Posted by: Dr Churchill | May 21, 2014

Ignorance is Bliss — not…

What does a Democratic government owe to society besides running the clocks and collecting taxes?

It surely owes the impartial administration of equal & just laws, which insure the security of life, liberty, and property.

Yet in my estimation it also owes Hope and Opportunity.

And who is tasked at accounting if this government is doing a good job at it’s appointed tasks?

A small band of thinly empowered people that make up the leading citizenry.

They are advocates, press people, journalists, and jurists. That’s it. A small band of well read folks who sought an education to advance their cause and who practice ethically their craft.

And those folks are the very best resource society has. Verily, educated people are any nation’s most valuable resource… but it is becoming rather scarce.

Unfortunately, widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal.

The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have in Greece, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit.

An educated, well-informed population, the kind that a functioning democracy requires, would be difficult to lie to, and could not be led by the nose by the various vested interests running amok in this country. Most of our politicians and their political advisers and lobbyists would find themselves unemployed, and so would the gasbags who pass themselves off as our opinion makers. Luckily for them, nothing so catastrophic, even though perfectly well-deserved and widely-welcome, has a remote chance of occurring any time soon. For starters, there’s more money to be made from the ignorant than the enlightened, and deceiving Americans is one of the few growing home industries we still have in this country. A truly educated populace would be bad, both for politicians and for business.

It took years of indifference and stupidity to make us as ignorant as we are today. Anyone who has taught college over the last forty years, as I have, can tell you how much less students coming out of high school know every year. At first it was shocking, but it no longer surprises any college instructor that the nice and eager young people enrolled in your classes have no ability to grasp most of the material being taught. Teaching what important ideas and issues occupied thinking people at any time in history is not even a subject anymore. So how will the people know what enlightenment or stupidity be?

Even regional history has gotten a short shrift. Students who come from old New England mill towns, as I have discovered, have never been told about the famous strikes in their communities in which workers were shot in cold blood and the perpetrators got away scot-free. I wasn’t surprised that their high schools were wary of bringing up the subject, but it astonished me that their parents and grandparents, and whoever else they came in contact with while they were growing up, never mentioned these examples of gross injustice. Either their families never talked about the past, or their children were not paying attention when they did. Whatever it was, one is confronted with the problem of how to remedy their vast ignorance about things they should have already been familiar with as the generations of students before them were.

If this lack of knowledge is the result of the years of dumbing down of high school curriculum and of families that don’t talk to their children about the past, there’s another more pernicious kind of ignorance we confront today. It is the product of years of ideological and political polarization and the deliberate effort by the most fanatical and intolerant parties in that conflict to manufacture more ignorance by lying about many aspects of our history and even our recent past. I recall being stunned some years back when I read that a majority of Americans told pollsters that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11 terrorist attacks. It struck me as a propaganda feat unsurpassed by the worst authoritarian regimes of the past—many of which had to resort to labour camps and firing squads to force their people to believe some untruth, without comparable success.

No doubt, the Internet and cable television have allowed various political and corporate interests to spread disinformation on a scale that was not possible before, but to have it believed requires a badly educated population unaccustomed to verifying things they are being told. Where else on earth would a president who rescued big banks from bankruptcy with taxpayers’ money and allowed the rest of us to lose $12 trillion in investment, retirement, and home values be called a socialist?

In the past, if someone knew nothing and talked nonsense, no one paid any attention to him. No more. Now such people are courted and flattered by conservative politicians and ideologues as “Real Americans” defending their country against big government and educated liberal elites. The press interviews them and reports their opinions seriously without pointing out the imbecility of what they believe. The hucksters, who manipulate them for the powerful financial interests, know that they can be made to believe anything, because, to the ignorant and the bigoted, lies always sound better than truth:

Top Ten Conspiracy Theories in Greece Today: 1) Airplanes are spraying the people with chemtrails to keep them docile and they also put special “narcotics” into the public water supply for the same reason.  This last bit has done wonders for the bottled water industry. 2) Christians are persecuted in this country because the Saudis and the Oil rich Arabs want to expand into Europe via Greece. 3) Global Warming is a hoax from Hollywood and Greece’s temperate climate can only be tampered by God and not by the people’s activities. That is why all Greek waste disposal sites keep fires burning to burn down the volume of the garbage and pollute at will — because it doesn’t matter and CO2 in unprecedented levels in the Atmosphere is God’s Will. 4) Homosexuality is forced upon us from Europe who want to destroy this Christian nation and even the Eurovision contest was staged and rihgged in order to make our children Transexuals and thus eliminate the proud Greek race from the face of this earth in a few generations.. 5) The American Austronauts never went to the Moon but rather made a movie and staged everything in Area 51 in Las Vegas with Hollywood connections. That is why the American flag flutters in the windless moon night. 6) Our Schools push a left-wing Turkish agenda, and don’t report the proud Greek history as they should thus growing our children as pussies. 7) The Germans are taking away the Greek people’s Food, Social Security, Healthcare, and Welfare. 8) All Life on earth is about 7,000 years old and the Bible clearly says so — as God willed it. 9) Same goes for the universe. 9) The social security welfare safety net contributes to poverty and the unemployed should migrate to Germany, the US, and Australia — just to show them. 10) The Greek government is taking money from you and giving it to sex-crazed Muslims to build Islamic Mosques, to learn the Turkic languages, and to have more children, thus making the country an Ottoman state all over again…

