We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, December 8, 2014

Deception and Democracy: Convincing the Masses to Help the Rich

Click here to access article by Asad Zaman from World Economics Association.

By reviewing the history of government bailouts of the banks, Zaman examines the use of deceptive propaganda to manage the consent of the Ninety-Nine Percent. Although his point is well taken, I think he overstates the use of only one weapon that our ruling masters use against us while pursuing their interests. They have many weapons.
There is widespread agreement on the proposition that people act according to their self-interest. Marx went further to suggest that people subscribe to ideologies conforming to their class interests. For example, agricultural laborers would believe in land reforms, while big landlords would believe that small farms are inefficient. Gradually the weight of strong empirical evidence has led me to understanding that this proposition is false. Large segments of the population can be brought to believe in, and act according to, ideologies extremely harmful to their self interest.