Sunday, December 01, 2013

warning. the dangers of a meaningful education...

This morning I will resume my participation in the Fall Art Fair from 10 AM to 2 PM. Sales yesterday were slight in comparison to what's happening these days in malls and big box stores, but it was lovely spending time with those who for some reason or another have developed a love for hand-crafted things.

I am always amazed at the breadth of creativity in this small place. To see the useful beauty made by my small local community is a feast for sad eyes.

So I must warn sincerely of the dangers of a civilization "intoxicated by the joy of making things."

Properly educated, students would gain a sense of their active side. They would understand the value of their materials, and their sources. They would know the use of various tools and be skilled in hand, eye and intellect. They would have a sense of the moral value of creative craftsmanship. Instead of wanting the things designed and made for them by others, they would be inclined seek the satisfaction of making things themselves. Our present measured economy would shrink due to the numbers of folks who would garden in season, and make too, in season, just as peasants in the far north would beautifully craft useful things in the firelight rather than sitting passively at TV screens whilst being lured to buy the next big and small things from distant makers, who were themselves distanced from the process of design and distanced from the profits of their labor. Our economy is based on luring folks to buy things they do not need... homes larger than could ever be necessary, filled with meaningless things. Instead, we might be lured by a proper education to live in much smaller homes filled with objects of useful beauty, each having greater meaning but providing less benefit to the economy that's measured as the constant selling and buying of distantly made disposable stuff.

And so I must warn that progressive education as described in this blog would be a dreadful danger to the status quo. The law of flow can be stated as follows: "Those engaged in the pleasures of craftsmanship must work constantly toward the greater refinement of that craftsmanship through tasks demanding full and total attention in order to receive the constant flow of positive feelings of full engagement in life." Folks captured by the law of flow would be led to withdraw from the cycle of commerce, and might instead choose more meaningful lives of ever evolving creative craftsmanship for themselves and their families. If that were to happen in more communities than my own, the malls and big box stores would suffer immense economic consequences. But with that in mind, there are 24 making days remaining until Xmas.
Randall sent a link to an article about German style apprenticeships at a factory in South Carolina. It appears to be a way to keep kids in school and supply industry with skills that are desperately needed if we are to compete in the manufacturing sector. Where Factory Apprenticeship Is Latest Model From Germany
Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a radical idea to me, something to pass on to others. And it's been so long since I've been accused of being a radical.