Does education protect liberty?


“Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to; convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.”

–Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, December 20, 1787


  1. Andy Perlik says

    We only have a finite amount of time each day. We also have more activities than ever to occupy that time. That being said, how much time to we spend enriching our minds and the minds of those around us?

    The uninformed are doomed to follow the agenda, including thinking, and be governed by those who have read more, regardless of what they have read.

    The more people who read, the more ideas we have to solve problems. This larger number of ideas are needed as the problems continue to become more complex.

  2. Albert Masterson says

    As a librarian for 27 years, I have seen all manner of books take their turns as darlings and outcasts of children’s literature. My opinion? Let them read! And the more forbidden it is, the more attractive it becomes. A free economy of ideas and imagination is our best hope for democracy.

  3. Enlightened Eric says

    Mr. Jefferson would be horrified to view the government business we so blithely refer to as education. We have let ourselves become subject to those “who know better”; those employed in the education industry. Before you rail against corporate subsidies, consider first the confiscatory taxes that are stripped from your earnings and re-directed into a gristmill of unending spending, while producing a consistently dissipated product. Demand an end to our self-imposed vassalage to the public education system. If you are certain that you cannot live without the government in education, then demand vouchers. Otherwise, take responsibility for yourself and your family; provide directly, for your own and your family, the best education that you can. That is what Mr. Jefferson would say today.

    • Amanda S says

      I’m confused as to what you think “I hope the education of the common people will be attended to” means? Can you define how this “hope” of Jefferson’s suggests solely individual attention to one’s own family?

  4. Mississippi Miss says

    Unfortunately we have lots of people who speak without being well informed, and free speech belongs to them too. Wouldn’t it please Mr. Jefferson if we all considered education a priority and we spoke with knowledge instead of ignorance?

  5. Sue Carmichael says

    Jefferson was innocent of the difference in the quality of education that the “common people” get. We don’t really have equality in education, so according to his logic, we wouldn’t have equality in liberty.

  6. Jo Ann says

    I agree! Most of the debates we have today would be solved if people just researched the issue. Knowing what you are talking about is always the first order of business, whether you agree or disagree you have to be informed to be worthy of the right to free speech!

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