Some Random thoughts today before I dive back into a longer piece about our constant and repetitive education “problems”.
1) Where does your “pet” organization stand on the Rights of Workers to organize and bargain collectively? I was wondering, seeing that Facebook offers so many opportunities to join “virtual groups,” how much these virtual memberships turn into any kind of “agency” in our communities. Any thoughts on this are welcome.
2) The Battle Royale for Totalitarian control systems has been won, for your information. The winner by a long shot is “managed democracy”. Do you remember when (or have you ever done this with your “educated” friends?) you could argue about the “dystopian” vision most likely to come true–Huxley’s or Orwell’s? Funny that when I, born in 1968, was having this argument the victor was already wearing the belt. Huxley had one aspect of the “future” correct–humans would be manipulated via pleasure systems.
But Orwell was far more prescient regarding power systems. In fact, our entertainment-soaked dystopia is not a “vision” but a reality. It is Huxleyan to its core, but it has only served the purpose of creating mass stupidity and lethargy. Even the most cybernetically active among us are inactive as human social agents. We DO nothing (see previous note). And it’s in within this framework that the Orwellian has thrived and dominated us. In fact, look around; the battle for resource control is all there is. We catch glimpses of Upper Party machinations when we see pipelines burn in Nigeria but we are as quickly offered a sop for that wound via a Hollywood blockbuster or a would-be politico’s outrageous “gaff” (cf. any and all GOP presidential “contenders”).
3) Why doesn’t everyone read Chomsky? Seriously. He is simply, dryly factual. Check his facts. You are ignorant of the way the world works if you don’t at least read, as Chomsky suggests, the business press. They are not able to lie to you the way other corporatist media can. Making and stealing money needs truth.
The reasons why voting is so dramatically an elite affair in the United States are revealed by comparative studies. Analysis of thirty democracies showed “a significant correlation between high voter turnout and the presence of political parties representing clearly defined strata of society — that is, parties strongly tied to specific income classes, religious groupings, or language groups” (political commentator Thomas Edsall, 1984). In economic policy, Edsall added, the U.S. political system fails to represent “the interests of the bottom three-fifths of society.” To use a phrase that is unspeakable in polite society without shock quotes, when the “class interests” of the privileged and powerful are the guiding commitment of all political parties, people who do not share these interests tend to stay home. The class pattern of abstention “seems inseparably linked to another crucial comparative peculiarity of the American political system,” political scientist William Dean Burnham observed: “the total absence of a socialist or laborite party as an organized competitor in the electoral market.” That absence relates to and is fortified by the effective dismantling of civil society: unions, political organizations, and so on.
4) You are more likely than not operating within a limited framework of received ideas. How can you break out this? (By “you” I mean “everyone”.) Not via school, church, Facebook. If the world makes sense to you, you are the sucker at the table.
5) High profit, low wages, low growth…globalization of a “third world” workforce.
6) Crime Pays (linked audio).