Freedom, Igorance and Education

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Current Events, Personal Whining, Philosophical Debris, politics

As I was reading some comments from HuffPost’s reporting of the death of Kim Jong Il, this comment from an unknown poster jumped out at me.

The veneer of civilization is very thin, and ignorance is a contagion.
The only inoculatio­n is education.

Three very important points summed up quite succinctly.  As a society, we are not as advanced or as evolved as we would like to think.  The veneer of civilization is very thin and not far below the surface lies some very unpleasant things.  Strong laws and social expectations do a lot to keep the beast in check.  The danger of ignorance is that it erodes that veneer, and it is contagious because ignorance plays to impulsiveness and immediate gratification.  Self control and delayed gratification are two of the most important qualities supporting civilization.  Without education those qualities emerge more easily and can be exploited.

It requires some level of attention and effort to be socially aware or politically active.  It’s easier to let someone else do it, often complaining that nothing you can do really makes a difference anyways.  It’s a cop out.  It is laziness and ignorance.  And if the population is has a willingness to “let someone else do it” will lead to opportunist individuals doing just that, the final result perhaps not being what everyone might prefer.

We live in interesting times, this latest development in N. Korea just being the latest event in a rather eventful year.  The least that people need to do is to be aware and interested in these developments.

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