Nature and Nurture Education in the 21st Century Knowledge and Political Economy
Knowledge they say is power and that is probably why Ben Carson thinks and believes strongly that ―the renoun that riches and beauty confer is fleeting and frail. To him, mental excellence is a splendid and lasting possession‖. Mental excellence is a natural endowment that can always be developed and exploited to great advantage. There is power mighty in money because money answereth all things. There is power mighty in material possessions because this can confer some advantage and there is power also in your connection with high places because these can sometimes speak for you. Yet we know that all these sources of power can develop wings and fly, leaving the controller a wretched man he is. But there is power that remains and equips the possessor with strength and might that cannot be stolen. That is intellectual power. That is why any one with great intellectual capacity has the ability to think intelligently, understand and manipulate situations to produce great results. The reference to intellectuals usually provokes the idea of highly educated people but how can one be highly educated or in fact be educated in the first place except one has the natural endowment to be. A baby is therefore, genetically endowed with natural features that flow from the loins of the parents just as the parents received such natural capacities from their own parents. But there is always an original Cause, God who created man in His own image and gave him power to multiply and fill the earth and subdue it (Gen 1: 26-28).
The world is experiencing a strong wave of enlightenment and the provisions of computer and information and communication technology bring to the door-step of whoever cares, the latest discoveries in science and technology as well as the latest procedures in politics and social sciences. The age of great discoveries made popular by the Newtonian Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is important because of the revelation that the universe is, after all, ―not a mystery moving at the whims of an inscrutable god but a mechanism operating by a rational formula that can be understood by any intelligent man or woman‖. Men of this age sought order and found it in the new sciences but in spite of the apparent order, life remains poisoned at the fount (McMichael 2000:169). The strange thing, therefore, is that creation is so bright and beautiful but yet so dark and ugly. It does not matter the attractions of the new science, we do not experience only joy in life. There is always the rude awareness of the ravages of hunger and starvation, the carnage of accident and war, the threats of kidnapping and assassination, the demands of electric bills and recharge cards and of course the rising trends in unemployment charts. It is now clear that the political utopia of health for all by the year 2000, education for all by the year 2000 and food for all by the year 2000 is over. The perfect socio-political system where all live in peace and joy is forlorn. The point, after all, is that although the age of enlightenment places great emphasis on the achievement of the new sciences, there is the unshakeable resolve that God is the First Cause of all things, including the mental excellence of Ben Carson.
The 21st Century and the current trends in knowledge economy have produced powerful jingles that are linked with the Millennium Development Goals. The world as a unitary system may be difficult to sustain but the contemporary world as a knowledge-driven system has created a novel situation which, according to Oriafo (2005), is commonly referred to as globalization. Yet we know that there has always been the cultural hierarchy and compartmentalization of the word into races, classes and groups with such antithetical combinations as haves/have nots, white/black, developed/underdeveloped as well as Europe and America/the rest of the world. It does not matter the diversity of culture or level of education, there is always the over-riding image of the slaves and the enslaver which gives rise to a similar image of the horse and the rider. The antithetical combinations are matter-of- fact situations in human relationships but there is a natural foundation that can be nurtured to produce the varying vantage and disadvantaged positions.. This paper therefore, explores what may be described as ―naturecratic education‖ but with some recourse to the provisions of modern world.