Here’s a text (below) that has made a difference to me because it does a pretty good job of “connecting the dots” of several “single issue” topics, while showing their commonalities. Commonalities, that is, which reflect the over-arching belief system (a.k.a. “shared values”) of every elite position (including those internalized in their officers and implementers) in formal, ‘Western’, Euro-centric Societies; be they the u.s.a., canada, europe, –or one of their historical colonial “children” (i.e. all of S. America, Africa, and Asia). “Shared values” exposed by such eminent institutional analysts as Noam Chomsky (quoting multiple “cultural and social managers”), on over to long- “reputable” and widely heralded elite thinkers like Niccolo Machievelli.
This view, of course, flies in the face of the Givens (“conventional wisdom”) that most do not think through deep enough. That is, deeper than what any of the “wings” of The System teach (be they Left, moderate, or Right-wing). Each “wing” teaches critical thinking only on “germs of truth”, while Big Picture truths are reduced to classic propaganda-style technique: demonize some bogey like “Those Bad Right-Wingers!” or “Those Stupid Liberals!”
Or the idea that White People, for instance, cannot be colonized because they are part and parcel of the colonial enterprise.
Well, on the one hand, we see the reality that most of “us” (White folks) are coercively taught those values, and “we” emulate those–until such a time when we begin “waking up –usually by “being slapped in the face,” so to speak, “with reality” to some extent. But it is crucial to understand that these values, that System is not Who We Are, and those values are not “our” values; we’ve simply taken and worn them and identified with them because they are the only frame of reference around us. And because there has been a system of privileges and subtle coercions which inspire us into such a direction.
Today, of course, those privileges are waning (generally speaking); they are being “Outsourced” to newly enticed sections of humanity in which elites seek to “hook” into their System. As nations like India, for example, are groomed, “developed”, and “Globalized”.
(note: most of the links in this text were hacked so that the links no longer go to the page they were intended to go to; I don’t know if that html will show up here..)
“Connecting the dots” is a Vital Move towards ‘in-the-heart’
“In my view, citizens of democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self-defense in order to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and lay the basis for more meaningful democracy.”–Noam Chomsky, leading US political and media dissident
This page is devoted to solving the problems oppressed people face *once and for all*! By looking for the "heart" of the problem and "unearthing" such, we all gain increased insight and understanding about what may be happening, not only to notably oppressed persons (Africans, women, Jews, Gays) but persons not yet viewed as being oppressed or otherwise destructively confined in our increasingly severe alienation from each other. In this way we may more carefully, and more meaningfully proceed towards valuable insights, understandings, and solutions to our challenges hopefully with less "spinning of wheels" and learning from the pitfalls and same old "dead-ends" which other groups have gone down!
|***NOTE: When i say "all" i mean all, across and beyond all of our artificial and fear-stuck boundaries and self-limiting categories. Including those hurting individuals and groups who may not even yet be aware of the roots of their pain--including the worst oppressors, as individuals (not as perpetually de-individualized groups). We're all human beings, and it's about time someone identify that and get to work on serious solutions!
“…if we are afraid, we are almost always afraid of something, and the more clearly we can see what it is we are afraid of, the more likely we are to be able to cope with that fear.”–John Holt in FREEDOM AND BEYOND p.32
to “connecting the dots” on broad terms
Understanding the depth and breadth of the challenge before us is vital not only to a single-issue-oriented community seeking to orient itself to make serious defenses in the face of increasingly authoritarian attack, but also to seeing how alone we are not in the broader, or *macro* picture. In realizng that many have been where we now are, and learning from their mistakes and experiences we may thus find new inspiration and energy to continue our pursuit of justice and sanity.
One of the best ways i’ve found to understand that which is happening against the single issue that brought me into this larger inquiry, has been my desire to understand how the predicament could have happened in the first place. Thus i sought insights into what has happened and what is happening to others whom have been or continue to be in similar shoes. In this inquiry, i have found that if the single-issue oriented can realize comparisons and find underlying systematic patterns to the roots of these problems which prove to be shared by many, the treasure from this can be very very powerful for all involved!
