Diet Pushing, Politics and Pigs

Warning: This post contains images and commentary potentially unsavory or offensive to vegetarians and vegans.

My most used cookbook has a provocative title–Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon.

I am not a diet pusher; I am a critic of diet pushing.  I’ve long had an interest in diet and nutrition and like most Americans, by the age of 30 I’d heard it all said by the slogans of the diet dictocrats.  Eat beef.  Don’t eat beef.  Eat eggs.  Don’t eat eggs.  Drink milk.  Don’t drink milk.  Watch your calories.  No, watch your fats.  Watch your sugar.  No, watch your salt. No, make that sugar and salt.  Caffeine causes cancer.  Caffeine doesn’t cause cancer.  Wine is good, or bad.  Grains are good, or bad.  I could go on for pages here, but I know you know what I’m talking about.  Nutrition science is right up there with environmental science as being ever-changing and ever-controversial.

Currently the diet pushers are promoting vegetarianism and veganism.  I say currently, though it goes back many decades, because it seems to be hitting a crescendo lately.  As a case in point, a sociology professor demonstrates just how political diet can be, arguing in a recent article that eating meat perpetuates ‘hegemonic masculinity’ and ‘gender hegemony’.

“To study the link between masculinity and meat, DeLessio-Parson interviewed 23 vegetarians who live in Argentina to probe how they deal with their country’s “meat-centric” culture, finding that being vegetarian itself is a political act.”

“Refusing meat therefore presents opportunities, in each social interaction, for the [gender] binary to be called into question.”

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10221

My immediate thought, after laughing out loud, was: “So if meat represents ‘hegemonic masculinity’ does dairy represent ‘hegemonic femininity’?”

cheese
I love cheese!

But jokes aside, what I find most interesting about the vegetarian/vegan phenomenon is that it has so deeply penetrated a few sectors of society where it seems to me to be terribly misplaced: libertarianism, anarchism, paganism, and even among homesteading/sustainability advocates.

I have no criticism to direct at these groups and individuals making their choices to enjoy whatever diet and lifestyle they wish.  Many vegetarians and vegans choose this diet for valid ethical and health reasons and I applaud this conscious choice on their parts.

My issue is when, and why, and how, diet becomes a tool of politics.  And especially, when those politics are propagandizing and peddling false information.

There are many others out there with this same concern besides Sally Fallon.  Some other powerful players have also spent considerable time and research adding to the conversation, like Michael Pollan, Wenonah Hauter, Marion Nestle, Nina Teicholz, Joel Salatin, among many more.

The only thing I can add to the wealth of knowledge already out there is my personal experience and opinion living now very close to the land and our own food sources for many years: Veganism is antithetical to sustainable agriculture, permaculture, homesteading, and any other system or worldview where decentralization is a valued goal.

Here is why, in words and pictures.

bigchops
From squeal to plate

Growing grains and legumes requires vast expanses of managed land that is kept free from predators and pests.  Our fruits and vegetables require keeping out the vast and varied competition from deer, rabbits, squirrels, feral hogs, birds, rodents and insects of all sorts.  Eating vegetables and grains does not equate to NOT killing animals.  You’re simply killing/trapping/disrupting other wild creatures other than the omnivores do.

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Rape-seed (canola) fields, Moravia 1994

If it is not local, it is not sustainable.  Pineapples from Hawaii, kiwis from Australia, grapes from Chile, grains from India–these are all great luxuries and it’s a treat to be able to enjoy them thanks to modern technology and transport.  But anarchists and voluntaryists, pagans, homesteaders and all those who understand and recoil at the undue influence of Government power in our daily lives surely understand that without local control of sustainable food production the community, family and individual are forever at the mercy of a centralized system.

If it’s not local, if it’s not sustainable, it should be understood as the icing, not the cake.  Leave the icing to Big Brother if you must, but certainly let’s get his hands out of the cake!

kennpig
Real men have real skills.

These skillsets have been lost and need to be reclaimed–it’s how we all got here, after all.  Proper handling of a gun, knife, heavy carcass is skilled labor and if it’s men who are more capable and interested in handling these chores, praise be to the heavens, I say.  This doesn’t mean every man must want to do these things, but it certainly means we should not be discouraging them with nonsense about meat as synonymous to a brutal patriarchy.

