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 Alumni: Tony Lagouranis
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9 Posts

Posted - 2006 March 03 :  17:56:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Within education itself there are powerful propaganda influences and activities. Perhaps most important is the propaganda in favor of the traditional and archaic curriculum, which is safe and sound from the standpoint of the vested interests in business and education alike. Only a small portion of the studies pursued under this system has any contact whatever with our social and economic order. Hence, criticism of the latter is automatically excluded. Important innovations in education, such as Progressive Education, vocational instruction, and the like, are represented as so many expensive and useless "frills." Liberal teachers are accused of "indoctrination," a matter to which we give attention later. The most publicized propaganda in behalf of reactionary educational interests has been that carried on during the last few years by President Robert Maynard Hutchins of the University of Chicago. He is not even satisfied with the safety and soundness of the traditional curriculum, but advocates going back to the medieval disciplines of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. He makes use of the transfer device and of glittering generalities in his alleged ambition to promote "straight thinking," but it is obvious that such thinking, however "straight," will not be directed toward any dangerous criticism of the existing order. His theories have been thoroughly applied at St. John's College."
Harry Elmer Barnes, Social Institutions, Prentice-Hall (1942), p. 571.


7 Posts

Posted - 2006 April 11 :  22:54:32  Show Profile  Visit davidav87's Homepage  Send davidav87 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I don't understand what we're trying to say?
Are you trying to say that St. John's turned Tony Lagouranis into a military man who later regretted his actions? This seems completely absurd to me....
I know of very few students at St. John's who would even consider joining the army and a St. John's education certainly does not lead in that direction...the quoted article is completely absurd.

I gave that up a long time ago.

Edited by - davidav87 on 2006 April 11 22:59:04
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Frederick Douglass

9 Posts

Posted - 2006 May 05 :  17:53:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Itís too simplistic to say that St. Johnís made Tony Lagouranis a torturer. An alternative interpretation would be that St. Johnís instilled a spark of decency into someone who was predestined to become a torturer, and this spark made him ultimately leave the army and speak out about what he had experienced. I believe that neither interpretation is true; the import of the article is more subtle. Students have long arguments in seminar about such abstract concepts as justice and virtue, but more often than not, they donít use the books to teach them how to lead better lives or to encourage them to make the world a better place. When Harvey Mansfield gave a blatantly sexist lecture on manliness, there was no student protest nor was he criticized in the question and answer period after his lecture. When Los Alamos National Laboratories recruited on campus, no one thought to question whether it would be a good idea to work for a place that designs weapons. When a Bush administration official spoke on Darfur, everyone accepted that everything he said was true, and no one questioned the correctness of the policies he advocated. St. Johnís advertises itself as a place where students learn how to think, but in order to fulfill that mission, that thinking has to do more than stop at the seminar door. Educated in such an environment, itís not surprising that Tony Lagouranis turned out to be a torturer. Peopleís moral views are influenced by the actions of those around them. If during his time at St. Johnís he saw people react apathetically to what was going on around them, then it is easy to envision how he could torture people without having ďa huge moral problem with it.Ē
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