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.

This country is rolling in dough. The US is the richest large country, ever. The rich have their own private swimming pools, private libraries, private health care, private transportation, and private colleges. They don't need public facilities, and therefore, the government doesn't provide them to the 90 percent of the population who want them. Public school financing based on local property taxation provides rich kids, with rich schools, and poor kids with poor schools. Lest we forget, twenty bucks to get into Yosemite keeps out some of the riff-raff there, too.

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.
College education is now more accurately described as "job training." Fearful of the future, students do not want to take courses that are not directly related to "getting a job." Fearful of the costs of education, students do not want to take courses that are not directly related to a degree concretely related to specific business slot: Worries are focused on excelling at Excel, not excelling at English literature, or world history. Education is a pastime of the rich who, unlike the masses, have the wherewithal and leisure to explore more.

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:
Not a single "statesperson," intellectual, or leader of a popular movement appeared. One astronaut, two movie stars, three athletes, one corporate tycoon, and one puppet. Why is this so? Because icons require public exposure, and the "public" media is tightly controlled by a tiny fraction of the population with sufficient wealth to control who gets on the glowing screen. The search for the American icon is reduced to a banality because real people connected to the real world who otherwise might appear on such a list, such as Cindy Sheehan, challenge corporate power and corporate control. More importantly, people who are engaged in the world around them and do not act as if they are either stupid or powerless, are profoundly dangerous. Banality promulgates distraction from the realities of life, and reinforces the belief in powerlessness.

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.

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