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Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

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  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 03:42am

    #1
    switters

    switters

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    Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

[quote]"We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a
print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the
intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America,
which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief
system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for
information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture.
It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by
simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into
confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more
than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or
nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into
radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.[/quote]

In this excellent article, Chris Hedges goes on to say that there are almost 100 million American who can’t read at more than a fourth-or-fifth-grade level.  But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into
this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along
with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they
finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last
year did not buy a book. 

[quote]The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without
the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American
political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting
epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans
and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now
masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience.
They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are
designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment
and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully
constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public
moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal. They create
a public ecstasy that annuls individuality and fosters a state of
mindlessness. They thrust us into an eternal present. They cater to a
nation that now lives in a state of permanent amnesia. It is style and
story, not content or history or reality, which inform our politics and
our lives. We prefer happy illusions. And it works because so much of
the American electorate, including those who should know better,
blindly cast ballots for slogans, smiles, the cheerful family tableaux,
narratives and the perceived sincerity and the attractiveness of
candidates. We confuse how we feel with knowledge. [/quote]

Keep reading.  It’s one of the most insightful and well written pieces I’ve read in a long time.  

After spending several hours researching various state ballot measures prior to the last election, I found myself wondering how many people actually take the time to do that.  If they don’t (which I think it’s safe to say the vast majority do not), on what basis are they casting their ballot?  Voting straight down party lines?  Following the suggestion of a friend or parent?  

I did a little bit of calling for Obama.  Not because I think he’s going to solve our problems, but because I think McCain would have been far worse.  I was absolutely horrified by some of the conversations I had with people who were still undecided.  Most of them could not articulate even the most basic differences between the candidates.  It was a truly sobering experience.

I’ve said elsewhere that I believe no true change will happen in this country unless we as American voters demand it.  But with so few people able or willing to read and learn about the challenges we’re facing, and even fewer able to critically analyze the superficial and misleading mainstream fluff, how are we going to get to a place where the average person gets even a tiny percentage of what we’re talking about here?

 

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 04:19am

    #2

    pir8don

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

I agree with the analysis but don’t see revolution as the solution. We know what has happened to previous civilisations. The rise of leaders and groups bigger than tribes has always ended with return to tribes (after Daniel Quinn). We can not continue to be in our present numbers, no matter what is voted for. 5 out of every 6 of us must die off soon for our planet to remain habitable to humans.  I am unsure of the mechanism by which this will happen but fear most that it might not.Only if we can constrain our group sizes to human levels is there any prospect of isolated survival. That survival will be with a very small s.

Don

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 05:02am

    #3
    srbarbour

    srbarbour

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

[quote]voters demand it.  But with so few people able or willing to read and
learn about the challenges we’re facing, and even fewer able to
critically analyze the superficial and misleading mainstream fluff, how
are we going to get to a place where the average person gets even a
tiny percentage of what we’re talking about here?[/quote]

Fortunately Switters, despite such dismal reviews of human awareness, humans are actually much more educated and aware than any time in the past.  So, given such changes and such accomplishments, which we admire even today, were achieved in those eras, we can say that history is on our side in saying that sooner or later the right thing will be done.

Unfortunately, we are also in an era where the very few can more effectively control the informational input of the very many.  This changes things significantly because individuals who cannot understand most often cling to people they think do understand, at least until the new ‘concept’ settles in.  After this point new ‘sources of information’ are sorted into trustworthy and untrustworthy as regards to whether the newly presented information matches or clashes with prior conceptions.   All humans, of course do this, but those who did not understand the source of the conception in the first place take the concept as a matter of faith.   As such not even direct and irrefutable evidence can sway them — unless that evidence is so forceful as to beat that individual to a bloody pulp.   (Luckly, the universe is often happy to oblige with the beating to a bloody pulp part)

Real change, is therefore, most possible when:

1) Generations die out — and likewise era ingrained conceptions are reduced in favor of new ingrained conceptions of the younger generations.

2) When major shocks force reconceptualization of the world.  (e.g. a new global depression, irrefutable evidence of global warming, peak oil occurs, etc… )

For better or worse we are experiencing number 2.   Over then next two-to-three decades we’ll also see much of the baby boomers die off, which will also cause major shifts.

(As a side, the number of books bought by Americans is becoming increasingly irrelevant statistic.   I myself an avid reader, do virtually all of my reading online these days — and still read in such a bulk that surmounts the vast majority of humankind.)

Steve 

 

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 11:29am

    #4

    krogoth

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

[quote=pir8don]

We can not continue to be in our present numbers, no matter what is voted for. 5 out of every 6 of us must die off soon for our planet to remain habitable to humans.  I am unsure of the mechanism by which this will happen but fear most that it might not.

Don

[/quote]

 

Wow, 5 of 6. That’s pretty big numbers! Don’t worry, were due for another Avian bird flu or similar type virus for some mass fear generation soon, or a reason not to eat cow, or maybe some Chinese made chemical that will slowly kill us off embedded in our food. Still, 5 out of 6 is a pretty large amount of people. Who will be left? The bank exec’s and uber rich who can afford the super high priced antidote?

 

 

 

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 12:58pm

    #5

    Nichoman

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

Central Theme is valid.  Politics and especially political campaigns has turned mainy into a "cult-like" orgy.

 

Instead of Revolution, how about Evolution?  But that can only happen with a system that learns, understands and applies versus to get and stay in power.  Submit government operates in many ways in dark ages.   Run by people who want to be in office…not those who are qualified to be there.

 

Why would Obama be any different?  What concretely has he ever done to show he and the Democratic partly have changed their ways?  Wish him the best but WALK is more important than TALK.  Obama is going to have to make lots of difficult decisions and take on numerous special interests and those in his party…don’t see any evidence of this in his past.   For the country we need him to do this…but at this stage in life…actions and history are better teachers of the future with a system as broke as ours.

What do others think the peoples view of things will be if it gets as bad as suggested in two years?  Four Years.   Yep, gonna have change alright…but maybe not the type many folks are thinking.

 

What will the country think of both parties the next 2 to 4 years?  WIll the media  finally pull their heads out and work for the people?   Can only hope (ooops….Sorry Obama).  Tongue out

 

–Nichoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 07:35pm

    #6
    TruthSpeak

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

I could not agree more. History will always repeat itself because the majority of people just don’t study history.

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 08:03pm

    #7

    joe bender

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

I did a little bit of calling for Obama.  Not because I think he’s going to solve our problems, but because I think McCain would have been far worse.  I was absolutely horrified by some of the conversations I had with people who were still undecided.  Most of them could not articulate even the most basic differences between the candidates.  It was a truly sobering experience.

well switters

what is sobering for me is that someone who could post a great article like this would do any calling for obama.

we will not have any change or i should say the possibility of change unless we have three preferably four or five candidates to vote for.

so you keep voting for the lesser of two evils and that is what you get the lesser of two evils.

this is precisely why progressives are the problem. if third parties do not start getting votes there is absolutely no hope of any change outside of a violent revolution.

so my friend i have really enjoyed what you have posted here but i am "horrified" that you would call for the messiah.

next time try voting for something you believe in …………..it’s the only chance you will get it

change change change …………………change of fools

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 08:30pm

    #8
    switters

    switters

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

I do vote my conscience, joebaba, and my conscience in this case told me very clearly that we’d be much worse off with a McCain administration at this time than with Obama.  Voting for Nader/Gonzales, who probably do represent my views more closely, would have done nothing at all.  Absolutely nothing.

I don’t have faith that real solutions are going to come from any big government, no matter who is in power.  The same problems would be present with your proposed thrid, fourth or fifth party.  However, I do think Obama has more integrity than McCain and is more capable of leading and inspiring the nation in a time of crisis.  He’s an orator, and a powerful one.  When the realities of peak oil, economic instability and climate change become impossible even for the average person and our government to ignore, we’re going to need someone in office who is able to lead.  I think Obama is clearly better than McCain in this regard.

As I said before, I have no illusions about Obama.  He’s part of the corporate-sponsored government machine and beholden to the same interests that every president before him has been beholden to.  But I think he’s a better man than McCain, and that’s why I voted for him and called for him.

In the primaries I voted and called for Kucinich, even though I knew he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting elected.

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 09:43pm

    #9
    TruthSpeak

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    Re: Why the revolution isn’t forthcoming

And what would you recomend? Writing in Ron Paul? Many of the other candidates are looney as heck. I am open to suggestions. Please advise.

  • Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 10:01pm

    #10

    pir8don

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    Re: Why the revolut on isn’t forthcoming

Hi krogoth

5 of 6. Planet pop closing on 7 billion. All sustainable estimates to which I would give credence (the only ones I know of so far) say that 2 is max and 1 more likely. Without carbon extraction of course.

Don

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