Vegetables, grains, fruits, most things that grow need good soil.  Good soil is created with compost, manure and other fertilizing elements which, in the amount required for the large tracts of land required to produce grains efficiently, and in the absence of farm animals’ excrement, must be purchased, most likely from large corporations.

Cui bono, or, for whose benefit?

In the case of a truly sustainable setting there are many benefactors to a family’s pig slaughter: the dogs, the poultry, the vultures, the insects and the soil.  Not to mention the human guests, of course.

pigontractor

In the case of a vegan diet?  Big Ag benefits most of all.  I know many vegans are well-meaning and will bristle at that comment, but this is just the plain truth.  No small local farmer can compete with grain and vegetable prices of big ag.  While it’s true they can’t compete with the meat prices either, in our case currently, and in most places without an ideal growing climate, pound per pound, meat is cheaper and easier to produce than vegetables or grains.

With the on-going geoengineering assault on the weather, I expect this will become more true in the immediate future.  Even worse, I expect in less than a decade we will all be forced to grow vegetables indoors as the weather will become too unpredictable for even hobby and homestead gardeners to have reliable produce.

decrosentori
Roses blooming in December, and snow in south Texas = weather whiplash (geoengineeringwatch.org)

Not only do we get to enjoy the ribs, and the hams, and the bacon, oh my, but also the lard, the cracklins (aka chicharones or pork rinds), and the happy dogs when they get pork instead of poultry for a change.

cracklin
Homemade chicarones taste way better than store bought.
on walk
Advice on last week’s evening news: Feed your dogs raw carrots for treats because bones, skin and fat are bad for them.  Someone should really inform dogs of this preference, I don’t think they know it yet.

Want to challenge the diet dictocrats? Want the politics off your plate?  Don’t go vegan, go hyper-local!

Here’s a good place to start:

https://www.westonaprice.org/

Best business idea I’ve seen all year, most impressive!

 

 

 

 

 

Reclaiming Time: Part IV, Finale

There is no greater luxury than time. When we give our time we are giving our energy, our single most precious resource as individuals. I wish I’d understood that better far sooner in life.

I can’t turn back the clock to make up for that, but I can make certain to never sell my time so cheaply again. I see now how I, and a good many more, confused the game with reality. It would also seem, in terms of numbers and the obvious direction culture is heading, that this confusion is getting far worse.

I grew up in a fantasy-based reality, where, as I said in part 1, the artificial, man-made construct of time had long since replaced not only my own internal clock, but the clock of nature as well. I spent an enormous amount of time at school, much of that which I now consider wasted. I spent a good deal of my youth watching television and reading fiction. I spent a fair amount of time in young adulthood experimenting with altered states of consciousness, exploring a bit of the world and a bit of my own mind.  That was actually loads of fun, which I cannot regret anymore than I could have continued.

Now in middle age I have a new goal and agenda centered on my own re-education. This to me is reclaiming time and I do it not out of loneliness or boredom, nor to indoctrinate others, nor in the aim of becoming an authority figure, nor even to make money—all of which I have been repeatedly accused and none of which mean anything to me in these pursuits. I do it because it needs to be done, according to the small, still voice of Self.

luckyday

That I should have the occasion now to do this necessary work fills me with gratitude and even awe. As an unexpected rainbow might stop one in her tracks, or make her hurry back for the camera, I gaze with gratitude at the long empty hours in front of me each morning, ready and waiting to be filled with my heart’s greatest longings: extended walks in the woods with the dogs; spoiling the puppies as much as I dare; answering the phone, or not answering it; writing a blog post, or not; puttering in the garden; cooking something delicious, even if just for me and the critters. 

suppertime

Beyond nature as my companion, I also have many other teachers, ironically the majority of them brought to me by another fantasy-based reality: cyberspace.

From the viewpoint of some friends still enthralled with the fantasy-based reality matrix in which they reside, they find this disturbing. You will be alone on Thanksgiving? And Christmas? And you welcome this? Some even try to label this ‘depression’ or a ‘crisis’ of mid-life. What about family, friends, shopping?! I try to assure them: “No, really, I care not a hoot for the Black Friday specials, or Christmas gifts.” And as for friends and family, they know exactly where to find me.

entergarden

This Thanksgiving I wish to express my deepest gratitude to he who is making this luxury of time possible, that is Hubby, whose absence and employment are both a gift and a curse. Not a day goes by where I do not marvel at the journey we’ve made together and where it has brought us. I could’ve never predicted it nor imagine how suited to me it could become.

cheeseYT
Me, a cheese-maker? Didn’t see that comin’!

