Whatever happened to cultivating ideas, expanding knowledge, and thinking independently … in other words thinking for yourself? One thing this whole Republican multi-debate mess has yielded is that they don’t want you thinking for yourself, unless it’s to agree with them! I’d even be happy if there was an honest acknowledgement to agree to disagree with civility and respect intact.
The advancement of the human race is a result of exploring, cultivating, and expanding ideas, discoveries, uncharted territories, theories, practices. The Renaissance brought a proliferation of literature, science, art, religion, and politics. The Protestant Reformation was a result of breaking free from the doctrines, rituals, and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic church. The Constitution of the United States ushered in a new era of government and rights for its citizens. Public education, women’s right to vote, civil rights, the internet are present in our lives today because individuals and groups of people stepped out of formation and challenged the repressive, accepted practices of the day.
There are plenty of historical examples of what happens when governments and religious entities are threatened. Just recent history yields what happened under the influence of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy, Pol Pot, Bin Laden. Fundamentalists of any persuasion first attack education, science, arts, and women’s roles to bring their masses into alignment. By taking away independent thinking, telling people what to believe, and how to behave, they exert their influence and power over those who succumb.
We’ve all heard about the poor frog that was boiled to death. The frog would have jumped out if the water was already boiling in the pot. Instead, the frog was placed in a pot with room temperature water. Gradually the heat was increased. The frog was lulled into complacency, never realizing his demise.
We must always guard against being beguiled into complacency or trusting in others just because they’re in power. We won’t have to worry about that if we continue thinking for ourselves.