There is something I’ve given much thought to over the course of the past couple of years; that being the question of why people are so unwilling to spend any serious amount of time studying history and the truth regarding how their government is so blatantly corrupt and unconstitutional. I think I’ve finally come up with somewhat of an explanation for this phenomenon.
I remember when I was a kid how different things were. If I wanted to talk to my friend I had to dial their number on an old rotary phone, or get on my bike and ride over to their house. If I wanted to send someone a letter or a message I had to hand write it and put it into the mail and await a reply. Also, my mom used to spend all day in the kitchen preparing that evenings meal. When I went to school we actually had to read books and then sit down and hand write book reports; not giving a quick synopses of the story, rather explaining what the book meant to us. I also remember having to memorize a portion of Patrick Henry’s immortal Give Me Liberty speech and recite it in front of the class. Today, I don’t think half the graduating students even know who Patrick Henry is.
Then along came quickness. I remember how cool TV Dinners were when they first came out – slap an aluminum tray into an oven and in half an hour supper was ready to be eaten in front of your TV. Then came cell phones and personal computers; along with e-mail and text messaging. Now you didn’t need to write out a letter and put it into the mail box, you could simply send a quick e-mail or text message and in a few short minutes have a reply.
I have literally seen people sending people sitting on the other side of a room text messages. Instead of getting up and walking over to where that person is sitting, someone will just send them a text. If that isn’t the epitome of laziness, I don’t know what is. But it is also a symptom of something much larger; the need for instant answers, instant gratification; and most of all, constant entertainment and connectivity with our friends.
When I go to break at work I look around the cafeteria and 9 out of 10 people pull out their cell phones and stare at their Facebook page, or play some silly video game app the entire time they are on break. Only a few people talk, and fewer still pull out a physical book and read.
While this connectivity – the internet – is a good thing in that it makes the acquisition of information so much easier, it also opens the doorway for the instant acquisition of fun. I’d be willing to bet a month’s pay that if you put 100 people into a room and gave them a smart phone and free wifi, that 99% of them would log into Facebook, watch some trending YouTube video, or play some game. Less than 1% of them would use that free wifi to research something that might expand their knowledge.
What this does is it produces entire generations who are satisfied with whatever knowledge they were taught in school; at least as it pertains to history and civics. They may seek higher education so that they can improve their odds of finding a better job, but as far as learning more about the history of their country or its system of government, you might as well ask them to take out a chain saw and whack off their arm.
So, while we think we are sending our children off to be educated, what is actually happening is that they are being indoctrinated; their heads filled with only the knowledge that the Board of Education wants them to know. Worse still is that the information being given them is decidedly biased – not to mention the fact that they are taught to accept it as the gospel truth and not to question it.
Is it any wonder we have a nation full of ignoramuses who refuse to seek out more knowledge, and who reject any information that conflicts with the brainwashing they got in school? Is it any wonder I constantly hear people say they don’t have time to study like I do, but these same people will sit in front of a TV for hours watching sporting events or other rubbish on the television or their computer screen?
The thirst for knowledge has been bred out of us as a nation; we are taught that what we learn in school is sufficient, and to question it, and authority, is harmful to society and the status quo.
Hmm, I wonder how our Founders would have responded to that; after all, wasn’t the war for independence the ultimate challenge to the status quo? I wonder how America would have turned out had instead of resisting tyranny, the Son’s of Liberty had gone home from work and turned on the TV and watched the NFL. I wonder what would have happened had men like Jefferson, Adams and Henry not studied the writings of men like Locke, Montesquieu and Newton; rather they read a Harry Potter novel or the latest book by Danielle Steele or James Patterson?
Yet try to get someone today to sit down and read something as short as Locke’s Second Treatise and you might as well be banging your head against a brick wall. Not only would most refuse to do so, they probably couldn’t make heads or tails out of what Locke was saying.
All this leads me to ask; What is it about certain people that causes them to seek out knowledge and the truth while others are content to believe the lies they have been, and continue to be spoon fed by those in positions of ‘authority’? Are we wired differently, or are we, by nature, simply rebels who refuse to accept whatever we are told without first verifying the validity of the information?
What frustrates us is when we try to impart the knowledge we have acquired and are met with, not only dear ears, but sometimes, open hostility towards the truth. It seems Hendrik Willem von Loon was right, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.” It also seems that Isaac Asimov was correct when he said, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
Is it any wonder people are simply incapable of seeing that their government is both evil and corrupt; that it seeks to undermine and destroy the very thing it was established to secure to us – liberty? Is it any wonder that we have millions of voters who go to the polls and cast their votes for candidates belonging to whatever political party they affiliate themselves with, but who have absolutely no understanding of the powers given their government by the document that established it?
And people wonder why this country is in such a mess. What could possibly go wrong when we have indoctrinated voters who reject any effort to undo their indoctrination, going to the polls and voting for candidates who make promises to do things for them that their government was never supposed to be doing?
Makes perfect sense to me – that is if you’re living in an asylum for the mentally deranged! But in a country that is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave it is the perfect recipe for tyranny and oppression; with a population too ignorant to realize that they are slaves to their government.