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The Anti-Intellectual Movement/Conspiracy

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posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 09:58 PM
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Ever since our earliest memories, it has been a common occurence to see those with interests in the more intellectual aspects of life being chastised for their choice. Even as children, "Four-Eyes", "Nerd", "Book worm" were all commonly, and very possibly still are, very common insults, all meant to demean those who take it upon themselves to remain informed, intelligent people.

Lately it has taken a turn for the worse. Not only is it bad to be smart, it's cool to be stupid now. Prime example are the plethora of shows on MTV, Comedy Central, etc. all of which glorify stupidity in all of its forms. Now, dont get me wrong, I do get laughs out of watching some moron strap meat to his body and sleep in a hammock over some hungry Lioness', but where do we draw the line? When do we realize the difference between TV and real life application?

What troubles me perhaps more than anything, and as discussed in an older thread, is the glorious example our President himself is setting. I highly doubt he is as dumb as he wants us to believe he is, but that's precisely what worries me, he plays on the knowledge that Americans enjoy and glorify stupidity. He uses these silly one-line phrases like "Howdy yall" or "How yall doin" not because he's an idiot or simpleton, but because he knows that is the best method by which to garner the interest of the American public.

I have been thinking alot on this lately, and the more I delve into it, the more sinister it becomes. It's not simply the fact that they can record a beautiful young woman in her house not understanding the difference between chicken and tuna, but rather the fact that most Americans are becoming far too accustomed to the idea of "Stupid=OK".

How does the ATS public feel, are Americans being dumb-downed for sinister purposes, or am I looking too hard into this?




posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 04:04 AM
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So you are saying that this cultivation of stupidity is a conspiracy, something sinister that we should be wary of?

And to further this argument, you are using the example of children picking on a 'bookworm'? For children to have this behaviour, it just shows that humans as a whole look up to intellectuals, and so some look down upon them as they do not want to seem - even to themselves - dumb, so to speak. Them picking upon the kid that reads can make them feel better. That is the driving force behind this behaviour, I would expect.
I am not a psychologist.

Damn. Sorry for nit-picking. Truth be told, the general consent, over here at least, seems to be that Americans are, well, naive.
And, yes true, this viewpoint has become much more acute since President Bush came into office, and in the recent years there has been a spate of funny/stupid shows than can be viewed on the Comedy Channel and MTV, all mostly American, and this is what probably boosted this view, perhaps.

This is just how I see it.

Sure, some yanks may be daft, such as one A. Simpson, but I do not think there is a conspiracy to be sifted out of this.


Let's see what other viewpoints we have on this site.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 04:34 AM
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If anything, I think it is a conspiracy in the entertainment industry to see just how little imagination they have to use to create shows that people will sit and mindlessly drool over. Dog the Bounty Hunter is not my idea of Art and Entertainment but A&E shows it here and proudly, in the US of A.

Watching a show where people are into a contest to see who can design the best dresses isn't my idea of particularly intellectual entertainment. The powers that be decided to drop Nero Wolfe, because it didn't fit in with the paradigm of low brow contesting entertainment like Runway, QEFTSG, etc. etc...

While I don't know that this kind of stuff is a conspiracy, it does show that the entertainment industry gets by on the lowest common denominator, as long as people sit and mindlessly drool in front of such boring, stupidity invoking material, they will make no effort to improve.

I'm fast becoming a BBC American.


Insofar as Bushie being stupid. Well, he's from Texas, and "Hi Y'all" is a standard Texas format greeting. His level of education and schools that he got it all from pretty much precludes his being "stupid" in the "book learnin' " department. He's just egotistical enough to think he always knows best and listens to some pretty inept people, then proceeds accordingly. This is what makes him appear stupid.

Edited to not appear to be instigating poltical arguments.

[edit on 27-2-2006 by sigung86]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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Good point, Conquistadork. I think it is deliberate on the part of the gov't anyway. If we have a dumbed down, stupid populace, we are much easier to fool and to control. Have you noticed how expensive college has become? Pretty much out of range for anyone but upper middle class and even though it's a struggle.
Media/entertainment seems to be in cahoots with the neocons, as many of the big moguls believe in the neocon agenda. So yes that would mean a conspiracy. And we Americans are naive as well. We're also propagandized from the cradle to the grave.
I think Bush uses those terms because he's a Texan and alot of Southerners talk that way, including here in Tennessee. His education he got at Yale where all it takes is money to get in. Don't forget he was only ever a "C" average student, if that. I don't think he's all that bright, but perhaps more importantly, he lacks compassion and has absolutely not one whit of an idea of how average working class Americans live or what they need. On top of that, he and his cronies seem set to suck all of America's wealth from the working class to the top 1%.

-Forestlady



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 11:22 AM
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I remember years ago the learning channel actually had good documentaries about science and stuff like that. But now that it has become the 'lernin' channil' they now have great shows like, well take a LOOK for yourselves, this is the poopoo-stank schedule for this week.
There may be something worth watching, maybe.

All the good shows are on the pay channels, remember how cable TV was much better before these pay channels came along, what are we paying for cable TV for?
More of less to watch that's worthwhile?
(unless you want to pay a bit extra.)

What it all boils down to, is that most people who watch TV are pretty dumb!


[edit on 27-2-2006 by Toadmund]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 02:16 PM
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I think forestlady got the true idea of what I was trying to express, though I truly appreciate everyone elses input and thoughts on the matter. I feel that, however miniscule it may seem, this will be a much larger problem in the future, for the mainstream already dominates American culture.

Toad makes a great point with the learning channel deteriorating into the garbage it is today.

Perhaps it isn't a conspiracy on the scale of Roswell or the JFK assassination, but I can forsee a future in which Americans will have been forcefed this dribble for so long that it will have a negative effect on all the aspects of our lives.

Sometimes the smallest things leave the largest ripples in society.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 03:12 PM
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Intelligence is naturally bred out of most populations.

Most intelligent and financially successful people understand that a greater financial burden is placed on them with children. They also see the limitations to take advantage of riskier (but potentially higher gaining) opportunities that are placed on them when they have children. So they limit their reproduction. Stupid people, on the other hand, blessed with with more carnal sensibilities, more free time, a more encouraging social network, and all the skills necessary to perform the unskilled labor required to create children, do so with great enthusiasm. They also see each child as one which might manage to become successful and care for them in their old age.

So the poor and the ignorant have more children, which the successful and intelligent have less. It's no conspiracy, just simple economics at work.




posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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o.p. by Conquistadork
Sometimes the smallest things leave the largest ripples in society.


You are so right, except in that this is not a small thing at all. Historically, the persecution of intellectuals has been part and parcel of a totalitarian regime's rise to and consolidation of power over a given populace. The thugs take over, then they eliminate those who have the intellectual ability to see through them and articulate the threat in terms understood by the masses. In this case, the pen truly can be mightier than the sword, and the thugs know it.

Concept for a Centre for Persecuted Arts

persecution of Vietnamese intellectuals

The Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom

Attacks on Intelligentsia

It all started with the trial of Socrates.....



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 07:09 PM
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Excellent Icarus, thank you for those great links, you and I are on the very same plane with this. I also appreciate your input Enkidu, and I had never really considered the economic aspects of all of this.

If I may pose another question, why then do you feel all of this is happening? What can be done to solve it?

It's a troubling issue, democracy can be the quickest path to tyranny should the people be led to believe it is in their best interest...



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 08:18 PM
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Why is this happening? I would have to trace it back to the end of WWII. Imo, fascism is like a virus, and the United States of America got infected, or more correctly, infected itself, on purpose, or by accident, it doesn't really matter anymore.

Like all parasitic viruses, this one needs the proper conditions to grow and multiply, to take over, and eventually kill, the host organism.

Korea, then Vietnam, set the stage. The backlash of the Civil Rights Movement and the Flower Power Generation put it in remission for a while. The Cold War helped it hold its ground and consolidate its power base behind the scenes, like an insidious virus slowly saps your strength and immunity without you really noticing.

