|Image Source: CBC Radio link below|
"History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history."
The post title is very stark, but not a subject I haven't commented on before. My concern is, this one as far as existential humanity, may be our last.
It's hard not to look at Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL, The Tea Party, Right-Wing Evangelicals, Quiverfull, The Westboro Baptist Church and not see similarities: they are all primarily authoritarian, and afraid. Like celebrity chimps they are loud, demonstrative, craving and gaining attention; disrespectful of diversity and boundaries and in some extreme cases deadly. They are afraid of the changes in society and a sense of lost control. This is evidenced on social media and our forms of entertainment. Some high profile recent falls from grace - The Duggars as a part of Quiverfull, a recent example - have logged disappointing performances regarding religious orders in the public sphere in the eyes of more skeptical youth, that are fleeing the pews. The fearful thus gravitate to those who seem to have "the answers": simple, comforting and confirming their own hard-ingrained beliefs.
Fear: evidence may or may not agree with ancient texts, followers of which are operating in the realm of faith as well as culture. It can be a positive characteristic that unifies. There is nothing inherently wrong with that.
There is something inherently wrong when the louder primates force their cognitive dissonance on everyone else. Texas pushed through books last year that identify Moses as a Founding Father in defiance of sense and actual history. The problem being other states are now making their textbook purchases essentially based on land mass. CREATIONISM IS NOT SCIENCE, and I will continue saying that not because it's my opinion: it is simply fact. This lunacy is destructive and self-defeating to our survival as a nation. It's a matter of knowing what is real and reality and what is not; what to be concerned about to make rational decisions or not. We cannot make decisions on climate change, alternative energy solutions, infrastructure renewal because it goes against a dogma - a conservative-free market-libertarian ideology. Fun fact: Ayn Rand did not like libertarians. Demonstrably, or should I say not so: not a single circuit design; not a single Nobel laureate; not a single invention or industry innovation that has impacted the lives of millions or billions of people has come out of this faux sacred naval-gazing! I think it would be rude for anyone to interrupt a Imam, Priest or Rabbi to "correct the science" in a sermon based on ancient texts, but no such courtesy is reciprocated to the scientific community. It is the height of incongruity to fear and loathe science and technology, while relying on it for commerce, entertainment and diatribes. It is highly unrealistic to believe a nation at the forefront of technological advances can stay there forever on this path into willed ignorance. Knowledge is democratizing and ubiquitous, and science will be performed here, or somewhere else. The flow of currency and GDP will be clear evidence of this folly. It was the reason for the decline of Rome: we are its modern doppelganger.
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."
"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience."
George Bernard Shaw
An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight. It is therefore imperative that the nation see to it that a suitable education be provided for all its citizens. It should be noted, that when Jefferson speaks of "science," he is often referring to knowledge or learning in general.