Publication Details

Ashbolt, A, Public education and democracy, Education, 276, 25 October 2004, 12


As a political system, democracy depends upon a vibrant public sphere. Democracy in liberal democratic societies is sometimes confused with doctrines upholding individual rights. Thus it is that matters of individual choice come to be perceived as inalienable democratic rights when they are nothing of the sort. Private choices and desires fit neatly into a concept of social good defined essentially by the market. They are things to' be bought and sold, their value adjusted to the vicissitudes of market forces. If we begin to think of education in this way, we have begun also to sacrifice democracy at the altar of private possession, individual greed and/or religious faith.