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Ignorance is dangerous

Recently, in an article pointing out that less government would lead to less crime, I wrote:

In 1943, there were 44 murders in New York City. In 1995, with roughly the same population, New York City had 1,499 murders – and this was celebrated as an improvement.

I was surprised to receive at least a half-dozen e-mails from people complaining that this was a misleading factoid. They said the statement ignored factors such as population growth (even though the population was roughly unchanged) or economic conditions.

But the complainers miss the point. I wanted readers to realize that there was once an America they know very little about. People born since the 1950s – before the Drug War, gun laws, and the Great Society – have little knowledge of the more peaceful, more widely prosperous and more civil society that once was.

And most Americans know little about today’s events outside our borders. The TV networks don’t seem to publicize anything that doesn’t advance the government’s interest.

As for history, most people know little more than the one-liners they heard in high school.

In short, when Americans ponder such weighty matters as the War on Terrorism or other government programs, they often form important opinions from simplistic history stories, government press releases and TV News.

The other world of knowledge

There’s a whole world of knowledge to which most Americans have never been exposed. For example, did you know that:

Watch what you ask for

Government is a powder keg. Whatever its alleged purpose – to disarm criminals, make America drug-free, bring peace to the world, alleviate suffering – it almost always makes things worse, and often creates enormous suffering.

You can’t spend your life searching out news stories that don’t appear on the nightly news. But you can get alternative news and viewpoints at WorldNetDaily – and you can bookmark and revisit some of the websites from which WND gets articles.

And, most important, you can be very skeptical of any promise made by any president or Congress – Republican or Democrat – that your government is about to improve the economy, public safety, morals or national defense.