Friday, March 09, 2012

Ignorance is easier to control than intelligence

by Rich Miles

In today's (March 9, 2012) New York Times, my old pal Paul Krugman (I never really met him, but I FEEL like I know him) wrote a piece that he (or the NYT headline writer) titled "Ignorance is Strength",   in which he posits that the Republican Party has come to oppose higher education, because an educated electorate is a product of "indoctrination mills" that destroy religious faith.

Now, it's hard to interpret such a thought as anything but a statement that smart, educated people don't believe in the fundamentalist booshwah that people like Santorum and Romney and other morons of their ilk put out.

It is probably provable that this is true - the smarter and more educated one is, the less likely to believe in religious/superstitious claptrap. But as Krugman points out, that's just a happy side effect of being a generally educated person. The anti-religious "indoctrin- ation" that Santorum et al. fear so much is not intentional.

But again, Krugman sums up the intelligent thinking on the matter at hand by closing his column thus:

"After all, over the past 30 years, there has been a stunning disconnect between huge income gains at the top and the struggles of ordinary workers. You can make the case that the self-interest of America’s elite is best served by making sure that this disconnect continues, which means keeping taxes on high incomes low at all costs, never mind the consequences in terms of poor infrastructure and an undertrained work force. 

And if underfunding public education leaves many children of the less affluent shut out from upward mobility, well, did you really believe that stuff about creating equality of opportunity? 

So whenever you hear Republicans say that they are the party of traditional values, bear in mind that they have actually made a radical break with America’s tradition of valuing education. And they have made this break because they believe that what you don’t know can’t hurt them."

IOW, keep 'em poor and stupid, and they'll keep voting for the Republicans. Because they don't know any better. And because the Republicans are the party of willful ignorance.

Amen, Brother Krugman. Amen!!

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