Benign Violence: Education in and beyond the Age of Reason
Education is a violent act, yet this violence is concealed by its good intent. Education presents itself as a distinctly improving, enabling practice. Even its most radical critics assume that education is, at core, an incontestable social good.Setting education in its political context, this book, now in paperback, offers a history of good intentions, ranging from the birth of modern schooling and modern examination, to the rise (and fall) of meritocracy. In challenging all that is well-intentioned in education, it reveals how our educational commitments are always underwritten by violence. Our highest ideals have the lowest origins.Seeking to unsettle a settled conscience, Benign Violence: Education in and beyond the Age of Reason is designed to disturb the reader. Education constitutes us as subjects; we owe our existence to its violent inscriptions. Those who refuse or rebel against our educational present must begin by objecting to the subjects we have become.