Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More on Obama from C. Hedges

"Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere with Obama." This is from Hedges'new book "The World As It Is." In this piece, Hedges quotes Nader pointing out the passivity of the American people including the young. "No one sees anything changing. There is no new political party to give people a choice. The progressive forces have no hammer....There comes a point when the public imbibes the ultimatum of the plutocracy....[And] this is the third television generation. They have grown up watching screens. They have not gone to rallies. Those are history now. They hear their parents and grandparents talk about marches and rallies. They have little toys and gizmos that they hold in their hands. They have no idea of any public protest or activity. It is a tapestry of passivity." [pp. 53-54]

But it is even worse than Nader makes it out to be because the young are so bureaucratized that they don't even know it. Their bureaucratization is hidden in plain view and, as a result, the young have difficult even conceiving of public action or demonstration. When teaching, I use to encourage my senior students to blow off the school's "Senior Week," for example by going to the beach. One year when I made this suggestion a young woman, one of my best students, responded spontaneously: "But they won't let us to the beach." She was thinking that she had to get the approval of the BOBs [Basic Old Bureaucrats] to go to the beach! And she was programmed to think this way. When I said that they couldn't stop you from going to the beach with some friends, she looked at me like I was an alien. But what should we expect from a generation that has been raised with activities like "play dates" and almost all of whose sports activities have been organized by adults and overseen by them and bureaucrats? Then throw in "high stakes testing" and you have the makings of a passive generation, which is of course fine with the powers that be. Passivity allows the plutocracy to govern as it wishes while the republic withers. And, apparently, even an economic crisis of great proportions cannot change things.

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