"Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities."
by:
Alan Bloom
(1930-1992)
Source:
The Closing of the American Mind, 1987
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Reader comments about this quote:
Deception and falsehood exist in the shadows of deceit.The Light of Truth vaporizes them.
 -- Kevin Shearer, Queensbury,NY.     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    No better argument for the complete exclusion of religious indoctrination by the radical religious right (of all religions) from our public school system.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Freedom can not exist without laws. By way of example: without the law of gravity there would be no life on planet earth and the point here would be moot; and, if we did not live a law of economics there would be chaos; and, if we didn't live the law of the harvest there would be no food. Etc. Etc. Etc. I believe the quote here deals with man's prejudice in eliminating sets or forms of thought from public (and/or otherwise) review that do not harmonize and/or support the current powers of government, or at least a subject authoritative body.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    or in Reston speak, no better argument for the complete exclusion of atheist indoctrination by the radical uninformed, uneducated and pridefully ignorant.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    oops, I hit the wrong button. Reston exemplifies this quote, he would have all information and thought removed that does not agree with his own
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike seems to have a point there, Reston, ol' buddy. The radical atheists are forcing their doctrines down our children's throats every day in the schools. And the history books certainly sometimes seem like fiction. I cannot remember once being told by a teacher that God created the universe, or that I should pray.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    Hey, Mike and David, those that do not want religious indoctrination in school are not necessarily atheists, so lighten up. I could no more be an atheist than be a religionist -- I believe in Truth whatever it may be, and it requires individual study and experiences. I think religions SHOULD be taught -- especially Buddhism and Taoism among others -- right along side of Science and Philosophy. Let's look at all the history and all the anthropology. We still have LOTS to learn.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, I do not believe in religious indoctrination in any sense of the concept (David was correct in is last comment) and I absolutely agree with all else you just said. I also don't believe in comparative religions; I believe that all religions should be taught as stand alone philosophy and/or science. All religions are nothing more than an explanation of human experiences. We can study each belief system and deduce what actions promulgate what results. We then can add to our system that which promotes that which we identify with most. No one religion has a monopoly on truth, love, etc. The founders knew Christianity best and saw through Biblical history what prospered and devastated the subject people. They then sought differing societies on how best to implement the truths the saw. Broadening the field of investigation could only be a good thing. Atheism on its face is only a belief in the non-existence of an ultra human experience. It is when that belief is acted upon that it becomes a religion. That religion, as legislated by the Supreme Court has to be exposed for what it is and how it stops the advancement of humanity.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    It is not that only atheists do not want religious indoctrination in schools; but those who force indoctrination of unproven scientific doctrine on students tend to reject God out of hand. It is an irony that they wish to impose a myth with which they have extremely limited personal experience, that is, scientific theory, in place of what is to them an absurd concept, that is, Creation, when no one is forcing them to believe in God. Their negative reaction to God has to do with their negative experiences with people, as though people were adequate representatives of God. The strangest part is that they believe in so many absurd things, while rejecting the most sublime thing, which they really never tried to appreciate or understand. It does not matter whether one is an atheist or just opposes God for the sake of opposition; the effect is often similar. The world is what it is because men reject God. And the Bible also says, if Archer will permit me to refer to it, that the devil believes in God, and trembles. I do not know with certainty whether freedom of the mind requires the absence of legal restraints. An interesting growth in opposition to tyranny is taking place in Cuba, more each year that passes, despite totalitarian restraints on information. Maybe freedom of the mind is inevitable, if slow to develop.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    I Believe the most successful tyranny is the one that removes awareness of other possibilities (it makes possible all other forms of tyranny). That is the primary reason for the dumming down by government seminaries (public schools), the frivolous bla-bla-bla by the government media's talking heads and the dole - set up to finance poverty. Terms and concepts such as religion have morphed so sufficiently that the national establishment of religion legislated by the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land, through ecumenical canons, is not recognized by subdued chattel - unaware of their awful plight. For a country that touts being the land of the free and home of the brave, so extremely few recognize that liberty means: The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) Liberty: exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men. (Blacks Law Dictionary 1st ed.) Liberty: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." (Thomas Jefferson) Liberty has been lost by a removal of awareness - having been replaced by a national establishment of religion, compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, and awareness removal of what rights are.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    "Judgement Day, Intelligent Design on Trial" is an interesting story of high school biology teachers suing the school board to keep religion out of the school biology textbook. Check it out on YouTube. I agree with the biology teachers.
     -- Jim K, Austin     
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    This was in Dover Pa.
     -- Jim K, Austin     
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    Liberty, you're on a roll!
     -- Robert Edwards, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Theskeia and Threskos religions. One superficial, the other pure. simplicity to understanding elements. Natural law is constant. Period ! When the cat gets out of the bag, is when people wake UP ! The Leopard and his mountain. The mystery of 3 and the multiple of 11. The Rock, ( natural law)exposes truth, and some wish to hide it. " The catalogue of events " as referenced by presidents, Very, shall we say, discretion. " More powerful than the atom. " Liberty.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Anonymous, Reston, VA US statement is a perfect example of what Alan was warning against.
     -- warren, olathe     
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