Thursday, 20 October 2005

International Conspiracy Against Thinking

Alright, it's well known that people don't like to think. That's hard work. It hurts your brain. But it's one thing not liking it, but being fully aware that you have to do it now and again ... What's more important is having the ability and choice to use your grey cells if you want.

I have been certain for years that there are people who would rather you not exercise that right, but I am glad to say that the fact is beginning to be seen for what it is and talked about, at last.

That's a LONG way from curing the problem, but it's a start.

I do not believe in coincidence and just picking on two examples that I have stumbled upon lately, will show you (perhaps not surprisingly), that the conspiracy to suppress thought (for want of a better description) is happening on both sides of the Atlantic.

Oh please, what gets to the media is what they WANT to find it's way to the media. That such similar spin, rhetoric or propaganda (call it what you will) should come out of two currently very closely allied countries and within the space of a month ... What am I supposed to think? Oh, sorry, I am NOT supposed to think, or notice.

First Jezblog points to a story in The Independent and comments, "His Divine Holiness the Rightwing Reverend Blair would like you to STOP THINKING RIGHT NOW, STOP FORMING YOUR OWN OPINIONS"

The item starts, "Tony Blair will signal this week that Labour should abandon "urban intellectuals" who deserted it over the Iraq war."

Well, that's OK Tony me old mate, we already abandoned you.

Probably at about the same time as we realized that your party, which is supposed to be part of the Socialist International had moved it's policies almost as far to the right as many a fascist dictatorship.

Well, of course I do not live in an urban area and despite the fact that I do, often, commit the sin of thinking, do not consider myself to be an intellectual either, but I know I am one of those being referred to.

I can also speak from the experience of living in a country that was a former right-wing dictatorship. In the UK (and probably most places), you don't go to a special "paper pusher" to get forms filled in for you. Whereas, everyone in Spain uses the "Gestoria". If you go into a British bank, you are expected to correctly fill in your own withdrawal slip. In a Spanish bank, the clerk will do it for you.

Do you know why? Franco basically did away with education. There are still a lot of people, mostly the over 60's now, who cannot read and write.

Apart from the utter sadness this inspires of the wasted lives and missed opportunities, it should also serve as a warning. Believe me, you do not want to create anew a situation that breeds the kind of utter ignorance and inherent intolerance that goes with it.

Meanwhile across in the former colonies, Rebecca at Death and Taxes picks up on exactly the same issue in this post. The gist: "According to Kristol's theory, Fitzgerald's probe is an example of ‘a kind of ideological criminalization" lead by "the left and the elite professions, including journalism and teaching, in which they predominate.’”

Rebecca adds, "Yet, it is precisely this, critical thinking skills, that people like Kristol seems to object to and call “elitist.”

Well, as a former journalist for the local rags, I plead guilty!

As for my degree of so-called "elitism" you can read my comment on Rebecca's post. I'm sure it will give you a bloody good laugh.

So now, any of us who do not agree with the lines being fed us are “lefty elitists” as well as being "urban intellectuals". Boy, it's only a short hop, skip and a jump to "subversives" and imprisonment.

There is no concept of discussion over this. No adult agreement to disagree. No acceptance of the democratic right and principal of an opposition. Those who disagree are attacked and called names.

What I don't understand is how vast populations of supposedly civilised countries, who would not put up with such behaviour from five year olds in a playground, allow their politicians and their mouthpieces to do so unhindered. But, provided you don't think for yourself, they hope you will never notice and just continue to tow their line.

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