Oblivious Intellectuals - by Mark E. Smith
Just because a person is smart, doesn't mean that they are aware of everything going on.
One example is Noam Chomsky. He's very smart, but he doesn't have a clue about 9/11. Many have speculated that he is trying to protect his career and his reputation by avoiding a controversial topic, but he has addressed many other controversial topics, so I don't agree. I think Chomsky is someone who believes, as he responded when I wrote to him about our electoral system, that he's known everything there was to know about it since he was seven years old. Never mind that much has changed since then, including the introduction of electronic voting machines and central tabulators, Chomsky isn't open to new information, particularly not from someone like me. There may be a few people he'd listen to, but none of the thousands of architects, engineers, physicists, and pilots in the 9/11 Truth Movement are among them, and I'm certainly not one of the people he'll listen to about anything. No matter how brilliant a person may be, if they think that they already know everything, they're not capable of learning anything new.
Today I came across an example of another oblivious intellectual, the noted security expert Bruce Schneier. In an article he wrote for The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/what-we-dont-know-ab... Schneier appears to have made the following false assumptions in a single paragraph: 1)that we're living in a democracy, 2) that we therefore need an informed electorate, 3) that we are a nation of laws, and 4) that we are not a police state.
I subscribe to Schneier's newsletter because he's brilliant, but his expertise is computer security, not politics. He wrote the article because of recent government surveillance scandals and to explain why we need whistleblowers. But I was shocked to see that he has so many false assumptions about our government:
1) The United States is not a democracy. Neither is it a republic. The United States Constitution established a plutocracy, a system of government in which the rich, those who own the country, rule the country. A democratic form of government is one in which supreme power is vested in the hands of the people, not in the hands of the government or in the hands of the rich. Our government does not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions, and it should be obvious to anyone that a government that doesn't allow public opinion to influence policy decisions is not a democratic form of government.
2) An informed electorate is vital to the proper functioning of a democracy, but since we're not a democracy, the government has no reason to ensure that we have an informed electorate, and many reasons not to.
3) While we may appear to be a nation of laws, the laws are whatever the Supreme Court says they are. The Supreme Court is the highest law of the land and there is no appeal from a Supreme Court decision. The Framers of the Constitution vested supreme power in a Supreme Court, not in the people. Since there is no appeal from a Supreme Court decision, the Supreme Court sometimes makes decisions that are appear to be unconstitutional. But since the Constitution gave the Supreme Court the sole power to interpret the Constitution, only the Supreme Court can decide if their decision is unconstitutional or not. A Supreme Court decision may be unprecedented, irrational, illogical or even totally insane, but since there is no appeal, it becomes the highest law of the land. Congress can try to legislate around it, but the Supreme Court can strike down such legislation as unconstitutional. That's what supreme power is.
4) We have more prisoners and a higher percentage of our population in prison than Josef Stalin had, so if we are not a police state, then the old Soviet Union wasn't either.
Both Chomsky and Schneier have a lot on their plates, so they can't possibly know everything there is to know. Neither can I. By while they have their areas of expertise, I have mine. I spent many years trying to figure out why our votes didn't have to be counted and the results of our elections couldn't be verified. Once I understood that the problems stem from the way that our Constitution was written, I spent more years trying to find out why it was written that way and if there was anything we could do about it. Many people think that Constitutional Amendments could be the solution. But there are only two ways to get a Constitutional Amendment. You can ask Congress to convene a Constitutional Convention, but since it might result in limiting their powers, they aren't likely to do it. Or you can do it without Congress, in which case the Supreme Court can rule that it was held unconstitutionally. But even if it was passed, it would need to be ratified by a majority of the states. Every state has military bases and defense contractors that they rely on for jobs and income. If the Pentagon doesn't like an Amendment to the Constitution, it can simply threaten to remove its military bases, and most states are not in an economic position to allow that. And the Pentagon can drop subtle hints to defense contractors that if they don't move their facilities out of states that ratify such an Amendment and into states that won't, they might lose a lot of defense contracts. There aren't enough states in an economic position to resist such pressure. Every state needs as many jobs and as many sources of income as it can get. If the Pentagon feels that a Constitutional Amendment might limit its powers, there won't be enough states to ratify such an Amendment.
Intellect isn't all that's it's cracked up to be. I think Einstein may have said something to the effect that if he had ten days in which to solve a difficult problem, he'd spend nine days trying to understand the problem and only the last day trying to solve it. It really doesn't matter how smart a person is, because if they don't understand the problem, they have very little chance of solving it.
Both Chomsky and Schneier are smart enough to grasp in a few moments what took me many years to learn. But they don't have the time or interest to do the research that I did, and they're not going to listen to me because I don't have the credentials or credibility to impress them. So unless somebody else does, they will remain brilliant but in some ways oblivious to the truth.
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