies whose leaders impress the people by asserting authority, and the other actualization hierarchies selected through individual merit whereby leaders express the people's thoughts, feeling, and desires by being aware of and responsive to them. Society's poetesses and poets, philosopheresses and philosophers, and artists are such leaders who are the ones naturally able to guide humanity to new creative frontiers. The Forum would allow a self-chosen meritocracy to emerge from a democratically held public forum.
The "Democracy/Meritocracy model" was not given respectful consideration at the Committee hearing, because it was not given sufficient time to explain its system and philosophy. Even though it was brought out that in the mission statement the goal of the School of Education was to create cultural and social change to achieve a more just and democratic society, and the forum might provide the School with the means to help fulfill its mission of supporting experimentation and innovation, the proposal was disregarded, and the bureaucratic anti-democratic system continued to dominate its affairs.
If the School of Education wrote into its mission statement the truth which lies behind its actions, one could imagine that the statement would read something like this:
Our mission is the improvement of the military/industrial/ educational complex in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond. While our emphasis is on public indoctrination, our mission includes a concern with capitalistic development from infancy to old age, as well as with the role that indoctrination can play in crushing social and cultural change. As we carry out this mission, we attach fundamental importance to our overarching commitment to maintaining the status quo, and we discourage experimentation and innovation.
Educator vs. Dictator
When educational institutions do not motivate people and become the centers of government, the society is not in- fluenced by the educator, not ruled by the dictator. When the educator is not in positions of power, the educator is suppressed, ignored, or killed, while the dictator indoctrinates society with the worst traits of human nature. The university becomes a place where our natural abilities remain unrecognized, not utilized, or shattered and crushed, with the result that our best developed most moral individuals are rarely able to make it "up the ladder of success." Tacitus wrote, "Genius dies of the same blow that destroys liberty." In our class society junos and geniuses often are unable to make it even to the door of the Admission Office; once in, subtle tyranny destroys the spirit of innovation and creativity which could flourish to help save humanity. William H. Swatos, Jr. asserts that "bureaucracy seduces people who intend to do good into doing evil because its impersonality gradually dehumanize all their activities into the application of rules, rather than the doing of justice" (Glassman, 1987, 194). Paradoxically, even though tyranny incapacitates juno or genius, juno, genius, or a group with social insight and creative wills have been the liberating force of history.
Campus-wide at the University of Massachusetts there is certainly no polis. Decisions about the future of education are made without public debate, usually by small committees of which the university community is unaware. Overarching long-term plans are never debated by the public and university community, but are created and administered by the administrators and the Board of Trustee and Regents. When restructuring of program offerings occurs, orders to cut them are given and carried out through the chain of command. Even faculty seem too impotent to Dean's orders given out by the deans, and students are apparently considered to be pawns in the minds of the administrators. George Counts declared in Dare the School Build a New Social Order that schools must take sides in the struggle between reaction and reconstruction. The educator, more than any other professional was concerned with long-term plans. However, the administrators seem determined to keep all discussions about reconstruction away from the flow of social discourse.
This was the case when the University of Massachusetts administrators decided to eliminate the Future Studies Program from the School of Education. The administrators saw no reason for anyone except themselves to be concerned with the direction of the future. In The Future of Academic Community, John Gardner writes, "We need in the university community a focussed, systema- tic, responsible, even aggressive concern for the manner in which the society is evolving...We need designers of the future. We need to be told how to build a better society, and how to get from here to there" (Caffrey 1969, 45). The Future Studies Program could have provided such leadership; however the administration chose to ignore the needs of its students and the larger society for the work it could do and cut the program from the curriculum.
