Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Read of the Day

I came across an essay today that contained the following passages:


"Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. It’s no use pretending otherwise and telling us... that educated people are the nation’s most valuable resources. Sure, they are, but do we still want them? It doesn’t look to me as if we do. The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. 
An educated, well-informed population, the kind that a functioning democracy requires, would be difficult to lie to, and could not be led by the nose by the various vested interests running amok in this country. Most of our politicians and their political advisers and lobbyists would find themselves unemployed, and so would the gasbags who pass themselves off as our opinion makers. Luckily for them, nothing so catastrophic, even though perfectly well-deserved and widely-welcome, has a remote chance of occurring any time soon. For starters, there’s more money to be made from the ignorant than the enlightened, and deceiving [people] is one of the few growing home industries we still have in this country. A truly educated populace would be bad, both for politicians and for business. 
It took years of indifference and stupidity to make us as ignorant as we are today... If this lack of knowledge is the result of the years of dumbing down of ... school curriculum and of families that don’t talk to their children about the past, there’s another more pernicious kind of ignorance we confront today. It is the product of years of ideological and political polarization and the deliberate effort by the most fanatical and intolerant parties in that conflict to manufacture more ignorance by lying about many aspects of our history and even our recent past."


Exactly what all right-thinking Pakistanis have been moaning about for the longest time, isn't it?

Good to know that celebrated American poets feel the same way.

5 comments:

Ahmed Sohail said...

XYZ, you shall mention where this essay was published!!

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Tania said...

the link is high lighted below - http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/mar/20/age-of-ignorance/
and oh my god - i totally thought this was written of pakistan! how uncanny.

AA said...

I also thought it was about Pakistanis but I was thinking about how it could be true for citizens of US and other democracies as well. I always think we are too harsh on ourselves.