Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Glorification of Ignorance in America

America has degenerated into a society where marketing, corporate influence and anti-intellectualism are the rulers of the day. Intelligence has become synonymous with elite, haughty, Harvard, and who wants to have a beer with that?  Admittedly, an intelligent person might become elite, may behave haughtily and could well have gone to Harvard, but the truth is, intelligence has little to do with any of these.  It is a property of the mind, not education.

Intelligent people are capable of abstract thought and understanding.  They can interpret and sort through a variety of ideas and can usually, but not always, communicate them in a discernible way. Intelligent people learn,  and take pride in knowing….facts; the truth of the thing.  They know the difference between incontestable, bulletproof verifications and mindless, malleable musings. Good education aides and enhances the ability to know the difference, but intelligence and education are not mutually exclusive.

In today’s society, rationality is defined, not by a mode of thought but by what is felt; connection on an emotional level. Irrational rants have become the measure of sound decision-making, because truth is not defined with facts, but feelings; if it makes one feel good it must be true. Rudimentary, crude discourse is considered courageous and repetition is confirmation. The truth is, too many Americans are just plain dumb.   

In the days of royal courts, kings employed entertainers who were responsible for advancing their political agendas. They were called professional fools or jesters. Clearly, some things never change. 

America’s professional fools are paid handsomely to remind Americans they aren’t being paid at all. They’ve cultivated an entire class of Americans on a steady dose of fear, foolishness and victimization, because they don’t know the difference between a fact and an opinion, a lie and the truth.  And why should they care, anyway? They may be required to think or ferret out facts so they can make informed decisions for themselves.  Why bother?  That’s what professional fools are for. 

Political propaganda has resulted in a mindless society devoid of the individual responsibility to think. Americans herd, not unlike farm animals; dirt-poor and hard-working whites support Republicans, no matter how much they belittle them, steal from them and craft policies that entrench them further into poverty. Social liberty-loving Democrats support their party members no matter how spineless they are about standing for what is just and fair.

America has devolved into a state of petty patriots and political pygmies, who put party politics ahead of country and ideology ahead of ideas and ideals.  What is now called politically correct was once nothing more than good manners and socially acceptable civilized behavior. America has become a nation of thankless thugs and boastful bullies.

Americans exalt to the status of folkhero, individuals who are rude and disrespectful while they call for a return to good old fashioned American and family values, all while we break up families and steal children.  Maybe boorish behavior is an American value because it is certainly what is being modeled for the rest of the world. 

Americans have become so indifferent toward intelligence, so politically mean-spirited, so boorish in their behavior; I fear that, as a country, it may have become irredeemably dysfunctional.

….the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competence, surveyed 166,000 people aged 16 to 65 in more than 20 countries .…Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the US in all three areas on the test…..tests have long shown that a large chunk of the US population lacks basic reading and math skills. 
The US was below 18 other countries in math and below 14 other countries in problem solving.

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