Friday, June 03, 2005

Should the majority be kept ignorant?

"The majority is by no means omniscient just because it is the majority. In fact, I've found that the line which divides majority opinion from mass hysteria is often so fine as to be virtually invisible."- J. Paul Getty

Majority opinion is relevant only when the subject involves common elements of belief or practice within a society. That is, when you want to know what a group of people believes, accept the statements of the majority.

However, when it comes to matters involving current events or current affairs, majority opinion may well be invalid because it may be based on manipulated data from the media, which might have come from a government or administration with a desire to mislead its public.

Some say that the public should never be consulted about anything because of their ignorance.

The only way around this distortion would be to teach young people how to find the facts about a news story, how to tell fact from propaganda and how to tell when an information source has twisted facts to portray its own desired objectives as the only possible course of action. This is not hard, but we don't routinely do it. It is taught in journalism courses, for example, so it could be taught to all young people in high school.

Who do you suppose would want to keep the public ignorant while they work their own will within government? And who makes the decisions about what is taught in schools?

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems

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