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Generation of Sheep, Nation of Sheep?

By June 10, 2020Commentary

I do not mean this to in any manner offend anyone.  One of the things that strikes me during both the coronavirus epidemic and the reaction to George Floyd’s death is the complete inability of so many citizens, especially the younger generations, to adopt a critical thinking attitude.  It makes me believe that people have just been conditioned to accept whatever they are told by government, hear on traditional media, read, see or hear on social media, or were taught in various educational institutions.  It is simply pathetic.  Every piece of data I refer to, every piece of research I summarize, basic concepts in epidemiology, infectious disease, immunology, statistics, etc., are all easily and readily available through the internet.  The math I do is largely done on by the calculator on my phone.  We all hold in our hands some of the most powerful computers ever devised.

So why are people so subservient to the very often false, incomplete, inaccurate, and/or misleading information they encounter?  It is this tendency that sparks the mass delusion and mass hysteria with which we are now dealing.  For our society’s sake, everyone should doubt everything, including what I say, and do their own research, at least question whether certain things are really true.  The failure to do so makes us prone to support bad leaders and bad public policy.  It also allows us to be susceptible, especially in the case of social media, to foreign governments and elements eager to weaken our country; to sow division and distrust.

People have allowed themselves to be terrorized in regard to coronavirus, believing that there is far more danger than actually exists.  People allowed tens of millions of Americans, largely low-income and minority workers, to lose their jobs, and millions of others to suffer health and other harms.  People have accepted the notion that there is “systemic racism” in law enforcement and in other areas of our society, without even bothering to look at the basic facts and research which are widely available.  75% of African-Americans live in metropolitan areas.  Almost all of those have or have had African-American mayors and/or police chiefs; almost everyone has been governed by one party for decades, a party which supposedly has African-American interests at heart.  So whose “system” is responsible if there is racism?   And there is no research which supports the idea that discrimination exists in the use of deadly force toward African-Americans.  So based on no evidence, we destroy primarily minority businesses, putting more people out of work, and making basic goods and services unavailable to low-income and minority persons.

A society that lives by the lie will die by the lie.  If we all don’t get a lot more skeptical and a lot more demanding that policy be based on actual facts, we will destroy the capability to provide a good and improving quality of life to all our citizens.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • DuluthGuy says:

    While I don’t disagree with anything you say regarding people not thinking for themselves these days, I don’t think it applies anymore to the younger generation than it does to any other. The difference I see is that the younger generation has grown up with extreme leftist teachers and professors. While this has been true to a certain extent with all generations, the education establishment is further to the left now than it ever has been. Why is this? I’m not exactly sure.

    I’ve seen far too many people capitulate to the shutdown orders and think that they’re going to die if they go outside during the lockdown. And it runs across all ages groups. A lot of people I respect and know are smart people have acted so irrationally during all of this and want to assume the worst in everything.

  • Peter Johan van der Lugt says:

    Critical thinkingis lacking any many personas (regardless of age), however, I agree that it is probably more prevalent in younger generations; as the saying goes “intelligence guided by experience” – which can only be obtained with age

  • Recall Walz says:

    It is worth noting that the hysteria related to both COVID and ‘systemic racism” is indeed multi-generational AND (almost completely) global. The latter was perhaps the biggest surprise to me; as someone who is just barely young enough to be classified as a “millennial”, I too thought it was just a failure of American public education, but apparently critical thinking has been eliminated from teaching almost worldwide. Mike Judge must be as devastated as the rest of us that his film Idiocracy has come true way sooner than he predicted.

  • Doug Young says:

    Not my original thoughts, but I totally agree with this Jon Rappoport column today:

    “Several years ago, I posted a staggering statistic from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): “More than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year.”

    Aside from the zombifying effects of the psychiatric drugs (made even more dangerous by any effort to quickly withdraw from them), the students gain a new perspective from the mental-disorder diagnosis: they’re victims. And now a COVID pandemic? They can wear their masks and deepen that self-image. Wonderful.

    Big Brother has given them a psychiatric diagnosis, meds, and an excuse for not succeeding in life. Big Brother has also given millions of them student loans. An illusion of a free ride.Victim mindset, free ride. Perfect. Throw off those COVID masks? Not a chance. That would suggest the possibility of independence. Goes against victimhood.

    Instead of accepting diagnoses of made-up mental disorders, parents seeking to understand their children’s anxieties at college ought to consider the following: “…National Center for Education Statistics [is] reporting that many 12th grade students in the United States are reading and writing at a fifth grade level. Many college students take transitional coursework to improve their literacy skills in their first year of college. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that about one third of first-year college students take transitional courses… At some post-secondary institutions [colleges], the percentage of first-year students who enroll in transitional classes is as high as 60%…”:

  • SBM says:

    I wish it were just critical thinking skills. I think the real issue is polarization and an unwillingness to engage in civil political debate. It is easy to avoid information that conflicts with your predisposition. A month ago, I had a zoom conversation with long time friends. When I brought up early studies that suggested the virus was not as deadly, I was told I watch too much Fox News and I wanted people to die. If you question the “orthodoxy”, you get shouted down and accused of being conspiratorial. It is a very effective way to shut down debate. And, once debate shuts down, politicians like Walz can create a narrative only scrutinized by conservatives. And, conservative views can be quarantined – pun intended.

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