Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Why the World Is Smarter Than Us

Why does the U.S. lag behind our peers when it comes to educating our students? Dana Goldstein on a new book that looks at school systems across the globe to come away with a startling conclusion: they value the intellect more than we do.

educationIt has always been one of the most puzzling aspects of living in the United States: realizing that the lack of education, the dearth of critical thinking, and a penchant for wrong-thinking, is celebrated as being a part of the “true” America. Just listen to Sarah Palin. Even the colleges and universities, which once were centers of knowledge and critical thinking, have been transmogrified into capitalistic centers for the training of new recruits who will be prepared to increase the profits of the plutocracy at the taxpayer’s expense.

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We the people vs. the wealthy few

On Sunday 1 July Dave Johnson published an article in Nation of Change that I have included below. How obvious does it have to be so that Americans realize that the American Democracy is over and that most citizens are merely wage-slaves to the plutocrats and fascists?

It seems to me that Romney’s promise to “fix the economy” would not be in his own best interest and there’s one thing about Mitt, he will do is anything that is in his personal best interest. Sounds like a conflict on day one: I wonder who will win out, the rich and super-rich or the rest of us?

Here Is Why the Elites Are Not Fixing the Economy

The reason our leaders are not doing anything to fix the economy is because,  from the viewpoint of our real leaders, the economy is working just fine. 

When we had democracy, We, the People made the rules and we ran our country and our economy for our benefit. Now that we are a plutocracy things are different. The reason our elites are not doing anything to fix the economy is because from their viewpoint, things are just fine.

Merriam-Webster:

plu·toc·ra·cy noun \plü-ˈtä-krə-sē\

1: government by the wealthy
2: a controlling class of the wealthy

Our political leaders dance with the ones that bring them. Increasingly they are dancing with the billionaires and their giant corporations.

Our politicians are doing and saying increasingly incomprehensible things. The separation from regular people is unbelievable. But in politics you “dance with the one that brung ya,” and these things become comprehensible and believable when you look at who is bringing them to the dance.

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The Iron Heel

I know nothing that I may say can influence you … You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in the House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy. You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron Heel.

That was a short speech given by one of the new Socialist members of the Congress that had worked within the system but as predicted were eventually conquered by the might of the oligarchy.

Jack London, himself a socialist, wrote an interesting dystopean novel that expressed the problems with Capitalism and developed a likely outcome of the struggle between corporations and people, or as we might express it one hundred years later, between the one percent and the ninety-nine percent. The novel is titled The Iron Heel; it is structured as a manuscript written by a key player in the revolution (as such, remember that the footnotes are a part of the fiction and often serve to lend validity to the speculative future vision).

London’s main character is a charismatic leader who speaks for the side of the working man (this man’s wife is the narrator). Here he describes the situation:

The working man on the street railway furnish the labor. The stockholders furnish the capital. By the joint effort of the workingmen and the capital, money is earned. They divide between then this money that is earned. Capital’s share is called ‘dividends.’ Labor’s share is called ‘wages.’ … the workingman, being selfish, wants all he can get in the division. The capitalist, being selfish, wants all he can get in the division. … When there is only so much of the same thing, and when two men want all they can get of the same thing, there is a conflict of interest between labor and capital … an irreconcilable conflict.

His position on the oligarchy which controls the lives of so many workers is clear:

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