9/11 turned it loose like a runaway freight train barreling through our civil liberties and rights to privacy, leaving them crushed in its wake, and imperiling the very Constitution this great country was founded on. Yet many continue to cheer it on, oblivious to the fact that they will soon find themselves in the path of this insatiable beast, for its method is deceit, and it knows only destruction.

What do we do about it? Take the risk. Speak out about your beliefs. Go against the grain. Trust in the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, and the Constitution of the United States. Read the intro to "Common Sense", by Thomas Paine. Seek PEACE. Share it with others, network it. Bring the tactics of the fascists out into the light of day, and expose them for what they are, domestic enemies of the United States of America.

May God bless and keep the United States of America, and see us through our time of greatest peril.


from link below
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom


Introduction to Common Sense



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by Enkidu
Intelligence is naturally bred out of most populations.

[...]

So the poor and the ignorant have more children, which the successful and intelligent have less. It's no conspiracy, just simple economics at work.

Spot on, Enkidu. Great pic too. Have you read The Bell Curve? That's precisely what the author says, that there is a gap between stupid and smart and the stupid breed, and the smart do not, eschewing children due to career or time issues. I don't agree with the chapter on racial data in TBC but it is a good book other than that.

First, I gotta say Conquistadork is one of the best psuedonyms I've seen.
I love it.

Of course the lower classes are being dumbed down. All you need do is look at the schools. Heck, wasn't there a british Admiral who was 12 years old? We keep our kids as kids far too long, IMO.

It's the age of electronics, but do they put a multimeter into a kid's hands? No. Are there any tradesmen who'll teach him how to make a living as a young man like there used to be? No. He'll never be taught anything in school except historical half-truths and algebra (designed to make you give up on math). When he gets out of school, he'll rank lower than most other first world nations and he'll be ready for a job at Wendy's.

School is a joke. I've got no kids yet, but if I ever do, they will be home schooled with a private tutor based on curriculum of real knowledge and skills (like I was). My kids will be smart as a result, and so what they watch on TV will not be taken as reality, or as a guiding element in their lives, as it is for most children.


[edit on 27-2-2006 by smallpeeps]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Very good point friend.

I had always taken the perspective of the founding fathers. They were afraid of a democratic system because they felt the average citizen would not make responsible decisions based on the concurrent philosophical debates on the time of the nature of humanity. They had determined that because we would more often than not act in our best interest, that democracy could indeed become a dangerous thing. They also felt that the average citizen would not know the neccessary information to make these important decisions, solely because most of them at the time, and even now, would not take it upon themselves to learn what was neccessary to make these decisions. Thus they decided upon the Representative-Democracy we see today.

Unfortuneately, however, I feel certain entities have taken this fear of a mis/under-informed citizen to new heights, and are now methodically spreading this dis-information and attitude regarding intellectual status.

Your point is a very powerful and frightening one indeed, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that others out there at least recognize this is a problem
. I suppose the true issue now is who will take it upon themselves to do anything about it?

Or has the problem become so engrained in our society that it's already too late to do anything....


Edit: Thank you for the comment Peeps, I tried
.

As to your point, while it is an admirable and idyllic way to solve the current problem, do you not think that same process could be used to a negative agenda the same way the current school system is being used to dumb-down the next generation of voters?

What I mean is, could your home tutoring and schooling in itself breed a type of citizen reminiscent of the aristocracies past? While I too share the sentiment that children are kept children for far too long, I could forsee your method being abused in the same method that this current system is being abused, but to a reverse effect.

Then again, perhaps the intent? Using public schools to dumb down the masses, while the select few receive true schooling, and that would in turn be used to place them above those who received a public education. Could this simply be another aristocracy in the making?

While I wish it was as simple as economics in action, I can't help but feel there is something/someone driving the nation down this current course, and perhaps they're using the power of the dollar to simply further their cause.

It's all so terribly confusing.


