Young Americans Don’t Fight Back?

04/11/2014

http://globalwarming-arclein.blogspot.ca/2014/04/young-americans-dont-fight-back.html

By Bruce E. Levine  There is a lot of seriously flawed thinking in this article, but it is worth reading for the points listed and consideration.   What is blindingly obvious is that our society is in transition and has been so for a long time.  Not surprisingly, old institutions and ideas do get left behind and many do lose their way as well.   What that does mean is that we need to strive to do better as a society to achieve superior results.  Our forefathers had clear ideas that they vigorously implemented.   We need to think out our available options and apply them and vest them properly inside the community and family.   This writer surely thinks that youthful resistance should focus of his own agenda and that is surely not true.  Resistance always needs to mature and be applied at the fulcrum for effect.  We are watching this happen worldwide now and it is all leading to a more egalitarian society.   8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance March 19, 2014

 http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/19/8-reasons-young-americans-dont-fight-back-us-crushed-youth-resistance/

Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination. Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it. A 2010 Gallup poll asked Americans “Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit when you retire?” Among 18- to 34-years-olds, 76 percent of them said no. Yet despite their lack of confidence in the availability of Social Security for them, few have demanded it be shored up by more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy; most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, even though they don’t believe it will be around to benefit them. How exactly has American society subdued young Americans?

1. Student-Loan Debt. Large debt—and the fear it creates—is a pacifying force. There was no tuition at the City University of New York when I attended one of its colleges in the 1970s, a time when tuition at many U.S. public universities was so affordable that it was easy to get a B.A. and even a graduate degree without accruing any student-loan debt. While those days are gone in the United States, public universities continue to be free in the Arab world and are either free or with very low fees in many countries throughout the world. The millions of young Iranians who risked getting shot to protest their disputed 2009 presidential election, the millions of young Egyptians who risked their lives earlier this year to eliminate Mubarak, and the millions of young Americans who demonstrated against the Vietnam War all had in common the absence of pacifying huge student-loan debt. Today in the United States, two-thirds of graduating seniors at four-year colleges have student-loan debt, including over 62 percent of public university graduates. While average undergraduate debt is close to $25,000, I increasingly talk to college graduates with closer to $100,000 in student-loan debt. During the time in one’s life when it should be easiest to resist authority because one does not yet have family responsibilities, many young people worry about the cost of bucking authority, losing their job, and being unable to pay an ever-increasing debt. In a vicious cycle, student debt has a subduing effect on activism, and political passivity makes it more likely that students will accept such debt as a natural part of life.

2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance. In 1955, Erich Fromm, the then widely respected anti-authoritarian leftist psychoanalyst, wrote, “Today the function of psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis threatens to become the tool in the manipulation of man.” Fromm died in 1980, the same year that an increasingly authoritarian America elected Ronald Reagan president, and an increasingly authoritarian American Psychiatric Association added to their diagnostic bible (then the DSM-III) disruptive mental disorders for children and teenagers such as the increasingly popular “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,” “often argues with adults,” and “often deliberately does things to annoy other people.” Many of America’s greatest activists including Saul Alinsky (1909–1972), the legendary organizer and author of Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, would today certainly be diagnosed with ODD and other disruptive disorders. Recalling his childhood, Alinsky said, “I never thought of walking on the grass until I saw a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass.’ Then I would stomp all over it.” Heavily tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs (e.g. Zyprexa and Risperdal) are now the highest grossing class of medication in the United States ($16 billion in 2010); a major reason for this, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010, is that many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder (this especially true of Medicaid-covered pediatric patients).

3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy. Upon accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990, John Taylor Gatto upset many in attendance by stating: “The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.” A generation ago, the problem of compulsory schooling as a vehicle for an authoritarian society was widely discussed, but as this problem has gotten worse, it is seldom discussed. The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation. A teacher can lecture about democracy, but schools are essentially undemocratic places, and so democracy is not what is instilled in students. Jonathan Kozol in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home focused on how school breaks us from courageous actions. Kozol explains how our schools teach us a kind of “inert concern” in which “caring”—in and of itself and without risking the consequences of actual action—is considered “ethical.” School teaches us that we are “moral and mature” if we politely assert our concerns, but the essence of school—its demand for compliance—teaches us not to act in a friction-causing manner.

