What are the Causes of the Cult of Ignorance? In the simplest form, it is just a young person who is turned off to learning. Usually s/he is turned off by the dismal regimentation of schools and schoolwork, which in our society serve the primary purpose of molding young, wild humans into compliant workers for our industrial economies. Modern schooling has made our society what it is by succeeding pretty well at this – our civilization couldn’t be all that it has become, including aspects we might consider either favorable or unfavorable, without yoking our efforts together in ways that would have astounded our forbears. How could it be otherwise? As the twig is bent, so grows the tree, and the dense forest of society that grows from those combined efforts is in reality just a whole lot of us trees.
That young person turned off from learning by the layers of indoctrination and enforced drudgery may have no earthly idea that that there is any other kind of education in the multifarious things humans have been able to learn and to achieve, and the nefarious things we’ve been able to perpetrate than going to the place filled with teachers and grim disciplinarians, but the ways to use sound critical thinking to cut through all the dross and vanity of fashion, pop-culture, advertising, and obsession with superficiality are many. Don’t think the diverting trends of the moment are entirely random cultural currents roiling the waters we all must traverse through life if we choose to live it among others of our kind and not in hermetic seclusion; at the center of the web of obstacles, incentives, and disincentives, lie a cadre of our own kind who care only about directing others’ lives, and whose tools to this end are a concentration of wealth and power that is nearly unimaginable to ordinary people. They control the flow of lesser, but still mind-boggling, wealth and power to the vast ranks of executives and power-brokers below them, and set the patterns of plunder these underlings fight to keep in place, and as the prophet George Carlin explained about why our schools are the way they are, “they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking – they don’t want a well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them, that’s against their interest.”
The politics of reason only works with reasonable people – as long as our media and education system are dominated by those with an interest in perpetuating the cult of ignorance, we will be dominated by the politics of ignorance, which relies on skillfully manipulating appearances to mask true motives.