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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

READERS IN COUNCIL

Does an elitist education help?


Otaru, Hokkaido

The May 24 Los Angeles Times article "All too often, bright doesn't mean right" cataloged a long history of failure by intellectuals in government to craft wiser or more effective policies than intellectually average bureaucratic hacks, but had little to say about why this should be so. What does this say about the value of higher education -- not only in political science but in other fields as well? Its justification has always been that it helps us to understand the world better. Is it failing to do this? Is the world in principle incomprehensible? Or are the Paul Wolfowitzes, Henry Kissingers, Robert McNamaras et al. merely unworthy of the academic distinction that has been conferred upon them?

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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