Monday, June 6, 2016

Anti-Intellectualism in America

There is a trend of anti-intellectualism in America that has been growing these past decades. Anti-intellectualism is pro-fascism and even pro capitalism. It is also pro religion.

Intellectualism on  the other hand is pro democracy. It is for all intents and purposes, pro human.

There is a scene in 2003s, The Last Samurai where the Samurai says about Tom Cruise's character, "There must be a reason why he is here." A very interesting statement. One that holds great sense, although it is patently misunderstood the world over and throughout most of time.

"There must be a reason why he is here."

This must refer to fate, to predestination, to God's plan. Right?

But is that what it is really being said?

Or is it saying:

"We must find the best possible reason for his existence here" in order for it to make sense, for us to make sense, of it.

That is to say, we need to find the most positive and productive way to explain his being here in this situation and how his being here makes things better and in what way, or how we can utilize his existing in this situation to enhance that situation for those who it should enhance their situation (and is that us?).

Or to put a good and positive message that can be used for others to make their life better or to offer them a useful allegory they can use in their own life.

It isn't however saying, "God put him here, we must find why in order to assuage God's desires."

And yet, so many people take it as meaning just that.

In The Untold History of Modern U.S. Education, it says:

"Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether education is fulfilling its purpose.

"A great majority of the so called educated people do not think logically or scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us the objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education."

This is the road we have been on for a very long time. Where we do not respect and venerate the old, wisdom, and history. Where we do not give credence to knowledge over our own perceived exceptionalism.

There was an article from 2014 that discusses how there is in America, as they titled it, The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America.

When and why is that happening? Where is it leading us? Where has it led us?

Seeking the highest possible understanding of anything cannot harm us, it can only harm some people's sensibilities. We have become more concerned about our feelings than reality.

What in the hell were we thinking?

Another article by Professor Patrick Deneen explains how kids have become a generation of know-nothings.

If we don't turn this about soon, and with extreme prejudice, I'm unsure how we will sustain an America as we've known it, or as it should be. At this rate Americanism will become a slang term for stupid, for wasting a good thing, rather than all the many other great things we have and should have stood for, for so very long.

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