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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Arthur Silber: "Large-scale public ignorance is necessary to the perpetuation of a fundamentally false national mythology"
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Arthur Silber: "Large-scale public ignorance is necessary to the perpetuation of a fundamentally false national mythology"

it's a fact that to overcome our ignorance takes considerable time, serious thought, an open mind, and no small skill at discernment, but it can be done...
We see our success, and our power on the world stage, as inherently tied to superior moral virtue. We are so successful because we are uniquely virtuous, and our national power confirms our morality, in relation to which all other peoples and all other countries can only suffer in comparison.


Large-scale public ignorance is necessary to the perpetuation of a fundamentally false national mythology. [...] An honest observer knows that we learn only of some of the worst atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Iraq, those that cannot be denied or covered up. There are countless acts of barbarism about which we will never learn anything. And even when we cannot deny the occurrence of monstrous acts, we minimize and "explain" them using identical, contemptibly dishonest mechanisms.

Our mythology is crucially tied to our conception of our self-worth. For most of us, it is life itself. Dispense with the lies and death ensues, at least that is how many Americans experience it psychologically. I think only a monumental shock to these illusions -- in the form of a major economic collapse, a conflict of horrifying devastation, or by some other means -- will ever pry most Americans from these dangerous and destructive fables to which they cling with increasing desperation. In the meantime, the death and destruction will go on, exactly as they have before -- and most of us will do precious little to try to stop them.

what arthur describes is playing out today... the vast majority of the american citizenry sits passively by, preferring to believe that the u.s. could harbor nothing but the best of intentions, and the fact that the bush administration has screwed things up so royally could only be due to incompetence, rather than being a deliberate attempt to permanently alter the very nature of the country... will it take, as arthur argues, a "monumental shock" to wake people up...? i hope not, but, i do know this... our time is running out...

(thanks to crooks and liars...)

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