"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of
civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
--Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.
When Thomas Jefferson refers to a state of civilization, one assumes he has his own in mind; that is western civilization, of course. Why, then, should an ignorant nation never expect to know freedom? Perhaps, as he penned this letter to Charles Yancey, Jefferson had in the back of his head the approximately 6,000 years of scorched earth policies that, within this state, were perpetrated by and for the vector of western progress. The institutions comprising western civilization, he concluded, predisposed agents of history to depravity and conquest. Therefore, it must be so, that the people enjoy the fruits of access to the voluminous amount of data available during any given epoch. Abraham Lincoln, while in office, echoed his forbearer, saying “let the people know the truth and the country is safe.” Like never before do the masses have access to a wealth of information. Many key players in the political and corporate arenas, recognizing this, are positioning themselves and events so as to make a case for further restriction of the internet, while increased supervision in the classroom is on the agenda under Obama.
continued in comments