Information is the single most valuable resource anyone can have access to. This is not just an opinion, but a simple fact. Material resources may have a varying value, depending on one’s needs, but without the proper information they qualify as nothing more than wishful thinking. So the true art of governing, the art of creating a healthy society, ultimately is about how information is controlled. Violence and fear may be the tool some governments use, but ultimately it is their hold on information that truly determines how free people are. How is this done? Education. Censorship. Controls on the press and speech. Propaganda. Even entertainment. A truly free country will have very few limits on the information available to the people, and the people will be able to trust the information that they receive. As the type of government gets more oppressive, the information becomes more limited, and also less trustworthy.
What it really comes down to, is the value of information is determined by the people who receive it. If we accept what is offered with us without any questions, because we blindly trust the source, or don’t know HOW to question … then we are pretty much under the power of those that have offered us the information. Freedom has more to do with freedom of thought and choices then the physical restriction that may be placed on one.
Someone who blindly accepts what hey are told is NOT truly free.
Unfortunately this is one of the primary issues that combats a unified world. Especially with the modern advances in communications technology, much of the world is bombarded with information. Except those parts of the world where the leadership intentionally denies its people information other than that which they choose to share. The ironic thing about these divergent poles is the results tend to end up the same. People in general will believe what they are told if the source seems convincing enough. Or worse yet they WANT to believe it.
What does this mean? Much of the strife in the world is a direct result of misinformation. Whether the misinformation is intentional misleading by those with agendas, or simple laziness on the part of the receiver of the information is really irrelevant. If we have the wrong information, we will make uninformed decisions. Uninformed decisions lead to disagreements that probably would never have had to be if everyone had all the right information. Disagreements lead to the world we have today.
How can we change this? It really is simple. We need to learn how to think again. We need to learn to question, and not simply accept something on blind faith. That is not the path to freedom. I am not trying to tell people WHAT to think, but rather HOW to. Only by making properly informed decisions can we truly hope to learn to get along with each other. Just because it is on the news does not make it true. Just because it is written in books that have been around for thousands of years does not make it true. Just because someone who has more power, or more fame, or even more money than you says it, does not make it true. For that matter, just because it was taught to you in school does not make it true.
THINK. QUESTION. Use the wonderful brains that we all have been gifted with. Blind faith is not the answer. Understanding is. information is a wonderful resource. Let’s finally learn how to use it well, and stop letting others control it for us.