It is a good time to pause here and reflect on what has transpired these past days on this blog. I have introduced hard evidence and reviewed a few methods of critical thinking. I have been greeted with derision. I quite expected this.
This is the human condition. How much of it is unique to the United States – I do not know. I introduced a study by the Department of Education demonstrating that most Americans are not skilled in reasoning. It reminded me of the arrogant aristocrat Aldous Huxley, who cared little for humans in general. He said that “only 10-20% of the population is capable of benefiting from a university course.” The DOE study and Huxley seem to agree, which is annoying.
I have been reading over the years about the effects of propaganda on our cognitive abilities, but I am no expert on such matters. I can only observe behavior. There does indeed seem to be a plague of cognitive impairment out there. Good grief, spend an hour watching TV and realize that this is us!
It is a chicken and egg matter as well. Does propaganda make people stupid, or merely keep them in line? Can we do better? Can humans be developed? The education system isn’t even trying. Quite the opposite, it is making us dumber.
I have met some people who talk of that point in time when the veil was lifted, when we first saw our country as it really is. One woman talked of becoming physically ill. Others merely echo my feeling of deep betrayal and a loss of grounding. After those feelings pass we continue on the path towards adulthood.
Patriotism is a religious experience, and does not lend itself to close examination. A deep-seated love of country offers comfort, certainty, moral superiority, and personal validation. Many people, deep inside, might suspect that JFK was murdered by dark and sinister forces inside our government, or that 9/11 was not what we were told it was. But they let the dog sleep.
I understand. “Yes, I know my mother is a prostitute. But don’t you dare show me photos of her at work!”
For those of us on the other side, who have gone down the rabbit hole, what is the point? Evil triumphs time and again. Good and courageous people are slimed and die like flies. Bad people become our presidents, CEO’s, TV news readers. The worst even have statues or buildings and monuments in their honor.
We cannot reasonably seek new “investigations,” as power will never honestly investigate itself. Nor can we hope that a significant number of people will form a movement for justice and truth. Fear runs too deep.
What is the point then?
For me, I am curious what really happens, and I love solving riddles. I am curious about the human condition, and the more I learn, the broader my scope. I see now that such as it is, such has it always been. I feel fortunate to be able to observe from above rather than be down below and part of it.
And I care for truth. It matters. Even though but a faint distant glow in darkness, it will never be extinguished. I also have enough of a life that this part, the reading and writing and rabbit hole curiosity is kept in balance. I have no illusions that we can overcome the forces of evil. For some odd reason, even knowing that, I am happy and will carry on as I have.
I have pessimism of the intellect, and optimism of the spirit. And I will continue to do as I do. I am having fun. When the fun stops, I’ll stop.
Much more fun lay ahead! Stay tuned.