Book Reviews

Reading List for April, 2021: One Lonely Book

A very frustrating month where I read a ton, but only finished one book. Things are looking better for May though…

On the Future of our Educational Institutions by Friedrich Nietzsche

My Philosophy professors this summer have developed a maddening habit of assigning portions of books for us to read. The result is that I have been doing a massive amount of reading, but not completing any books.

Mercifully, my Philosophy of Education professor finally assigned a whole book to us.

Unmercifully, it was Nietzsche.

In this tome the would-be theocidal philosopher examines the state of the education of his native Germany, and, not surprisingly, finds it wanting. He criticizes the policy of providing education for the masses, arguing that it is important for the creation of culture that there be education designed for the elites, who will be society’s great men. Not only are there echos of Plato in this, but there is a foreshadowing of Nietzsche’s own “ubermensch” concept.

Nietzsche also reserves a special ire for the concept of academic freedom. True culture, he says in classic German fashion, is born of obedience.

As one reads, one can almost hear the jackboots as they hit the pavement and see the endless rows of coal-scuttle helmets winding their way through Europe.


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