“THERE IS NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE!”
The Bible is not only, of course, the holy scripture of Christianity for Christians and the Old Testament for Jews, but it also contains a huge number of deep insights into human nature and the recurring themes of the strengths and weaknesses in our nature, as well as much history. The quotation in my title “there is none so blind as those who will not see” has its roots in the Bible, Book of Jeremiah, chapter 5, verse 21 “Hear now this, oh foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears and hear not.”
The actual formulation that I have used in the heading appears in Jonathan Swift’s “Polite Conversation”. It has the same common-sense connotations about the difficulties of getting people to do or think things that they stubbornly and wilfully refuse to do, as the old English proverb “you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”.
This article arises as a result of a conversation that I recently had with a teenager, who, like most teenagers in our country, has been subjected to a programme of politically correct “socialisation”, an important purpose of which is social engineering (Aka the National Curriculum!).
I always think it is worth bearing in mind when considering compulsory primary and secondary education that the first State to introduce it was the most militaristic of all historic European states, which was Prussia. The Prussian State introduced compulsory primary and secondary education for all boys to socialise them and to prepare them mentally and physically to become soldiers in the Prussian Army. In short compulsory education is much about a modern state’s socialisation agenda as it is at all about preparing children with the skills needed for work.
In England in many ways the education system has following the introduction of the “National Curriculum” become less effective in preparing children for work while it has become more effective at socialising children in the modern British States’ agenda of multi-culturalism and diversity.
Coming back to my conversation with the teenager, I had the temerity to ask about the background of somebody that the teenager was talking about and, in particular, what country his family had come from.
For all who have asked such a similar question, I am sure you can guess the kind of “stream of consciousness” response that I got!
But I persisted and pointed out that you cannot understand another human-being or sensibly begin to try to understand them unless you take into account politically incorrect questions about their culture, religion and hereditary. We are all, as human-beings, framed by these factors.
I would say to try to do so would be a bit like trying to sort out a dietary plan for someone without taking any account of the fact that the person in question is an orthodox Jew!
In fact, our individual character, particularly when young, operates mostly within these frameworks, rather than being something that is completely separate.
I later had another conversation with a teacher who was saying that what is taught in a multi-ethnic modern school in England is to ignore all such framework questions as culture and religion and hereditary and to be “free from all such prejudices”. My response was to point out that it is itself a sort of prejudice to wilfully close your eyes to the most important parts of any human-beings character. I went on that “political correctness” was not a “freedom” or something that frees people up from things, but on the contrary it is a programme for the encouragement of wilful blindness.
All of which brings me neatly back to my proverb “there are none so blind as those who will not see” which I note in Wiktionary is translated as “understanding cannot be forced on someone who chooses to be ignorant”.
How true, I would reply, especially when that choice is guided by “political correctness”. Also how contrary that type of thinking is to traditional English Further Education which tried to lead young people out of their framework thinking and to encourage them to have “open and enquiring minds”.
To an alarming extent that ideal has now been replaced with all the political correctness and safe spaces of the UK's multi-culturalist diversity agenda!