Illiteracy leads to censorship

Illiteracy leads to censorship

by Jon Rappoport

March 7, 2018

“…intellectual freedom is a deep-rooted tradition without which our characteristic western culture could only doubtfully exist. From that tradition many of our intellectuals are visibly turning away. They have accepted the principle that a book should be published or suppressed, praised or damned, not on its merits but according to political expediency. And others who do not actually hold this view assent to it from sheer cowardice.” (George Orwell, 1953)

When those who control public discourse, in a nation, see that they are losing to upstarts, that their flimsy ideas are being supplanted by much stronger ideas from these newcomers (who are actually traditionalists), the shocked controllers turn to the more direct strategy of censorship.

In terms of substance, and even popularity, the ministers of truth are losing; so they abandon reasoned discourse altogether. They desert this fertile, competitive, and NECESSARY territory. They no longer debate. They ban.

Among their supporters are crowds of illiterates.

There are many people who, because their education was a vaporous thing, have no interest in the written or spoken word.

The reason is obvious: they can’t read.

Their natural impulse is to make excuses. “Who needs books?” “People who write books are showing their privilege.”

For these excuse-makers, book burning would mean NOTHING. All that matters is: what slogans should I shout?

For the illiterate, a book is a mystery. How could anyone put all the words together and write one? Somehow, the author must have a secret method of downloading the book from an elite source, a cloud, a machine, a trick in their DNA.

A book, a report, an article, a study, an essay—millions of people in “advanced societies” don’t have a clue. When censorship tightens, who cares? It’s just words.


Long ago, when I taught school, I had an experience I wish many people could share. Twenty children in a 10th-grade classroom. No student was reading up to that grade level. Each student was reading at a DIFFERENT (sub-standard) level. Time to teach reading. How could it be done? It couldn’t.

Elite societal players welcome illiteracy. They love it. It’s one of their cherished goals. Ignorance is good. More than that, illiterate people are easy to convince that repressive censorship isn’t a problem. It’s just something that “happens.”

If you don’t have “the right ideas,” you should be censored.


Words are useless “things” like tacks and marbles and crayons and paper clips. Who cares?

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.” (George Orwell, “1984”)

At its root, illiteracy becomes a form of reductionism. What can be comprehended, discussed, debated, or reasoned shrinks.


Illiteracy is more effective than political correctness. Untold numbers of people can’t understand the sentences that are floating and flying by them every day. They register this by building up anger. Unfocused anger. They are perfect fodder for know-nothing social and political movements that requite violence and repression. After all, they were repressed, weren’t they? Weren’t they left hanging out in the wind by their education, their schooling? Now is the time for revenge.

Along the way, censorship becomes a very good thing. They were limited in what they learned; therefore, limit everyone else. Why not?


There is a sub-text percolating in many, many schools: “All right, you students, this is your education. We’re going to keep you from learning the language. We’re going to hold it back from you. At the same time, we’re going to praise you and push you ahead from grade to grade. You’ll know something is wrong. But you’ll accept what we do to you. It’s easier. You’ll take a ride through school, and then we’ll dump you out into the world. We’re making rebels wholesale. Ignorant rebels. Rebels without the tools for THINKING. You’ll have to find a place where thinking isn’t important. Good luck. Here’s a suggestion. Find a group where all you have to do is yell and throw rocks. Learn what to yell. Demand your right to get EVERYTHING FOR NOTHING. That is all.”

Do you want a piece of interesting news? I can offer it, based on my experience of the past 17 years writing online. The declining system of education creates a vacuum. And into that vacuum, writers who do value language step forward, and they do present actual ideas. This is a large vacuum, so it can accommodate many writers.

They are creating new realities.

And readers show up.

Miracle of miracles.

These writers and readers are the “replacement team.” They are standing in for the colleges and universities and the sloganeers.

They are not censoring themselves or anyone else.

They are proliferating language, not reducing it.

