Monday, March 21, 2011

Ignorance is Not Bliss. It is Shameful and Dangerous.

Thomas Jefferson believed that an educated electorate was the key to successful democratic government. He wrote:
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." On the other hand, "whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right." (quoted in Saul K. Padover, Thomas Jefferson on Democracy. New York: Appleton-Century Co., 1939, pp. 88-9).
According to this article in Newsweek, Jefferson would despair for the state of our democracy. Unfortunately, ignorance seems to have developed its own political interest group, thanks to what we might call "ignorance entrepreneurs," who seek power by denigrating education and enlightenment.

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