Your Little Soundbites – Education in the Empire

Some people will read Sara Rimmer’s article “Study: Students slog through college, but don’t gain much critical thinking” and use it to justify their feelings that college is a waste of time. Those same people, however, are most likely who this article is talking about.

In question is a person’s ability to achieve “higher order thinking”; a state where you can listen to political, cultural or religious “spin” and easily recognize it as such: an insulting manipulation of people.

Perhaps political, social and religious “spin” isn’t insulting, though. After all, if it works on people, then those people aren’t able to fully recognize it and deal with it – and that means you couldn’t possibly be insulting them. You are just simply manipulating them.

And manipulation is fine, right? As long as you play within the “rules of the game” which are the purview of lawyers and police (and pastors and priests).

Unless, of course, you possess “higher order thinking”, which may lead you to consider people and their situations in the terms of a philosophy of ethics rather than simple mechanics (and who can move the biggest gears).

And if you do possess this “higher order thinking” then you do perceive political, cultural and religious “spin” not only as insulting to people, but also as an act of evil which relies upon ignorance and deception to promote an agenda.

Unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately) people who lack “higher order thinking” often distrust those people who do possess “higher order thinking”. As everyone knows, whenever you say something that is not commonly held true, or commonly believed, or commonly known, you are talking crazy talk. And sometimes no matter how much evidence you can bring to the contrary, you remain talking crazy talk to most ears.

And since people with “higher order thinking” usually restrain themselves from participating in the unethical and “evil” acts of political, social or religious “spin”, the only real chance they have of helping people awaken and resist for themselves the never-ending onslaught of manipulations laid upon them is to help them achieve “higher order thinking” for themselves.

But you can’t give someone something they don’t want, unless you force it upon them (almost always an act of evil). Even if you manage to open someone’s eyes to something they did not want to see, they will usually find a way to rationalize it back into a comfort zone that they can safely, subsequently, ignore.

The only way to help is through education where people’s minds can take on their own fires of discovery and questioning that fuel them for a lifetime – and benefit us all through a process of open sharing and collaboration.

Money interests continue trying to convert academic institutions into mere vocational factories that produce graduates with skills complementary only to their money-making desires. Any “higher order thinking” is fine, as long as that higher order thinking is constrained within the boundaries of the money-making interests.

In other words, the trend noticed within this Seattle Times article is not surprising.

So until we collectively rediscover the real and profound value of education and academics, here are some easy pill-popping tidbits:

  • Secrecy is not security, nor is it a path to security. Secrecy is secrecy.
  • Weapons do not make people more secure. Mutual understanding and respect does.
  • Understanding and respect do not come from force. Dominance and submission does.
  • Money and economics are not impartial agents of social evolution and advancement.
  • Money does not care about nations, borders or people. Money cares about money.
  • How anyone appears publicly is rarely anything like their true nature.
  • “Supporting your troops” does not require that you also endorse Empire.
  • Empire exploits troops, supporting them only enough to maintain effectiveness.
  • Empire does not like questions. Empire likes narrow, focused subjects that perpetuate Empire.