Maoriland Worker, Volume 6, Issue 219, 21 April 1915, Page 8
I Editor, "The Maoriland Worker," ! —Will you kindly uil'ord me space to answer your correspondent, ,l A Shurn Lamb?" I am the more anxious to , do so as lie is good enough to claim me as it "brother," which has com- Iforted me much, for I was a bit afraid ' when I read the beginning of his let'ter that he saw a wolf-liko hide proj trading through rents in the lamblike ;fleece I Also, I am much indebted to ! him for changing his metaphor— I dare not confess that I like carrots (especially literary ones, even though grown in a State library 1) They make my J grey cout shine and. increase the vigour and directness of the action of 'my hind legs. Hut a weak-minded ! sheep: no, brother, no. There are not I enough dogs in the Dominion to keep !mo in a mob. ' But a truce to fooling. I owe your correspondent an explanation, which I trust ho will accept. 'My remark about self-educated men and cheap literature, to which ho takes exception, w'as in no way a sneer, and I am extremely sorry he took it as such. It wa s the summing up of much dearlybought experience. I have myself wasted not only money, but, worse still, much precious and never to be redeemed time over worthless books, all for want of the advice any real good scholar would have gladly given mo had I known to whom to apply. Surely your correspondent, whose letters show that he is a thoughtful and wido reader, will admit that all students of such subjects as economics, psychology, and biology are likely to waste time, and study along wrong, lines if they trust to their own unaided judgment when buying or borrowing their first books. Celebrated names are no safeguard—men whose original books wore first class, frequently degenerate into dogmatising or even find truth does not pay, so write popular platitudes instead. University honours don't ALWAYS go to I the right man. Of oourse, once the prentico period is over and one knows something of one's subject, it is very easy to gauge tho value of a book, and one has only j oneself to blame if he reads rubbish, j I wrote with the young student in my' mind. I still maintain the W.E.A. is ! of real .value to him. One wants to i spare him one's own difficulties if pos- j sible. Your correspondent need not be' afraid that the W.E.A. is playing the: capitalists' game. It does not appear ; to me to be iu any danger of that. Its leaders would agree with Ferrer that not only the school, but the whole scheme of education as it exists to-day; is tho most powerful means of enslavement in the hands of 1 lie governing powers." Even more powerful! and more dangerous than the mediae- '> val church. It is not only Russia that teaches history to serve its own ends. Again, why object to the endowment of education by a capitalistic government ? Their reason for doing so is quite clear. Experts have taught them that a wise State must educate its workers in order that they may be more efficient as wealtTi-producpin. Therefore, any minister wishing to advance with the times will grant money—not too much, of course, but some—in aid of popularising'education. But if we know this, do we not also know that though the Capitalist State may educate men to further its own ends, no man alive can prevent the trained brain from thinking for itself if it chooses to do so? 1 havo been rong enough in New Zealand to bclievo that it would be well world our while to welcome- .so good a method as those tutorial classes appear to idl'onl for obtaining education of the ri.irhfc kind. If wo aro even going to take
over this country in the interests of the people it's about time we began and certainly we can't afford to despiseany opportunity for acquiring that olearness of thought and sound judgment which is required if we are ever to get the better of our friends the enemy.