Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Harm of Ignorance

The very first day of my history class I tell the story of how Hitler convinced Germany that:
Jews were responsible for everything he did not like, including modern art, pornography and prostitution. Hitler also alleged that the Jews had been responsible for losing the First World War. Hitler also claimed that Jews, who were only about 1% of the population, were slowly taking over the country.
Perhaps I should also mention the harm of American ignorance:
But false belief in weapons of mass-destruction led the United States to a trillion-dollar war. And trust in rising home value as a truism as reliable as a sunrise was a major contributor to the catastrophic collapse of the economy. At its worst extreme, a culture of misinformation can produce something like Iran, which is run by a Holocaust denier.


  1. The thing with Hitler is that yes he convinced Germany of these things, but they already had those preset prejudices. It's not like he up and blamed the Jews and everyone hopped on bored, it's that they were already second class citizens (like pretty much every race and nationality has been in America at some point or another) and he capitalized on the alienation of one percent of the population for the sake of unity of the other 99. He was a bad, bad man and rose to power because of people who just didn't care or know (or notice) enough.

  2. True. But he still harnessed citizen ignorance for political power.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.