When education has worked well – it has not been forced.
Of course, this is true of anything else too.
People, of course, want freedom in their personal lives, and everywhere else…
But then they talk about it in the context of “others” in business and ignorantly cry about “capitalism.”
It is through our affluence that we are able to care about things like “education.”
It is also why state mandates do not change education outcomes in North Korea, Haiti, inner-city Chicago, or rural West Virginia.
When education has worked well in England, he asserts, such circumstances “were not brought about by equality of opportunity. They were not brought about, either, by mere privilege; but by a happy combination of privilege and opportunity . . . of which no Education Act will ever find the secret.” (This is a reference to the Education Act of 1944, mentioned in my preface.) This is as much as to say—in defiance of the nearly universal commitment to planning that Mannheim endorsed and that Tony Judt saw as one of the chief markers of the postwar world—that successful educational regimes can never be planned, can never be systematic, must inevitably be fortuitous when they exist at all. This is not a conclusion for which Eliot argues; it seems to be something closer to an axiom for him.