Monday, June 16, 2014

Hedges on Chomsky: take action or we all die

See this Hedges piece. Chomsky has always been a key mentor for me. In Hedges piece on him Chomsky accurately defines the transition away from self sufficiency to slave wage labor in the first industrial revolution, much like Rifkin. About how they fought back by forming workers unions and cooperatives. And how the capitalists crushed them by refining propaganda to create the narcissistic consumer constantly living in fear over the Other who wanted to destroy our way of living.

And how this insidious propaganda lies hidden in our highest institutions of learning, this consumerist self enclosure, the subtle worldview hiding behind our most noble endeavors and never recognized, off the radar. Even the likes of Integral Institute, a supposed evolutionary institution, promotes this form of economy which is not only antithetical to its stated goals but which is feeding the very beast it purports to want to transcend. Even our participation in Facebook, which has co-opted the Commons, where the money they make on us contributes to the very kind of labor practices and environmental degradation we claim to shun.

Chomsky thinks our only hope is to not just talk about but create a new Commons. There is a populist uprising happening but it must infiltrate the rest of us in our comfortable lives, in our elite universities, in our business practices, in our repressed participation in the kinds of practices that maintain the beast that is devouring us. For to acknowledge our complicity would require us to take action and that's just not convenient.

Meanwhile Rome burns, the masses are starving, the hounds are at the gate, the climate is killing us. And we just turn up our iPods a little louder to drown out what we don't want to hear. And/or gossip on Facebook. And/or create the most beautiful and advanced models of complexity on how to address our world problems with the hidden time bomb within them. The propaganda has worked and so-called civilization and higher intelligence are not our salvation but more likely our doom. Unless we wake up and take action, but that's just too damned inconvenient.

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