By Charley Reese of The Sentinel Staff
in The Orlando Sentinel
|Let's suppose you are rummaging in the kitchen
cabinets and a restaurant-size can of baked beans falls out and bonks you on the
head. Instant amnesia. No memories at all.
In that case you would not know who you are, where you came from, what beliefs had guided your life, what kind of parents and grandparents you had. Everything behind the present moment would be a blank.
Now let's suppose (there's a point to all this supposing) you are summoned before an august body of men with credentials up the kazoo and government jobs and grants. As you are seated in front of them, like a private before a court-martial, they tell you they have your complete life history.
Then they proceed to tell you who you are, who your ancestors were, what they did or didn't do. In short they fill in your identity, and, without any memories of your own, you would have no way to know if they were telling the truth or lying. By supplying you with a past, they would fix your present identity.
That is essentially the plight of any citizen who is ignorant of history. He has no memory of his own nation and his own ancestors and is therefore vulnerable to being manipulated. The English writer, George Orwell, who understood totalitarianism so well, spelled it out in his nightmarish novel, 1984.
"The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon," the villain explains. "And since the party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the party chooses to make it. Six means eighteen, two plus two equals five, war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."
Substitute the word "establishment" for party and you have a pretty good idea of the present situation of Americans who are continuously provided a more-or-less official version of American history. Without independent study, Americans can easily become indoctrinated rather than educated.
For example, if you know nothing of the history of the Constitution and the arguments pro and con that accompanied its ratification, then if someone tells you the Constitution was meant to be a flexible document, you would probably believe them. In fact, it was meant to be inflexible, as it was a contract between sovereign states and the federal government. The only way it was intended to be changed was by formal amendment, which requires assent from three-quarters of the states.
By far, the smartest form of behavior control is mind control. Control what people think and believe, and you control their behavior. In America, the establishment, which is that conglomeration of big money and big business, uses foundations as a principle form of political control. By the use of generous grants they can greatly influence universities and research. They can give grants to favored writers whose books will be published by establishment-owned publishing firms and publicized by establishment-owned media. For a lengthy discussion of this read Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley, a former Georgetown professor Bill Clinton singled out as his favorite. If you don't wish to read the whole book, start on page 950.
I truly believe that the single-biggest problem young generations of Americans will face is staying free, and the only way they can do that is to educate themselves above and beyond what the establishment institutions will provide. Tom Jefferson was dead right when he said anyone who expects to be ignorant and free expects what never was and never will be.
If you don't take control of your own life, somebody else will.
© 1999 Orlando Sentinel Online