I also want to show my very sincere gratitude to those out in the cyber-world making my re-education easier, more accessible, more entertaining and thought-provoking than it otherwise could have been. These individuals have gone to such incredible lengths to offer their great contributions to knowledge and humanity, not only against the current paradigm, but as serious matters of conscience, and using the most innovative gifts of modern technology available to them. For this modeling I am unreservedly impressed and inspired.

Dane Wigington at Geoengineering Watch: a powerful and tireless voice against geoengineering and for a more responsible relationship by humans with our environment. I would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent and honorable advocate for nature and sanity.

Alex Tsakaris at Skeptico, where have you been all my life?! I just found his site last month. And after the very long series of posts where I was attempting to better understand the nature and frauds of science, I now finally have a solid guide through the territory that most inspires me, expressed in his tagline: “intelligent discussion on science and spirituality.” I’m now a happy member on his forum site after only one previous miserably failed attempt in the world of forums.

Still a favorite after all these years, thank you James! A gifted writer who uses his many talents in devotion to truth–my favorite shows being those in which he demonstrate his extraordinary wit and creativity.

https://www.corbettreport.com/5-unbelievably-stupid-ideas-governments-actually-tried/

https://www.corbettreport.com/solutions-laughing-at-tyrants-video/

https://www.corbettreport.com/shut-up-conspiracy-theorist/

I have recently praised the work of Michael Tsarion and David Whitehead at Unslaved.com, but I would be remiss not to mention them again now. Tsarion gets a baffling amount of criticism, but I’ve found his work, especially on the Tarot, to be invaluable. Now that he has teamed with Whitehead he is grounding into the topics I find most necessary today–personally, politically, intellectually, spiritually, physically. There is an uncanny synthesis in their shows together, maybe based in the inter-generational aspect of it, and that they so often draw from history yet underscore its continued relevance, but definitely in the shared vision that what’s required to move forward and make a better world has been right under our noses and at our fingertips all along. I have learned an enormous amount from them about the nature of evil and the capacities required to usurp it. Thank you, gentlemen, oh how the world needs you now!

Another one I must thank is Crrow777. While definitely not for the faint of heart, they are very much on the cutting edge and I can’t help but to respect that. They are now battling censorship and taking it on like true spiritual warriors. For those ready for a heavy dose of deconstruction, take a deep dive into their waters!

Jon Rappaport (nomorefakenews) I re-blog fairly regularly as he has my great respect as another man of honor with an inspiring dedication to, and passion for, truth. A veteran journalist, one could spend considerable time learning from his vast expanse of past and present work.

Finally, I want to take a deep bow to the greatest teacher by far that I’ve ever known, and will ever know, and which has taken me far too long to find: Nature.

zinnia.blackswallowtail

It is in you my reality is centered and my energy devoted for the rest of my luxurious, reclaimed time in your exquisite home.

 

Reclaiming Time (part 3)

On becoming my own Authority

I have been fortunate enough to be able to fashion a life that affords me more freedom than the vast majority of the world’s population. While there was a fair degree of luck in this good fortune, there was also a fair degree of sacrifice, and I believe, a dash of ancestral wisdom.

Could it be because my Sir name is Shepard that I now find myself so comforted sitting among the pups and sheep? I’m not saying one has a destiny that could be decoded so simply as through a name, though I do think the clues to our destiny, individually and collectively, are all around us in every moment.

What it takes to see the clues is the very thing The System works to deny us: Unstructured time.  The System calls this loafing.

DSCN0984 (2)

Time to absorb, to reflect, to introspect, to daydream. Time to watch the sheep and the pups.

This is different from what The System does provide in order to replace unstructured time, which is Entertainment.  Which, by its nature, is extremely well-structured.

I find the path the thoughts take in unstructured time is intrinsically connected to creativity, which is a joy in its own right and not necessarily a precursor to productivity.

Where my thoughts go, I imagine, are at once beyond time and space and amalgamation of time and space, co-creating the pathways to the Self.

