There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
In the face of Prime Minister Theresa May’s determination to make the British people lie in the bed they’d made for themselves, Gina Miller and her People’s Challenge group took the government to the High Court. The court ruled that any move to trigger the UK’s withdrawal from the EU must be approved by Parliament, and the ruling was greeted with howls of anger and accusations that the judiciary was attempting to derail the democratically expressed will of the people.
Journalist Polly Toynbee, writing in the Guardian (Guardian online, 3 November 1916), said:
There are times when MPs need to rise above their party interests, their own interests and the views of their constituents. That may risk being voted out, but they may earn more respect by standing up for the national interest as best they can determine: that’s what representative democracy is for. In times of war or national crisis, defending the country from grave error, at whatever personal cost, is their duty. Brexit is the greatest threat to national wellbeing since the war, and this will test the mettle not just of individual MPs, but of the nature and purpose of a representative democratic system.
[B]ecause of its lengthy, intimate, and inevitable relationship with culture, technology does not invite a close examination of its own consequences. It is the kind of friend that asks for trust and obedience, which most people are inclined to give because its gifts are truly bountiful. But, of course, there is a dark side to this friend. Its gifts are not without a heavy cost. Stated in the most dramatic terms, the accusation can be made that the uncontrolled growth of technology destroys the vital sources of our humanity. It creates a culture without a moral foundation. It undermines certain mental processes and social relations that make human life worth living. Technology, in sum, is both friend and enemy.
From: Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (1992)
In a letter to his literary agent H N Swanson (14 March 1953), Raymond Chandler wrote:
“Did you ever read what they call Science Fiction? It’s a scream. Read more…