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The Ignorati

Kathy Shaidle links to this blog post noting an article by a Muslim professor on the real reasons for Muslim decline. One of the first thing it notes is that there is high literacy in the Muslim world. But at the same time there is ignorance, bigotry, and attraction to conspiracy theories to explain everything that goes wrong. Hmm, who else does that sound like? If you said "academia and the media" you get a gold star!

The halls of academe and the various artistic and cultural groupings I have lumped under "the media" are as shot through with ignorance, bigotry, and conspiracy-mongering as roquefort cheese with mold. And we have been wracking our brains here in the rightwing nuthouse trying to figure out why. But it's not that difficult to understand -- all you have to do is let go of that mistaken, but popular, notion that the ability to read magically conveys upon a person an open mind and a superior understanding of the world.

Americans are pragmatic, and our pragmatism often leads us to mistaken conclusions about just how effective solutions to problems are. Once there was the problem of people not being able to read. So we pushed literacy and education -- and came up with the ignorant redneck who can now read Mein Kampf and the Nat (Speaking of ignorati - Ed. in the Mirror) Turner Diaries, and the whitey-hating black who can now read whatever gush and kibble leads to joining groups like Nation of Islam. Curing a symptom (in this case, illiteracy) doesn't cure the underlying disease of ignorance and bigotry. As long as we leave the stupid ideas our "intellectual betters" come up with unchallenged because we are intimidated by the degrees on their wall, we will still be assailed by ignorance, bigotry, and fear.

Comments (2)

Sigivald [TypeKey Profile Page]:

That reminds me of Castro-worshippers; "Cuba has 100% literacy!" they exclaim.

Yes, but no freedom to read what you want - or to leave the country if you desire to.

Reading, like a Skil-saw, is a tool. You can do useful work with it, or cut your own leg off, so to speak.

(Also, I don't think Nat Turner has much to do with the Turner Diaries; white supremacist crazies don't tend to like escaped slaves.)

Oops. Fixed. Note to self: more coffee before posting.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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