"Consent of the Governed": Now a Commodity


Active Member
May 23, 2007
“Consent of the Governed”: Now a Commodity

Commodity—an article of commerce

“According to an authoritative global study, Americans now watch television an average of 4 hours and 35 minutes every day”—An excerpt from Al Gore’s book “The Assault On Reason” contained in May 28 issue of TIME.

We have traded our democratic inheritance for a few hours of vapid TV distraction.

I am convinced that we have one avenue out of this terrible predicament into which we have fallen; we American adults must significantly improve our level of intellectual sophistication.

This can easily be done in a most delightful way; we adults can take one hour a day that we now spend on a couch before a TV screen and utilize that time studying the books that will enlighten us as to who we are and why we do the things we do.

Self-actualizing self-learning is a simple and powerful solution to a most dangerous and pressing situation. We have nothing to lose but our apathy and ignorance; and we have everything to gain, including our self-respect and the respect of generations to come.

I started my hobby of ‘getting an intellectual life’ 25 years ago. It started for me while reading a book about the Vietnam War and the conflict between families of North and South Vietnam. I could not comprehend how politics could cause family members to turn against one another over politics. I decided that if I were to read more about the American Civil War that I might better understand the matter.

Since that time I have read probably 20 books about the American Civil War. What I have concluded as a result of those 25 years is that a person must follow their curiosity wherever it leads. An important aspect of self-actualization through self-learning is that a person must want to understand whatever s/he is studying. This cannot work if it is like school studies that we do not want to do.

I might suggest that you start with history of some period about which you are interested.

Follow your interests; I think it is by following what pleases you that you will be reacting to what your talents and inner drive for meaning is to you.

This quotation of Carl Rogers might illuminate my meaning.

I want to talk about learning. But not the lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff that is crammed in to the mind of the poor helpless individual tied into his seat by ironclad bonds of conformity! I am talking about LEARNING - the insatiable curiosity that drives the adolescent boy to absorb everything he can see or hear or read about gasoline engines in order to improve the efficiency and speed of his 'cruiser'. I am talking about the student who says, "I am discovering, drawing in from the outside, and making that which is drawn in a real part of me." I am talking about any learning in which the experience of the learner progresses along this line: "No, no, that's not what I want"; "Wait! This is closer to what I am interested in, what I need"; "Ah, here it is! Now I'm grasping and comprehending what I need and what I want to know!"

Good luck!