Nixon and ‘Educating ‘The Masses’

I will start with what others thinking about masses;

Yuval Noah Harari the author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind’ like on the book says ‘A Brief History of Human Kind’ I actually try to read this book but after some page I thought too depressive and I couldn’t cope to continue ( I will leave it to some other time to read) However I watched a couple of his talk on youtube and at the end of one of his talks he was saying that; a new creation of massive class of useless people – after the technological advancement human will be redundant and then question arises what we do we need humans for? What do we need so many humans for?  How are we going to corporate with a large number?  Capability and flexibility of that global exchange ideas ext.  He is very popular with his thought but I found him very materialistic, cold, and dry and my thought is not within the same line of Y. Harari’ s thought but for some, I do accept that he has made me think about those question and have made me critically question what I believe.

In contrary to that Hans Rosling saying that with education and controlling the birth and soon human population growth will stop and stay steady. Even the population stay steady what kind life human and enlightenment human population. Our reason is not any more to flourish. Actually, we achieved this Harari said.  I am aware that everyone’s attention to technological advancement

According to Nixon;

“…The foundation of this order – and of the powers and ambitions of the state that it sought to maintain – began to crumble with the advent of post-Enlightenment modernity. The three iconic figures of modernity- Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche- presented radically different visions of modernity, but agreed that the changes it represented were irreversible and unfinished. Indeed, they saw as undeniable societal changes that were incomplete, ongoing and open-ended. Central to these changes was the emergence of a new order of intelligentsia, the authority of which was asserted through its radical independence from both state and society. Within this new order, the public educator assumes the mantle of the public intellectual speaking for the public and, where and when necessary, against state hegemony and social norms. The public intellectual- independent, intellectually committed, politically engaged – becomes the enlightened representative and guarantor of ‘the people’   and its educational destiny: the self-conscious, critical and questioning cortex of modernity…” Nixon Ch2.pdf

 But arguably I ask my self   Higher Education is not anymore a knowledge producer it is actually a learner shaper and what do we have as a foundation to educate those people or to be those people. In my opinion, we need self-realization and self – activation. There are supporting mechanism to enlighten that way but we have so much fictional boundaries in peoples mind and everyone is a seam to be goal oriented and the only goal is a career for a life with full of an object around. In fact knowing the fact of the commercialized education and ruled under the politics – actually tells me it is difficult to find space to work beyond the structure. I am interested in the epistemology of this rather what I can do in class. This will come automatically when I understand this a bit more because I want to see the big picture. Nixon below quote talks about the structure;

 “…Modernity had always been critical- indeed, self-critical- but from within. Self-referential and self-validating, it lacked ‘a vantage point which allows the view of modernity itself as an enclosed object, an essentially, complete product, an episode of history, which an end as much as beginning’ (p117). Ones that vantage point had been discovered, the ‘take for granted’ assumption of modernity – ’that the West was superior to the East, white to black, civilized to crude, cultured to uneducated, sane to insane, healthy to sick, man to woman, normal to criminal, more or less, riches to austerity, high productivity low productivity, high culture to low culture’ (p120) – were challenged one by one as manifestations of a coherent but flowed structure of power. The old solidarities and subliminal hierarchies gave away to a radical pluralism that required a new ethics of recognition, a new ethics of recognition, a new politics of difference and a new kind of intellectual authority…” Nixon Ch2.pdf

As he said; we need to look beyond ‘Modernity’ we need this for a better future.

During 18th19thcentury we needed a separation between our object realty (physical) and fictional reality (metaphysics) to understand our objective reality without any fictional perspective. However, as a result, another abstract fictional realty created. Now we need to rethink. Masses left there in fictional perspective. As Harari said we entertain them to keep them engaged.  This sentence is very insane tome how people became object such he describes and who gave this power to him.

