What level of education is necessary for a well-functioning society? When we talk about things as necessary, we are talking about them as things which are prerequisites to continuance.
So what about education is it that is required for a society to function well? And what does it mean for a society to function well? For starters, at the very least societies are organizations of people formed together for their collective, and hopefully, comfortable continuance. Therefore education within a society must keep in mind what it is meant to do.
Fundamentally, in order to answer the question what level of education is necessary for a well-functioning society requires an objective response, but not one that is such a blanket answer. We should not, for example, say something like, “a masters degree is necessary for a well functioning society.” Or “33 percent of society at any given time should be college educated, another 33 percent of society should have an education in skilled labor.” etc.
This type of blanket answer does not match the tenacity of the ever-changing margins our world demands we do not cross, whether that be falling short of what is required for sustaining life or overreaching when we consume the base of our resources. In other words, reality has ever changing, internally defined rules and a well functioning society adjusts to those rules.
So when we try to determine what level of education is necessary for a well-functioning society, we must keep in mind that what determines how well a society functions is how well a society adjusts to the internal changes of the reality it is in. This means that the level of education necessary for a well-functioning society is at the very least equal to the level of demand placed on that society to adjust.
Education is not academic, although an academic education is an education. A well-functioning society does not necessarily need any particular thing at any particular time, insofar as what it decides it doesn’t need does not surpass what the members who make it up require.
There are some fundamental things which all human beings require. Human beings require a physical means to live and this is directly related to the environment in which they live. Human beings require something to do and this is determined freely and openly by each individual. Sometimes human beings need mediation. Although this is only the case when conflict arises and conflict only arises when people live in scarcity or have the wrong paradigm about life.
This means that the level of education necessary for a well-functioning society is whatever level of education is necessary to meet and understand those demands placed on a society from the internal conditions of reality. Those conditions are the conditions of the environment and the conditions of personal fulfillment.
A society’s fulfillment comes from both a society’s continuance and a society’s hope for continuance. And the personal fulfillment of those within a society comes from their ability for personal expression and appreciation. Therefore, the level of education necessary for a well-functioning society at the very least must both liberate and contribute to sustainment.
There is no such thing as too much education. There is such thing as too little education and erroneous thinking within or about education. Societies have a tendency to create things for specific purposes and a tendency to create new things for new purposes after it is shown that there is a need. But sustainment requires a smooth flow of adjustment. So therefore, another necessary component of education for a well functioning society is principled thinking.
A society needs a firm foundation in how to think, not what to think, although there is a universal way we should all think. Life is infinitely precious and it also requires effort to sustain. If we can all reach that conclusion thinking about how to sustain life is what should logically follow. In short, the answer to the question what level of education is necessary for a well-functioning society is that it takes what it takes. The contrivance being, that putting forth no effort into learning and doing will inevitably swallow you up into chaos.
Education is by its very nature a collective effort. Collectively we have to learn how to think. We also have to learn mutual respect. By practicing mutual respect we are practicing respecting ourselves. This contributes to our personal continuance and to our societies continuance. This does not mean that there will not be disagreement.
But in a final thought, a necessary component of education must also be learning how to disagree in the right way and still come to take the right action despite having disagreement.