Robert Paul Wolff declares that the "University ought to be a community of persons united by collective understandings, by common and communal goals, by bonds of reciprocal obligation, and by a flow of sentiment which makes the preservation of the community an object of desire, not merely a matter of prudence or a command of duty" (Wolff 1969, 127). The university ought to be a place were the artist and scientist grow together to form a culture based on global principles. Jefferson thought that "ad- vances in science and discoveries in the arts would lead to greater wisdom in mankind [sic]" (Healey 1962, 180). Herbert Read asserted that a democratic culture is not a democracy plus cul- ture, but a culture creating democracy. Through the polis culture is born.
At the University, there is little discernible effort to build community. Architecturally the campus could not have a more alienating environment. The ancient saying of "divide and conquer" absolutely applies to the campus design. Depart- ments are so separated that artists and scientists rarely, if ever, come together to share knowledge. In fact, the Fine Arts Center, where most of the arts departments are located, is divided in such a way that musicians don't know the painters, and the painters don't know the actors, and no one outside the English Department knows who is writing poetry.
The sciences are no better at community building. An article published by Contact Magazine on natural polymers invented at the University to eliminate the need for petroleum-based plastics illustrates the lack of communication and community among different branches of the physical sciences. Biochemists have known for years that certain bacteria produce polymer compounds, but they never thought of using them to make biodegradable plastics until they finally talked to the polymer chemists. Now as a result of this combined knowledge the world may witness the end of the use of one of the worst of environmental pollutants.
Educational psychologist, Lawrance Kohlberg who developed a moral theory of human development, believed that the greatest threat to American democracy was the growing privatizing culture. People are being elected to government not because of their virtuous characters, but because of their public images created by television appearances packaged by public relation experts. Kohlberg's just community approach to education attempted to make the schools into democratic societies, motivated by an "altruistic commitment to community" (Power 1989, 2). The guiding principle behind the just community approach was the belief that students should be put in positions where they must make moral decisions on the basis of justice. He believed that in order to teach students about democracy they must be given democratic responsibilities. He thought that the authoritarian model of education by which most schools are governed, teach students to follow orders, not to think for themselves.
However, justice questions do not provide us with the answer we so desperately need: What is the good society? George Counts declares, "the good society is not something that is given by nature: it must be fashioned by the hand and brain of man [sic]. This process of building a good society is to a very large degree an educational process" (Counts 1959, 13). Answering this question will provide us with a new myth.
Kohlberg said that because the good society question varied from culture to culture it was not a universal principle, but be- cause of the global corporations and communication satellites our culture has so spread that it has become a world culture domin- ated by consumerism. The good society question has now evolved to be: what is a good world? According to Gyorgy Doczi, one of the oldest observations of humankind is that there is a basic unity within the manifold diversities of this world. It is from this basic unity that the creation of a new world myth which has the power to surpass the consumerist myth can evolve, a myth which finally solves the ancient problem still inflicting us now: how to abolish patterns of inequality and truly have a society where everyone has equal opportunity and humanity's meritocrats can govern the world.
What is Democracy?
Democracy seems to be the rallying word behind all the social movements happening today in China, U.S.S.R., and in Eastern Europe. What actually is democracy and should the University be governed democratically?
Thomas Jefferson, the creator of the "American Dream," thought that human beings were equal in terms of natural rights and biological needs, but that they were unequal in terms of their abilities to reason, morality, and creativity. Jefferson thought that some of these people, endowed with special powers in virtue and talent, constituted a natural aristocracy. These people were destined to become the managers of public affairs. A good government would provide the most effective way to select these natural aristocrats as the managers for the public good. One aim of education has been to provide the society with people who would become members of the natural aristocracy. Education sought out and trained these people for leadership in the professions and government.
The other aim of education was to give "men" the ability to know what their own interests were so that they could elect the best representatives. Even though Jefferson did not believe there was a personal equality in terms of morality and reason, he did believe people had an equal ability to choose the members of the creator's natural elite, in other words, all people were competent to judge character. In later writings, Jefferson changed his opinion and said all men who were literate should have the right to judge character and vote.
