Europe's Philosophy of Failure
A shortened version of this article appeared in the Financial Times on Jan. 8, 2007. What a country teaches its young people reflects its bedrock national beliefs. Schools hand down a society's historical narrative to the next generation. There has been a great deal of debate over the ways in which this historical ideology is passed on-over Japanese textbooks that downplay the Nanjing Massacre, Palestinian textbooks that feature maps without Israel, and new Russian guidelines that require teachers to portray Stalinism more favorably. Yet there has been almost no analysis of how countries teach economics, even though the subject is equally crucial in shaping the collective identity that drives foreign and domestic policies. Stefan Theil's article "Europe's Philosophy of Failure," appears in the January/February issue of Foreign Policy and is available on their website (subscription required).