Peasants genuinely need an old-testament-style list of what matters and what doesn't. Without hard-selling guidance at them, they'll have no clue. This should be obvious now I've pointed it out, but university is an example. Considered very important. In fact normally counterproductive.
Problem: the old testament is dead and what's important isn't.
It's very, very important to freak out when an important threat arises. Certain criminal tells demand immediate and violent responses.
For numerous reasons, peasants can always be exploited. The criminal can always slide into the gap in the lists. Peasants need a lord because they can't take care of themselves.
P.S. Considering opportunity costs, a 4-year degree costs at least half a million dollars measured at retirement. What would you do with an extra $500,000? Now imagine this compounded across even two generations...