When the Belgians began their reign of oppressive terror in Central Africa one of the things they did was codify local languages, rather than teaching their subjects French. This was advantageous for the vicious Belgian Imperialists bastards in three ways: 1: it allowed the violent Sprouts to appear as if they were supporting local culture when they were actually torturing and maiming the locals who defied them, 2: it divided the local tribes linguistically when before the invasion by the murderous Netherlanders the local tribes could understand each other, and 3: the Communist Manifesto and all other critiques of physical, psychological, and economic crimes committed by the entire colonial horrorshow had been published in French.
The Belgians did not want their Central African victims reading Marx.
We wonder - how did American illiteracy happen? How did we end up with two of the last three presidents being the kind of people who are not really literate? The kind of people who don’t see the benefit of something as fundamental to modern society, to democracy, as reading? The devaluation of education over the last four decades is how, the defunding of education is how, the privatization of learning is how, the dwindling of the attention span, the four-line punditry.
Now, to be fair, more Americans are reading nowadays - Facebook. They are reading, just not very much, or much with a historical arc or dramatic structure. They are reading declarations of activities, not philosophy, science, technology. They are reading at the grade level needed to do most service jobs without having the ability to read and comprehend the political philosophy that would help understand their situation, and perhaps rebel against those who benefit from the economic and intellectual inequalities.
If we want Americans to be able to read and comprehend more of the Constitution than one part of one sentence the Second Amendment we need to commit to valuing education, teachers, and students.