An ignorant society is a conservative society. That’s true not only throughout history, but also in the logic of conservatism itself. The backbone of conservative thought is fear, and generally fear of the unknown; education destroys the unknown, and the fear that goes with it. So, no “unknown,” no reason to be conservative. Education has always meant liberation from fear; it’s always been a “liberal” virtue.
Given that, the GOP’s long-running War on Education makes complete sense. And it combines nicely with another theme from Ancient Greek and Roman mythology — the elder generation fearing the younger. Look at the story of the Titans and the Olympians: The Olympians were the children of the Titans, but the Titans so feared their children’s’ power that they attempted to kill, or indefinitely imprison by swallowing, them all.
And they had reason to fear them…the lord of the Titans, Cronus, had himself killed his father Uranus in envy of his power.
The children of today face a new set of Titans…Elder Gods who seem determined to swallow them in the ignorance of conservatism. And if the Elder Gods had a statesman, it was very clearly Ronald Reagan. Reagan, a B-List actor of only average intelligence, hated intelligence and derided higher education.
After all, if he could become president with an IQ of 105, ANYBODY stood a chance. That was a pretty refreshing notion for Elder Gods on their way out, shown the door to obscurity by a well-learned and intellectually intimidating Jimmy Carter.
And so began The War on Education…the distrust of science, rise of college tuition rates, the death of grants over loans, the privatization of schools, and the overall worship of stupidity in America. All to keep the Elder Gods in control, their children safely swallowed through the mouth of fear, and held forever in the dark bowels of ignorance.
Zeus, the only one not imprisoned in Cronos’ belly, forced his father to throw his siblings up and free them. We, though, will probably have to take a more direct approach. Because when it comes to The Elder Gods…
…let’s just cut these f***ers open.