Why Literacy?Posted: September 3, 2011
I like Undergrounders. Here’s one of the finest, Richard Mitchell, The Underground Grammarian.
Literacy is not a handy knack. It is a moral condition. The ability to read attentively, reflectively, and judiciously is equally the ability to be attentive, reflective, and judicious. For the sake of just and sane living, literacy is not an optional adornment. It is a necessity. It is the necessity. It is not a variety or portion of education. It is education. It is the whole thing, the wholesome nourishment of the mind, by which it may grow strong enough to be the master of the will and not its slave, the judge of desire and not its procurer, the censor of sentiment and not its tool, and the inquisitor of belief, and not its flack. It is our only path to whatever wisdom we can have, which is our only path to whatever goodness we can know, which is our only path to whatever happiness we can enjoy.
Update: I tried to locate a link to the full text of this brilliant essay, Hunger in America, but was unable. This small bit I hand-typed off a leaflet he printed and mailed out to subscribers in the 90’s. I may just start posting some of his essays here. Before his death he gave blanket permission to reprint or even plagiarize.
Posted by Dave