Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The Lifeblood Of Democracy - A Guest Post By Pamela MacNeil
In response to my post yesterday on rebellion, Pamela MacNeil had this commentary, which I am featuring as a guest post:
Rebels Lorne, especially intellectual rebels, are the life blood of democracy.
From the time we are born or at the very least from the time we start school, we eventually learn that conformity is much more valued than independence, particularly independent thinking.
In almost every area of our society, education, work, relationships, sexual identity, etc. we are pressured to conform, to be like everyone else. It's like there is an underlying code everyone absorbs that, when translated, means keep your mouth shut and your mind closed.
Every great advancement and change in humankind has been instigated by a rebel. Men and woman who question the established concepts can mean speaking out against racism, as did Martin Luther King. Speaking out against the accepted norms of women's very identity: Betty Friedan. The earth does revolve around the sun: Galileo. The origin of the human species is evolutionary: Charles Darwin. Hiding Jews from German Nazis: anyone with courage and integrity, even at the risk of losing their own lives.
Conformity breeds obedience. Once a person has abandoned critical thinking, all they have left is obedience. Conformity also creates a power dynamic.This dynamic consists of those who want to rule and those who want to be ruled.The independent person wants neither to rule nor be ruled. Ultimately they just want to live their life in freedom. They do not recognize anyone having authority over their life.
Men and woman like Chris Hedges speak out against power and are an inspiration to all of those, especially the young, who are starting to question the accepted ideas of their day.
The anti-intellectualism that so permeates American culture today has been evolving for over 50 years. The U.S. is in the final stages of that evolution, so much so that one no longer need ask why Johnny can't read, but rather more fundamentally why Johnny can't think.
The intellectually bankrupt wasteland called American culture has reached its pinnacle. The battle for ideas, such as freedom and democracy, will be left for the rebels to fight, because with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, there will be no right to peaceful protest, no freedom of speech, and there will be no due process. Trump will double down on dissent, permitting his military and police forces as much violence as needed to stop the American people from saying NO.
Every dictator rules by force. Donald Trump is no different.