Riots, through the eyes of a Montessori educator
It seems as though the world has gone insane. And it has.
American cities are being burned down while the police are told to stand down. When citizens take measures to protect themselves against the rioters, they get in trouble, while the rioters are set free. Felons are let out of jail early because of the coronavirus in order to save their lives, and then some of those felons have gone on to take the lives of others. Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago, hires a police force to protect her but leaves the rest of the city under-protected. Voting by mail is advocated because of COVID, but it is just fine for hundreds of rioters to assemble close together as they cause mayhem in the streets. The Democrats say nothing about the devastation caused by the rioters, but when someone fights back, they roar with indignation. The world has pronounced Rittenhouse and Chauvin guilty before all the evidence is in and without a trial. Free speech is allowed for those on the left but not for those on the right. Tolerance, which is touted as a virtue of the left, goes right out the window when treating those on the right. A CNN reporter even called the riots in Kenosha "peaceful."
Persistent contradictions and illogicalities such as these do not bother the rioters and those on the left. Many don't even recognize inconsistencies because they actively evade contradictions. Some even think contradictions are normal. They do not operate the same way as rational people. They have narratives that they defend and manipulate their own "facts" to fit those narratives. Therefore, facts are twisted, ignored, and even made up with no compunction.
If you want to know the reason for this disrespect for facts, consider what is taught in most colleges, especially in philosophy classes. Students are told that there is no such thing as reality. They are told that if a tree falls in the forest and if no one is there to hear it fall, that it didn't fall. They are told that reality is different for everyone. They are told that no one can know reality for sure. Students are taught to disregard facts — even worse, that they don't exist.
Ideas matter. And false ideas that are accepted have negative results. If there is no such thing as reality, a violent riot can be called peaceful, and insults and smears can be called tolerance. S ince facts don't matter, why wait for all the evidence before pronouncing someone guilty? Why let due process take place? Why have any official discourse? Why not just destroy cities instead?
Those who think reality is unknowable live in a state of confusion. If a person does not operate by identifying the facts of reality, the only other way to function is with emotions and whims. As you watch the videos of the rioters threatening, pushing, yelling at citizens or police, laughing or clapping when a Trump-supporter or policeman is hurt, giving people the finger along with all their colorful language, notice their emotions. Take note of the look of hatred on their faces and ask yourself if these are people that know how to reason. Do you think they are capable of sitting down and having a civilized discussion determining facts and solutions?
There is a song that goes, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. That's the only thing that there's just too little of..." No, that is not what the world needs. The world needs reason, and reason has been rejected because reality has been rejected. Without objective reality, anyone's views are just as valid as anyone else's, anything goes, and the world collapses in chaos as we are witnessing today. As Ayn Rand pointed out, "when men abandon reason, physical force becomes their only means of dealing with one another and of settling disagreements."
Unless we want to continue down this path of devastation and ruin, we must not abandon reason. Instead, we need to fully embrace it — before it's too late.
Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator and authored Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child's Success and Happiness, Effective Discipline the Montessori Way, and Your Life Belongs to You. She has been involved in the study of Ayn Rand's philosophy since 1970.
Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of Pixabay and Needpix public domain images.