Ignorance is Bliss

Ignorance is Bliss

Ignorance is bliss: This assumes that we can leave all intellectual activity, and all political responsibility, to somebody else and live our lives as vegetable beneficiaries of the moral and intellectual virtue of others.

This brings the reduction of the citizen to an object of propaganda, private and public, is one of the greatest dangers to democracy. The prevalent notion is that the mass of the people cannot understand and cannot form an independent judgement upon any matter; they cannot be educated, in the sense of developing their intellectual powers, but they can be bamboozled. The reiteration of slogans, the distortion of the news, the great storm of propaganda that beats upon the citizen twenty-four hours a day all his life mean either that democracy must fall prey to the loudest and most persistent propagandists or that the people must save themselves by strengthening their minds so that they can appraise the issues for themselves.

Upon first read, it could be assumed that the above was written by a deep thinker of today and, depending on your political leanings, influenced by either the right or the left. Either side will see the mirror on the other, and see it as truth. My point in printing it is that we all need to take a step back from the ledge and to peer through the window on the other side; throw aside the propaganda yolk and think for yourself. Ignorance is not bliss; it is an abomination of free thought and civility.

And just for perspective: the second paragraph cited above was written in 1952 by Robert M. Hutchens, Chicago University. Amazingly relevant in today’s environment I believe.

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