Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Do the People Matter?
Do the people matter? Do the people even know that they don't matter? Do the people know that the people are marginalized as passive bystanders?
Thirteen years of state propaganda (K-12) generates a numb population, a deliberate and calculated unconsciousness.
Without understanding history, humans are highly susceptible to propaganda: the empty slogans and icons of patriotism and fear. Disconnected from our own inner voice of truth, we are susceptible to illusions. Disenfranchised from our own, intimate, personal, self-valuation, we accept political abuse and abandonment.
The American people have been abandoned and abused by a political system that serves the wealthy and the imperialists. Somnambulists. Driven by 24/7 corporate TV that speaks of nothing but what we should not only buy, but desire.
The insidiousness of capturing the populace with "consumerism" and instilling acceptance of corporate serfdom, becomes apparent only with a "little help from our friends."
Resist respectability, or what passes for respectability. The greatest difficulty is understanding that even though everyone else at the party is drunk on their ass, that setting, and worldview, is not okay: it's collectively self-destructive. Government, and public education, is deleterious to our personal well-being, like living in a perpetual frat party, drunk on distractions of consumerism, celebrities, and sports. Drunk on the oblivion of what the government does not tell us, and what the press does not seek, and missing the essential political history that the schools do not teach.
As Bill Moyers extolled recently, "What you don't know can kill you." We don't know that we don't know. That is the greatest danger. We are purposefully trained by corporate media, from birth, to live in a socially-atomized, isolated, bubble of exploitation, shame, and fear. Exploited labor. Inoculated with shame and fear for raising a voice of higher expectations.
- Why do college students pay tuition at all? Not just asking how much tuition will be raised, but, why isn't college free, for all? Individuals, and the society benefit from education. Why is K-12 free but, college is expensive? Because K-12 is tightly-controlled state propaganda. College is dangerous; you might start asking meaningful questions. The state would rather that poor people not go to college because they might get uppity ideas. Rich kids go to exorbitantly expensive private colleges such as Stanford. They are raised to expect to run the world., but poor students need not apply.
- Why doesn't the US have free national health care for all? All other "modern Western"nation have it. Why is our health care system Pay or Die?
- Why isn't public transportation free, and why is it so bad? Because rich people don't use it. Public transportation only exists to get poor people to work and off the freeways where the middle and upper classes ride. Don't tell me about BART. A round-trip fare can now cost $8 or more.
- Why do museums, state and national parks, and public swimming pools charge user-fees? Entrance fees, are regressive taxes levied on the poor. Twenty bucks is the entrance fee at many national parks. Why? Flat fees for any public facility are extraordinary burdens on the poor and chump-change for the rich. Why do we tolerate this injustice? Why should the poor pay to maintain a public facility?
- Why have Barnes and Nobles's replaced public libraries? Why have shopping malls replaced "downtowns?" Why have private corporate spaces replaced public spaces?
- Why are colleges and universities begging for money from corporations? Starved by the states and federal governments, legislatures in service to corporate power, avoid raising corporate taxes. Anyway, public colleges are only for the poor and middle class. Screw 'em.
This country is run by, and for the rich. Anything they can get privately, is something we don't get publicly. Most roads are still public because the rich drive on them.
While teaching at Sacramento State University last year, students were informed by the state that tuition fees would be increased due to "state budget constraints." When I mentioned this to a group of students, they remained silent. They have been indoctrinated into the corporate feudal system. Instead of instilling joy of learning and pride of achievements, students now are driven by fear.
- Fear of unemployment, or more likely "underemployment."
- Fear of debts run up by college tuition, due to high tuition fees and underemployment.
- Fear of appearing "not a team player" Good jobs go to the "team players."
In a recent online piece by the TV program 60 Minutes they asked the question, "Who most deserves to be called an American icon?" The prospective list:
- Neil Armstrong
- Oprah Winfrey
- Ted Turner
- Lance Armstrong
- Kermit the Frog
- Muhammad Ali
- Yogi Berra
- Katharine Hepburn
Never, ever, take banality for benign. The media is the opiate of the people.
I fear for the future of the nation because students fear poverty, individuation, collective meaning, and nonconformity. Corporations fear that the public will one day catch on to the scam.
We are living amidst the shrewdest con job in history; the greatest scam of all time.