The Great Society
Karen DeCoster posted an extract from an article entitled “America the Illiterate” written by Chris Hedges on LewRockwell.com. I thought I would leave the extract here too:
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.
There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.
I can’t help but feel that what we are really witnessing is a glimpse into our own future, that it is only a matter of time before accusations of disgusting ignorance can be equally waged against the Irish. For me, it is a close tie between central banking and ‘free and compulsory education’ for what would be abolished first in a libertarian society. Keep in mind, free education came 60yrs before central banking in the US. The chicken and the egg?