“Talk About a Revolution”
February 10, 2012
Here is a question I don’t hear raised much: How come almost all attempts at dealing with the current economic “crisis” are presented as attempts to “get us back on track?” That is, almost everyone assumes and talks as if the current situation tells us nothing about the worth, the desirability of our current economic “system.” Or to put this slightly differently, almost no one seems to think that the current situation is evidence that the current “system” needs to be changed in basic or fundamental ways. Perhaps this is only true of “mainstream” opinionating but it does seem to be prevalent.
Maybe this is why the establishment reacted so strongly to the Occupy Wall Street “movement;” in fact, so strongly that it seemed strange given what would appear to be the rather insignificant numbers of those protestors/citizens. That is, the perceived threat was that this movement would successfully challenge the prevailing framework of the debate over what should be done now, viz., how can we restore the prevailing economic order. If successful, then those who hold the power in the current system would be dislodged from their positions of power and prominence. And, it seems to me, that this threat is always one that causes anxieties in those with power, not only in the “real world” but in academe as well.
Or maybe those who are the powerful currently know how thin is the veil that covers over, hides the real character of their system. That is, they know that it would not take much to reveal the oligarchic character of the system, thereby condemning that system to the dustbin of history.
In any case, it seems to me that our debate about our situation is about as constrained as it could be. But then some would say there is little to be surprised at here as that seems to be the state of our discourse more often than not. And insofar as this is true, then all the talk about the intensity of our discourse, how intensely “ideological” it is, is really just another cover story for what is, in fact, a rather boring, narrow, and unenlightening discourse that is controlled by the few at the expense of the many.