Orion Digest №8 — Education; the Strategy of Change

‘Knowledge is power’ is an oft uttered phrase in our societal vernacular, something we’ve all heard at one point or another. But as overrated a statement as it might be, I feel that it is a message that can’t be understated — the more people know, the more powerful they become. The absence of knowledge is what holds many movements back, what turns people away from new ideas, and what often breeds hatred towards our neighbors.

As soon as we learned that the Earth was round, we set off on journeys to build new routes through the map, and discovered vast new lands, uncontacted by the rest of the world for millennia. As soon as we learned that the power of lightning could be harnessed, it took less than a century to develop a machine that could send words by wire, and a century after that, carriages moved without horses and lights came on without fire. The speculation about the nature of politics led to the world’s superpowers coming to life, based around the power of citizens fueled by new knowledge.

The greatest power on Earth is it’s people, but it takes the proper motivation, the understanding that they can make a difference in order to spur them to move. It is why we see so many trying to take advantage of the power of false education today, why we hear people talk about ‘fake news.’ People vying for power rely on a crowd to sweep them to the top, and to do that, they convince people using constructed and altered narratives, inciting the passions of the masses, and too often turning them against each other.

As such, though many people have found solutions and proposals for ways that we could at least lessen the problems in society, and work together to overcome our differences, many simply don’t enter the public eye. Those that hold power, and that are comfortable in a status quo they have created, don’t want to take risks that might cost them or jeopardize what they have built. The Cold War saw two world superpowers insisting that the other side was evil, portraying the opposing ideology as bringing ruin wherever it touched. And as a result, both sides firmly believed this black-and-white view of the ‘other side’ to be true.

Now, the concept of ‘fake news’ has become a dominating form of controversy in the first decades of the 21st century, as the use of misinformation for agendas has reached a peak. People are not sure who to trust anymore, and if any claim is true or false, given the fact that so much information is available to them with the advent of the Internet. Many cling to the education that they find appealing, and insist what they don’t agree with is wrong.

I will not decry the use of information used by leaders to guide people; after all, that’s what I seek to do, and having a goal when trying to inform people isn’t by nature a negative thing. Rather, encouraging a globalist and humanitarian viewpoint among the public is an admirable goal, and a way to help us work better for a better future. If people believe that we can find peace and learn more about the rest of the world, that belief will eventually become reality, as they act on that drive. Many believe that this way of life is all there is, and as such, they become the ones who create the system.

But belief becomes dangerous when coupled with misinformation and harmful agendas. Fascist movements will select a designated enemy for the troubles of the nation, a fact that is not true, but it taken to be such by the followers. Insistence that tried and tested medical practices can be harmful has caused outbreaks in the past, like the anti-vaccine movement and resulting epidemics. False information about statistics and biology of minority populations has been a common tool of discrimination in any form.

The causes that the Sword of Orion supports are those that lack the traction to make changes simply because the people are uninformed. Rampant nationalism throughout our history has made the idea of world federalism either unknown or something to be feared, despite the evidence that we need it now more than ever. People shrug off environmentalism despite it being a clear and present danger, as they do not understand and see the evidence that we need to act now to prevent problems that would otherwise destroy us later. The Western world has made socialism a taboo, and as a result, we have been ‘saved’ from workers having greater protection and jurisdiction in what they produce, and the elimination of poverty.

Thus, the strategy of change truly is education, for if the people understand the truth about these things, if they know the dangers we face and how we can stop them, people will act if they believe in the cause. Rhetoric beaten into the heads of citizens by the systems of oppression has either hidden or corrupted the perception of ideas that go against the status quo; they believe a world working as one, and the dismantling of privatization to be symbols of tyranny and destruction, while the world around them burns at the hands of those who taught them these lies. If people learn and understand these concepts, they may not all support them, but you will be able to root out people willing to stand up, never having known there was a cause. I know, for I was one such person, dissatisfied with the system, but unmotivated to act until I learned that I was not alone, and that the ideologies I was taught to be ruinous provided a better alternative.

It is not all a battle against societal norms; for many people, they simply aren’t aware of alternative forms of living, or the organizations that work to establish them. To accomplish anything, a movement must first be known, so it can find those to fill its ranks, to support and raise awareness for it. The most successful political parties are often those with the best advertising, getting their name out and into the minds of the masses. The Internet is full of people trying to gain attention and awareness, so it will require a deal of effort to bring attention and teach people, but where the Internet provides obstacles, it also provides an easy way to reach billions — you just have to use the right words and put them in the right place.