Romanian Review of Social Sciences

Universitatea Nicolae Titulescu

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ISSN

2284 - 547X

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2284 - 547X

EDITOR

Dan Velicu
Nicolae Titulescu University

THE ACTUALITY OF NIETZSCHE’S CRITICISM OF EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM REGARDING MODERN KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY

RRSS 2016 No.10 - Romanian Review of Social Sciences

  1. Authors:
      • Schreiber Andreas

  2. Keywords: Nietzsche, knowledge society, education, educational system, employability, neoliberal system, self-exploitation, lifelong learning

  3. Abstract:
    „Thus, my friends do not confound this education, this delicately footed, spoiled, ethereal goddess, with that usable maid which occasionally also is called ‘education’, but which is merely the intellectual maid and counselor for distress of life, for earnings, for neediness.”[1]

    In his five lectures on the “future of educational system” Nietzsche thoroughly criticized the German educational system of his time and the decay of education in general. Although he was very sharp in accusation and pessimistic about his contemporary situation, he nevertheless cherished some hopes regarding some profound and revolutionary changes in the near future that might take place and rescue the classical concept of education.

    Looking back from today to Nietzsche’s assertions – like the quote above – we can recognize that his critical sketch of former deficiencies of educational system has lost none of its actuality and truth. We rather notice that some of his points just have been actualized only in modern knowledge society than in his time – or at least they have aggravated.

    Nowadays, knowledge is considered as an economical factor of production, and education is the fundamental precondition for employability. On the way to neoliberal, capitalistic system we have started with exploitation of the knower and have come to reach a status of voluntary self-exploitation of the educated one. Knowledge and education, and the notion of lifelong learning as well as self-actualization and personality growth have become efficient and perfect instruments of neoliberal systems, as they use the freedom and free volition of the individual to enforce their self-exploitation in order to become high-potential consumers.

    This contribution points out the still existing actuality of Nietzsche’s critical arguments regarding the decay of the concept of education. Moreover, it is to be shown that in the age of the so called knowledge society in neoliberal systems we somehow are on the peak of the era of nihilism, as it was predicted by Nietzsche almost hundred fifty years before.
    [1]Translated by the author. Original quote and source: „Also, meine Freunde, verwechselt mir diese Bildung, diese zartfüßige, verwöhnte, ätherische Göttin nicht mit jener nutzbaren Magd, die sich mitunter auch die ‚Bildung’ nennt, aber nur die intellektuelle Dienerin und Beraterin der Lebensnot, des Erwerbs, der Bedürftigkeit ist." (Nietzsche, Friedrich: Ueber die Zukunft unserer Bildungsanstalten. Sechs öffentliche Vorträge, in: Nietzsche, Friedrich: Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bänden (KSA), ed. by Giorgio Colli & Mazzino Montinari, Vol. 1, pp. 641 – 753, Berlin: de Gruyter, 1999, here: Vortrag IV, pp. 712 – 733, here p. 715.)

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