“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?” — Joseph Stalin
Now that is a very interesting statement. It seems in the United States we want everyone to have guns but ideas are being discouraged if not legislated against. Take a look down in Texas where you can openly carry a loaded gun into all sorts of inappropriate places but you will be barred or even arrested if your copy of Bertrand Russell is showing.
I was opening my internet news earlier today and came across the following headline:
Texas GOP Declares: “No More Teaching of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’ in Texas Public Schools”
My jaw is still scraping the top of my desk and I think my dog may have hidden his bone behind my lower plate. The first thing I thought of was that sappy Luke Wilson movie, Idiocracy. Who knew our decline into blithering would start in Texas? Actually, odds makers in Reno had Texas and Kentucky at two-to-one (much better odds than Wisconsin or even Idaho).
Read this article if you don’t believe anyone could be that stupid.
But it is important to note that this anti-enlightenment movement which is outlawing critical thinking also is advocating many other prohibitions against thinking critically or scientifically. Here is a list from the article::
- Abstinence-only sex education
- Trying juveniles as adults
- Emphasis on faith-based drug rehab
- Opposition to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Flat-rate income tax
- Repeal of the minimum wage
- Opposition to homosexuality in the military
- Opposition to red light cameras
- Opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because firms should be able to fire people for what they consider “sinful and sexually immoral behavior.”
- Continued opposition to ACORN (even though it has not existed since 2010!)
- Opposition to statehood or even Congressional voting rights for the citizens of the District of Columbia
- And no-questions-asked support for Israel because, and this is another direct quote: “Our policy is based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.”
I couldn’t have summed this inanity up any better:
This is corporate American culture and education today, or at least a great and growing part of it. Learning to identify assumptions and differentiating them from facts, questioning assumptions in light of evidence, engaging in wonder and inquiry, exchanging other points of view in an atmosphere of civility and inquiry (especially entertaining those points of view one does not agree with), learning the art of critical self reflection, asking for evidence for claims made by oneself and others, and testing hypotheses through the development of methods and protocols of thinking – opposition to all of this has emerged from the Texas GOP’s “hidden curriculum” and is now under the magnifying glass of scrutiny – and secured a place in the Texas Republican platform.
This is not only a telling moment for a complex empire in spiraling decline, but also a frightening moment, for we can see evolution transformed into devolution and schools converted into the supernatural rabbit holes that lead to Alice-in-Wonderland gated communities of ignorance governed by a chilling hierarchy of totalitarianism and fear.