Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ignorance is Strength

Ignorance is Strength

  Michel Foucault, in the mid 20th century, detailed the intricate balance between knowledge and power and how the powerful usually control the definition of what the rest of the population calls “knowledge”.

   The sad part is that most of the teachers are not even aware that they are teaching children only half-truths.  We were taught as children that Thanksgiving was about Indians (oops, now it’s Native Americans) and the colonists getting together in a quaint little festival and sharing food with each other.  The real story of the Natives and the colonists is quite different.  Likewise, we are taught about George Washington chopping down the cherry tree (which is pure fiction) and “honest Abe” who freed the slaves.  No one mentions, however, that for nearly Abraham Lincoln’s entire life he was a die-hard racist who staunchly believed in segregation and that the white man was intrinsically superior to the black man.  His racism was one of the talking points that he used in order to rise up to political power.  With the internet and the dissemination of knowledge, we now understand that the histories we were taught growing up in public school are not only false, but purposely dishonest as well.

   Whenever someone comes along and questions the “official” narrative that has been programmed into the population from childhood, that person is deemed crazy, insane, or even dangerous.  However, it is usually the insane person that cannot explain why he or she believes what they believe.  When someone is able to tell a narrative and back it up with actual historical evidence (complete evidence, I might add), how can we deny the plain truth?

 But since the government in power controls what is knowledge and what is not, complete histories (which you actually get to learn in graduate school and beyond, they are not secret) that go against the official government narrative are deemed subversive and dangerous.  It does not matter whether or not the story is true; if the story goes against what people have been raised to think is true, it amounts to a kind of psychological earthquake that causes depression, anxiety, and even hatred on the part of the one experiencing the mental trauma of seeing their worldview fall apart.

   The government advocates ignorance and calls it strength.  For example, anyone wishing to know why al-Qaeda hates the United States needs only to listen to their reasoning.  In fact, Osama Bin-Laden even released a list of reasons why he declared war on the United States.  Much of it has to do with the humiliation the United States continually deals out to Arabs by divvying up their Arabic land as the West sees fit.  Other parts of his diatribe deal with the mass atrocities and mass civilian deaths caused by the West’s occupation and constant belligerent behavior in the Middle East.  And yet the government’s official narrative is something like, “They hate us because of our freedoms” or “Their religion is a religion of hate.”  Don’t read history or go to the “enemy” for the truth; that’s what the state tells us.  Ignorance is Strength!  We’re told that if we just bomb them bad enough, or long enough, they won’t hate us anymore.  Kind of like spanking a child until they bleed; that’ll teach them to disobey!

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