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Why Is Truth Is Too Expensive? OpEd

November 18, 2008

Chris Hedges, on Truthdig: America the Illiterate, and on AlterNet: It’s the Educated vs. People Easily Fooled by Propaganda, does it again.  He has framed my assertions about educational disparity in America, better than I have.

Millions of Americans live in a non-reality-based belief system informed by childish cliches – they can barely differentiate between lies and truth.

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 cliches. 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. [See Entire Article Here]

Although, there are some areas where we part ways, the article, as a whole, does illustrate the education disparity created in today’s America.  For instance, Hedges comes down pretty hard on the illiterate, but does not explain exactly why they remain that way.  I truly see a pattern where the best interest of corporate marketers is maintaining a less literate consumer base.  Obviously, the less literate, the easier the sales pitch. Big business prefers not to account for it’s products or profits to the general public.  Less educated, less literate consumers are big money, less work.  Why not?  Bait and switch for fun and profit is the new capitalism.  If this sounds conspiratorial, well maybe it is.  When corporate America feels threatened or under pressure, it relies on typical scare tactics.  Best recent examples, America’s Auto Industry and Banking Industry.  The airlines got away with it.  Poor Silicon Valley fell on it’s face, but they did not market public sympathy as well.  Don’t forget who pays for our political sector.  Don’t forget who pays for all those television and radio shows that mold how you think and when to think it.

Let’s call it AD-Vantage.  American viewers, listeners and readers are pummeled with someone’s message.  Someone who will profit from convincing you to buy something they have.  Someone who will profit from ‘enhancing’ your ‘desire’ to look good, feel good, be irresistible and using that ‘painless plastic’ to buy their product.  Someone who profits from your hypochondria, insomnia and E.D..

The economy morphed from a simple supply and demand system to a speculation system based on brainwashing consumers into easily manipulated robots.  Supply and demand, alone, became insufficient for the big boys.  They needed to create a market demand where there was none.  They invented and inflated American desires by tampering with education.  From infancy to adulthood, America is NOT taught life skills.  It is taught just to want.  America’s self image advertisement is slammed into our faces everywhere we go.  It penetrates our eyes and ears with what we are supposed to desire and cannot live without.  Even necessities like toilet paper are marketed for special qualities that put comfortable smiles of relief on our faces.

Was all this deliberate?  Most likely.  Take a closer look at the marketing boom that followed WWII.  You will see the science and sophistication of public mind control reach a new level.  You will see the quality of American education fall.  Life skills appears to be the last priority on the educational agenda.  This is the deliberate dumbing down of America.  What you DON’T KNOW does hurt you and me.  In today’s interconnected world, what Americans don’t know also hurts people around the globe.

This is illustrated best by looking closely at America’s past eight years.  These same marketing gurus are used too well by politicians who play the same mind control game that corporations have perfected.  Americans are programmed!

Yes, reading, writing and math must top our educational list.  We have robbed a whole generation of basic social skills that can be used to mediate conflicts, produce healthy living skills, and reinforce critical thinking abilities.  Our education institutions fail to emphasize cause and effect, accountability and consequences and plain old virtue.  Virtue is NOT the sole product of religion.  Ethics was taught long before many religions were born … why is the rise in religious consciousness and fall of ethics simultaneous?  Because, the feeling of privilege, pounded into congregations, trumps accountability to the general population … “God’s Laws trump Man’s Laws”.  The PT Barnum treatment of the people has invaded churches, mosques and synagogues.

In many of my articles I have complained that America’s consumer, materialistic society is a creation of marketing gurus.  Maybe so.  But the whole story is still unfolding.

Truth is too expensive because it puts corporation and politicians at risk of being seen for what they have become.  They are a tight little club who answer to each other. They protect each other and wash each other’s dirty hands.  When things get dicey, they sacrifice one of their own.  A politician falls, a corporation drops market share or goes belly up.  The cost of education has risen to elite levels to prevent the general public from catching on.  Education loans haunt students for a good part of their lives.  Fewer students can meet the demands of college cost and living costs.  Many students have to juggle families at the same time.  Some spouses must support the household while the other spouse gets an education.  The divorce rate from this arrangement is very high.  The monetary and emotional expense of higher education is out of control … it has become a luxury for most.  Today, luxuries are the first to go.  This educational arrangement has crippled America.  We no longer have tools to make educated decisions.  What we think is common sense, is really dictated by the media.  It is time to rethink the whole system!  Primary and secondary education does not prepare us for today’s challenges anymore.  There is no excuse.  We must not be programmable robots anymore.

BossKitty’s related articles concerning education:

Political And Religious Mind Control – OpEd

The Nature Of Our Beast Is Greed – Oversight Crisis

Poor Education Produces Consumer Robots Who Vote

America in the Time of Empire

Election Outlook For The Children

BossKitty’s related articles concerning consumerism:

what to do when you lose your job

US Market Driven Economy Hits Tree – UPDATE

US Economy Under Global Microscope Sees FUZZY MATH

Conyers, Keeps Digging And Finding Gold

Purses Tighten, Small Business Suffers, Families Budget

$200 OIL The Final Straw – Dust Off Your Bicycle

Socialized Medicine, No Medicine or Someone Else’s Medicine

Environment + Food Crisis + Profiteering = Bleak Future

Planet of Cannibals – State of the World OpEd

Political And Religious Mind Control – OpEd

  1. November 26, 2008 7:06 pm

    Thank you Mr Attorney. For years I have watched what education disparity can do to personal relationships. Resentment builds and finally explodes. The partner with less education ends up loosing self esteem. I blame the education system, especially today. Students are inundated with corporate advertisement at school, mass media, sports events and almost all entertainment. They have absorbed all this brainwashing as normal without recognizing their sub-conscious has been manipulated. It is time to try to undo the damage. We need sober, clear thinkers for our future survival.

  2. November 26, 2008 12:15 pm

    As a divorce attorney for over 10 years, I’ve seen the impact that differing varying education levels can have on a marriage, who gets what in a divorce, as well as other intra-family dynamics in which there are huge disparities (i.e., rearing children). Honestly, if it makes such a difference in one’s individual home, I agree with what you are saying about the enormous impact it has on society as well, marketing, etc.

  3. November 18, 2008 9:38 pm

    You’re probably correct, Wil, it may have started out innocent enough. Newspapers at the turn of the century were pretty flagrant with their claims and exaggerations. Radio really started the schmooze job. You are so right that television turned the whole thing into a dark science. What a great way to get those words out, mold those thoughts in our heads.
    Now, we have the web. Just like harnessing the atom, it is both a field of landmines, or a source of endless mental energy. It certainly isn’t the wasteland that television was accused of. With all these flashy cards in the deck, it takes strong mental discipline to navigate through the game. Marketing Gurus have perfected the science, thanks to the CIA and the Cold War, to manipulate almost anyone they choose. Anyone with a wallet or voters registration is their target. The American subconscious is addicted, and we are in denial.
    When the plug is pulled, their siren songs will fade into distant echoes. Cold turkey will be traumatic for American softies … myself included. Reality is a tough customer.

  4. November 18, 2008 9:05 pm

    You point out that the trend began post-WWII, but I don’t think it was a deliberate attack of the ads.

    Post-WWII marked the beginning of the television age. Images are strong, powerful things, and they have taken over our lives.

    It’s TV that has ruined America’s education, knowledge, and increased her ignorance.

    Advertisers have simply figured out how to take advantage of the medium.

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