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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE MODERN WORLD

farther and achieve more striking results in fostering a unified imperial
(not imperialist!) system of higher education than in any other field.

So far I have spoken of certain trends and adjustments in our
educational system. But a more general problem remains, that of
adapting the system as a whole to new tasks necessitated by the recent
trends and promises of our type of society.
Education must be part of the mirror in which society may see
itself entire. It is also becoming, to change the metaphor, the most
important part of the apparatus by which society projects itself into
the future. There was a time when popular education was conceived
of as having two main functions—to teach the poor to be contented
•with their station in life, while equipping them with the three R's
and those other rudiments of learning necessary to fit them for their
place in a primitive industrial or palaeotechnic economy. This is, of
course, an over-simplification. It was tempered by the sincere desire
of many public-spirited people to make all the benefits of culture
available to the masses. But culture was conceived of in terms of the
very selective culture adapted to the needs and ideals of the leisured
and professional classes in a highly stratified community; and in any
case such movements only touched a small fraction of the working
classes. In recent decades this conception has been considerably
modified, but the dual system of education is still in being, and the
class stratification of nineteenth-century Britain has left a strong im-
pression on our twentieth-century system of education.
Meanwhile, quite new problems have now arisen. The techno-
logical advances of the two decades between the two world wars have
altered the nature of power in the sense in which the term is used in
international politics. It is no longer sufficient to be able to equip
hastily raised conscript armies with rifles and bayonets, stiffen them
with professional soldiers and artillery, and rely on a wave of jingo
patriotism for public support. To-day successful war depends on vast
industrial potential; and this must be backed, not only by high
technical skill and the ability to ensure the supply of key raw materials
from many parts of the world, but also by the active allegiance of the
rank and file of the nation, on whom depend both the high-speed
production of munitions and the maintenance of supplies and services.
For this, simple patriotism is not enough: intelligent and willing co-
operation is necessary. The mass of working men and women must
feel themselves an integral part of a united society, not primarily as
the "working classes" with interests in basic opposition to those of
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