|Image Source: Friendly Atheist|
“I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”This makes me wonder if the relationship between knowledge and belief would hold true for politics as well. Are anarchists more politically astute than your average Federalist Papers-reading Tea Partier?
On the September 28, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone, reporter Matt Taibbi makes a strong case for an "us versus them" reminiscent of the Old Testament:
The individuals in the Tea Party may come from very different walks of life, but most of them have a few things in common. After nearly a year of talking with Tea Party members from Nevada to New Jersey, I can count on one hand the key elements I expect to hear in nearly every interview. One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. ("Not me — I was protesting!" is a common exclamation.) Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from [Dick] Armey, who explains that the problem with "people who do not cherish America the way we do" is that "they did not read the Federalist Papers.") Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views — despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill "cracker babies," support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama's birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! (Reporters in Kentucky invented a game called "White Male Liberty Patriot Bingo," checking off a box every time a Tea Partier mentions a black friend.) And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.My sense is that the standard liberal arts education that American universities dolled out from the G.I. Bill through the seventies used the humanities as an armature on which to hang some essential critical thinking skills. When institutions of higher learning became what are essentially vocational tech schools to learn business, art, lawyering, nursing and the like, a good chunk of the human mind went fallow, allowing for a return of things like mysticism and xenophobia. More and more, it seems like the beginnings of the second dark ages.