The third constant of modern human civilization I want
to describe is school education.
Usually for more than a decade, modern humans are integrated into this system
for several hours every day, which, in most of its manifestations, combines the
simplest mechanisms of classical
conditioning in such an obvious way, that I am very surprised by how seldom
the concept of schooling is criticized. Despite being an extremely necessary
part of human progress, the institutional education though schooling can also
lead to severe faith crises.


Firstly by the simple matter of the fact that when
economic development is poor, the rewarding process can end abruptly as people
often go straight from school into unemployment. But also, secondly, by the
ideology of enlightenment, which
relates knowledge and insight to a better, more moral society (cf. also Adorno,
1969). The sheer incomprehensibility of the vast knowledge of humankind and the
division of knowledge (cf. Douglas, 2014), however, put a quick end to this belief
at least for those who are educated in the tertiary sector. Modernization and
globalization accelerate the prevalence of this disappointment. Whereas a doctor of philosophy, in the 18th
century, used to be a scholar who has such a broad understanding of his field,
that he could draw moral and philosophical conclusions which go beyond the
scope of his field, 21st century Ph.D-programs focus on rapidly
shrinking parts of the whole. Whereas higher education usually prevents the
belief in conspiracy theories (cf. Prooijen, 2017), the impossibility to
understand everything and the decreasing reward we receive by knowing something
can result in another wave of escapism into the world of conspiracy theories.


It can as well be argued, in this context that there
are more constants of modern human civilization – for example nationalism and religion. Nationalism
plays a significant role mostly in the political discourse, because the
predominant shape of the organization of power is the nation state. Nationalism is, thus, indeed implied in most parts of the political discourse, i.e. it is hardly
possible to participate in the public political discussion of any nation
without accepting implications of nationalism1. The functioning mechanism
of religion, on the other hand, is
very ambivalent and would be extremely difficult to elaborate on in detail. In
the light of the history of European authoritarianism, the relationship between
religion and secularization certainly deserves a clearer focus, given the
circumstance that the anti-Semitic ideology is based to a considerable part on
religiously motivated anti-Jewish attitudes which were decontextualized from their religious frame and, thus, radicalized,
as Adorno and Horkheimer note:

1 In the same course, indeed, the nationalist implications of this study should also be critically
questioned, since, by its very conceptualization it refers to the entity of
nation states, whose systemic independence from each other is implied more or
less in the entire field of comparative political science and though the
ideology of political realism.

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