Here is the secret: the history of humans reveals that language does, in fact, expand. It doesn’t lie down and die. It doesn’t wait for know-nothings to catch up. It doesn’t wait for anyone. Poets and novelists and playwrights and essayists find and invent new branches of word and thought.

Their present is the future. They are making the future every day.

And as far as pure ideas go, no matter how hard some people have tried, Jefferson and Madison and Tom Paine and John Adams are not dead yet. Their shaped principles embedded in sentences live on.

If at some point, the entire population of the planet were illiterate, except for four writers, those four would invent a new ocean that can’t be contained—and somehow, readers would show up.

Perhaps you think I’m describing a kind of magic, and maybe I am, but I’m also giving you ironclad fact. It has always been so.

The Internet may have been invented with machine language, but the writers who have appeared on it are multiplying their own language.

They are outdistancing the machine.

They always will.

Exit From the Matrix

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

25 comments on “Illiteracy leads to censorship

  1. georgeallen2007 says:

    In a word–thanks!

  2. paschnn1 says:

    I have a younger brother whom could be the poster child for this article. In spite of the preponderance of objective information, he thinks FDR was a hero and it was absolutely necessary for Sewer Nation to vaporize Hiroshima/Nagasaki with nuclear bombs.
    Now I have to watch him pass his “confusion” on to my young nephew – to keep the peace. GRR.

  3. truth1 says:

    A really good article. I had not considered it quite from this viewpoint of illiteracy and its dangers. I knew the population was dumb. but you got into the inner workings of their minds and this I had not given much thought. But now that you did, I do have an addition to it.

    Much is beyond their grasp and they do not know what is being thrown away. But I do believe they know or sense that we do have brains and that they are stupid and that it is not good. Hence, they hold quite a bit if jealousy toward anyone they suspect has more good sense than they do. And they will resent it.Its like looking at someone driving a nice expensive car or living in a nice house with a pool in the back yard.

    the dumb react. Hey, I want that, too and I should have that. That SOB does not deserve that. You know, I had an interesting experience in the early 90s. I had gotten a tennis ball machine and small generator to run it. Most players do not like to practice or experiment, but ball machines will do whatever you want. They are helpful in many ways.

    but as for my car, it was an 83 chevy Caprice with an 85 Camaro engine from the previous owner.It looked like hell when I bought it but when i was done with it, the work crew at the warehouse I worked at were baffled. They said: It looks brand new! Yes, it did. but it an 83 car in 1990. Now 7 years old. I’d go to the courts with my machine in off times and yet the few who might be there were seething with jealously. they resented the hell out of me. Mind you, they drive better cars, had far better jobs and dressed better, but they still hated it, then ya had the burnouts, rednecks and yahoos who hated everyone and everything and they would shout out nasty stuff driving by. In all times and courts, my machine inspired unimaginable heights of jealousy, True, no one else bothered or has one and that was some of it.I stood out. But it was more than that. I had something that they did not.

    They had far more but not what I had too. This is what stupid people resent. Some have brains and the do not and they are not going anywhere. but they not willing to accept it is their failure or shortcoming. Nor do they want to become smart, they just want to destroy what you got as a result of brains. This grows until you have city riots and burning like when Rodney king was screwed over by the courts. “We guts nothing and we do not want anyone else to have anything either, so we are burning it all!”

    Jealousy and envy might be the 2 worst traits of human beings. Eventually, it destroys a society of great contrasts in living and lifestyles. That is why too much contrast in wealth is also a great danger. It breeds jealousy.

    when we were all on farms in the early settling of this nation, every one was pretty much in the same boat, and that was a good thing. It was a great thing. Mass industrial production led to mass profits and mass differences in the have’s and have-not’s. I note Caesar Augustus of Rome. He lived in the most modest home of any or Rome’s elite. He thought that wisest. He was a most enlightened Emperor Rome ever had and stood out in a line emperors who bathed in luxury and status. If only we could learn from Augustus.

