“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Let’s face it. We are all ignorant about many things. However, not all ignorance is created equal. If you know next to nothing about the molecular chemistry of vitamins yet still believe vitamins are good for you, it will not harm you. On the other hand, if you are ignorant about the greatest risks to your life, it powerfully impacts your health, happiness and life. If you are ignorant about the basic facts of science, politics and economics, it threatens the life of you, your grandchildren, and all other life on our planet.
Americans were hysterical with fear after 9-11 when 3,000 people died, and this fear propelled us into $5 trillion oil wars based on lies. Yet as the great transcendental poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ” fear always springs from ignorance.” Would Americans have been so fearful of the terrorist attacks if they knew the actual cause of the attacks? The actual prime cause was American-Israeli foreign policy and American sanctions that killed at least 500,000 Iraqi children, not the ignorance-inducing lie “they hate our freedom.” Additionally, our mass bombings in Iraq have only amplified hatred and terrorism. When you murder people’s children and families, that tends to upset them.
Perpetual terrorism is a “smart” corporate business strategy. How can we continue spending $1 trillion a year on the military budget if we honestly and peacefully solve the very simple problem of terrorism? The Cold War was good for the military industrial complex, and now that it ended, we need the terrorism-manufacturing complex to keep bloody “defense” industry profits up.
This also raises an issue of religious ignorance. It is easy for people and politicians to say “I am a Christian, go to church and read the Bible.” Millions have literally read biblical words, but only a minority understand the most important and simple ideas. Though the Bible is filled with contradictions, Jesus clearly overthrew much of the outdated Old Testament law, particularly the “eye for an eye” law of violent retribution, revenge. He introduced the Law of Love.
The American government, most American Christians, most Muslims, and the Israeli Jewish theocracy are still operating with ancient Old Testament eye for an eye law. As Ghandi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike Christ.” Noam Chomsky also said, “There is a real easy way to stop terrorism. Stop participating in it.”
3,000 people died on 9-11, yet this number pales in comparison to the risks Americans face. The biggest killer is heart disease, which kills over 700,000 Americans annually. Fast “food” and junk “food” are a far graver danger to our lives than terrorism, yet we line our streets and stomachs with these terrorist corporations.
Most Americans are also ignorant to the fact that our entire industrial food system is not only killing us, but killing our environment, and consequently our grandchildren’s future. We grow millions of tons of grains in America using massive volumes of oil and petrochemical fertilizer and pesticides, and then feed around half of it to cows, pigs and chickens in disgusting factory farms. The energy conversion from grain to meat is around a 90 percent loss of usable protein, which could feed an extra billion people, precisely the number of humans starving in other countries.
The factory farming of meat and industrial chemical monocropping also leads to extensive soil and water pollution from chemicals and feces. The excess poop-derived and chemical fertilizer ends up in streams, rivers and lakes. The fertilizer causes massive algal blooms that suck all the oxygen out of the water, destroying the lives of millions of fish and other aquatic organisms. Due to this, there is a dead zone at the gulf of the Mississippi River that is nearly 10,000 square miles.
I could list dozens of examples of how political, economic, scientific, religious, and environmental ignorance are destroying life, health, liberty, peace, justice and the pursuit of happiness. However, that would take the space of a book I am not yet prepared to write.
The point is that we must not only see the abundant ignorance all around us, but also within our own self. We must learn to think and question our beliefs. We must not blindly accept what our politicians, corporate media, preachers, teachers and parents tell us. Everyone is wrong or misinformed at times, and all knowledge must be examined and re-examined. We must all try to maintain or regain our childlike sense of wonder, exploration and curiosity.
As a recent NASA study confirmed, our civilization is facing imminent collapse from economic inequality and environmental holocaust. Unless we rapidly evolve, your descendents very likely will not exist on this planet. Ignorance is the prime killer, the central enemy holding back our progress. Please join me in peacefully promoting knowledge, fact, truth, information, wisdom and enlightenment for ourselves and others. I never wish for suffering to any living organism, but ignorance must die.