Twenty five years after Dr. Poe's introduction of "CSDS" we find ourselves faced with an even more serious dilemma. The problem expanded beyond just that of people not using common sense. Today, there seems to be an outright contempt for ideas and intellectualism. The problem is prolific to the extent that a focus on learning and discussing ideas is considered about as valuable as eating shreds of glass. Granted, this is certainly no new problem within the U.S., but the imperialist machine has created such a wide reaching propaganda mechanism that you can now readily find this disdain for intellectualism in every part of the world. And, its growing at an alarming pace.
What is the basis of this anti-intellectualism? Its the idea that the only things that should matter to you are the forces that can contribute to improving your immediate and material reality. This is an extremely a-historical and unscientific philosophical approach which promotes an obscene individualistic life perspective that argues that your primary function in life is to consume. And, since that's the reason you are here, your focus must be on doing that at all costs. You must see people as simply a means from which to provide resources for you. This barbaric philosophy is based in reducing human beings, who unlike other animals allegedly have the ability to think and reason, into reactive creatives who don't think critically. I say allegedly because if humans don't learn to think critically, then there is really very little difference between a human being and a bear, cat, horse, or rabbit, etc.
Where did this problem come from? Several places, but all the different problem routes point back to the capitalist system. This system has spent decades utilizing the technological advances in communication e.g. radio, television, the internet, to promote consumer over contributor messages to the point where this dominantly individualistic mentality is considered normal and necessary in many spaces today, in spite of the fact this ideology is foreign and contradictory to the majority of cultures on the planet. This propaganda process has devalued human life so systematically that insecurity and lack of self esteem and awareness are now becoming the norm. In other words, people are aware of nothing outside of their basic needs e.g. eating, sleeping, and feeling good. Everything is driven by emotion instead of reason. Consequently, logic has come to a place where it has no value. You all know it. You can present objective facts and they mean nothing to the person you are talking to because the only way they are engaging issues is how they impact them on an individual level. Whether they are right or wrong in the moral sense is immaterial. Whether they are a rightwing extremist or a so-called progressive or revolutionary is immaterial. This primitive anti-intellectual individualism is demonstrated in every direction we look. Presidential candidates in the West at least used to have to present themselves as people posing as intellectuals. Now, you are seeing people running for president who remind you more of someone talking about issues from a bar stool rather than someone who has a firm intellectual and diplomatic command of the issues of the world. People all throughout the U.S. are taught that they should focus on placing themselves in position to win the lottery, marry a millionaire, or sing themselves to fame, rather than using their minds to think through the problems they, and everyone else around them, face. And, people outside of the U.S., they are learning that in order to position themselves so that they can have access to the milk and honey in the U.S. (that was stolen from them in the first place), they must abandon their humanistic tendencies and do their absolute best to imitate the mindless pursuit of money or else they will not get in. They will not arrive. They will not experience that individualist comfort. Meanwhile, all around us, the architects of this anti-human messaging are profiting left and right and our lack of concern for the damage they are doing to the environment and our societies has basically left them unchecked in their illegal dominance of the planet. Plus, those who do challenge them are so marginalized that the promoters of truth and justice have very little space and ability to articulate their vision and their work. In this environment, people can tell outright lies like no people of color have done anything to contribute to humanity and at worst they are not even challenged. At best, the people who could easily shut down that ignorance are never present (because they are never given the platform to show you how ignorant the people with the platform are). Instead, the people who are present are incapable of really explaining anything except how uninformed they really are because these people are not the people who are qualified to speak to these issues. Instead, they are celebrities and other assorted academic opportunists. They are anyone except the grassroots organizers who are really the only people credible enough to effectively provide a comprehensive analysis of what's going on (read - cut straight through the BS). We never hear from those credible people. What we are led to think is that you with your PhD from NBC and FOX is just as knowledgeable, if not more so, than those organizers who have done the work and gained the experience to understand how this system actually functions, and how to combat it.
Finally, this overt contempt for intellectualism has created a reality where we are told the only subjects we shouldn't talk about - politics and religion - are actually two of the subjects we should be spending the most time discussing. Our youth are told that reading and thinking are diseases and they believe it because most of the literature they are provided in school promotes a disrespect for them as human beings. Today, the people of the U.S. are without question the dumbest people on the entire planet and instead of there being an intervention from everyone to correct this serious problem, the focus is on forcing the rest of the world to become as dumb as people are in this country.
When people as utterly stupid as Rudy Giuliani, Bill O'Reilly, and Tom Robinson (British anti-Islam fool) are able to sustain the spotlight not because they are correct. Not even because anyone is able to be in the position to challenge them, but solely because their ignorance is popular among segments of the people who now openly celebrate ignorance, that is not a good sign for humanity.
Its time for God's children to push back and push back hard. Challenge this anti-intellectualism. If people are around you saying stupid things like African protestors are criminals, push back. If they say all lives matter, push back. If they say Africa is poor because Africans are lazy, push back. If they say "the gay lifestyle" is destroying the African community ask them to give you examples e.g. how this "gay community" is stopping you from having children in a heterosexual relationship if that's your desire. If you don't know the answers on how to push back, learn how. Get involved and learn how to develop your own organizer skills. Learn how to teach people how to think and learn how to do it in ways that are interesting to people. Develop a sense of humor that is educational and practice. Of course, it goes without saying that all of these skills really only develop properly if you are practicing them within the context of work you are doing. Yes, you guessed it - in an organization. Hey, Africans in Africa are listening to U.S. country music and wearing shirts with confederate flags on them. I was just recently there and saw this with my own eyes. There is no way this could ever happen without the relentless organization and marketing of the capitalist system. So, any of you thinking that your here today, gone tomorrow, inconsistent approach to doing this work is going to combat what they are doing to us, you are operating in a fantasy world. Unless we do something to turn this anti-intellectualism around, before we know it, slavery never happened, the Americas always belonged to the Europeans, and the future of humanity is dependent upon many of us being rounded up and mass murdered in camps today. The difference will be instead of seeing signs of these things, we will actually start seeing the actualization of policy to carry all of this craziness out with the full support of many of the people who are superficially smiling at you as you go through your day today.