4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” The corporatocracy has figured out a way to make our already authoritarian schools even more authoritarian. Democrat-Republican bipartisanship has resulted in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, NAFTA, the PATRIOT Act, the War on Drugs, the Wall Street bailout, and educational policies such as “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” These policies are essentially standardized-testing tyranny that creates fear, which is antithetical to education for a democratic society. Fear forces students and teachers to constantly focus on the demands of test creators; it crushes curiosity, critical thinking, questioning authority, and challenging and resisting illegitimate authority. In a more democratic and less authoritarian society, one would evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher not by corporatocracy-sanctioned standardized tests but by asking students, parents, and a community if a teacher is inspiring students to be more curious, to read more, to learn independently, to enjoy thinking critically, to question authorities, and to challenge illegitimate authorities.

5. Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously. In a 2006 survey in the United States, it was found that 40 percent of children between first and third grade read every day, but by fourth grade, that rate declined to 29 percent. Despite the anti-educational impact of standard schools, children and their parents are increasingly propagandized to believe that disliking school means disliking learning. That was not always the case in the United States. Mark Twain famously said, “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” Toward the end of Twain’s life in 1900, only 6 percent of Americans graduated high school. Today, approximately 85 percent of Americans graduate high school, but this is good enough for Barack Obama who told us in 2009, “And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country.” The more schooling Americans get, however, the more politically ignorant they are of America’s ongoing class war, and the more incapable they are of challenging the ruling class. In the 1880s and 1890s, American farmers with little or no schooling created a Populist movement that organized America’s largest-scale working people’s cooperative, formed a People’s Party that received 8 percent of the vote in 1892 presidential election, designed a “subtreasury” plan (that had it been implemented would have allowed easier credit for farmers and broke the power of large banks) and sent 40,000 lecturers across America to articulate it, and evidenced all kinds of sophisticated political ideas, strategies and tactics absent today from America’s well-schooled population. Today, Americans who lack college degrees are increasingly shamed as “losers”; however, Gore Vidal and George Carlin, two of America’s most astute and articulate critics of the corporatocracy, never went to college, and Carlin dropped out of school in the ninth grade.

6. The Normalization of Surveillance. The fear of being surveilled makes a population easier to control. While the National Security Agency (NSA) has received publicity for monitoring American citizen’s email and phone conversations, and while employer surveillance has become increasingly common in the United States, young Americans have become increasingly acquiescent to corporatocracy surveillance because, beginning at a young age, surveillance is routine in their lives. Parents routinely check Web sites for their kid’s latest test grades and completed assignments, and just like employers, are monitoring their children’s computers and Facebook pages. Some parents use the GPS in their children’s cell phones to track their whereabouts, and other parents have video cameras in their homes. Increasingly, I talk with young people who lack the confidence that they can even pull off a party when their parents are out of town, and so how much confidence are they going to have about pulling off a democratic movement below the radar of authorities?

7. Television. In 2009, the Nielsen Company reported that TV viewing in the United States is at an all-time high if one includes the following “three screens”: a television set, a laptop/personal computer, and a cell phone. American children average eight hours a day on TV, video games, movies, the Internet, cell phones, iPods, and other technologies (not including school-related use). Many progressives are concerned about the concentrated control of content by the corporate media, but the mere act of watching TV—regardless of the programming—is the primary pacifying agent (private-enterprise prisons have recognized that providing inmates with cable television can be a more economical method to keep them quiet and subdued than it would be to hire more guards). Television is a dream come true for an authoritarian society: those with the most money own most of what people see; fear-based television programming makes people more afraid and distrustful of one another, which is good for the ruling elite who depend on a “divide and conquer” strategy; TV isolates people so they are not joining together to create resistance to authorities; and regardless of the programming, TV viewers’ brainwaves slow down, transforming them closer to a hypnotic state that makes it difficult to think critically. While playing a video games is not as zombifying as passively viewing TV, such games have become for many boys and young men their only experience of potency, and this “virtual potency” is certainly no threat to the ruling elite.

