By: Amy Lutz
James Madison once said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” In the words of the cliché, knowledge is power. Our Founders knew that a flourishing republic requires a well-educated citizenry. When people forsake the pursuit of knowledge, they surrender their power as well. Benjamin Franklin, never at a loss for words, made the point. “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.” Knowledge is essential to self-government. Ignorance results in external control. According to Thomas Jefferson, “A democracy cannot be both ignorant and free.” Knowledge allows us to maintain and make the most of our liberty, but when laziness and ignorance emerge, freedom is vulnerable to theft.
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