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Marlon Jones

GED Program Director/ Instructor, Wright Career College

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"...but I'll defend to the death your right to say it… Really?"

Voltaire once said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it” Would I? Really? While maybe not dead, civility is definitely paralyzed in our country, in our communities, and in our homes. At what point did it become easier to antagonize, patronize, and vilify the “other” instead of conducting a reasoned discussion about the perplexing issues that surround us? Well into the machinations of the most recent elections it was being reported by various media sources that Americans were more divided than during any other time in history. There is simply something that does not sound quite right about that statement. Is it possible to have an honest and reasoned discussion? Is it possible to objectively consider an opposing point of view? Do we even agree on what the problems are? Disagreements are inevitable but being disagreeable is not. What do you think?

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  • Nov 15 2012: I don't think, I know that this has much to do with neglect or deliberate exclusion of "social development" in the education models which predominate western society. As an America I even wonder if this has been long considered and deliberately avoided because social development leads to the conclusion that warfare is idiotic. We, America, of course however are dependent upon periodic conflict because our arms industries, defense contractor etc are such a big part of America's economy. There is only one "best" answer to humanities direction and that was already agreed upon over 20 years ago in formulation of the "sustainable development movement" and its charter document "Agenda 21 i.e. to invest in cooperation more robustly than preparation for foreign aggression. But this notion has been hushed up and Agenda 21 vilified as a nefarious "new world order" out to take away rights and sovereignties. Nonsense. Twenty years have gone by and no one in a blue helmet ha kicked in your door and demanded your weapon.

    Social development IMO should become the top imperative of a new model of education where knowledge becomes secondary because wrapped up in social development are all the issues of motivation and why to learn. Along with that naturally comes how to value strangers and develop "synergy" whereas today even with the net we default to territorialism, one-upmanship, defensiveness, competition and the like. All of this can be turned around and we can surprise ourselves--astonish ourselves--with what's possible with this particular change i.e. establishing social development as the horse that pulls the cart of education. I'm ready. Fired up?

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