8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism. American culture offers young Americans the “choices” of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist consumerism. All varieties of fundamentalism narrow one’s focus and inhibit critical thinking. While some progressives are fond of calling fundamentalist religion the “opiate of the masses,” they too often neglect the pacifying nature of America’s other major fundamentalism. Fundamentalist consumerism pacifies young Americans in a variety of ways. Fundamentalist consumerism destroys self-reliance, creating people who feel completely dependent on others and who are thus more likely to turn over decision-making power to authorities, the precise mind-set that the ruling elite loves to see. A fundamentalist consumer culture legitimizes advertising, propaganda, and all kinds of manipulations, including lies; and when a society gives legitimacy to lies and manipulativeness, it destroys the capacity of people to trust one another and form democratic movements. Fundamentalist consumerism also promotes self-absorption, which makes it difficult for the solidarity necessary for democratic movements. These are not the only aspects of our culture that are subduing young Americans and crushing their resistance to domination. The food-industrial complex has helped create an epidemic of childhood obesity, depression, and passivity. The prison-industrial complex keeps young anti-authoritarians “in line” (now by the fear that they may come before judges such as the two Pennsylvania ones who took $2.6 million from private-industry prisons to ensure that juveniles were incarcerated). As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed: “All our things are right and wrong together. The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.” About the Author Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite  (Chelsea Green, 2011). His Web site is http://www.brucelevine.net/

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

While I do not disagree with the author’s commentary, I feel strongly that he missed the age group by about forty years. It is my experience that up too, and including seniors of this generation are as dumb as rocks if judged by how little resistance they are involved in to authoritarian government. The schools have done a fine job of intellectual castration much further back than reported, and now America is flooded with a bunch of pacifist. When men my age (73), are willing to die for their freedom, what the hell is wrong with 40 year old men?

10 13 11 flagbar


The Most Popular Show In America Is Basically NSA Propaganda

03/25/2014

“No earthly government has jurisdiction over your God Given Rights.”
Without GOD you have nothing but Liars

