Posted on: June 30, 2017 Posted by: Felicia S. C. Gooden Comments: 0

“If education is beaten by training, then civilization dies” – C.S. Lewis

The uncanny and widespread presence of fake news and fringe blogs has created a disturbing thought pattern within my mind: are my thoughts valid? However, fake news and extremist, fringe blogs may only be a symptom of a greater societal illness – the lack and fear of critical thinking. Receiving my foundational education from a public school and doing the menial work of a retail associate for years on end showed me that society is all about fitting in and going along with the status quo. If you have an original thought that challenges popular belief, or the beliefs of those in charge, then you are stupid, incompetent, and a disturbance to the environment.

Having been indoctrinated with the importance of obedience and giving the people what they want, I approach many things in life with this perspective. However, higher education has challenged me to break this thought pattern and put more of my own analysis into my work. While this is to be expected in the experience of gaining a quality education, for some reason – which is more than likely societal indoctrination into robotic reporting and obedience – I am uncomfortable with putting so much of my own thoughts into my work. I feel like my thoughts are inadequate; they aren’t up to the quality of the experts – that my own analysis is invalid.
Today’s society is filled with readers and consumers who criticize and attack anyone who presents a position that is different from their own or the status quo. Blogs with independent thought and viable critical analysis are constantly discredited as fake news by the mainstream media if the blog’s content strays from the central narrative. How can there be a market for independent thought in a world of collectivism and group think? How can my analysis be valid if it hasn’t already been validated by someone else? Who am I to have my own thoughts about anything? I’ve been taught to do as I’m told and report what someone else says the right answer is; who am I to question or do otherwise?

The fear based, collectivist worldview that has been ingrained into the minds of men, women, and children of the world has led to the stagnation of society. Humanity has limited its own potential by allowing its masses to be complacent with a lack of critical thinking and an abundance of misinformed group think that ferociously attacks anyone or anything that is different or unknown. Having an open mind and drafting new solutions to old problems is an honor reserved for the global and intellectual elites, and those who dare to explore the unknown must fear the imminent backlash that will come from the masses and established trains of thought.

In order for new ideas to arise and for humanity to progress, even in the face of an intellectual elite seeking to centralize global political and economic power, one must have the courage to think critically and be willing to endure the opposition that will come with being a pioneer of a better future. On one hand, I am a brave and courageous pioneer who is being primed for the rigorous world of academia and policy development; on the other hand, I’m one of the lucky few who found her way out of the abyss of laypeople and has entered into the fantasy world of the intellectual elites where critical thought and individuality are encouraged if not mandated.
I suppose it’s time that I break free from the mind-hive and truly venture out into not only developing my own ideas, but also ensuring that they are concrete and validated, so ideological advancements in politics, policy, and philosophy of cosmology can emerge despite the class-based indoctrination that nurtures the masses to settle for mediocrity.

Wish me luck!

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