One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people’s motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans– anything except reason.
Dismantling America: and other controversial essays
[It’s so bad that people cannot distinguish between a coherent argument and an emotional appeal. I see this most frequently in the gun control movement but it is common in all of politics and probably all human interaction.
We saw it in government legislating “affordable housing”. We saw it in government legislating “affordable health care”. We saw it in the government creation of the welfare state. We saw it in government “creating jobs”. The list is probably impossible to enumerate.
Look at advertising. Do the majority of ads give you numbers and statistics or attempt to evoke emotions?
Reason is nothing but a thin veneer which is easily and frequently pierced.—Joe]
Oh, there you go again: privileging “reason” over every other way of human knowing.
Practically all popular entertainment, from art to music and plays to magazines to movies and TV, invites us to become emotional, or to see the world through a lens of emotion. “Trust your feelings” is a popular idea that sums it up pretty well.
From that foundation of emotions as a guide to life we get identity or race politics, and all manner of social conflict. From that in turn, we get a sense of victimhood, less personal responsibility and more appeals to authority. From that in turn we seed and nourish a more powerful government that is prying more and more into our lives, reducing us to servitude. And then, in our frustration (emotion), we call to authority to fix THAT.
The greatest danger to ambitious / unscrupulous politicians is an educated electorate.
Populists work hard to destroy education, turning it either into brainwashing if possible, or nothing useful otherwise. They need that to be able to pull off their dishonest policies.
Exactly. This country’s founders recognized that religion had been used in just that manner, which is why we have the first clause of the first amendment. Sadly, they didn’t realize that state-run education would take the place of state-run religion and serve the same evil purposes. This is why, when we criticize the government education complex it is treated as blasphemy.