[edit on 27/2/06 by Conquistadork]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Conquistadork
[...]

They also felt that the average citizen would not know the neccessary information to make these important decisions, solely because most of them at the time, and even now, would not take it upon themselves to learn what was neccessary to make these decisions. Thus they decided upon the Representative-Democracy we see today.

Yes, I think Representative Democracy is generally seen as better because the masses if given true democracy, will screw things up. I disagree with this viewpoint, however. Someone on ATS mentioned how "Phone a friend" on Who-Wants-to-be-a-Millionaire is often wrong (the expert) whereas "Ask the Audience" is usually right (the mean average).

So I think democracy would work, if we were given viable mechanisms with which to vote. The people will immediately reduce the number of issues upon which to vote, which is the first sign of their collective good thinking. Legislators like to make laws. The people if given the choice, will reduce the number of laws, I believe.



Your point is a very powerful and frightening one indeed, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that others out there at least recognize this is a problem
. I suppose the true issue now is who will take it upon themselves to do anything about it?

Or has the problem become so engrained in our society that it's already too late to do anything....

Well, if you're talking about the government changing this, I'd say there is zero hope of that happening. The citizenry is the enemy of those in power. Why would they want us to be smart?

The situation is not hopeless by a long shot because there are libraries and bookstores everywhere. If someone wants to become smarter, they need only apply themselves. In fact, I'd say that the solution is for parents to work less and spend time teaching their own kids directly. Take them on field trips. Teach them to change the oil in a car. Teach them to hunt or climb.

I'd say that an hour of a parent teaching a child is worth a whole month of time spent in school. Children learn best from their parents. Funny how we're being directed toward a lifestyle where both parents work so there's no time, eh? Why is that? Could it be a conspiracy? Hmm...

Who convinced Americans that their children's minds were to be formed and molded by the State? Seems stupid and shortsighted to me.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:49 PM
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1. The anti-intellectuallism in America is long-term and systemic.

It didn't start with Bush taking office in 2000, or even with republican control of congress in 1992-1994. It's ridiculous to try and affix blame on one party, when it permeates all sectors of society. Try a few of these on for size:

A. The subsidizing of college.
Things like widespread student loans and the GI bill after ww2 were intended to allow more people to get an education, but the net effect was to create a capitalist economy of scale which affects all higher education in the US. A lot of people can go to college who, frankly, were never really college material. They were coddled through 12 years of education, and simply don't have the skills to grapple with a classical education.

B. The demise of literary culture
With the advent of motion pictures and TV, the emphasis was automatically put on sensation over congition. You can participate in TV, even if you cannot appreciate the subtleties of the plot; and since nuance takes extra effort but doesn't pay, the producers just drop it.

C. The rise of service/consumer economy
Since ww2, the US economy has shifted from industrial production to service and consumption. This means there are fewer technical, skilled jobs, and more low-wage, service-counter jobs. The driving force of the economy is individual consumption of goods produced overseas. Consumption doesn't require eduction; in fact people consume more instinctively when they cannot do math. Just look at the way cars are sold in the USA: "The price tag doesn't matter--just worry about your monthly payment." "You deserve a new car." And the salesman's classic phrase, "What's it gonna take to put you into a new car TODAY!?"

2. The moneyed classes are just as victimized by the anti-intellectual climate in US, as everyone else.

A. The moneyed classes tend to be intellectual. And when "smarts" are ridiculed, their own children don't want to exert themselves to survive the "hassle" of college. Instead of creating a stable class structure which should favor the elite, their own children refuse to participate in the very institutions which guarantee their elite status. How many ski bums and folk musicians are the children of moneyed professional people? A lot; and they rely on family wealth without contributing to it.

B. The fact that politics is now basically a beauty pageant selects against the elite.

There was a time when intellectuals ran society by virtue of education and expertise. Presidents had law degree at a time when most practicing lawyers didn't have one. US presidents were intellectuals, men like Woodrow Wilson, who retired from politics to be the president of the University of Texas; or Garfield, who had been (if I remember right) a college president prior to entering politics.

