It's amazing how thoughts may randomly pop into one's mind. We are further impressed when two or more of them have an interesting connection which gives us pause.
When the Christian apologist C. S. Lewis speaks of being a democrat (a small 'd' democrat, it should be noted) he says that it is because he distrusts his fellow men rather than believes in them. No one, himself included, he says, can be fully trusted to run other people's business, so it's better to diffuse power than allow its accumulation in one man or group.
Richard Mitchell, an outstanding yet little known writer on education issues and famous for his works under the heading The Underground Grammarian, teaches that education is a preparation against the world more than for it. The world, so to speak, will mislead you; it will lie to you. As such, the only decent education is one which leads you to think for yourself as a check on the world's attempted ill effect upon you.
These are two quite interesting takes on things. They lead us to wonder whether there might be such things as negative virtues, ideas positive in themselves though emanating from negative perspectives. They are difficult to disagree with, yet display an understanding of the world and peoples around us in an unexpected fashion from unexpected sources. They certainly put ideas of democracy and education in a different light than in which they are generally seen. As such, they quite naturally lead us to think and wonder.
Do we hold the right view of education? Do we really understand democracy? Are the ideals we work towards with either actually the right approach towards these questions, or ought we consider the ideas of Lewis and Mitchel as more trustworthy, more likely to get us the types of democracy and education which will help our society the most? We think that, at the least, their ideas merit discussion.