Publication information

Gunton’s Magazine
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Education a Vital Necessity”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 309-10

“Education a Vital Necessity.” Gunton’s Magazine Oct. 1901 v21n4: pp. 309-10.
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anarchism (dealing with).
Named persons
Click here to view the preceding editorial appearing in the magazine (whose discussion this editorial continues).

Education a Vital Necessity

Finally, there is a profound responsibility resting upon the whole people, and if it is not fulfilled the other measures of safety will be of little permanent influence. That responsibility is educational. With a rigid immigration law and suppression of murderous propaganda, we shall have done about all the strictly protective work that is feasible, but there is a vast area of positive preventive work for the future. So long as demagogues and the sensational press are left to do the educating on economic and social problems, they will continue, in spite of a possible temporary reaction against them now, to determine the character of public sentiment on these matters. We have only begun the task of rational education of public opinion. Serious instruction in elementary economic principles, and the facts of industrial history and present conditions, has been almost wholly wanting outside the college class-rooms, and even there the teaching has been so theoretical and abstract as to give little real understanding of our institutions or idea of sound statesmanship or the duties of citizenship. To-day the field is ripe for popular education along these lines in a way never before [309][310] attempted, and the demand for it is coming from all quarters. It requires systematic, organized effort, and the instruments must not be simply the colleges.
     Economic and sociological education, based on scientific principles and verified, intelligible data, must extend through the high schools and some time even into the public schools, and it must further be spread through the press, through special literature, and through local organizations and lecture courses organized for this special purpose. The long neglect of this field renders action on a large scale all the more imperative now. It may seem formidable, but there is no quicker or easier way to guarantee safety to our institutions and no other that can have permanently reliable results. The means of popular enlightenment are at hand, and therefore, in the last analysis, the responsibility for social security in the future lies with the community. It lies especially with the wealthy, who not only have most at stake in the maintenance of orderly progress, security and social peace, but are best able to provide for a widespread educational movement of this character. If the tragic death of the president shall rouse the nation to the necessity of this great work, the deplorable sacrifice will not have been wholly in vain.