Ignorant and Free?
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be” (Thomas Jefferson)
So what are the means by which we could be knowledgeable enough to maintain our freedom? Certainly the media is one vehicle for this function, yet for many years now the media has sided with one rather ugly movement in our culture, namely progressivism. This has hampered the general knowledge base of our people.
Our schools, certainly should help us avoid the pitfalls of ignorance. Yet, sadly they have also fallen into the progressive ideology. They are supporting the big government narrative of Saul Alinsky. Enter “common core,” essentially sold on the notion that all children will learn the same or similar things in school, thereby making standardized testing for example, more doable. Yeah. While the method could be useful in some ways, I have another word for what’s really going on, it’s called propaganda.
So, if the media and education are failing the country, and I contend they are by propagandizing rather than informing us of our history, our exceptionality, our current standing in the world, and our dreams for the future, what is left as a means to recreate and maintain our freedom. Yes, I said recreate. We have lost vast dimensions of freedom since our founding. We are losing the value of self-reliance, intuition, honest research, and personal integrity.
There are those who seem to pin hopes on our bloated, bureaucratic Washington, DC government to fix itself. I see no hope there. The rewards of cronyism have set into both political parties to a point of no return. Integrity has been reduced to not getting caught, or lying when they do get caught. It has been and can be said that the gluttonous grab for power and the corruption that accompanies it produces resume enhancement rather than the end of careers.
To begin with, I’m not ready to give up on media, schools, government, etc.. Things have a way of going full circle. Circumstances can change dramatically to force change on these, even though both seem recalcitrant right now.
There is hope from the impact of high tech on education. As more people place their children in home schooling, or private, or charter schools, there is the hope that the internet, wifi libraries, and the general explosion of creativity will produce forward thinking young people full of zeal for opportunities. The open question here of course, is what are they learning? Is it all future? Or are they going to be advantaged by learning the past too? Failure to learn our past is failure to be guided and safeguarded by the advantage of learning from past mistakes.
There is also a constitutional way out of the current crisis. Article 5 allows not only the congress, but the states to amend the constitution by their own convention, without Federal involvement or interference. While this is a solution perhaps requiring years, it could provide corrections to our federal government, that has become unresponsive to the people. So be on the lookout for the COS, the Convention Of the States.
I am optimistic that the real solutions will come from the people. Freedom is, I believe, inherent to the condition of the human heart. We were created with a yearning to be self-reliant, self-governing, self-supporting to the end of helping one another. Of what good am I, if I have none of my own power to assist my family, my neighbor, and my community?
People don’t naturally like to be ignorant either. Ignorance places the individual at the mercy of the evil doer and the merely oportunistic. Ignorance turns a citizen into a serf. The people, with their natural thirst for freedom and knowledge, respect themselves enough to stand up to tyrants. And tyrants seem to be plentiful these days. So we have lots of practice ahead in standing up to them.
Never, ever give up on freedom!
2 thoughts on “Ignorant and Free?”
The following is a bit long, especially compared to his Gettysburg Address, but full of some good food for thought related to freedom and the responsibility of individual citizens at another time when our country was bitterly divided…
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