Sunday, January 4, 2009

Egypt Too?

In my tour of commentary about other countries and worries about a lack of political knowledge, I can now add Egypt to the list. Says one commentator about leaders in that country:

On the other hand, they have no trust in the masses of the Egyptian society who have been so successfully drained of political knowledge. Politics is forbidden from entry into universities, and if allowed to enter, it is limited to the politics of hearing not listening, to the politics of talking rather than taking actions.

No real parallel to the U.S. given the religious and cultural differences -- and I know little about Egyptian politics -- yet we see the same concern again and again, about a dwindling of what people know about public affairs and politics. Coincidence? Typical grumbling, especially about younger adults? Or are we seeing a worldwide trend? That's a big question, one worthy of study, but I'm not sure exactly how you'd get at it, at least with a small research budget. We'll have to rely on big institutional data centers to spend the cash to collect these kind of data, and then the rest of us can feed off them and make sense of the world.

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