Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, the three universities in the English-speaking world, separated by about three centuries between the United Kingdom and the United States, together with Padua, Bologna, Sorbonne and Heidelberg represent a continuum in educating the peoples of the world after the Academy and Lyceum of Plato and Aristotle in the Macedonia and Greece of Alexander the Great and the Nalanda of Asoka the Great’s India. Education is always the twin of the ambition of Empire or its contentment.
American classical liberalism is the fortunate distillation of all that had come before it. With empire, the window that classical liberal inquiry opens into the ways of the world, closes because of the claim to Truth of what is already known. The hegemony over the true as the True translates into tyranny, stifling not only the freedom to know but because of it the freedom to live in dignity. This is the state of Anglo-Saxon education and empire since the end of the Cold War.
The compact of self-governance of the Puritans who had established a college to educate their young and later to run the affairs of the state, creating a tradition of cultural values through education in much of New England which produced the United States of 1776, much as Aristotle did with Alexander the Great and his other pupils in the Lyceum, is now educating a minority of Americans to govern the remaining majority through the state.
There are very few remaining in this world who know how to raise Harvard and its antecedents, Cambridge and Oxford. The opening of the American mind has its roots in the enlightenments of the ages. Its reopening must also reach back into the values of those times.
White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, aspirants in spirit to the divinity within, embodied three critical values in their education, lacking in today’s Ivy League athletics of mind and body: non-ritualistic study of the King James bible to understand God for themselves, as individuals in communities which governed themselves.
The separation of Church and State does not necessarily entail the eradication of the Church from the edification of the mind. Erudition grounded in the timeless values of tradition anchors the society and the state.