Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes: How can learning flourish in all of America’s schools? And how is the crisis in education related to the economic crisis in our country? Read “What Education & the Economy Are For,” the new, urgently needed issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends
We publish an article by educator Christopher Balchin, originally of Kent, England—on the great Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method. And I am going to relate the principles behind this method to economics—and the economy from which millions of children are suffering throughout our land.
Eli Siegel is the philosopher to explain that “The purpose of education is to like the world through knowing it.” This idea is fundamental to the Aesthetic Realism method, which has been enabling children of all backgrounds to learn successfully—including children who had been thought incapable of doing so. To like the world through knowing it is why we should learn the alphabet, find out about numbers, continents, atoms, history. To like the world is the purpose of everyone’s life. Meanwhile, humanity has lived for centuries with a system of economics completely opposed to that purpose.
The profit system has not been based on the fact that this world should belong rather equally to every child from birth so he or she can have a full chance to benefit from it. Profit economics has instead been based on contempt. The profit motive is the seeing of human beings in terms of: how much money can I get out of you?; how much labor can I squeeze from you while paying you as little as possible?; how much can I force a buyer to pay for my product, which she may need desperately?
Ethics, Unions, & America’s Children
In 1970 Eli Siegel explained that this contemptuous way of economics had failed after thousands of years. The profit system might be made to stumble on awhile, but it would never recover. The fundamental cause of its failure, he said, was the force of ethics working in history. For example: 1) People on all the continents know more, can produce more things, and so “there is much more competition…with American industry than there used to be.” 2) Unions, by the 1970s, had been so successful in their fight for decent wages—so successful in bringing people lives with dignity—that big profits for stockholders and bosses who don’t do the work could no longer be easily extracted from American workers. Read more
And we want you to know about a vital, thrilling seminar on education that will take place in November. It’s described in this announcement.