In the Western world today there is loads of criticism directed at the narcissism of the youth. I believe this is primarily a grammatical and perception issue. Just because the younger generation prefers Selfies and the Internet more than old Westerns and glib conversation does not necessarily make them more narcissistic than previous generations.

I think they are searching for paths to Self that are becoming increasingly more difficult to sense as the social structure becomes increasingly hostile to individuality.

Or, maybe the social structures have always been hostile to individuation, and the youth, generation by generation, continue to claw away at that putrefying foundation.

Maybe, on the inside, with every social Selfie they scream, “I will be seen! My presence here will be recorded in time! I will matter!”  They just can’t figure out how and why they will matter, because we lost that thread several generations ago.

Could it be they sense that time for them is running out? Could it be an act of desperation to record every moment and connect it somehow with the world at large? Could it be that we, of the older generations, in our criticism of their narcissism is a reflection of our own narcissism? Is it our own non-acceptance of a role that told us when we were children that which I heard so often in my own upbringing: “Children are to be seen and not heard.” Are we subtly sensoring them due to our own unprocessed fear?  Are we repeating to them with our criticism, ‘don’t be the tall nail or you’ll get hammered down’? Or my personal favorite: “Don’t be so entitled.”

Who are the black sheep of today’s youth I wonder sometimes as I’m watching the sheep. Maybe that’s where our criticism should be directed. Where have they gone? Have we been so successful as a ‘civilization’ that we have managed to breed out the black sheep?

On becoming my own Authority I’ve realized I have an amazing gift of finding my own teachers when I’m left with my own instincts and unstructured time. This is often thanks to technology, but not always. There is so much knowledge being shared on Youtube that our television hangs nearly useless in the living room most days. I’d bet The System calls most of these at least arrogant, if not narcissistic. How dare they skirt the established hierarchy and create their own channels. How dare they question their social roles, or entice, indeed, provoke me to question mine.  The System calls them just another nutter with a podcast.  A so-called lone wolf or black sheep.

Here is one such ‘teacher of the week’ for me. I hope his narcissism peaks for many videos to come, because he’s got great gifts to share, just as we all do.

Michael Black was introduced to me by two other powerful teachers at Unslaved.com: Michael Tsarion and David Whitehead

https://unslaved.com/episode-47-give-us-solutions-feat-michael-black/

Below in the video The Endgame for the United States, Mr. Black talks about the inevitable MEGACITY of the near future and its myriad challenges according to the Pentagon.

He delves more into that pesky Progress and what it’s doing to the individual and the world. He advises one thing here I am inclined to advise against, which is, leave here if you can.

Defeatism, I suggest, Mr. Black. Don’t undermine us, we just may have the ancestral wisdom and courage to stand and fight. If only we could get the youth to see there’s something here still worth fighting for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV45sOakhsI

Reclaiming Time (part 2)

pose.cz.square
Me 3rd from left with friends in front of the Prague Astronomical Orloy, 1995

I lived for decades at the command of Time, Inc. That’s how I understand it after nearly a decade now adjusting to the rhythm of nature. Before that I’d lived like most others in the post-industrial world with a calendar that was invented not by nature but by men. As a young student bells sent me scurrying from one room to another along with the rest of my peers.

I didn’t like it even then, didn’t understand it, though I was always curious and loved learning.  But as I had known nothing else, as a university student I thought it a fantastic improvement to be free to walk from building to building based on my watch, free-range and bell-free.

I thought Time, Inc. was ingenious as it got me on the planes and trains and kept me punctual for my various social roles as a student, a teacher, a patient, a shopper, a volunteer, and the various other obligations of ‘she who is participating.’  The clock got me to the concerts on time.

“Get in the game!” was the advice from all directions. I did sometimes question this word, ‘the game.’  Is that what this is?

I have never been a big player of games; I don’t particularly like them.  At one point it occurred to me, so, if this really is a game, I can choose whether or not to play?

So, slowly, little by little, I began to remove myself from the game. Like all games the ones who’ve created the game make the rules. It is only a one who follows the rules who wins the game. You may scoff at this analogy now and say, but there’s so much corruption and crime and it clearly pays, so it’s actually breaking the rules which gets one ahead. If this is what you are thinking, you haven’t yet understood the game. The game is working as it is meant to function.

