Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Cross Either of Thought or Action

After all, a man's life must be nailed to a cross either of Thought or Action. Without work there is no play. When I am in the Socratic mood and planning my Republic, I make drastic changes in the education of the sons of well-to-do citizens. When they are sixteen or seventeen they begin to learn a craft and to do healthy manual labour, with plenty of poetry, songs, dancing, drill and gymnastics in their spare time. They can thus let off their steam on some thing useful. It is only when they are really thirsty for knowledge, longing to hear about things, that I would let them go to the university. It would be a favour, a coveted privilege, only to be given to those who had either proved their worth in factory or field or whose qualities and zeal were pre-eminent. However, this would upset a lot of things it would cause commotion and bring me perhaps in the end a hemlock draught.
from Winston Churchill, My Early Life: A Roving Commission (1930), "Chapter IX, Education at Bangalore"

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