It has long been the interpretation of historians that the spread of liberal education across America led to a radicalization of the youth in the 1960s and 70s, and some have implied that there was, in response to this, an effort to denude education of those elements that lead young people to think in revolutionary ways, by associating the goals of education, not with moral or ethical transcendence, but as a means toward financial security. As an accident of this process, critical thinking has given way to discipline as the overarching theme of educational development. In other words the metaphor of the poet, as a model of educational mastery, has given way to the ethic of the soldier.
Now, my point here is not to belabor the obvious, but to point out the unforeseen consequences of purposely perverting the internal logic out of which we derive the notion of authority. If we give people, en masse, the rights of authority without the deeper knowledge of responsibility, then we give power to those who might not be aware of it even when they are using it. In other words, we unleash, instead of radicalized liberalizing power, unconscious and anarchistic power…destructive power…power that knows only itself as an organizing principle…power without a price…power that feeds on itself, and feeds on the disempowerment of others…a kind of political zombie.
If we once let loose a wild bunch of hippies as a result of spreading liberal arts to the masses, and as a result pulled back some of the more liberating aspects of classical education in order to shore up the authority of the state, while maintaining an illusion of the educated citizen, then we have now let loose a wild barbaric mindless swarm of people who insist on exercising political power merely because they have been taught that it feels good to do so.