Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ignorance in action

Nasir Khan, September 13, 2015

“Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.”

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832 AD)
 

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To see ignorance in action, as Goethe says, also means that we should also be able to see the difference between ignorance and knowledge. Not an easy task for many of us! In fact, things get much fuddled when ignorance wrapped up in social and political dogmas is presented to us as accumulated wisdom.


The economic and political forces in society have power; they have also a large apparatus at their disposal to present what they do is for the common good. Their tasks are made easy with the help of intellectuals who are mostly organically linked to the ruling elite and the existing political structure. Because of their organic relationship with the existing power structure, they become the vocal spokespersons for the ruling class and its entrenched class interests.

Next in line is the priestly class to do the rest; it finds the sanction of the heavenly powers to sustain what exists! As a result, most of us remain prisoners of ignorance without noticing it. This remains so despite the struggles of a tiny minority that swims against the current.

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