Challenge #02146-E317: The Wrong Kind of SmartsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  last year 

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"Look, it's very simple. Knowledge equals power, right? So it makes much more sense to reward people who are well educated, as well as people who can help apply that education for the benefit of everyone else."
"They ask too many questions." -- Anon Guest

Knowledge may be power, but an education is like a disease. As soon as you've got one, there's a compelled desire to spread it around. It's one of the reasons why you find oligarchies, plutocracies, theocracies, monocracies, democracies... but no educhrocies. That, and you need a certain, specific kind of stupidity to want control over an entire country in the first place.

This is why people who are thrust into power generally do better than those who strive for it. Once the power is obtained, the corollary responsibility sneaks up from behind with consequences instead of daggers. People who are educated learn this, and studiously attempt to avoid such things.

Then there's the paradox of attaining power whilst preventing others from reaching the same heights. A person with sufficient education does, indeed, want more of the same, but they also share. They share abundantly. They share indiscriminately. Sharing is their way of showing off. In the process of showing off, they disseminate small nuggets of power to anyone who cares to listen. Then there's the biggest problem with an educhrocy. Once a person is trained to ask questions, they never stop.

Awkward questions like, "Why do rich people need more money?" or, "Why should we let children starve?" or, "How is autism worse than a disease that could literally kill a child?" or, "How did this particular chain of circumstances come to pass?" or even, "Why are you trying to tell me what to do without any research into a course of action that has proven to be problematic at best and self-defeating at worst?"

Knowledge is power, that is true.

For the viseers, the manipulators, and string-pullers, the worst thing a ruler can be is educated.

For those who grasp at power and wish to keep it in any form, the smartest thing to do is to be certain that the populace never learns how to be that smart. Under-funding educational establishments is one tactic, so is being certain that only rigorous dogma is ever taught. Likewise, making certain that only the wealthy elite get taught how to ask the right kind of questions.

Questions like, "How can I get away with making more money out of this?" are preferred over the other kind. That way, the rot keeps spreading until the inevitable revolution. Where the same question is asked as the elite are dragged towards a grisly end by the mob...

"How could this happen to me?"

A person with an education could answer it. Then again, they would likely never need to ask it.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / focalpoint]

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