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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Economic Myths of Santa Claus

Click here to access article by K.J. Noh from CounterPunch.

I found this essay very interesting because it conveyed a lot of the history behind the Santa Claus mythology and how it is used today to cover up some very harsh realities. However, I don't feel that Noh really answered the questions he posed at the beginning:
Why is this myth so powerful?  Why does it capture imagination so deeply?  Why do generations perpetuate this massive fraud to their children?
His answers seem to blame the victims, us, for the ideological weapons (which are ultimately backed by their state sanctioned violence) used by a tiny capitalist class to maintain and enhance their powerful position in society and the world. On the other hand, we do share in the responsibility for our subordination to this exploitative ruling class, and he exhorts us to take responsibility for our gullibility and our collusion with the masters of our society.
...the sleigh of mystification flies triumphally in the dusk of reason, against the harsh, dark night of capitalism.  It’s incumbent on those of us with thinking minds and caring hearts, to eschew this palliative narcotic and to aspire for ourselves and others, the true flight that a critical, liberated mind can attain, to struggle for the heights of justice, equality, solidarity.  Thinking critically can start the journey that lightens all our hearts and souls, the better to serve one another in the dialectical expression of justice called Love. This is the best gift you can give yourself and your children for Christmas.