    • SamAdamsGhost says:

      Jon has said that education in the US took a major downturn around 1960. (Though it has been under attack now for over a century.) We’ve all seen tests taken from children of elementary school age from the 1800s and even as late as the 1950s. Most college graduates today could not pass those tests. – Read a novel that was very popular in America from the 1700s or 1800s. The sophistication of the language read by everyday , mostly self taught Americans will astound you.

      This was not an accident, folks. The intellect & reasoning ability of Americans have been under assault by those who would turn us into neo-feudal debt & wage serfs.

      If we don’t actively participate in our children’s education, the ‘schools’ will further ruin them. The front line for America was in the school rooms and in the living rooms (where we watched mindless garbage on t.v.) – and most of us didn’t even know it.

  4. Great article. I pray you are correct.

  5. johnbarleycorn12 says:

    Outstanding article today. One of your best yet.

  6. Bobo Smithson says:

    This is top notch, Jon. Keep at it. I think one of the main reasons that children who are raised in parent-led home-based education do so well in reading, thinking, and other things (compared to those raised in civil government schools) is that they read much and read widely.

  7. Terry Schiller says:

    I taught elementary school for many years. As a single parent, I didn’t have the luxury of home schooling my child. Also, unfortunately, I needed daily time out from being a mommy.

    Regarding cooperative “learning”, I observed two types of students – the DO NOTHING kids and the DO EVERYTHING kids. the DO NOTHINGS earned the same grades as the DO EVERYTHINGS who constantly complained about the unfairness of this system. Cooperative grouping in school just doesn’t work.

    • SamAdamsGhost says:

      Check out ‘The Underground History of American Education’ by John Taylor Gatto (former NY state & NYC Teacher of the Year). The book outlines why and how education has purposely been degraded in America for more than a century. I have recommended the book to numerous teachers & even gave print copies to a few of them. Unfortunately, most of them would not read it.

      “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.’ – Upton Sinclair

      • Terry Schiller says:

        Thanks SamAdamsGhost. There is one copy of this book in the public library. The book has 3 holds, but I’ll wait it out.

        • SamAdamsGhost says:

          Hi Terry – that’s wonderful news that there’s such interest in the book. It’ll be worth waiting for.
          There are websites where you can read the book for free on your computer. Unfortunately, (at least for me), sometimes those are difficult to read due to page formatting.
          John Taylor Gatto did numerous interviews on education over the years. You’ll be able to find the videos and audio recordings on the internet.
          All the best, – ‘Sam’

          • SamAdamsGhost says:

            Terry – I think you’ll find this very interesting !


          • SamAdamsGhost says:

            Please note that Mr Gatto had experienced some health issues shortly before giving the above series of interviews. Gatto & the video producer wanted to record this before advancing age & health problems made that impossible.

  8. judgingjudi says:

    I believe you are absolutely correct!

  9. Terry Schiller says:

    My first and most memorable encounter with censorship took place in none other than my grade school library. When the “authorities” discovered that nine year old me was reading books by Zane Grey, suddenly all books written by him disappeared from the shelves.

  10. Reblogging this to my sister site Success Inspirers World

  11. From Quebec says:

    You want to see Illiteracy in action? Just watch this 5 minutes video with Mark Dice:

    Americans Don’t Know WHY We Celebrate the 4th of July or WHAT COUNTRY We Declared Independence From!

  12. Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:

  13. henry says:

    A woman with a Ph.D. told me a few years back that the common people don’t need to be educated on economics or history because they don’t need to know this kind of information to live their lives. When I replied that the economic situation that we find ourself in today is because the common people have no comprehension of these subjects, she looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. How is it that people smart enough to get a Ph.D. are not smart enough to see simple truths?

  14. BRF says:

    There was a video commentary by a blogger a few days past on the subject that something has changed in the sub culture that society is built on. My reply was the growing inability of people to communicate effectively, in an interesting manner with words and ideas coming from their own intellect. In a word illiteracy. So well said Jon Rappoport.

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