Thursday, April 12, 2007


Busy tonight. Check out these essays from Working for Change.

Propaganda is indispensable, dangerous reality of modern democracy

Without any real constitutional checks against using violence to coerce action, totalitarian rulers don't really have to worry about what you think. They tell you what to think with a gun to your head. But it's much more difficult to use naked state-sanctioned violence in democracies, which is why "democratic" rulers subject the masses to a mind-numbing amount of propaganda.

Unfortunately, "education," as it's been constructed, is what lays the foundation for people to be propagandized. In fact, the more "education" someone has, the more susceptible they are to propaganda because most schooling is geared toward teaching what to think; not how to think.

More here.

Cult of gun ownership still casts seductive spell

Gun assaults are rising, but you're unlikely to hear anything from the top-tier presidential candidates about improving gun safety laws. Republicans, of course, are wholly owned by the National Rifle Association, which advocates a howitzer in every home. Democrats, meanwhile, have been persuaded that gun safety is the suicide bomb of domestic politics; mention the subject, and your campaign explodes.

So this folly will continue, fueled by a perplexing cultural ethos that worships individual gun ownership. A century from now, anthropologists will look back and wonder what in the world this was all about. They'll sift through the ruins and the historical record, in much the same way anthropologists today puzzle over cannibalism and the sacrifice of virgins in long-dead civilizations. They'll wonder how a highly advanced and sophisticated culture allowed unchecked personal gun ownership, despite the carnage.

More here.