Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Nation Of Morons

Jefferson called an educated citizenry "a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."

Madison warned that "A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or, perhaps both."

Jack Kennedy said "The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all."

In 1748, Montesquieu said "The tyranny of a principal in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy."

In a June 1950 commencement speech, Boston University President Daniel Marsh said, "If the (television) craze continues....we are destined to have a nation of morons."

Well before television arrived, journalist Walter Lippmann called the public "the bewildered herd." In policy matters, their function is to be "spectators," not "participants."

"The common interests elude public opinion entirely," he said, and that's the way it should be.

America's privileged class alone should manage them. Only they need proper education and training. Treat others like mushrooms - well-watered and in the dark. In other words, distracted by bread and circuses. More on that below.

In his book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death," Neil Postman said "Americans are the most entertained and least informed people in the world." Most know little or nothing about what matters most.

Public ignorance isn't universal, but a significant majority's affected. Henry Ford once said:

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

It's also true for out-of-control imperialism, war and peace overall, political corruption, corporate power, illusory democracy, elections little more than theater, police state lawlessness, an unprecedented wealth disparity, shocking poverty, unemployment, hunger and homelessness levels, and numerous other issues in the world's richest country.

Widespread public ignorance keeps these and other abuses out of public consciousness and concern enough to demand political Washington address them responsibly.

Instead, officials serve wealth and power alone. As a result, popular needs go begging, especially under mandated austerity to pay bankers and wage imperial wars.

A nation of morons literally lets America get away with murder, erode human and civil rights, and leave millions uninformed, on their own, out of luck."


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