March 03, 2006

Ancient Wisdom from Dead White Males

"We believe that the reduction of the citizen to an object of propaganda, private and public, is one of the greatest dangers to democracy. A prevalent notion is that the great mass of the people cannot understand and cannot form an independent judgment upon any matter; they cannot be educated, in the sense of developing their intellectual powers, but they can be bamboozled. The reiteration of slogans, the distortion of the news, the great storm of propaganda that beats upon the citizen twenty-four hours a day all his life long mean either that democracy must fall prey to the loudest and most persistent propagandists or that the people must save themselves by strengthening their minds so that they can appraise the issues for themselves."

From the preface of "The Great Conversation", book one of "Great Books of the Western World," edited by Robert M. Hutchins and Mortimer J. Adler - December 1, 1951. (via Curmudgeon)

1 comment:

James R Ament said...

I love that quote; it's one of those I read over and over... because it make so much sense. I just began reading the "Great Books" - The 10 year plan. Starting at this age, maybe I'll be wise when I'm in my 70's!