While the recent hurricane raged outdoors, I re-read The Coming of the Third Reich, the first volume in the trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany by Richard J. Evans. As a frequent critic of the civic engagement movement in contemporary education (see here, here, here, and here) I noted the follow passage on page 118:
As Evans describes the situation of the Weimar Republic, this intense culture of political engagement was accompanied by a commitment to action over thought, a commitment that was especially strong among young people. Clearly, those who maintain that “engagement” is a panacea, and that we can best prepare students for the future by recruiting them to be “change agents” should consider the Weimar example as an illustration of the fact that political and social commitment is not necessarily a good thing. I suggest that one of the most important goals of a liberal arts education is to promote disengagement, to enlarge the sphere of life and thought outside of politicization so that people can step back from their commitments and examine themselves and their world from the widest possible perspective.