This is why I am looking this subject from more divertive perspective. We live in a moment that has all the past future at present, as it never is. If the distance is in the intellectual capability, for example:

My laptop is 7 years old and when starting my PgcCert I start using my laptop a lot and after a while started to give me many problems, slowing down, not ménage to work with multiple tasks at the same time keep stopping.  One day I took to store to fixe it.  What the instructor is said to me was an important lesson to take it; he said to me my laptop is very old since it’s been made, the technological development advanced the current system faster and my laptop couldn’t cope with all the force that I was working with. I need to upgrade its internal part with a new one. I think this is like I have a small engine car and I was racing with Ferrari. During my teaching at Wimbledon, I experienced this from the student population, even though they were year one but such a difference pops up automatically.  Some already were shining with their abilities. Comparing the other one there seam no attention on them why they were not shining, I can articulate multiple presents, the reason for that, trough my experience I learned how to deal with internal and external issues this gave huge maturity but for some, they might not have.

According to my example, I am thinking about how to prepare the student for the future and society. First, all the student need came up similar align in terms of subject knowledge and other skills that they need to develop. Especially, the ( level/4 )year 1 undergraduate in higher education. I think this year is very important, the reason for that I believe in this year whatever they learn will be their foundation to build on. The more it’s strong the more they can develop on. In my opinion an educator we might need to give up from meritocracy instead we need to understand the need of each person for the society. Below illustration illustrates this without words. Whenever I see this illustration of artist Angus Maguire make think how ‘Equality & Equity’ need to be in balance.

“…That authority, insists Bauman, can only be exercised by those who adopt an interpretive stance to the pluralist world. We require ‘specialists in translation between cultural traditions’-specialist in ‘the art of civilized conversation…” Nixon Ch2.pdf

I believe he is right we need to put into dialog or in our context of teaching. Yes, we ménage to flourish we rule the animal kingdom for us what is the next step? Technological advancement already on its way and for us, population I don’t know the answer, but this is something that I am seeking to find out. however my thought; we are heading more technological future but I think we need balance as Nixon and the other scholar noticed we haven’t achieved our development yet as human. Maybe we should turn our face to our self, our inner self and beyond in order to compete with technological advancement or artificial intelligence.  Otherwise, the polarisation between

as  Nixon suggest ’… the West was superior to the East, white to black, civilized to crude, cultured to uneducated, sane to insane, healthy to sick, man to woman, normal to criminal, more or less, riches to austerity, high productivity low productivity, high culture to low culture’ (Nixon Ch2.pdf)

-going to be unreachable. What I see and predict; future holds a lot of unknown but one thing I am sure that is going to happen if we don’t do anything it is going polarise people more, people spread the world but we don’t how to live together yet, with all technological advancement, intelligence advancement leave a big distance between levels. As an educator, we should be a bridge as Nixon specified.

Nixon also saying that:

“…At best, then, the  ‘massification’ of higher education was an attempt to ensure that ‘the masses’ became an educated public. This could be seen riverside of the of the Enlightenment project. What are enlightened means as he argued disciplining the masses? When I see something like this it reminds organic farming and cultured farming why we think organic is healthier than the cultured one.  Because we think its internal structure untouched by human artificially. It is natural even scientist agree on that. What is the relation to Nixon, In my opinion, all that fictional manipulation human nature it loses it’s natural abilities? I valued untouched thought, I realized we keep repeating our self and we keep repeating others. I think we do forget whatever we learning in education is a human experience not from Mars we all experiencing from a different level. Even tested scientific knowledge discoveries depends on experience all is interpretation perspective. Whoever got strong storytelling abilities to use rhetoric to perceive people.

On reflection, though, I think as an educator experience in class very important and understanding some psyche analyses of the individual and collective mind would benefit the educator to understand how to nourish the learner and culture and with a bit of rhetoric of storytelling. I think as an educator we should relax and be more us and get what is best out of each situation. I can right here many words but at the same time could be worthless; all those are with latent and me when the time comes will make the connection. The more importing here is to not lose the energy of enthusiasm and action to reflection.

As Lincoln Allison said;

“…The trouble with academics on this theory, of course, is that many of them have neither the training nor the temperament to perform. No theatre director would select actors purely for their knowledge of the text, but this is how universities choose their own board traders. Thus, a good slice of my undergraduate career was spent listening to people who had written important books and articles but gave very boring lectures…”



  • Nixon Ch2.pdf
  • DON’T PANIC — Hans Rosling showing the facts about population
2.   Why humans run the world | Yuval Noah Harari
4.    Does the inspirational teacher still have a place in today’s academy?

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