By Hans Vogel
Some twenty years ago, when the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Soviet Union was collapsing and desintegrating, when Francis Fukuyama jubilantly proclaimed the end of history, many in the so-called West sighed with relief: the world would finally become a better place. The Cold War had ended and the nightmare of nuclear war vanished, seemingly forever. World Peace had finally become a reality. In much of Europe, conscription was abolished as a result. But the US and its faithful patsies in Europe ignored appeals to dissolve NATO.
Back then, in the pre-internet days, many countries could still boast a lively media world, with respectable dailies and weeklies and half-way decent, or at least tolerable TV and radio (yes, even in the United States). Every so now and then, voices and opinions critical of the government could be read, heard or seen on the major media. To anybody under 25, that must sound incredible, yet anyone over 40 will be able to attest to its veracity.
Today the dailies that were once considered to be the epitome of reliability, quality and sound judgment, have all become lousy rags that are losing more of their readership as each year goes by. Where in order to be well-informed it was once imperative to read the Times, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, or the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, to name just a few of the most prestigious papers, today one is much better informed when these are not read at all. On the contrary, these emblematical “quality papers”, or “newspapers of record,” have become mere conduits for government propaganda.
In order to be well-informed today, one just has to pay daily visits to web sites and blogs that have replaced the quality newspapers. It is a good thing that the web is expanding impressively day after day and that more an more people all over the world can have access to reliable sources of information and analysis. Moreover, they can take part in forums and online debates, something that was absolutely impossible twenty years ago.
Like the media, education has suffered a serious loss of quality and credibility. Over the past two decades, primary and secondary education in all of what is generally considered to be the “Western World” has become adulterated to a degree that would abhor any responsible parent living in the 1980s and early 1990s. Education today is all about teaching competences, skills and abilities, where once it taught knowledge and independent thinking and judgment. In other words, for educators everywhere, the young have become like monkeys, whom you teach tricks. Those kids that cannot sit still while their teacher is instructing them on yet another trick, are often diagnosed as suffering from ADHD and given ritalin or other dangerous mind-altering drugs. Kids who can sit still and who are eager to learn, are diagnosed as especially gifted and soon isolated from their peer group and enrolled in special programs. Mind you, all kids without exception are being raised on wicked stuff like Coca Cola, bottled Iced Tea, and high-fat, high-sugar diets. No wonder that by the time they enter university (which nearly everyone seems to qualify for these days), today's kids have only very scant knowledge about anything. In politically correct terms, they are “informationally challenged”.
Many kids are enticed to become drug users, with many becoming outright addicts. The drugs they consume are shipped precisely from areas where the US military holds sway, namely Afghanistan (heroin) and Colombia (cocaine). The heroin from Afghanistan comes by way of Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. These last two nations being mere muslim narco states under US protection. Nor do the drugs reach the main markets in North America and Europe in any piecemeal fashion: they come by the boat and plane load. The drug trade is so vast it cannot be carried on without the consent or connivance of the powers that be. Hence, anyone who still believes the US is serious about fighting the drug trade must be either naïve or stupid.
Woefully undereducated compared to their peers of preceding generations, most of today's young adults cannot easily develop any kind of informed opinion or judgment. Since about twenty years, the most intelligent and ambitious have been opting for careers in finance, banking and related legal circles. Uniformly educated at management and law schools, any form of critical thinking has been carefully weeded out by their instructors.
The less gifted and less fortunate kids have been filling the nameless and faceless armies of mindless paper pushers in both the public and the private sectors, while those at the bottom of the scale have no choice but take the lowliest, dreariest and most dreadful jobs, such as hamburger flippers.
And then there are the high school dropouts, the good for nothings, petty criminals, gang members, the illiterate rowdies with a vocabulary of some 300 words, those who communicate at best in raucous monosyllables. Yet they are quite knowledgeable about street politics, about power, revenge, loyalty, punishment and other such basic values. Their ranks have been expanding at a dazzling pace over the last twenty years. It would seem society and the government have forgotten aboutthem, but no, this group has in a way become essential to modern states in the “West.”