on the Ropes
But the danger lies in this, that organised ugliness storms the
mind and carries the day by its mass, by its aggressive persis-
tence, by its power of mockery directed against the deeper
sentiments of heart…. Therefore its rivalry with things that
are modest and profound and have the subtle delicacy of life
is to be dreaded.
—Tagore, Nationalism, 1917
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his
own funeral drest in his shroud.
—Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 1855
How is education for democratic citizenship doing in the world today? Very poorly, I fear. This is a manifesto, not an empirical study, so this chapter will not be filled with quantitative data, although the data support my concern.1 The disturbing trends I am describing must simply be summarized, and illustrated by telling and representative examples.