Fichte, Part II

Weird, but in the past I’ve found the quote I wanted easily via Google. Here it is, but not with exact line-and-verse citation. I recall that it’s from Addresses to the German Nation, but have not verified yet or exactly where:

 “Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished.”

It is interesting – and no coincidence – that Luther’s perhaps 2nd most influential work is “On the Bondage of the Will” – a work that, to me anyway, expresses the central tenets and nature of Protestantism(1) far better than that adolescent polemic “On the Liberty of Christians“. (Seriously: I can maybe see if your basic reading material is the local paper – or some schmuck’s blog – that you might find Christian Liberty impressive. But I read it after having recently read Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas, the Bible, and – nah. Reads like a teenager trying to pick a fight with a grown up.)

Luther was in favor of compulsory schooling and didn’t believe in free will – a mix with predictable results. How you get, by steady small steps, from Luther to Fichte, and from there to Hegel, Marx, and on to Occupy Wall Street is a subject for a series of posts I’m still working on.

1. Turns out Luther thought so, too, a fact I was unaware of until I googled around just now for a on-line copy.


Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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