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

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Colonizing the Western Mind

Click here to access article by Jason Hirthler posted on The Greanville Post

I think this article provides much food for thought about the launching of neoliberalism by the ruling capitalist class that, according to the author, started in the 1970s and reached full bloom in the 1980s under the Reagan administration. 

Still, I experienced annoyance at the wording of numerous statements which I, as a pretend editor, would have re-phrased. Some examples of this (in order of their appearance):
  • Instead of "On the left, the ruling ideology might be described as neoliberalism, a particularly vicious form of imperial capitalism that, as would be expected, is camouflaged in the lineaments of humanitarian aid and succor.", I would have re-written as "Leftists began to describe this ruling ideology as neoliberalism, ...."
  • Instead of "The ideological assumptions, which serve to justify what you could call neocolonial tactics, are relatively clear: the rights of the individual to be free of overreach from monolithic institutions like the state.", I would have written "... the rights of individual capitalists must be mostly free of interventions by the state."
  • Instead of "Together, an unshackled economy and an unfettered populace, newly equipped with individual rights, would produce the same flourishing and nourishing demos of mid-century America that had been the envy of humanity.", I would have written "By unshackling capitalists from government regulations while promoting more freedom for various social identities (such as gay and women's prerogatives), the neoliberalists disguised the former behind the wide publicity for the latter."
  • Instead of "The enduring lie is that there is no democracy without economic democracy.", I would write "The enduring lie is that there is no kind of democracy that limits the freedom for capitalists to participate in the economy." 
  • Then I would simply replace the last paragraph, which does nothing to advance his argument, with a summary of his thesis that would be something like this: "The ruling capitalist class began in the 1970s to construct a highly organized effort to advance a neoliberal agenda through its overwhelming control of corporate media and other institutions such as the film industry and education. The latter advanced the liberalizing themes of social identity while mostly disguising the steady promotion of government deregulation and lessening the restrictions placed on capitalist enterprise. Meanwhile, military interventions abroad in support of capitalist interests were always framed in corporate media has a promotion of human rights and freedoms. Such highly organized efforts effectively colonized the Western mind to support the ruling class's neoliberal agenda."