Jefferson wanted education to make "men" familiar with and able to respond to the problems facing society before they became critical. The mental and spiritual health of an individual was determined by factors other than his ability to fit into the economic scheme. He believed the university should be based upon the infinite freedom of the mind. In Jefferson on Religion in Public Education, Robert Healey writes, "The essence of democracy to him was not suppressing controversy, but getting it out into the open and keeping it there until a decision based on common understanding and willing assent had been reached concerning the issue" (Healey 1982, 267). Healey continues:
A community which refuses to admit the existence of conflict of opinion within its borders is a fool's paradise. Similarly those who believe that the presence of controversy proves the unimportance of an issue ignore the fact that every great idea has had to fight its way--often bitterly--to achieve acceptance.
In principle, democracy is a system by which power is opened to everyone. In order to prepare citizens with the abilities to make just decisions, Jefferson believed that the state needed to support public education, so that no one would be excluded because of economic means from developing their juno or genius until they could become members in the natural aristocracy. Junos and geniuses are just as likely to be born in poor families as in rich ones, so only those with free access to education would not be lost to society.
Alexander Hamilton had a different view on who made up the ruling elite. He held public opinion to be of no value and thought there should be an alliance between government and the wealthy class. Jefferson thought this sort of alliance created an artificial aristocracy or a plutocracy. In modern America, the alliance between industry and the university is in this same vein, creating a false aristocracy, a society wherein the goal of education is to provide the Commonwealth with qualified workers, not to nurture creative visions for sake of succeeding generations. Consequently, we see two views on leadership selection: one where the elites rule by virtue of economic or military power, and the other where elites are determined according to their possession of extraordinary moral and creative talents.
Some theorists believe, as Jefferson did, in the liberal laissez-faire myth that equality of opportunity is achieved through the doctrine of economic individualism and competition. These theorists hold that through economic and academic competi- tion the best and brightest people will win positions of power. However, when education is carried on under the assumption that economic/industrial growth is progressive, it is extremely diffi- cult for people opposing this myth to rise to power through the ranks.
In Towards a Reconstructed Philosophy of Education, Theodore Brameld predicts that industrial societies will move from a class system based on wealth and property, to a system of managerial elites based on virtue and talent. However, in order to change the direction of society ruled by wealth to a society ruled by virtue, a new economic/prestige system based on egalitarianism and leisure time must be established.
Egalitarianism is the basis for the democracy/meritocracy system of governance/education. In The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, Bernard Shaw remarks, "Between per- sons of equal income there can be no eminence except that of personal merit. Hence the naturally eminent are the chief preachers of equality, and are always bitterly opposed by the naturally ordinary or inferior people who have the larger shares of the national income" (Shaw 1929, xx). In other words, the meritocrats must not receive more personal material wealth as a result of their talents than ordinary citizens. They will gain positions of power and prestige through their gifts.
Leisure time, time which people may devote to studying the controversial issues and participate in the forums, is necessary for democracy to work as a form of government. Therefore, education must be based on a leisure time economy. Advances in robotic engineering allow us to design and build cites where most industrial labor is done by robots, leaving time available to everyone to develop their innate gifts and prepare for democratic responsibilities.
To conclude, the University of Massachusetts is governed by a bureaucratic system which is self-serving, rather than an institution which is innovatively and creatively working on solving our global/local problems. Bureaucracy is inept as a form of government, for it runs like an out-dated machine that rigidly rejects the ideas of creative individuals.
A new blueprint of university governance based on the democracy/meritocracy model is necessary if the university is to become a vibrant intellectual, artistic, and scientific community. Only through community building will we be able rediscover our democratic revolutionary roots. In order to build community, a Gaia Forum on how to create a good world is necessary. The Forum could become the center of university life and governance. Through listening to the experts among the faculty and students, the public will gain the knowledge, imagination, and wisdom needed to be able to determine the direction in which research and development should ethically move. The bureaucracy will quickly lose its power, as the Forum to build Neutopia gains its strength, and a whole new vision of education for the 21st Century will evolve.
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