Thursday, 20 November 2008

All great, all beautiful things can never be common property: pulchrum est paucorum hominum

The entire system of higher education in Germany has lost what matters most: the end as well as the means to the end. That education, that Bildting, is itself an end-and not "the Reich"-and that educators are needed to that end, and not secondary- school teachers and university scholars-that has been forgotten. Educators are needed who have themselves been educated, superior, noble spirits, proved at every moment, proved by words and silence, representing culture that has grown ripe and sweet-not the learned louts whom secondaryschools and universities today offer our youth as "higher wet nurses". Educators are lacking, not counting the most exceptional of exceptions, the very first condition of education: hence the decline of German culture.

What the "higher schools" in Germany really achieve is a brutal training, designed to prepare huge numbers of young men, with as little loss of time as possible, to become usable, abusable, in government service. "Higher Education" and huge numbers-that is a contradiction to start with. All higher education belongs only to the exception: one must be privileged to have a right to so high a privilege. All great, all beautiful things can never be common property: pulchrum est paucorum hominum. What conditions the decline of German culture? That "higher education" is no longer a privilege-the the democratism of Bildung, which has become "common"-too common. Let it not be forgotten that military privileges really compel an all-too-great attendance in the higher schools, and thus their downfall.

In present day Germany no one is any longer free to give his children a noble education: our "higher schools" are all set up for the most ambiguous mediocrity, with their teachers, curricula, and teaching aims. And everywhere an$ indecent haste prevails, as if something would be lost if the young man of twenty-three were not yet "finished", or if he did not yet know the answer to the "main question": which calling? . . . Our overcrowded secondary schools, our overworked, stupified second ary-school teachers, are a scandal: for one to defend such conditions, as the professors at Heidelberg did recently, there may be perhaps causesreasons there are none.

... If one wants an end, one must also want the means: if one wants slaves, then one is a fool if one educates them to be masters.
Nietzsche's Theory of Education, VII. Theory of Opportunity