One could easily list many more such commonplace delusions believed by Greeks of today, but the supreme one is: “Mas Psekazoune” — rougly translating, as: “They are Spraying us.”  Spraying us from above with some kind of bug extermination spray or even a complacency chemical agent. Of course these conspiracy theories  are repeated on TV and are espoused by people who naturally spend a minimum of ten hours a day infront of the stupid tube…

These spurious and daft conspiracies certainly serve a purpose of making people feel powerless. And to do their job effectively, they are kept in circulation by hundreds of rightwing, leftwing, general wing, assorted nuts, ultra-political, uberpatriotic, nationalistic, neonazi, neofascist, neoluditte,  and religious commentators, pundits and shady media outlets, whose function is to fabricate an alternate reality for their viewers and their listeners to find refuge from the harsh often times unpalatable reality.

“Stupidity is sometimes the greatest of historical forces,” Sidney Hook once said and Einstein claimed that it alone had no limit…

No doubt.

What we have in this country is the rebellion of dull minds and crazies, against reason and the intellect.

That’s why the wing nuts love the politicians who rail against science, and who see a conspiracy behind every curtain. They love teachers indoctrinating children against their parents’ values and science, yet they resent the ones who teach children to gain the ability to think seriously and independently.

Yet despite their bravado, these fools can always be counted on to vote against their self-interest. And with elections coming up — they will do just that. Of course then they will take the next four years in a round of bitching and moaning, by calling inconceivably dirty names to their elected politicians — whom they are going to vote for, all over again next time. A nice cycle of reflexive stupidity.

That, as far as I’m concerned, is why many millions are being spent to keep my fellow citizens dull, ignorant, and manageable. In short sheep masquerading as people. Sheeple…

And the Economics of society’s divisions are stultifying because there was a time when the choice to be poor was an act of spiritual nobility. Yet today there is much indication that poverty is a sign of failure and lack of drive or ambition and therefore it constitutes a form of societal punishment.

Not a punishment that will come from an enemy, or a state, but a punishment coming from ourselves, inflicted on ourselves, and constantly delivered upon ourselves over and over again…. because of a failure to be an “economic success” in a financialized world made expressly for the banker-wankers… Because Greeks choose to live happily amidst the chaos of their certain corruption and lawlessness.

Living Life is not to be rich, but rather it is to be human.

What is to be human?  To be human is to know that the law of the strongest has ultimately brought us to protect the weak, to understand and share the pain, to accept our differences.

It is to know how we are the strongest.

The very idea of a “right”, is that it has been granted to you. conceded.

I believe the only true right that has been conceded to us, is life itself.

Everything else is choices made upon values. Does any one believes that these values are accountable in money? Or depend on how much bread there is on the table?

What rights do you want?

Who are you demanding rights from?

What words do you choose?

Yours,

Pano

PS;

The real failure of the Greeks is the failure to demand the impossible as a new friend of mine once wrote…

He said that in Greece we have failed to do just that. Failed to seek the impossible in our hearts, failed to strive for the impossible in the eyes of everyone in the world that is watching us. Failure to demand the impossible by rising up and revolting against the boring German model of Nazi sameness and efficiency.

The ultimate argument of those who fought the Euro-plutocracy and the German model of efficiency — at least in Greece — was that people are starving, people are dying, and people are committing suicide. It was a clear message that Hope was gone and Opportunity was amiss. But it was never that people demanded the impossible — and that was by definition unattainable.

But what is the impossible?

Today impossible in Greece is the rudimentary essential. It is the right for every human to live respectably. To live in balance with nature, to live respectfully with each other, to protect the sea, to protect the forests, to protect the ones we love.

Impossible is the wish to be different, to be weak, to be poor and be respected, to be able to live in harmony with the natural world, to be able to study history instead of business, to practice your art and follow your passion, to live, to wish for justice, for truth, for equality…

In short the wish …  to be human.

There are things much worse than death: Perpetual injustice is worse. Fighting for the wrong cause is definitely worse. And living under a false flag and being part of the problem is definitely the worst of all.

Yet if you feel part of the solution generation — wake up and speak the right words of liberation, because our humanity is at stake.

And paraphrasing what a friend says: “Greeks need to show the world that in the land of Prometheus, we have nothing less, and nothing more to fight for.”

I say we need to just transcend FEAR itself and all we want will be found on the other side of this giant leap…

 

 

 


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