Pacifica Radio Archives pacifica.org
The Majestic Twelve themajestictwelve.com
Billy Bragg www.billybragg.co.uk
Over the last month we've heard a series, the Century of Self, about how the consumer culture was created in the 20th century as a strategy to control the supposedly irrational masses, who were to be psychologically manipulated to accentuate trivial selfishness in the guise of self actualization, and offered consumer choicer in lieu of real freedom.
The subjugation of societies by rulers is, of course, far older than the 20th century, as are the rationalizations they create to legitimize their rule . They have crushed the intelligence, creativity and dignity of those thety rule through various coercive means, then presented their stunted societies as the natural order of things. As our readings from John Taylor Gatto's "Underground History of American Education" show, we have an education system created to adjust people to that order by breaking their minds and spirits 'til they fit the mold. Human social arrangements have also provided misguided templates for human interaction with the natural world, with now evident consequences. In his groudbreaking 1965 essay "Ecology and Revolutionary Thought," Murray Bookchin wrote:" An anarchist society, far from being a remote ideal, has become a precondition for the practice of ecological principles." He predicted " "If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable."