Knowledge is an evolutionary creature. It is acquired in incremental steps over time, often over generations. All things new are built from all things old – what is learned in the past becomes the foundation for what is created in the present, what is created in the present is the basis for what is created in the future. Even the most brilliant minds of the past were limited by the collective knowledge of their time. Otherwise, Plato would have invented open heart surgery, Aristotle the internal combustion engine and Descartes would have founded Microsoft and William Oughtred of Cambridge, England would have been the CEO of Apple Computer in 1630 instead of inventing the slide rule.
Knowledge is also systematic – that is to say that all knowledge of all things must methodically advance in order for one particular idea to be brought to life. For example, if an idea is conceived and the contemporary manufacturing processes, equipment or complementary technologies are not advanced enough to create it, the idea has to be parked until the other fields of knowledge catch up. Men like Leonardo Da Vinci stretched the bounds of ideas but without development in complementary fields of knowledge, few of his ideas could be realized. Even such an intellect as his could not create all the necessary technologies required to bring his ideas off the written page. When those complementary fields caught up, the world got Marconi, Marie Curie, Eli Whitney, the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison.
I’ve quoted Immanuel Kant ad nauseum, but it his point is no less true that people choose to remain immature and ignorant because there is a certain “safety” in doing so – but he did make another important point. He wrote:
“A man may postpone his own enlightenment, but only for a limited period of time. And to give up enlightenment altogether, either for oneself or one’s descendants, is to violate and to trample upon the sacred rights of man.”
Kant understood the nature of knowledge. Being an important philosopher of the Enlightenment, he thought that man would eventually resolve all human problems through education and reason. I don’t completely agree because he left out the necessity of a spiritual component but I do agree in the sense that a growing population of immature, non-learning, non-thinking Kardashian watchers is a bellwether of a coming drought of general knowledge which will inevitably result in a concentration of power within a cloistered elite – a defacto version of Plato’s Council of Guardians, Sir Thomas More’s Prince or Hobbes’ Sovereign.
It is the increase in knowledge across the whole of a population that produces the exponential (and in some cases, it is geometric) progression of mankind. If it seems that a time traveler from a mere 50 years ago would be lost in a landscape almost alien to them today, that is true.
If one accepts the premise that knowledge increases as it is built upon prior knowledge, one must consider that immaturity and ignorance will also increase as it is similarly constructed upon past immaturity and ignorance.
The growth, expansion and leadership of America has been based on an educated populace, grown as a result of generations of people who both valued knowledge and were hungry to obtain it by any means. It was an educated populace, not a cadre of elites, who drove technology forward and resulted in an American technological and economic prowess unparalleled in the modern world but now we have a substantial percentage of the population content to be ignorant. People who never pick up a book, don’t know who Winston Churchill was, can’t name a single Supreme Court Justice or even identify the Vice-President of the United States from a photograph. We now teach remedial reading and math in COLLEGE. Those same people claim they “aren’t interested in politics”, having abdicated or perverted a most sacred right – that of voting. They proceed to cede our liberty and freedom as they vote to allow someone else to take care of the “mundane things” they can’t be bothered with.
Ideology isn’t the greatest danger to America – and as much as I loathe progressivism and those who practice that black art – progressivism isn’t either. The greatest danger is an immature and ignorant population who are not intellectually equipped to reject false gods of ideologies like progressivism. It is clear we have reached critical mass, a sufficient enough population of ignorant people who could twice-elect Barack Obama and to buy into the current wave of pseudo-intellectual postmodern witchcraft sweeping this country, the shamans of which are casting spells of perceived racism, white privilege, and presumed offenses of microaggression, rape culture and trigger warnings.
The immature and ignorant are truly trampling on the sacred rights of man…and that is just what the elites want them to do. With assurance, they believe as Emperor Palpatine of Star Wars fame said, “Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.”