Ok, I spoke to a bunch of idiots at work over the past week, and I need to vent. So please, bear with me. I'll try to make it fast.
When I talk to people about our world, and particularly about how our society came into being, I am often struck dumb by two things. First, most people seem to be wholly unable to think clearly or critically about anything. They tend to make blanket statements that lack all meaning, they fail to make distinctions in order to properly examine an issue, and they often come up with spurious conclusions that have no support whatsoever, eg. "The Church could have ended knightly violence if they had tried"(um, they did try...very hard...for hundreds of years), or "A common language can unite people politically and socially just as well as a common religion or ethnicity"(never happened even once...ever).
The second thing I am disgusted by is the total ignorance of our past that most of our society seems to posses. They look at events occurring today, and lack all knowledge of how they came about. I see three major reasons for this ignorance. 1) The school system fails miserably at teaching any semblance of decent history. 2) Modern Western society is full of misconceptions and falsehoods about our past that the uneducated and the lazy tend to believe. 3) The fragmentary and disjointed nature of Western culture (eg. the cultural mishmash that is the internet) renders people incapable of linear, rational, critical thought, and thus incapable of comprehending the causality that has led to our society.
What can we do about this? Well, to start with, someone has to care enough to put both time and effort into changing things. The scholarly community needs to get its act together and change things, because the idiots have clearly taken over, and no good can possibly come of it.
Well, now that I'm calmer, and I'm done yelling at my keyboard, I can go to bed. Buonna Notte.