Sunday, August 06, 2006

The fear of oppressors

"About the only thing oppressors really have to fear is rising awareness. Unfortunately for them, it is also the hardest thing to stop, because awareness can come from almost any communication, and they would have to kill everybody and then have nobody left to rule. So they stick to fear mongering, since fear makes people withdraw and slows the awareness process."
- (author’s name withheld for personal reasons)

This quotation is an example of great thinking from an ordinary person.

What he calls "rising awareness" could otherwise be called education. When education about the conditions in which each person in a country lives is increased, the likelihood of the people of that country falling under the rule of a dictator decreases.

In countries where education levels are high, people can be fooled, and they certainly are. But not for long.

Where education levels (specifically about the living conditions in which they live) are lower, people are more apt to believe the single line of propaganda dealt out by the dictator. (I use the term "dictator" in a loose sense of one whose power is sufficient to control the politics and other behaviour of people in his country.) In Cuba, for example, people can receive a good education in any subject except politics, which is centrally controlled.

We fight wars, but we don't teach the people whose militaries (or militias) we oppose anything different from what their leaders have taught them. Their leaders have taught that "the enemy" is bad. War proves that point, so far as the people are concerned.

When citizens are taught that only one way of thinking (believing) is right and that any other way of thinking is treasonous, those people are oppressed.

In a true democracy, many ways of thinking exist. Debate can be bitter and opposing positions strongly held. But no one is killed or imprisoned for what they believe or what they speak or write, unless it contravenes existing law.

Democracy has many faults, but it's still better than the competition. Democracy fails when education levels and standards decline or information streams are restricted.

Bill Allin
'Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach people about their living conditions and their needs as well as sterile information and skills.
Learn more at

No comments: