The Sophists

They paid for tutelage,

because it was the thing to do.

Once the instruction had

begun, they owed

their patrons and teachers

obedience. What a gift

had been bestowed on them!


Then those others

began to expect that obedience.

Ungrateful students

were dismissed.

Only correctly appreciative youth

deserved the education

provided by the great teachers.


This turned the process

into something mechanical:

place student.

Open mind.

Fill with knowledge.

Garnish with skills.


But what of Socrates?

He lived for dialog and

died for freedom. He

cast education as a balanced discussion

of questioned assumptions.

That is the freedom

to learn together. But

such a radical concept

was corrupting,

and deserves death.