I figured not only did I not make the rules of the game, I don’t particularly like it and I started to resent all the advice that insisted I continue playing it.  Seems logical enough that you can’t win a game if you don’t like playing it. Or, maybe you can, but then you’d be winning just to win and not because you enjoyed playing. Not really my style.

Notice I have now started five paragraphs with “I.” I do this quite deliberately.

“I” is who I know, not you, not we, not them. To know oneself is not to know all men and this is part of the on-going collectivist brainwashing flooding the culture. We are not all one. We are not all in this together. We are not all created equal. In fact, we should, in my opinion, stop striving for equality altogether. It’s not working.

I admit, I was once one who said such things as this on my first website nearly 20 years ago: “Once we have leveled the playing field in education around the globe communication will flourish and then we can call ourselves One World.”

I had drunk the Kool-Aid. I really believed this then. I was too young and optimistic to understand that ‘leveling the field’ meant leveling it to the least common denominator, not the greatest. I did not understand Globalism at all and thought ‘One World’ sounded pretty awesome and fun.

I was a card-caring member of Time, Inc.

I remember one night on the exquisite Old Town Square in the Czech Republic gazing with a large group of tourists many an evening at the famed Prague Orloj, a working astronomical clock 600 years old. It was one of my favorite spots in the city, a city where I was lucky enough to live before the latest great invasion of mass tourism.

I remember what the Charles Bridge looked like at night in winter with only a handful of locals walking over it.  Back then there was a free puppet show behind a makeshift stand under the bridge where I sat on the ground with a dozen children listening to them laugh, which was making me laugh. That was 1989.  I have photos somewhere in a box that are mostly blurry or dark, sometimes in black and white, because that was the only film I could find there to buy.

museum

 

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Fast forward a decade, then two, and you can barely get over the bridge and it has become a sort of tourist marketplace. That pesky Progress at work again.

I’m not bitter, though I know I sound that way sometimes. I still have my memories, one of the few states which has remained, at least in part, at least for now, beyond Time, Inc.

HDR tonemapped

So it was one night, as I said, on the exquisite Old Town Square gazing with a large group of tourists (not quite this large!) waiting for the Apostles on the clock to do their nightly dance, when an English-speaking drunken youth passes between the clock and the upward gazers, his back to the crowd, raises his arms in worship and slurs at the top of his lungs as it begins to chime on the hour, “Oh my God! Oh my God! OHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!” Falling to his knees theatrically then, to the astonishment and awkward chuckles and eye rolls from the crowd.

I laughed at the time, mostly at the audacity of it. Now I wonder if that sauced joker realized how genius his move actually was. And how memorable.

serveimage000D4WKD

 

Part 11: It’s Not Science

Science fraud and fantasy, the topic of 10 previous posts, is just another symptom of a much deeper problem.  I’m inclined to write that it seems some folks just think too much, and play to little, but then one only has to turn on the TV to find the contradiction.

Every once in a while someone will mistake me for a socialist and this boggles my mind. I think their assumption comes from the fact that I’m rather vocal about my concern for the environment. Such concerns are considered “leftist” though why this is the case I’ve hardly a clue. By what error of linguistics does “conservative” mean one who cares not about conserving?  When did the word “progressive” come to mean progress ourselves into imprisonment?

These labels are not only contradictory, they are ludicrous and becoming more so by the day.  I can clearly see it furthers the typical ‘divide and conquer’ tactics.

The story seems to go back to that same black and white thinking I keep complaning about. Either I am for the unadulterated slaughter and pillage of nature, or I am for Agenda 2030, apparently. This seems a result of sport’s-minded group think, because the group’s need for cohesion trumps the nuances of the individual’s critical thinking.

These days this has been taken to the pinacle—if it can’t be tweeted, it won’t get heard. Every time I hear a newscaster talk about the latest tweets of Hollywood celebrities or politicians, I get a ping-pong pang deep inside that is represented in the mystifying gulf between little girl giggling and disgusted matron moaning.

At these times I thank the stars I’m far from alone in these feelings.

I also find comfort in the knowing that there are laws that govern far and above the laws of man. Believe it or not, this does not mean I believe in God. Any more than that last sentence means I’m an atheist. Collectivist social engineering has fostered the evolution of the ‘each in his category’ syndrome of precisely crafted personas and acceptable archetypes with a palpable paranoia for those who don’t fit or stay in their teeny tiny boxes.

I may not know much at all about science or politics, but I do know government is never the solution to any problem. Government is in the control business. Their role may work fine to control a problem, for a while anyway, but the government cannot solve it. Individuals solve problems, sometimes groups of individuals, and then the government takes ownership of those solutions and uses it to further their own growth and power.

Head of the organization Riverkeeper and slated to lead a commission on vaccine safety, Robert F. Kennedy argues: “What polluters do is escape the discipline of the free market. You show me a polluter, I’ll show you a subsidy — a fat cat who’s using political clout to escape the discipline of the free market.”

What happens now when individuals form groups in order to have the power to fight the fat cats? In our Corporatocracy they will quickly learn all the fat cats are slurping from the same bowl. There have been some valiant efforts over the last decade.  The great global fervor against GMOs comes first to mind, but there are many more each accomplishing so little while fighting so hard that the average Walmart shopper still does not know what this acronym means and stands in line at Walgreens every year to get their subsidized flu shots.

But I have faith that nature finds a way to balance herself, even against all odds and the individual is a microcosm of nature. The individual will only allow himself to be swallowed up by the group for so long before rebelion is inevitable. We are no where near that point yet, in my opinion, but the road has been paved, and those who tend toward lesser resistance are bound to follow it eventually.

Jon Rappoport: “Holding high-level criminals accountable doesn’t have to equal being swallowed up by socialism. It’s actually a step on the road to restoring the root meaning of capitalism—absent the cronies and their deals and payoffs and subversions and perversions.”

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/robert-f-kennedy-jr-the-best-thing-that-could-happen-to-the-environment-is-free-market-capitalism/

Someday the contradictions of our times will be written and rewritten, interpreted and reinterpreted. Our progeny, even those simple Walmart shoppers, will realize how beautifully nuanced is the expression, ‘All roads lead to Rome.’

Unslaved Channel’s ‘Contradictions of History’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlIvK5eMvnA

toriplay_copy
“You discover more about someone in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~Plato

All Cheer the ‘Change Agent’

An effective slogan for the social engineers that is quickly becoming all-pervasive is ‘to become an agent of change.’ In education, politics, self-help, being ‘unwilling to change’ is the latest in shaming techniques applied to any perceived neo-luddite who might question the value of said changes. Change simply for the sake of change is universally accepted as a good thing. Whether the change will be good or bad is not considered, to ask such a question gets a blank stare in return.  Because, it’s change!

This is in fact an adolescent’s mindset now being applied to all of human endeavor. To question the diet dictocrats and scientific dictators, the administrators or really any part of the established order, the change peddlers, is to be treated like a child in need of a harsh scolding. Or worse, like a cranky old lady who wants to spoil everyone’s fun. After all, why worry about education, or the future, because robots will do all the work and the thinking for us.

With 54% of the US budget in discretionary spending going toward the military, with the stated goal of “Full Spectrum Dominance” (Joint Vision 2020) we can be sure robots will soon be fighting our wars for us too. For our 800 foreign bases the robots will be multi-lingual, of course. Robots will even be crafted to repair and maintain other robots. This will be so ideal for all of mankind, so get on board with change!

Humans will become sort of like horses, it is said in some elite circles. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2015-06-16/will-humans-go-way-horses

At Davos and the World Economic Forum they rub elbows over champagne and amuse-bouche while they debate about the plight of the grubby unwashed masses. You can watch some of them on Youtube, but it seems very few do. Kitten videos are more popular by far.

Has there been a dumbing-down in America? That’s not difficult to assess. The early settlers had town hall meetings brimming over with citizens coming to discuss politics, theology and philosophy. Common Sense by Thomas Paine was said to be in every household next to the Bible. This was certainly an exaggeration, but it was an extremely popular book nonetheless. Note the level of sophistication in the language:

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries By a Government, which we might expect in a country Without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

http://freakonomics.com/2011/09/01/were-colonial-americans-more-literate-than-americans-today/

In this fascinating article we find a bleak conclusion.

In an extensive NAAL (National Assessment of Adult Literacy) survey, only 13% of adults attained this level. Thus, the proportion of Americans today who are able to understand Common Sense (13%) is smaller than the proportion that bought Common Sense in 1776 (20%).

But, change is always good!  Because now we are better equipped to appreciate the great gifts bestowed on culture by the Kardashians.