Sociology and Easily Governed Society

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Frederick the Great, an eighteenth century Prussian king known for his tyrannical rule, once stated, "An educated people can be easily governed." When taken in the context in which he spoke, that of a ruler who demanded complete domination over his subjects, one would take his quote with only one meaning, that more intelligent people can be easily governed. Ignoring the speaker and his reputation, however, this quote then becomes open for discussion. One could read these words and believe that “easily governed” referred to a people who tend to be more law abiding and can therefore be more easily controlled through a system of punishments. This could also be applied in a way to state that those individuals would be less likely to rise up against their government for fear of consequences. An exploration is called for of the various meanings in order to reach an opinion on what this truly means. For this exploration certain variables need to be considered. First, you would have to view each society differently as educated may mean different things to different societies. Second, you would have to consider the phrase easily governed. Could easily governed mean a peaceful law abiding society that debates issues among each other or does it mean an easily manipulated society that will not speak publicly to bring government to its knees over corruption and rights violations? Consider analyzing Frederick the Great’s quote in a context of law abiding versus non law abiding citizens and the relation between this adherence to the law and their educational level. In the United States the majority of people who commit crimes are of lower socioeconomic status who, stereotypically tend to be less educated than their higher socioeconomic counterparts who commit a lower number of crimes. Those who have achieved a minimal education tend to hold low paying, low skilled jobs with many applicants that can fill the position. In other words the individual is...
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