What is it about our political culture that causes everyone to be so damn polarized? Or maybe most people really aren’t so polarized and it’s the media that makes it seem so. I can only imagine that is in fact the pop cultured Inquireresque media, that is tearing away the moral fabric from this once honorable American culture. The American public is everyday, driven farther and farther away from the core values of this nation. We can blame only ourselves for letting this happen. It’s not capitalism, conservatism, or liberalism that might be to blame. No, capitalism is necessary for our way of life, or should I say essential; and liberalism is also an important element which exists to keep the conservatives in check and v/v. They aren’t the issue, what is the issue is education. We are obligated as Americans to educate our neighbors. We owe it to the future of this nation to actively be involved in our communities. How many of us criticize everything we don’t agree with and then look in the mirror and realize that we had never actually tried to be part of a solution? So many of us go about our mundane lives and complain about the democrats and the republicans… How about we quit our bitching and become part of a solution.. Have you ever heard of illegeracy? Well here you go.. read on
An illegerate person is a person who feels like they cannot make a difference in society. They ultimately give up and worry only about themselves. They bitch and bitch about the world around them but never really do anything to change it. Illegeracy is the failure of an individual to realize that as a citizen it is their duty to get involved and help society progress into the future. It is the individual’s failure to see the condition of their life as open to choices. Illegeracy can also be described as exiting the political system. A person who is illegerate is incapable of making sense of his cultural situation or is culturally confused.
The main factor or characteristic involved in this political-social-cultural phenomenon is aliteracy. Aliteracy is the act of not reading. An aliterate individual is someone who is capable of reading yet chooses not to. The development of the American political cultural is now in constant competition with the popular mass culture. The popular culture often negatively influences people’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. This negative influence along with the simultaneous failure of the media and the American education system promotes and motivates Illegeracy in our society. The popular culture of America is defeating the very important political culture by causing apathy, cynicism, and empty if not non-existent political discourse. Illegeracy is seen more in the lower socioeconomic class, than in the higher socioeconomic classes. Higher levels of education almost ensure that an individual is involved in their political culture. As the levels of education drop we see that Illegeracy increases.
One of the consequences that follows Illegeracy is called cultural confusion. Cultural confusion is the constant misperception of reality and being unable to identify. Cultural confusion leads to false consciousness. False consciousness in Marxist theory is a failure to recognize the instruments of one's oppression or exploitation as one's own creation, as when members of an oppressed class unwittingly adopt views of the oppressor class. Illegeracy promotes the abdication of ones political power to help choose the direction of society. Exercising our political power that we have as citizens is not only a right but also a duty. Illegerate people don’t understand that duty or they never new it from the beginning.
Illegeracy’s impact on politics in America is severe. It leads a citizen to the feeling that his or her life is not open to choice. After a person decides that they have no choices, they give up any political power to influence the direction of society. It reduces political participation, it undermines political discourse, and it leads to a depoliticized society. The illegerate people of our society express passivity, which reinforces political avoidance, and ultimately contributes to anti intellectualism.
It is clear that the media and education systems, are failing us. The media, which is supposed to educate us, has become an entertainment and consumer based industry. News programs, magazines, and even newspapers are neglecting to focus on the important news and opting to focus on entertaining us rather then informing us. The media is at partial fault, but our public education system should take most of the blame. Public education has become a system that thoughtlessly ignores subjects such as politics, provokes anti-intellectualism and widely accepts mediocrity. Therefore, the simultaneous failure of the media and education will continue to produce a society of illegerate citizens.