The Dumbing Down of America Caused the Wars

Whenever I hear anyone mention “the war,” I’m not sure whether to cringe or roll my eyes.  It isn’t “the war.”.  It’s “the wars”.  Not only have we invaded, destroyed, and attempted to occupy and prop up a US-friendly government in Iraq, we’ve done the same in Afghanistan.  Afghanistan is far away and exotic, granted, but it is a real country with real people in it, too.  There is one difference about the invasion, etc. of Afghanistan.  It was, as the saying goes, pre-destroyed.  Much of the pre-existing destruction was paid for or instigated by the US.

This leads me to how the dumbing down of the US enters into the causes of the wars.  The average American, college educated or not, gets most information frlom TV, and a whole chunk of that from sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows.  Here we are in a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world (number 15, according to a UN survey), access to unlimited information in free libraries and low-cost Internet access, but few people seem to have bothered to learn the facts about the wars and those profiting from them.

Are you one of the know’s, or the know-not’s?  If you don’t know about these organizations, why not spend a little time searching online and reading about them: PNAC (Project for a New American Century), Blackwater, Carlisle Group, Halliburton.

If you know all about these organizations and are someone who still believes we have a humanitarian mission in either Iraq or Afghanistan, please explain it to me.

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3 Responses to “The Dumbing Down of America Caused the Wars”

  1. Linda M. Says:

    I like this approach to problem solving our current international dilemmas.

    I agree we have problems in getting information to voters and in encouraging voters to engage in research and in subsequent political and community action.

    However, I have also come to the conclusion that this “dumbing down” phenomenon is not new. Rather we are seeing the cumulative results of years of misguided educational policies.

    Our public school system is pretty much geared to producing docile workers for the capitalists and the bureacracies that keep the country ticking along.

    Teaching children to think, to question assumed truths, and to question authority in a constructive manner are not integral to the curriculum. In fact, the text books and the attitudes encouraged in schools are based on preserving our myths as well as our realities. The Indians were bad and we had to conquer them as poor pitiful pioneers were killed by savages. Other countries build cruel Empires, but we only fight abroad to defend America and its “freedoms”.

    It is necessary to encourage people to read the Project for a New American Century, et.a., but we also need to retain the awareness that the process of changing the average American’s paradigm of the world and our place in it will be very slow. I believe most people have their consciousnesses raised in stages over time. And meanwhile I would like to see a movement to improve public school curricula.

    Linda M.

  2. Dinah F. Says:

    The original post, “Dumbing down…” was from Priscilla, and Linda M. posted a response. To both posts, I add my agreement.

    I would like, somehow, to share a hopeful book I just finished. The title is
    “Three Cups of Tea” and it is the story of a man who took on a difficult task.. to provide a school for a village in the part of Pakistan which is very mountainous and remote.

    Would you like to know if he succeeded? Try the book! The author is David Relin, with Greg Mortenson, the inspiring school-builder listed as co-author. I cannot recommend this highly enough…however, this is a blog about peace, not a book review section so I will stop about the book itself… but the book confirmed my feeling that education is how we can fight terrorism- the alleged “reason” for the wars we are in. (I am with you, Priscilla. It is more than one war).
    Dinah F.

  3. practicingpeace Says:

    In response to Dinah’s comment, a quick disclaimer: Priscilla did not write the “Dumbing down…” post – I believe Anita did.

    Dinah, I also loved “Three Cups of Tea”! I found it totally captivating and inspiring. It also made me long for the villages I visited while trekking in Ladakh and Nepal. It is so humbling to be among those who possess wisdom and knowledge and life skills that are so different from ours and to realize that all the “benefits” of our culture don’t help much there.

    Priscilla

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