Those days are long gone. Since Eisenhower, it would be difficult to name an intellectual president aside from JFK. Well-educated, still, but hardly leading lights. Clinton was a professor at the University of Arkansas, but from what I could find he hardly taught any classes, and was given the post as a sop until the next governor's race where he could run.

The net effect has been to lessen the intelligensia's grip on politics, and leave it open to the highest bidder. And american wealth is so fleeting that it's impossible to predict who will be running the economy in 10 years. In 1996, Kennethy Lay (Enron) was looking to be one of the richest men in America.

.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 10:09 PM
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I'm not trying to scare anyone. Fear is the tactic of the fascists. Fear is the mind killer. Fear makes us respond on instinct, from the medulla oblongata, the old reptile brain. Higher brain function and measured, considered response are sacrificed in favor of rapid action intended to distance and protect us from danger. Fear interdicts purpose with immediacy.

We do not need to be afraid, we need to be aware.

Who has mentioned a political party here? Unless Fascists = Republicans these days, nobody has. Although I do believe the GOP is controlled by fascists, and it shows.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising

Although I do believe the GOP is controlled by fascists, and it shows.



In every single one of your posts.




posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by Conquistadork
Even as children, "Four-Eyes", "Nerd", "Book worm" were all commonly, and very possibly still are, very common insults, all meant to demean those who take it upon themselves to remain informed, intelligent people.


This doesn't happen in Asia. Well it does in the beginning years of school, thanks to MTV, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and such other American diversions. But it sort of disappears by the fourth year of school when every one gets a bit more serious and tries to do well in the sixth year finals so that they can get into a good boarding school or prep school.

I guess it's just a western thing. Glad I didn't go to a western school. I'd be traumatized by jocks, me being a "bookworm" and all.

I suppose here in Asia we value intellect. A lot of politicians also happen to be doctors or hold a doctorate.



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 09:15 AM
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o.p. by dr. strangecraft
In every single one of your posts.


I knew you would have a snappy comeback for that statement. Here's mine for yours.

The fascist control and nature of the GOP also shows in every single one of its actions, but it especially shows in its inactions, in its failure to act on and in the behalf of the majority of American citizens, rather than the special interests and lobbies that line its pockets. To be fair, the same can be said of the Dems, except the fascist part, they seem more like a bunch of cry-babies lately, although they seem at least to be trying. I am not a supporter of our current government, GOP or Dems.

It also shows in your posts, especially the one in this thread, where you come blindly to the defense of a party and President not even mentioned in the thread, that you are one of those who


o.p. by me
continue to cheer it on, oblivious to the fact that they will soon find themselves in the path of this insatiable beast, for its method is deceit, and it knows only destruction.


This is probably out of regard to your precious stock portfolio, your own little personal Monopoly game. Those stock certificates are about as useful as Monopoly money, too, when all is said and done.

So go on about your partisan ways, and peace be with you.




[edit on 28-2-2006 by Icarus Rising]



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising


This is probably out of regard to your precious stock portfolio, your own little personal Monopoly game. Those stock certificates are about as useful as Monopoly money, too, when all is said and done.

So go on about your partisan ways, and peace be with you.






I don't own any stock. But what does my portfolio, or lack of one, have to do with any of this?

Is that supposed to be an attempt at trolling?

Maybe it's because you assume that everyone who differs with you must be some kind of capitalist swine.

Fine with me.




Big Lebowski:

My advice to you sir, is to do what you parents did: GET A JOB!
The revolution is over --- The bums have lost --- the bums will always loose!.






posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 11:09 AM
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I just recall you (I think it was you anyway, I could be wrong. It was one of these dr. whatevers on the board, I know that for sure) talking about daytrading and how great it is. It was my attempt at justifying whatever may be your vested interest in being a partisan hack.

I could care less what you do with your time, or why you have the opinions you do. It was you who was trolling this thread and you know it.

[edit on 28-2-2006 by Icarus Rising]






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