There’s a scene in Cabaret where the landlord is listening to the Nazi propaganda on the radio and one of the characters tries to show him that hatred of Jews is irrational. His response is that everyone knows that there is a conspiracy of Jewish bankers to take over all of Europe, and anyway, all the communists are Jewish. It does not matter to him that this is totally irrational since “everyone knows these things”. History has shown the consequences of this “everyone knows”.
Just about anytime “everyone knows” something it should be a danger signal to anyone who has any intelligence at all. At one time the “everyone knows” in this country was that black people were quite inferior and not capable of any intelligent action. This in spite of the many black artisans such as Cesar Chelor, the celebrated wooden plane maker of Wrentham, Massachusetts. He was freed on the death of his master in 1752. His master, Francis Nicholson said in his will ” . . .As to my Negro Man Cesar Chelor, considering his faithful Service, his tender Care & kind & Christian carriage, I do set him free to Act for himself in the world . . .” Chelor plane are highly prized collectables as they are some of the finest examples of Colonial wooden planes in existence. This in spite of people of great intellectual accomplishments such as Frederick Douglas. And in spite of the great scientific strides made by George Washington Carver. And a ton of others.
At one time “everyone knows” that women are intellectually substandard. Guess they never met anyone like my mother. Extraordinary woman. Or my wife. Plenty of gray cells, and knows how to use them.
At one time everyone knew that the earth was flat.
Just about any time an “everyone knows” is grasped by the majority of people who do not or cannot think for themselves the consequences are not good.
The current “everyone knows” is the global warming business. We see the Congress pass laws based on this “everyone knows” instead of rationally considered consequences. This is so ingrained in the minds of the average citizen that even if evidence shows up contrary to that “everyone knows”. There is the silly idea that the next ice age will be caused by global warming. And of course “everyone knows” that this is the fault of the people of the United States. I suppose that the last several ice ages were the fault of the mammoths on this continent, since there was no US to beat up on back then.
“Everyone knows” that the ice caps are disappearing. Except that they aren’t. Of course, the “everyone knows” crowd says that the fact that the ice caps are back up to size is also a result of global warming, which “everyone knows” is cause by the evil humans.
Nuts. Better check your “everyone knows” meter. It will surely be a disastrous set of consequences as much as any other “everyone knows” in history.