A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support. -Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
It is the government with something to hide, or thinks itself justified in so doing, that we must fear most.
“There are two distinct species of popularity; the one excited by merit, the other by resentment.”
Too often it seems as if our political leaders and those seeking power pander toward the worst in people – intolerance and resentment, fear and prejudice. Achieving popularity by inciting the darker passions in people may win elections, but it does not constitute merit.
“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” -Thomas Paine
The justification to use what has heretofore been known as torture, in the name of the very same principles that prohibit such action as immoral, illegal, and inhumane, is to justify the nullification of those very same principles.
It cannot be explained away as a necessary evil. It is merely evil creeping into soul of a nation.
“Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is impossible to re-establish it. It is not originally a thing of itself, but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant.” -Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
To be ignorant is not bliss, to remain ignorant is not virtue. To be kept ignorant is cruel.