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The Human Cost of An Illiterate Society - Essay Example

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The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society There are a number of implications of high illiteracy levels in the society, especially whenever making political decisions. What are the implications of high illiteracy levels among the people while making political decisions?…
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Download file to see previous pages This essay discusses the various implications of high illiteracy levels among the people when making political decisions. Subsequently, it argues on the reasons why democracy is a mendacious term, with relation to the author’s arguments. Additionally, it will focus on the reasons why illiteracy negatively affects the equality in the political construction of the United States. The author believes that "democracy is a mendacious term" due to a number of reasons. In his argument, he points out that democracy is a meticulous term, “when used by those who are prepared to countenance the forced exclusion of one-third of our electorate” (115). By denying 60 million people, the participation in the elections of the country, then democracy is a lie. Kozol argues that “so long as 60 million people are denied significant participation, the government is neither of, nor for, nor by the people” (115).Some of the politicians, such as Ronald, by colluding with other individuals with power, blocked close to 16 million people from taking part in the 1980 elections of the United States. This makes democracy less favorable, and does not consider the illiterate people. Instead, it favors those people who can read or write, and thus make individual decisions regarding the leaders they want in power. The greatest loss that the United States suffered then, argues the author, was the inability of a third of the electorates in the United States to vote (115). By blocking them, then they could not express their democratic right to vote for their preferred leaders. Subsequently, the inability of this group to cast their votes culminated to Rogers being in office. Kozol (114) argues that illiterate people “seldom vote.” According to Kozol (115), “those who do vote are forced to cast a vote of questionable worth.” Whenever a person cannot read or write, they face only two options, they either do not vote, or have to vote in a particular line of thought. People who cannot read or write face a huge challenge; they cannot make any informed decisions, and in case they have to make it, they have to rely on the decisions of other people in order to make a decision. Further, Kozol points out that the illiterate people “cannot make informed decisions based on serious print information” (115). As such, illiterate people have no ability to make a decision on political matters. People take advantage of this group of people in order to win political decisions. Thus, the influence of the electorate in making their individual decision is yet another reason why he believes democracy to be meticulous term. While they rely on the literate people to interpret printed information, these people could take advantage of the illiterate people, thus giving them the wrong ideas about the political candidates taking part in the elections. Illiteracy poses a threat to the political equity of the United States citizens. In order for people to vote, they require important information, which would help them make informed decisions on the right leaders for their government. Kozol asserts, “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy or perhaps both” (114). This shows the seriousness of the situation facing illiterate people. However, the best way in which these people can make decisions is only by alerting them via aggressive voter education. These people in most cases do not make decisions based ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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