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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/30/21

Wars of Ignorance

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   9 comments, In Series: Democracy in America
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The words "ignore", and "ignorance" come from the same etymological root; "ignore means not paying attention to something, "ignorance" usually means lacking the knowledge of something. I would propose that willfully not paying attention to something can lead to a lack of knowledge therefore changing ignorance into a willful choice. If you reject the factual realities of 1+1=2 in our common decimal system, even though that reality can be demonstrated in any number of ways, this becomes ignorance as a result of rejecting readily available information.

We have entered a strange dimension of reality in this nation in which commonly accepted information is rejected out of hand because it comes from sources some have chosen to reject as valid, like science, medicine, common practice, the mores of civility and the elements of democracy. The result is that our society itself becomes dysfunctional and unable to move forward or resolve common problems. Chaos is the result, and forces of violence and demagoguery arise.

Meanwhile we find ourselves under attack by a ruthless and deadly enemy, the Covid Virus in all its mutations. The death toll is over 5 million worldwide and the total casualties (cases) are about 262 million. It takes a lot of denial and chosen ignorance to insist that those realities are not happening. This is equivalent to ignoring science to declare the earth is flat and is the center of the universe. Yet, some continue in that position at war with those who are trying to find not only a defense but also effective weapons to defeat the virus in all its many forms.

This is a world war since the entire globe is suffering, thus the term pandemic. And until we defeat the virus across the world, none of us will be safe from recurrences. Perhaps this should be known as World War P for Pandemic.

In this war with deaths and casualties growing, we have frontline workers; the medical staff of the world, the essential workers of the world, the teachers and many others who put their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk to keep the society functional. They are doing a similar job to that of soldiers with military weapons in our wars with other nations in the past. Just like soldiers, frontline workers risk becoming casualties of this disease and death from exposure to it. They deserve the same pay and benefits as any other soldiers who have risked their lives to save us all, in our earlier wars. They suffer from PTSD, they deserve combat pay, they deserve free health care and other continuing benefits as they provide what is needed for us to continue with our lives. They are the real heroes.

This war is not a mere metaphor since it meets all the categories of war with death and casualties, building defenses and creating weapons to finally defeat a ruthless and vicious enemy.

Meanwhile we have, within our very societies, those who refuse to participate in the fight. They are more than conscientious objectors who were often willing to help in other ways. They are actively enabling the Pandemic, refusing to protect others from their wonton neglect of the deadliness of the Pandemic. They are willing to put their friends, their families, their loved ones, and anyone who they may contact, at risk. They are more like a 5th column, blatantly spreading the virus, undermining our best efforts to contain and control the spread.

This is very much like a non-state global terrorist threat.

It is like welcoming the occupying army and introducing it to all you meet. This is collaboration. They are, in effect, joining the war to fight for the enemy. It is like building a dike to control flooding while some people are tearing down the dikes on their property, thwarting flood control because they feel they have the right to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences for others.

Perhaps what is the hardest to accept is that those who refuse to be vaccinated also refuse to allow themselves to be identified. Somehow the protection of their privacy is more important than the health of others who may be unknowingly exposed. If they are proud of their position, at least have them identify themselves so others can choose to avoid contact with them. This is like having any other communicable disease and concealing it. This is like Typhoid Mary on steroids. Perhaps the worst are the public leaders and especially professional athletes who flaunt their disregard for others as a badge of honor. How would we deal with someone with a venereal disease or aides or Eboli refusing to identify themselves to others?

Is it just culling the herd in their minds? Is it just getting rid of the old and weak, the poor and useless chaff so they, themselves can live better? What kind of human values are those? If there is a God who thinks this is OK, it is not a God I would ever want to follow.

This willful ignorance of cause and effect is hard to square with the human realities of this very real war, a World War against a deadly and ruthless enemy that continues to develop more deadly weapons, as we continue to wallow in chaos.

While this pseudo-political battle continues, we remain distracted from the urgency of dealing with the existential threat of global warming. We disregard what is happening to the planet, forgetting that Spaceship Earth is all we have, and that its resources are finite. We continue to fight over which nation or corporation should be at the controls, ignoring the reality that the planet has always been self-regulating and that we have so far only negatively influenced that process with our interference.

When will we ever learn?

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I have a deep belief in participatory democracy, the value of ordinary people and finding a path to a sustainable future. I also understand the immediacy or the need for significant action to save democracy and our sustainable future on this (more...)

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