I want to take a small digression from the Aha! thread, to look at some examples of language mastering individuals. Two from today’s news:
Juan Williams is saying on Fox, that we shouldn't attack Hezbollah because it'll destabilize the new Lebanese democratic Government - as if it could be a stable Government, when it’s entire southern portion is controlled by a defacto Government. of Terrorists within, who are controlled by Iran & Syria from without. To him, because the Lebanese Government has the name, the title of Government, whether or not they have any actual substance, they are in his eyes, a legitimate and independent Government.
The "Peace Movement" when mentioned, is given a matter of fact regard among the Media Culture, and few question their claim to be acting for peace, even though it flies in the face of all history and knowledge of human behavior. Without being challenged, they assert that you can end a conflict between a peaceful nation and a warlike nation, by having the peaceful one disarm and give concessions to the warlike one, that that will somehow cause the warlike entity to see the light of nice behavior, and chuck it's ambitions for power.
There is something about being able to pin a word or name such as “Peace Movement” or “Democratic Government” to a collection of data and aspirations, pseudo-concepts - and by repeating it with sincerity and presumed moral authority, which makes it resemble nothing so much as an stylized incantation. Somehow they expect this process alone will have the power of making it true – true for us, true for them, and true in fact. The astonishing part is that for those involved in repeating it, it IS true; and those who question it’s truth, they look upon as interesting and slightly alarming bacteria swimming about in the petrie dish of Television.
How is it possible, we ask, for Leftist's to hold to these "ideas"(there are far many more than just leftists who operate in this way, but one step at a time)? What I'd like to question is what it is about those who harbor a Media Mentality, that causes them to approach the critical issues of the day, Ideas, Responsibility – Maturity, issues which they are clearly interested in, without ever really penetrating those issues. They ask plenty of questions, but they just keep repeating the same conclusions they had before asking their questions, they reduce thinking to a process of Parroting long dead answers to new questions.
How and Why does this occur? I think that there are two main mid-level reasons that explain this, one, the How, having to do with Education and the other, the Why, having to do with Glamour. In this Part1, I’ll look at the How in Education, the Glamourous Why portion I’ll leave for Part 2.
This is not an issue of intelligence, one person I've known for 25 years, is extremely intelligent. He's able to comprehend, figure out and solve nearly any problem put in front of him. He can read human psychology, and group dynamics with the best of them. But when it comes to issues of politics, economics or of cultural judgment - he doesn't go past what he's seen on TV. If he hears someone with some degree of credentialed fame (and even better, if there's some version of a cynical conspiracy theory associated with it), then that is what he will regard as having the status of truth.
Before condemning those who are behaving this way, you and I might want to consider what we know about the Law of Gravity. Or any of Newton’s 3 Laws of Physics. Or any other foundational law of Science. There's not one in a thousand of us who understands these laws, who can explain them, and who can demonstrate the key principles constituting them.
When we hear of those who lived before Newton, or primitive peoples of today who still have not heard of Newton’s laws, we us nod our heads knowingly, and snigger at those who supposedly believed that the Sun revolved about the earth, that planetary revolution occurred in circles, and so on.
But I say that we know our current laws no better than they, and we respect them with little better reason than those “old fools” did - we take it on authority (which is how it is taught to us - as their beliefs were taught to them) to be true. Teachers 'teach' these highly complex and astounding accomplishments of the human mind, which flow from the pinnacle of an enormous amount of lesser principles, laws and concepts spanning mathematics and other branches of the sciences - to 8th & 9th graders. 8th & 9th graders, who more than likely barely have a grasp of even long division and basic algebra - if that, let alone Calculus. And though they Don’t understand it, they are told that if they can pass an exam on it – they do understand it "Congratulations, you passed!".
This new knowledge they are 'taught' amounts to little more than pronouncements from authority, commands that are accepted, memorized for tests, and reinforced occasionally by other teachers, newspaper and magazine articles, and other parts of the cultural media.
But it is not understood. The 'knowledge' they have in their mind is little more than a label reading "Physics" pasted upon an empty box, attached to an equally worthwhile diploma; if they've collected enough boxes of 'knowledge' while at school. This is, I think, an extremely important concept to grasp, and has implications for the Aha! example of mental integration.
These ideas are ‘taught’, they are given as pronouncements from on high, with the clear implication that those who don't grasp them are as stupid as the medievalists, and those who don't accept them are fools and objects of mockery that can have no credibility in polite company. Those who have managed to collect enough nicely labled boxes, should just move on down the line, and shake those boxes as little as possible, so no one will notice that the majority of them are empty.
Newton’s laws of Physics are taught to nearly all the students in our highly technological society. And it is taught in the same manner, and with the same implications attached, with which people are 'taught' that FDR's welfare state policies ended the great depression, that Capitalism and all people of wealth and power are corrupt and bad, and that the United States of America in particular and Western Civilization in general, are hypocritical buffoons who only pretend to uphold Truth, Justice and the American Way, but in fact are behind the scenes just tools for greedy conspiracists and shadowy cabals of the powerful.
This method of 'Education' is extremely telling and alarming. Even worse, I don't think that the people responsible for it, realize that there is any problem with it, whatsoever.
These tenants of leftist ideology are not identified as such (and truth be told, were the Conservatives to run the schools, they would handle the situation no differently, only substituting different points of ‘knowledge’), but are presented as straight forward information that one should 'know' and adhere to, just as one should equally accept the laws of Physics, though understood no better. Any confession of ignorance or doubt regarding these issues will be met with just as much condemnation and derisive laughter as is reserved for those who question whether or not the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth. They are items that are just 'known' and not questioned seriously - if you must raise a question about them, you just go through the motions of thinking it over and give back the 'answer' once again. It's known. It's part of everything else that it 'known'. Your beliefs are tied to it, your diploma is tied to it, your credibility is tied to it, to the carefully stacked pile of nicely labled boxes, some full, some empty, some in between, which supports your entire life. And it's not like most people realize that they don't know, like their teachers, they think that repeating back the approved answers IS knowing. To have memorized the Correct Answers, is to Know!
Now then, with this perspective, look again at your fellow Americans who accept the party line of the MSM and Hollywood, and who look at you as if you were wearing medieval monks’ robes when you make your claims of American Exceptionalism. Couple this with the stance educated into them through the professors, that there are no truly integrated principles, that things can and should be approached with Clintonian compartmentalization, and it is no wonder that they don't think it's of any real value or import to their lives.
From this combination of sequences, we get people who are not only primed to continue unconciously (literaly) to carry forward the liberal line, but who will fight for it, not argue for it, but fight for it, demonstrate for it, evangelize for it, and so work it's acidic poison deeper into the cultural mainstream.
These 'truths' that are accepted through the perversion of the teaching process, are integrated into ones knowledge, unbalancing their belief system and their self esteem, through pure forces of authority, intimidation and fear, and they are tied deeply tied to their desire to be accepted among peers and society.
How that is done, I’ll leave for Part 2.