Yes, education and book learning really do change folks, and it changes the masses.
The problem is that we too often confuse mass indoctrination with education.
What’s happening in the US is mass indoctrination not public education. Indoctrination occurs in all areas of human relations, not just schooling, so we enter school primed for indoctrination and conditioning, then we pass that on to our own children and others that we have influence over.
The only way to counter indoctrination is to be in a constant battle against it; and in a society/system full of indoctrination those who battle against it will be sanctioned in one way or another. We can be simply labeled conspiracy theorist, cynics, angry, “haters,” or mocked, or even physically attacked if when challenged the indoctrination of others too aggressively; I’ve been getting all of that and more since I was 12 years old.
When you resist indoctrination in formal education you can be subjected to expulsions, suspensions, held back grades, failed (even though you demonstrated a mastery of the subject), put in special ed, or even drugged; I went though all of that, except the drugs, I graduated from high school before drugging “problem children” was popular (and economically incentivized) in the Hood (thank Goddess).
So, most people don’t want the hassle and risk of being actual independent thinkers, so they just find a form of indoctrination that suits them, and they go with it. Even in the Consciousness Movements, you will find people engaged in groupthink; it’s just too tempting to embrace indoctrination than to fight it, even when you claim to understand it.
Now, to educate means to “bring out” to create the environment and conditions that will assist the student in actualizing their intellectual and creative potential; but education make people poor workers (wage slaves), bad/disobedient students, unpredictable consumers, and inconsistent followers. Educated people question everything, they resist shit they deem unjust or limiting. Educated people are always plotting, always trying to over throw systems and improve on shit. Educated people instinctively challenge authority. Educated people are not good for Capitalism or White Domination.
In fact, this system only reserves education in very limited circumstances, and even then it’s saturated with indoctrination. Noam Chomsky stated that those in technical and research fields are educated, they are taught to advance and challenge the established norms and authorities; but only in the area of science (in only is such a way that will generate profits and strengthen the Empire). They are indoctrinated to accept the norms and respect authorities in the political and economic arenas. That’s how you can have brilliant doctors and scientist who don’t know shit about politics, history, or the society they live in; Ben Carson is a good example of all of that.
That’s also how you get someone who’s really bright, but they embrace the Omnicidal Systems of Capitalism and White Domination. Or how you can get a person who intimately knows the brutality and horrors of Racism and Imperlism, yet when they come to power they impose and support Racist Imperial policies like Obama.
That’s how you can have people smart enough to make nukes, but too dumb to not make nukes, and so on. LOL!
This topic can’t be covered properly in this format, so I’ll give you some text to follow up: