The Politics of Awareness, Part 2

Formal schooling is part and parcel of contemporary economic exigencies. By the same token, the education system emerged from a reservoir of totalitarian inclinations inhered within the dominant culture. I know, that’s a loaded allegation, but hear me out. Early on, Comenius’s “combination of astronomical regularity, absolute political authority, and lifelike automatism” was an irresistible concept of control in a classroom by means of the clock, to an end goal of “programmed education” — not to mention his entire motivation was based upon increasing production. ((Mumford, Lewis, The Myth of the Machine Volume II; The Pentagon of Power, (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1970), p. 102-103.)) In France, as Eugen Weber explicated, formal education began as a measure in the nation-state building process. ((Weber, Eugen, Peasants Into Frenchman: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1976), p. 331-334.)) And we all know that the nation-state exists so to supply the imperial muscle while financial institutions and their transnational corporate progeny privatize profits and externalize costs — i.e. peculate — that is, steal from those lower on the hierarchy. In other words, the nation-state was developed to reinforce and galvanize colonialism and the production of resources that benefited elites off of what Stanley Diamond described as “conquest abroad and repression at home.” (It’s often tossed around that the term ‘civilization’ is nothing short of a euphemism for Diamond’s latter denotation). And the impetus behind the classroom itself was entirely production based, too. In America, today’s classrooms are directly tied to the early textile industry that supervened upon genocidally stolen land; an industry that immiserated workers while the benefits thronged the merchant class. ((Robbins, Richard H., Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, 4th Ed., (Boston: Pearson, 2008), p. 86-88. More on this can be retrieved in Immanuel Wallerstein’s, The Modern World System III: The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World-Economy, 1730-1840s (New York: Academic Press, 1989). Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States; 1492-Present (p. 243-44, 253, 300, 334-37, 346, 381, 385-6, 397) also contains valuable information concerning the early textile mills and their social effects.))

Of course, we could go much deeper into the analysis. And we should. So we will. A Civilized education caters to the dominant power complex. And, at a deeper level, Civilization, in general, and, among other things, is a manifestation of, or better yet, an agency for power and control — it’s encoded in its very structure: Pyramidal hierarchy and the development and growth of city-states. More importantly, one should ask why any group of people is inclined to extend economic intercourse beyond the subsistence, face-to-face level (the answer is to grow cities, silly). One will find that sustainable and sane ways of living are endemic and common to subsistence economies. Anything beyond that engenders power relationships predicated upon the exploitation of human and nonhuman resources so to maintain the routine importation of goods into epicenters of growth (there are more slaves today than traversed the Middle Passage, btw). ((Taken from the Millennium Project’s 2007 State of the Future report as procured by the World Federation of UN Associations.)) And in order to exploit someone or something you must first silence them; strip them of their innate freedoms and agency.

When dialoguing with Jensen, he was quick to expatiate on this detail to a great depth. In his words, “this culture is based on the assumption that all of the world is without volition, is mechanistic, and is therefore [for the most part] predictable.” According to Jensen, “the existence of the willfully unpredictable destroys a foundational assumption of this culture. The existence of the willfully unpredictable also invalidates this culture’s ontology, epistemology, and philosophies, and reveals them for what they are: Lies upon which to base this omnicidal system of exploitation, theft, and murder: It’s much easier to exploit, steal from, or murder someone you pretend has no meaningful existence (especially if you have an entire culture’s ontology, epistemology, and philosophy to back you up).

“The existence of the willfully unpredictable…” Jensen opines, “…reveals this culture’s governmental and economic systems for what they are as well: Means to not only rationalize but enforce systems of exploitation, theft, and murder (e.g., effectively stop Monsanto’s exploitation, theft, and murder, and see how you are treated by governments across the world). If nonhumans are not in any real sense beings and are here for us to use (and not here for their own sakes, with lives as meaningful to them as yours is to you or mine is to me) then using (or destroying) them raises no significant moral questions, any more than whether you or I do or don’t use or destroy any other tool — which means right [in an ethical sense] is what you decide it is, or more accurately, it’s irrelevant, right is whatever you want it to be, which means it’s really nothing at all. But this malleable notion of right means that you can fairly easily talk yourself into feeling good about exploiting the shit out of everyone and everything else. If all of this sounds sociopathological, that’s because it is. It finds logic through the power of command. It makes us all insane.”

Evidently, there is an underlying curriculum to the schooling process. It plays out as follows: The rich cannot continue to steal from the poor and the pathetically powerful cannot continue to destroy the planet without an unremitting centralization of wealth (i.e. power). The consolidation of wealth (or power, whichever way you want to coin it) cannot occur and sustain its continuity unless production is maintained and increased. The latter cannot occur unless work is executed efficiently and for long periods of time. And that cannot fructify unless individuals are trained to fill employment roles and inculcated to perceive the world as generalized objects to be counted, manipulated and exploited.

Moreso, no one in their right mind would ever want to spend most of their waking hours working a job they don’t particularly take pleasure in, especially when the benefits of that work enhance the luxuries of an upper class one is not a part of, let alone maintain such a perverse pattern of social inequality. However, school (among myriad other agents of socialization, but primarily school) normalizes this social imbalance and familiarizes the individual with the social strata, as well as filters out individuals based upon their productive output (i.e. Tracking), thence perpetuating the stratified social organization that maintains the production that funnels wealth into the hands of an elite few (‘few’ of course not meaning e.g., fifty or so apoplectic sexagenarians in dark-clad regalia with infernally-concaved unibrows conspiring to Rule-the-World but rather, “few’ just being thousands of top officials and business elite doing what they presume to be best for their own self-interest and all trying to culminate in a sort of what’s-good-for-my-business-is-what’s-good-for-your-business policy making, thereby, ipso facto probably not across-the-board conspiratorial behavior inasmuch as a pathetic result of very specific social arrangements, i.e., the vertical flow of wealth and its percolation into the apex of the pyramidal hierarchy that occurs like clockwork in a stratified social-construct). One need not don the tinfoil hat to acknowledge the venality infused in a system that bestows power upon a minority (see above definition of ‘few’ i.e. ‘minority’) of individuals. This pattern, appearing in different shapes and forms, has been maintained for at least 6,000 years if not longer in more subtle and transparent forms. One only needs to probe the scholarship for verification that today’s policies and laws and such are mandated and (quasi) controlled by a small coterie of elite and wealthy (white) individuals.

At any rate, without school as we know it today, the entire social construct would collapse. Knowing that, maybe the fact that kids are dropping out of school at higher rates than ever before is not such a bad situation after all. Perhaps we should save the youth from the detrimentally alienating ‘dropout’ epithet and just encourage their withdrawal altogether. Boycott academe damn-it! Boycott!

Anyhow, seeing that conventional modes of education were borne in upon nation-state and empire building and owing to the fact that contemporary academic tutelage functions as economic training grounds, existing so to attempt to immortalize the growth economy and perpetuate industrial production (all very integral to the geopolitical boondoggle we find ourselves in today in certain regions of the planet — ahem, the Middle East; as well as being part & parcel of the climate crisis and the brutal murder of an animate world and its sentient inhabitants), anyone who denies there being a seemingly inadvertent, yet unconsciously intentional (insofar as this culture Strives-to-Improve), hidden curriculum infused in the education system is insanely ignorant of historical hallmarks and dominant cultural aspirations.

With regard to rectifying this matter with a Marxist praxis (because that is where the allegation of a hidden curriculum springs from), ((Sociologist and neo-Marxist, Phillip Jackson, coined the term ‘hidden curriculum’ to denote the “less overt functions of education;” a perspective on education through a structuralist and phenomenological lens.)) not much would change. The Marxist concept (and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good ‘ol idealized fancy of ultra-left socialism over obdurate right-wingery any day, but if left to choose I always opt for the social arrangement that remains within the parameters of tribal anarchy)… anyway, the Marxist concept that seeks to explain human social dynamics in terms of modes of production and division of labor is but one facet of an ideological prism. Marxism is much deeper, as it encompasses the dialectical approach to truth through totalization (viz. it “approaches experience to discover concrete syntheses”). ((Laing, R.D., and D.G. Cooper, Reason and Violence: A Decade of Sartre’s Philosophy, 1950-1960, (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), p. 39.)) Marxism has unwittingly, and, erroneously, metabolized humans into the idea itself rather than “searching for humans everywhere they are” ((Laing, R.D., and D.G. Cooper, Reason and Violence: A Decade of Sartre’s Philosophy, 1950-1960, (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), p. 39.)) (which is what capitalism does like a hungry, stalking predator). In other words, Marxism has refused to live with history and has attempted “through bureaucratic conservatism to reduce change to identity.” ((Laing, R.D., and D.G. Cooper, Reason and Violence: A Decade of Sartre’s Philosophy, 1950-1960, (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), p. 39.)) And of course, Marxism is a history of humans seeking to control and dominate the natural world through the use of technology. Whether one is a Marxist, a Capitalist, a Humanist, Futurist, a Christian or Scientist, the underlying worldview — that is, humans have dominion over the natural world — remains central to one’s cult of worship.

I’m not trying to brandish lavish intellectualism here, I’m only attempting to elucidate that the left v. right parley is, in many respects, nugatory — nothing more than a deflection of attention into a state of suspended meaninglessness. Even if the education system were to be ameliorated and reformed along the lines of a purely Marxist criterion, productive ‘ends’ would still be the salient motivation behind an educational ‘means,’ which is essentially no different than today’s approach and we would still be in thrall to a totalitarian system comprised of “the tyranny of an internalized and eventually self-imposed idea, or a cluster of ideas, that take precedence over everything.” ((Jensen, Derrick, The Culture of Make Believe, (White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004), p. 514.)) This latter totalitarian system of ideas is the control center — the encephalon — of Mumford’s Megamachine, or rather: Dominant cultural-economic-power-complex. This power-complex is not a tyranny endemic to vulturine capitalism alone, but emerges from the idea of civilization itself; ((One will find that totalitarian (and authoritarian) underpinnings inhere within any of the governing institutions of contemporary civilizations i.e., socialism, capitalism, communism, etc., thus within the latter set’s facilities such as democracy, autocracy, monarchy, etc., too. This underlying tyranny began with kingship in the formative stages of civilization c. 4000 BC and, despite kingship as being often associated with your pseudo-archetypal monarch-in-a-castle-surrounded-by-a-moat notion, it is, in essence, centralized power. And, as according to historian Lewis Mumford (as well as many others), the centralization of power is not only a complex that originated in the early formative stages of civilization but has culminated into a very dynamic, nonetheless vulnerable complex today, comprised of a constellation of institutions, ideas, and systems that galvanize a centralized worship of production that, in turn, facilitates power into the hands of a consolidated minority of beneficiaries.)) not to mention it is the underlying reason for most of today’s madness: The whole point of this era’s resource wars is to produce, or rather, Produce so we can Progress Civility. ((Robert Jensen writes in The Heart of Whiteness (San Francisco: City Lights Publishing, 2005): “As for the civilizing effect of Europe, we might consider five centuries of brutal colonialism and World Wars I and II, and then ask what ‘civilized’ means.”)) Industrial production is killing this planet. Industrial production is the culmination of a regimented labor force. A regimented labor force is the outcome of schooling and degree-matriculation, is it not?

So, how the heck do I come full circle here? The crux is, here we are on this very tiny planet (in contrast to an immense space that harbors significantly larger uninhabitable planetary orbs and such) and, industrial civilization is not only damaging the planet, it’s dismembering the planet. Aside from global warming, species extinction is occurring at a rate 10,000 times faster than “what has historically been recorded as normal.” (( “An epidemic of extinctions: Decimation of life on earth,” Independent, 16 May 2008.)) And, as I mentioned at the beginning of this essay, our fellow human beings are being slaughtered — dying as a direct result of wars — by the millions, every decade. These wars are fought with weapons that spring forth from the manufacturing industry like toys off of an assembly line. Many students go to school to enter this work force, to learn how to function within the bureaucracy of weapons manufacturing, to operate and/or write the blueprints for the manufacturing apparatuses.

With much duplicitous claim to virtue backing economic exigency, the civilized, capitalist, industrial culture has created dead-zones in myriad areas of the world’s oceans. It has acidified the seas, blighted the planet’s rivers, brooks and streams with carcinogenic material — after damming them up (to generate electricity to make soda-pop cans and things), not allowing the world’s arterial water system to flow freely as it always had for millennia upon millennia before the pathology of civilization deluded our psyches with phantasms of utilitarian infinitude promising to suffice an incessant production-party that will rain plasma screen TVs, hot dogs and Doritos™ for everyone. This is insane. And, as R.D. Laing noted in his landmark book, The Politics of Experience, we’re driving people mad by the way we are educating them.

This thing we call Education these days, is teaching our children that this notional world of materialism is a reality that is here to stay despite its rapid egress. This thing we call Education today, is training our kids to grow up and work toward maintaining something inherently unsustainable. This thing we call Education today has fomented a culture that will go to any measure to maintain SUVs and cell-phones, homogenized box-stores and discount emporiums, genetically modified foods — deep fried and microwaved, McDonald’s and Pepsi and Mountain Dew sky diving into obesity and type-two diabetes, plastics and phthalates and other polymers that “save lives” and put smiles on children’s faces, etc. etc. etc.

And don’t attempt to refute me here with the sophistry of science and technology. The empty claims that science and tech have granted us longer life expectancies and cures for deadly diseases and such is casuistic.

The putative ‘gifts’ that science and technology have accorded the human race are 14,000 preventable cancer deaths bi-weekly, 1,900 pharmaceutical related deaths per week, dioxin in every mother’s breast milk; a ravaged planet: desiccated watersheds, treeless continents, acidified and empty oceans, melting glaciers, species extinction, dead whales, polar bears pushed to the brink of extinction, elephants and tigers disappearing as fast as production can transform ‘natural resources’ into consumable commodities and capital, trash-vortexes larger than countries driving the life out of vast seas, great schools of fish gone forever, topsoil contaminated with strontium 90 and stockpiles of nuclear waste, CFCs and GHGs and EDCs, mutagens, carcinogens and teratogens, Malthusian theory and rationalization that robs humanity of morality; instrumentality and utilitarianism and the cool logic of science that despoils the emotions that tell us through tears and rage that what this culture is doing is wrong, so damn wrong.

Education never edifies our children so that they begin to ask: What good has science and technology done for the planet and life in general? An honest answer to this question would shut this bread and circus down.

But the saddest part is, in the words of Brian Swimme, at present education renders us with “only a sliver of our original minds still operative…It is a sliver chiseled to perfection for controlling, for distancing, for calculating and for dominating…Our insistence on analysis, on computation, on categorization has blinded us to the reality of the whole.” ((Swimme, Brian, “How to heal a lobotomy,” in I. Diamond and G. Orenstein (Eds.), Reweaving the World: the Emergence of Ecofeminism, (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1990), p. 16.))

Today’s education process is only about job training. About perpetuating the cycle of large-scale production. The more I think of it, the purpose of school appears to be two-fold: to condition people into accepting an entire economic system that is predicated and accelerated by the transformation of the living into the dead (mountains into subsidized electricity, animals into cold-cuts, humans into collateral damage, ad nauseam) and, to normalize the violence and annihilation at the other end of industrial production. Questions arise: Why would anyone want to maintain a system that is so deleterious? What are the benefits? Who receives those benefits? And: What sort of culture would pride itself upon such a destructive system? What are the adverse effects of educating people in such a way that it metabolizes them into this fragmenting and divisive system?

In these times, departments of education do not teach individuals the acceptance of limits; do not teach individuals how to express real diversity and creativity. There is no room for limits in a growth economy. There is no room for creativity and diversity in efficiency. You want proof? Do as George Ritzer suggests, ask for a medium-rare burger with cubed — not sliced — tomatoes, with gourmet Dijon mustard from a McDonald’s. It won’t happen. You want to know why? Because it would shut the process down. Efficiency would be impinged. The widening of profit margins would be encumbered. This analogy alludes to GDP tracking and the economy as a whole, nationally and/or globally — it doesn’t matter.

There is no real diversity in America or any other nation of (post) modern conceit. Just people who have been violently uprooted out of their own communities and cultures and coerced or co-opted into playing the Freetrade™ game. Education today only teaches kids how to play this game. Kids are not learning about place, relocalization, endogenous growth, community and solidarity. Children only learn to extol the virtues of Civilization, never once minding its odious, flagitious and seamy underbelly, never once taught to ask: Can we stop this experiment? And more importantly, no one ever dares to ask why we are so adamant about Civilization. Why do we do it? Why? What is the point? Why can’t we replace it with a saner and more sustainable way of living? The latter question is perhaps the most important of all.

Believe me, it used to be difficult to bash Civilization. It used to be embarrassing. Such a cynical critique elicits from many folks anger, a scoffing laugh, or fear, or all of the above and then some. But at a time when the planet is aching from tremendous violent bursts, from plaguing afflictions that could easily be alleviated and remediated through simple choices put into action, we have to honestly approach something that, despite our attachment to it, is downright unhealthy for us and for a planet that is our place, and will always be our place. For many, it is not easy to condemn ‘civilization.’ But there comes a moment when one must step up to the task at hand and lose a little face. And as regards coming across as being eccentric or crazy, because, let’s face it, anyone who rails against Civilization is often considered as being such a way, simply say: Thank you! As Ward Churchill promulgated in his essay, “I Am Indigenist: Notes on the Ideology of the Fourth World“: “…in believing that when confronted with a society as obviously insane as this one, the only sane posture one can adopt is one that society would automatically designate as crazy.” To paraphrase the rest of his statement, it were not the natives of North America who “turned birthing into a religious fetish while butchering off a couple hundred million people with weapons of mass destruction and systematically starving another billion or so to death.” The non-civilized never had a Grand Inquisition. They never came up with a “plumbing plan to reroute the water flow on” entire continents. It is the industrialized world of sterile civility that has produced leaders “of the caliber of Ronald Reagan, Jean Kirkpatrick, and Ross Perot.” Only a culture gone completely fucking nuts will pat itself on the back with high esteem for figuring out how to turn prison construction into a lucrative growth and, seriously, what-the-F: as an “indication of social progress and enlightenment.” ((?!))

As the rest of the remaining natural and native world stares in horror, Civilization continues to voraciously eat in vain, its hunger never satiated, no morsel too large or unpalatable to ingest. Ready to gobble up anyone in its way, anyone who dares to leave, anyone who dares to shut it down, anyone who presents an alternative way of living, anyone who wants to return to a simpler way of being in a natural state of place. And so we keep educating our youth to parlay their autonomy and their future’s future3 (i.e. cubed) into a misguided journey that refuses to provide a cogent reason for its own pursuit. Why do this to our children any longer?

Our schools are teaching children how to be excellent employees. Excellent employees for General Dynamics, for Raytheon, for Monsanto, for Cargill, for Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek; for IBM; for Dyncorp; for DHS, the NSA, FBI and Blackwater, whoops, I mean XeTM; for Mickey-D’s, Pizza Hut, the Olive Garden. Excellent at “being all you can be.” Oh boy the list is as long as you want to make it.

Do we ever ask if our schools are teaching our children to be excellent lovers? Excellent observers? Listeners? Stewards? Are our schools teaching children to listen to the land, to ask it what it wants from us? To listen to and trust one’s own personal and direct intuition and experience? Do our schools ever instruct our children that if we want to learn how to live sustainably one only needs to ask the land? I don’t believe these lessons are ever taught.

In view of the fact that school is tied to industrial production, and industrial production is tied to each and every rapacious atrocity perpetrated against the animate world that has miracled us all into existence, let’s join together in boycott until this culture starts to impart a knowledge relevant to living sanely and sustainably, a knowledge that is not predicated upon industry and large scale production, a knowledge that does not encourage exploitation and instrumentality, but one that allows us to experience the world as it presents itself to us. Life is conscious and only wants to be experienced not expounded.

During the boycott, might I add, we need to also hold that trial for crimes against life I had mentioned earlier, in which the rich and elite are arraigned for their villainy. We grant all who are disenfranchised, landless, hungry, and impoverished the power to arbitrate and assert adjudication. Then, we absolve all private land holdings and return the land to the planet and to each and every indigenous tribe that has been displaced over history. And then, and only then, can we discontinue our boycott so we can let the land educate our children once again.

Susan Griffin once admonished about today’s education: “we no longer feel ourselves to be a part of this earth. We regard our fellow creatures as enemies. And, very young, we even learn to disown a part of our own being. We come to believe that we do not know what we know…dividedness is etched into our language.” ((Griffin, Susan, “Split culture,” in J. Plant (Ed.), Healing the Wounds: the Promise of Ecofeminism, (Santa Cruz: New Society Publishers, 1989), p. 7.)) Nobel laureate William Golding said about the theories of Marx, Darwin and Freud: “The simplistic popularisation of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence. These men were reductionist… I do indeed believe that at bottom the violence of the last thirty years and it may be the hyperviolence of the century has been less a revolt against the exploitation of man by man, less a sexual frustration, or an adventure in the footsteps of Oedipus, certainly less a process of natural selection operating in human society, than a revolt against reductionism, even when the revolutionary, or it may be the terrorist, does not know it.”

When talking with Derrick Jensen, he asked me: “What is the real source of our life? Of our food, our air, our water? Is it the economic system?”

“No.” I replied. “It’s the landbase.”

“Exactly,” Jensen replied. “And those in the future will only care about whether or not we left them with clean air, clean water, and healthy intact landbases. The world is being killed and we have to stop this — by any means necessary. Thousands of years of inculcation and ideology all aimed at driving us out of our minds and bodies, away from any realistic sense of self-defense, real land stewarding, have gotten us to identify not with our bodies and our landbases, but with our abusers, governments, and civilization. Break this identification, and one’s course of action becomes much clearer. Love yourself and love the land, and each other, and you will act in the best interest of, and defend, your beloved.”

  • Read Part 1.
  • Frank Smecker is a writer and social-worker from VT. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Frank, or visit Frank's website.

    6 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. bozh said on January 19th, 2010 at 10:57am #

      Maybe, the following might offer an elucidation on what had been happening on interpersonal level over ca 8 kyrs:some people at some time emerged as more valuable than others.
      Almost always and in ?all societies, the more valauble people were a tiny minority. At some point of time, this class also became richer and thus had much greater say in what is ok and what is not OK.
      In short, this marked the onset of a meritocratic system of rule; from which all iniquities on inter- and intrapersonal level flowed. And to this day!
      From the time of usurpation of an idyllic society began, people began to evaluate selves as less worthy, less meritorious, more scared to speak, etc., and to this day!

      This is most evident in US. Clergy, pols, media, ‘educators’ have convinced americans that US structures of society and rule is a novelty and a specialty. This, to me, represents the greatest snake oil sale ever.
      Selling warfare, snake oil, inequality, misteachings, used cars, bailouts, ‘laws’, etc., is as american as a pie; i.e., is of the system.

      Studying a structure of an atom, US rule, or cancer cell proffers knowledge. Media, being part of the system, naturally do not touch the system. Its assigned role as part of a whole is to dwell on symptoms, ad hominem praise-blame, fetishes, and other trivia.

      Thus, dwelling on palin, OB, stewart, brown, woods, et al class of life become important to politico-media class of life . Anything at all; just don’t touch the structure; for if they wld talk ab it, people might get awful mad realizing how they are being robbed of their humaness, wealth, power!

    2. bozh said on January 19th, 2010 at 11:37am #

      Very good piece by smecker. I wld like that the insane people are not capable to do so many wrongs as ‘normal’ people!
      We cld call us “unsane”. The word “insane” in folk usage means inability to adapt to ordinary living.
      Of course, neither of these two labels obtain an elucidation. How ab saying that we had been rendered semanticly blind? This suggest that we cannot see reality due to being conditioned to ‘salivate’ [like pavlov’s dog] at seeing a nat’l flag or upon hearing such selfpraise as God Bless America, Greatness of America, Holy Constitution, Cheques and Balances, etc.

      Wldn’t every [except an insane one] american child gush at those shibboleths?
      And be very proud to live in the best country inthe world?
      I have long time ago said that philosophy had not produced any values for lower classes. Along, of course, ‘lawmaking’; includes constitutions.

      Epistemology, tho, being study of how we know what we know, appears useful.
      And if one reads media or listens to clergy and pols, isn’t that avoided like a plague?

    3. bozh said on January 19th, 2010 at 12:30pm #

      Obviously, “civilization”, “zionism”, “democracy” appear as vast euphemisms and thus represent a fictive reality.
      I am puting zionism, et al labels under double quotes to indicate that ‘our’ teachers want us to evaluate these symbols-labels as valid or that they have the meanings chosen for them by miseducators.

      In fact, we’ve had much barbarism, for at least, imo, for 10 k yrs. And i suggest we avoid such labels as much as possible.
      Unfotunately, many adults do not know ab implicatory structure of high-order labels. In add’n, they may [i am not sure ab that] reefy [objectfy] labels such as pursuit of happiness, happiness, democracy, god, justice, et al.

      E.g., to the labels above, right or wrong and true or false answers do not apply. If people don’t know this, they will be misled.
      So, is murder or killing wrong or right? On natural [nature cld care less?] level, i say, i don’t know! In panhuman thinking or natural level with us included in the nature, it is wrong to murder.
      It is a different kind of truth. It is a desirable truth as ?noone wants to be murdered.
      The paradox is that some people, nevertheless, kill-murder others. Probably the main cause for it being ‘teachings’ by their teachers! tnx

    4. dan e said on January 19th, 2010 at 6:22pm #

      This is a brilliant description of symptoms, but it offers nothing in the way of a prescription or remedies.
      MLKjr said “Human Salvation lies in the hands of the Creatively Maladjusted” so to the extent that the article is an echo of or a gloss on MLK I accept it.
      However when the author launches into his coldwar style attack on Marx I have to reject his rap. How sneaky, trying to claim that Lewis Mumford was the first to explicate the origins of “civilization”, instead of citing F. Engels much earlier and much sounder “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and The State”.
      On the other hand, the first several paras of this might be helpful to such as Laurent and fellow teapartygoers who need to get past all that Freedom/Democracy/Geo W Chopt the Cherrytree rap:)

    5. Deadbeat said on January 19th, 2010 at 9:28pm #

      I would suggest that it is the author that needs more eduction about Marxism. So many fancy words only to express his ignorance of Marxism in public.

    6. bozh said on January 20th, 2010 at 7:56am #

      I was not satisfied with what smecker said ab marx.