We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who can be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We don’t have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re all right already. They’ll believe anything.”
– fictional character Miss Hardcastle, from That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis (h/t AVI)
The fading of the critical sense is a serious menace to the preservation of our civilization. It makes it easy for quacks to fool the people. It is remarkable that the educated strata are more gullible than the less educated. The most enthusiastic supporters of Marxism, Nazism, and Fascism were the intellectuals, not the boors. The intellectuals were never keen enough to see the manifest contradictions of their creeds. It did not in the least impair the popularity of Fascism that Mussolini in the same speech praised the Italians as the representatives of the oldest Western civilization and as the youngest among the civilized nations. No German nationalist minded it when dark-haired Hitler, corpulent Goering, and lame Goebbels were praised as the shining representatives of the tall, slim, fair-haired, heroic Aryan master race. Is it not amazing that many millions of non-Russians are firmly convinced that the Soviet regime is democratic, even more democratic than America?
If only the "educated" had actually learned anything. Aside from Engineering, where mistakes cause bridges to collapse, the "credentialed" are more ignorant that at any time in our history.. Read the Lincoln Douglas debates, for an example of how far we have fallen.
It's true. Alas. I live in Maine and have a business that serves upscale customers. Just about all of our customers are "liberal progressives", since that's what the upscale group is these days. It's somewhat entertaining to see them melt down over politics, but I really don't understand them.
If someone has an explanation for why educated people are more gullible I'd love to hear it. (I actually have a masters degree but still don't understand them).
“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”
Here is an alternate explanation: A non-intellectual will look at some convoluted polysyllabic expression- once known as gobbledygook- and conclude that it isn't worth the effort to decipher it. An "intellectual" will look at the same and consider it a test of his intellectual acumen to decipher it- but without putting it into clearer prose.