PZ wrote a piece last week, that's been reposted on the Panda's Thumb. A good one. Two points. 1) The title: "A well informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will". And 2) the Thomas Jefferson quote at the end:
"I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness...Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance."Both reinforce the importance of the idea of education, not just for the children of the rich, but for everyone. In the end, it is the educated (by whatever means) who have the greatest ease in manipulating the world. It follows that if education is restricted to the children of the rich, then the world eventually dances to their tune. The best defense against this is education, not just for the rich, not just for those who choose to attend university, but for everyone.
I'll stop harping on about this sort of thing (for a bit) shortly, I promise.