http://www.businessinsider.com/ncis-is-basically-nsa-propaganda-2014-3

3-25-2014 6-31-51 AM

GREGG EASTERBROOK,
THE ATLANTIC

CBS, NCIS and its sibling NCIS: Los Angeles are the top-rated dramas on television, a distinction they have held for several years.
Next season there will be a third iteration, which ones hopes will be titled NCIS: Spinoff. As Quartz’s Jason Lynch notes, viewers love these formulaic procedurals—while critics ignore them.
But what exactly are so many Americans watching—and rooting for—when they tune in for these TV shows? A closer look reveals that both series are uncomfortably akin to a cheering section for the NSA: The shows depict a world in which terrorists planning mass slaughter are under every bed, in which viewers root for the good-looking, wisecracking agents to smash down doors without warrants; in which super-advanced electronic surveillance is used exclusively to protect the public. In the NCIS version of reality, we’ll all die unless powerful government agencies treat the United States Constitution like a big joke.
Of course primetime TV is rich in galimatias: Wacky sitcoms are hardly realism, and virtually all action programming overstates the frequency of violent crime. That crime is in steady decline simply isn’t mentioned on procedurals like Hawaii Five-0 and the Law & Order franchise, which depict homicide at runaway levels. Primetime dramas also exaggerate the use of firearms. In the actual NYPD, 1 officer in 800 fired at a suspect in 2012; on TV, the streets of New York City are as bullet-ridden as the Wild West. Procedurals further overstate the chance of criminals being caught: A disturbing number of real crimes never are solved, while in primetime, as the top of the hour approaches, the cell door slams behind the villain. Viewers long have clicked on the tube to entertainment in which crime is rampant, gunfire echoes down the mean streets, and bad guys always get what’s coming to them.
But the subliminals are shifting. A generation ago, network crime dramas featured private detectives who were lone outsiders, like The Rockford Files’ Rockford, or For Hire’s Spenser. Post 9/11, audiences seem to prefer heroes with government authority. Federal agents based in secret facilities, elite crime-fighting units with extralegal powers, fantastical technology, and commando-team backup are everywhere on primetime.
The NCIS siblings take this one step further by placing the entire nation in jeopardy on a regular basis. The two shows have offered numerous plots involving weapons of mass destruction in the hands of lavishly financed Iranian, Pakistani, or Russian evildoers. (Odd that the shows don’t roll out Saudi evildoers, given most of the 9-11 mass murderers were Saudi nationals; though, in the NCIS universe, Romania is often depicted as a fountainhead of maniacal terrorists.) NCIS Los Angeles had an arc in which well-dressed bad guys with generic foreign accents seized three atomic bombs left over from the Cold War; another in which the deranged were racing through L.A. with a bio-weapon that could “kill everyone west of the Mississippi in 48 hours.”
On ‘NCIS,’ info often comes from a tech staffer who can tap into any cell phone or video feed in mere seconds, never needing a password or a judge’s permission.
How are these calamities prevented? Electronic surveillance. A sinister Pakistani terrorist has an accomplice in Washington, D.C. A super-advanced surveillance device takes mere seconds to locate the accomplice and determine he is on the way to the Norfolk airport. (When he arrives, Washington-based NCIS agents are already present, disguised as airline employees—how they could get there first is never explained, but that’s a standard plot hole.) The well-dressed guys with the atomic bombs are tracked across Los Angeles by technology that apparently can detect fake accents from outer space. The woman with the bio-weapon passes a closed-circuit security camera, and instantly the agents know her location.
On NCIS, info often comes from a particular tech staffer who can tap into any cell phone or video feed in mere seconds, never needing a password and never pausing for a judge’s permission. (She dresses Goth; she’s no Oliver North!)NCIS Los Angeles features two cool young techies who operate a never-explained super-computer that requires mere seconds to pinpoint any vaguely Middle Eastern-seeming person anywhere in the Golden State. Then the agents declare that if they have to stop to get a search warrant, the innocent will die.
In the setup of the shows, viewers have seen the bad guys doing something malicious, and so know they are guilty. Who cares about the rights of the guilty! But in reality, law-enforcement officers rarely are sure about guilt; nobody can be certain until a judge or jury speaks. By first showing the primetime audience an awful terrorist scheming to slaughter the innocent, then showing valorous agents who can stop the terrorist only by trampling the Bill of Rights, audiences are induced to think, “Listen in without a warrant! Break down the door! That’s justice!”
In this respect, it’s somewhat spooky that NCIS Los Angeles is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military manufacturer. As the credits roll, “Promotional consideration furnished by Lockheed Martin” appears in tiny type. Lockheed Martin does not market any consumer products—watching NCIS Los Angeles cannot inspire anyone to log onto Amazon and purchase an F-35 strike fighter. Yet the firm underwrites the show, which makes itself seem hip with references to NPR and gay rights, then offers plotlines in which advanced wiretap technology is good for the public. For car companies to have product placements in detective drama is one thing; for military contractors to underwrite programming that lauds Big Brother tactics is another.
The NCIS twins aren’t the only primetime shows that glamorize electronic surveillance. Person of Interest, often in the Nielsen top 10, concerns an imaginary super-computer that fuses all data from all the world’s devices, then directs the heroes to places where the innocent are imperiled. “The machine sees everything,” the intro intones. And is used solely for good! Intelligence, a new primetime series, concerns a secret agent with an imaginary chip planted in his head. The chip fuses all data from all the world’s devices, allowing the agent to stop terrorist attacks. And, similarly, it’s used solely for good! As the credits roll after Intelligence, a message appears onscreen: PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS PROVIDED BY MICROSOFT.
Of course television studios have an unceasing need to pump out programming; what would really be scary is if bad guys from an NCIS episode got their hands on a MacGuffin generator. And plots in which imaginary technology saves the day have been on the tube since The Man From UNCLE half a century ago. But in today’s political climate, why does Hollywood seem so enthusiastic about promoting the notion that the innocent have nothing to fear from Fourth Amendment violations and ubiquitous electronic surveillance?

 OLDDOGS COMMENTS

I suggest the reader spends a few minutes contemplating how many things they have accepted as true, are really surreptitious propaganda implanted in your mind from your habits, entertainment, and associations. The conclusion could startle you. The fool will conclude they only believe what is proven true.  The truth is, you cannot even prove you exist.

10 13 11 flagbar