Mike McQuillan - United States
I think there’s a direct relationship. And here's how: first of all, an educated person can define his or her terms. What does democracy mean to you? I know what it means to me, and what it means to me is something more than what you would find in the dictionary. To Pericles in Athens, it was that an individual advances not by favoritism, but by merit, you earned your way through society. You earned your way up through the economic class structure of the society. Education teaches you how to define those terms. For Pericles democracy also meant every citizen has a duty to serve, and so Athens had these enormous town meetings in which people, anyone had an equal right to say his piece. Now there were problems with that, if we talk about democracy as an ideal state. There were slaves in Athens, women did not have the same rights, and so on, just as this country has been hypocritical about its democratic ideals. But what schools can teach us is that democracy is an ideal that's always there for us to work for, to work towards making better.