Unfortunately, he was not entirely right. Maybe at the time he wrote this, he hit his mark. Today? Well, things change, often for the worse.
The problem with ignorance today is that it not only hinders and confines knowledge, it obscures the truth. It spreads like hot tar, and darkens everything it touches. Or to paraphrase my husband, it spreads like a venereal disease. (If you've been to Cobwebs of the Mind, no Teddy is not my husband. He just liked the phrase and used it because it fits so perfectly.)
Just a few instances where ignorance has spread:
- librarians are now talking about banning that awful middle-grade novel... you know the one that mentions a "scrotum". Apparently knowing the proper term for a body part is wicked.
- people still think the use of a swastika or something closely resembling a swastika is cool (or rad or whatever), and other people think that's just hunky-dory because it's only a symbol. Umm... Yeah. Sure it was only a harmless symbol once upon a time, but that time has long passed. It means something really really REALLY nasty now. Stop using it.
- DDT is still banned because of one stupid book. See here. Millions have died of malaria/west nile/etc. because some wacko-chick decided decades ago to fudge her data. (Ignorance really had a field day because of this, and it spread like wildfire across not only this nation but most of the world.)
See? Ignorance is being used to obscure the truth. Now, I don't have a problem with ignorance in general. Not everyone can know everything all the time. If we did, we'd all be friggin' geniuses. But when ignorance passes itself off as knowledge, then it stops people from actually seeking out the real knowledge. You have a question, you get the answer, and you stop looking asking the question. Right?
And the darkness of stupidity reigns.
(Anybody seen Diogenes lately? I could use his lantern.)