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  OG-1

  Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority?

  Every person has his or her own idea of ethics and morality, regardless of objective truth. Authority figures, whether teachers, heads of nations, or other positions of power, may not always be in line with that morality. In order to determine whether an authority figure is doing what is just, individuals must speak out when they perceive injustice. Oftentimes, that means questioning authority.

  Despotic novels often portray systems of national leadership in which questioning governmental authority is explicitly forbidden. George Orwell’s novel 1984 is such a story. The government is known collectively as "Big Brother," who is a symbolic entity continually watching over every citizen. The language, Newspeak, is constantly being updated to control people’s expression and thereby control their thoughts. Anyone caught even thinking something other than Big Brother would want them to think are arrested by the Thought Police. Under this regime, there are virtually no independent thinkers. Every piece of information given to the people comes through the government, which has the power to change facts and history with utter impunity. The main character, Winston, manages to catch on, but in the end, he is finally brainwashed by torture. In this society of obedient drones, truth is irrelevant because there are no lies.

  When a student goes through formal education, he must be on his guard when it comes to what he absorbs. In the midst of objective facts, all too often a teacher may attempt to indoctrinate him with the teacher’s own ideology. One need only look at the majority of United States universities. There are thousands of easily-accessed articles exposing documented incidences of teachers boldly instilling in their students the liberal ideology. Universities are cesspools of leftist professors who punish students who express differences of opinion. Yet without those few questioning students, the rest of the student body would be subjected to unadulterated liberal lectures, with nary an opposing view in earshot. In order to form proper opinions, students must be exposed to both sides of an issue, and both sides must be questioned so as to ascertain the truth of each.

  Leaders of other countries must also be questioned by nonresidents so as to discover precisely what is happening under their authority.

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