After Covid, we must embrace critical thinking again — Analysis
Now that the pandemic is over, blind submission to authority must end
I’ll never forget the most valuable lesson I learned during my first year at university, taught to me by a literature professor who had fled the USSR: All totalitarian regimes throughout history have shared one key trait – they control all knowledge. This is essential to their success, because if you can’t control what information the public can access, then you can’t effectively control a population.
“If you ever give up your right to freedom of information,”He’d remind me often, “all of your freedom will be gone. You’ve lost everything.”It stuck with me, and over the four years I had the opportunity to work alongside some great professors to expand on that idea. They taught me how to maintain my freedom. First, learn to think.
Freedom must be fought-for and preserved in a variety of ways but, if you don’t first know how to think, you won’t even recognize when your freedom is being taken away in the first place. According to my professor, “For a people to be free and remain free, each person must recognize that he or she is an individual capable of independent thought, and learn to think critically about all subjects.”Any less leads to reciting memorized information which may or not be true.
Free countries allow citizens to access public information and share knowledge. All of this is crucial as it is essential for innovation, creativity and advancement in all fields, including physics, philosophy, and chemistry. Society thrives when individuals are free to question existing systems and offer new ideas, without fear of being persecuted. Without that freedom, we wouldn’t have personal computers and start-ups. We wouldn’t have advances in medicine or engineering. We would be nothing more than submissive human capital to a tyrannical state – much like North KoreaFor example, in this country, independent media are banned while citizens live under a one party, one man rule. This country is in constant stagnation, and it’s dark.
America has taken freedom of expression and information for granted for years, but slowly it is slipping away. This is all on our shoulders. For years we’ve been sleepwalking at an ever-quickening pace into what I can only describe as a dumbing down.
It started with relying on Google to answer our questions, and then we let Netflix ‘binge watching’ become our public pastime. We no longer enjoy the traditional activity of people looking at screens. Instead, we are glued to our phones and scrolling through apps mindlessly. We have become a nation of passive consumers – the perfect kind of public to manipulate with propaganda and mind control. Therefore, it shouldn’t have surprised me that people seeking power used the moment to take control of their citizens.
The blind submission to authority during Covid was a major wake-up call for me – and I hope for many – that losing our right to question the mainstream narrative is a dangerous and slippery slope to the loss of all freedom. In the two years that have passed, people I used to consider progressive and who believed in free speech and an open web were being silenced and deplatformed. They began chanting mantras and propaganda slogans that instructed us to “Keep it simple!” As if science was a Bible, raTher than what science actually is, which is a continual search for knowledge.
There is no such thing as ‘the science’ and science is not meant to be followed, but studied. Although there are some scientific conclusions that we reached such as the existence gravity, no scientist would advocate dismissing any form of skepticism. In fact, if you can’t question something, poke at it, and look for alternatives, then it isn’t science. If you can’t question it without fear of being “cancelled” or blacklisted by your own government, then it quite obviously isn’t science; it is a branch of authoritarianism. This doesn’t necessarily mean that what becomes the consensus is wrong, but how we arrive there matters.
The Covid-19 mandates need to be viewed in context. There was once a time that our government used DDT on children. If you believed this dangerous, then you would have been considered a right-wing conspiracist. The Covid-19 mandates were questioned. “the science”To end it. Similarly, we now know that lockdowns during the pandemic had little or no effect on mortality (according to a study from Johns Hopkins University), but caused a great deal of social, societal, and economic harm, especially for our youth. It took people willing to challenge the narrative to end lockdowns and speak out. They had to be able to see the truth and not just accept it as is.
I’ll never forget a Forbes article from 2020 that warned we must never “do our own research.”You should leave that to experts. These are the experts. Now, please understand that I don’t mean to suggest that medical degrees and years of scientific research don’t matter, or that anyone can be a self-appointed doctor. But anyone absolutely has the right to conduct research, ask questions, and make decisions for themselves – especially about their own bodies. The best way to protect your body’s private property is to open your mind and ask more questions.
We are generally still free in large parts of Western Europe, although we must fight for it. Our freedom should be used to allow us to grow as individuals by being critical, asking questions about ourselves and others, and participating in civil discourse. We should strive toward intellectual curiosity, not adherence to dogmas spouted out by self-appointed ‘experts.’ If we allow a few tech companies, CEOs of pharmaceutical companies and politicians (of any party) to think for us, or to decide who is or isn’t allowed to have a public opinion, or what type of information we are permitted to read, then my college professor was spot on: we’ve lost everything.
These opinions, statements and thoughts are the sole opinion of the author. They do not necessarily reflect those made by RT.