Because then we all start to see how many similarities we share as human beings, and as well the import of building our numbers and our awareness in a kind of solidarity which seeks, finally, to liberate *all*–not only those directly suppressed and oppressed by the injustice, but those others whom we have believed to be “evil” and “incapable” of caring.
So, with all this in mind, i invite you to explore the limited study here, compare it with your experiences and second-hand study…
CONTROLLING YOU, THE “STUPID”/FEARED MASSES
“Rulers have always conspired against their subjects, and sought to keep them in [physical and psychological] bondage.”–Thomas Szasz
It starts in history…
Is there a consistent way in which relatively weak and unprepared groups of people have been treated throughout history? Are many examples in the modern era comparable to those in history? How about witches?
Witches were known to be a “plaguing” European and American societies at one time.
What other groups can you think of that have been treated similarly to us? How about South and North American Indian people? Consider the following quote:
“…most Americans were not ready to listen. For four hundred years, the world had failed to understand Indian people, and the watchword of the day was change–change for Indian people, not understanding of them.”– from the introduction of FROM THE HEART, Voices of the American Indian; edited by Lee Miller; Knopf; NY; 1995; p.xiii
Now take a look at a few instants in history (see link: http://www.angelfire.com/psy/intheheart/history.html) of comparable treatment of weakly organized or unorganized groups by tyrannical power:
- Once popularized belief: EDUCATION DAMAGES GIRLS’ REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS
- DISTINGUISHED BRITISH BIOLOGIST ON FEEBLEMINDEDNESS
- Psychiatrists called it: DRAPETOMANIA: the ‘mental illness’ of slaves running away from their masters
- Another once widely popular and fully reputable belief: TREATMENT OF SELF-ABUSE
- STERILIZATION LAWS IN 30 U.S. STATES
- MILGRAM’S EXPERIMENTS
- SHERIDAN AND KING’S EXPERIMENT
Okay, there’s something to get you going a little. Now let’s look at some ways in which these same patterns manifest in contemporary forms; take the way in which the pattern…
…CONTINUES WITH “YOUR”KIDS…
|No one likes the claim that their young would be targeted for deceit and violation. But beyond the public relations hype about officials having their interests first and foremost, such managers and controllers of the masses' offspring are "just doing their jobs" in quite curious ways. Most probably aren't even aware of how the ideas and beliefs they've received in their training affect those they "help." But that doesn't matter--as long as they "follow the rules" or "play within the limits" of the game, they won't lose their jobs.
While these middle-persons may not be aware of the possible political control behind their work, I can show you that their bosses are; at least to the extent that they follow a shared view about how such institutions “must be run.” The people who came up with these ideas in the first place (and who are often well-known to well-trained people), publish their beliefs in well-circulating journals, like “Public Opinion Quarterly.” People like Edward Bernays, Walter Lippmann, and Reinhold Niebuhr. They “understood” the potential of independent thought going “too far” and wanted to help “the more intelligent members of society” keep the “stupid” masses on “the proper course.”
So when, in the 1970′s, “much too many” voices of the oppressed began to become audible, those who didn’t want such people to “cause trouble” had to stop the “virus” at its roots.
Is this really possible? Can it actually be true? Read more about what was called the”Crisis of Democracy” (http://www.angelfire.com/psy/intheheart/Chom2.html)
“Nothing is more central to the maintenance of social order than the regulatory mechanisms employed to control and socialize our children.”–Ronald Boostrom, coordinator for juvenile “justice” in California, USA, 1980.
Hopefully, with the following incomplete list to help you get started in conducting your own investigation into these contentions of mine, you'll realize what is going on much deeper than you have and have a much better basic understanding of the challenge facing us. With such knowledge, you will hopefully be more able to jump off into your own projects and find success where you may not have before!
(note: list of vital sources for your further inquiry into these potentials follow below)
the mass “helping” industries
§ THE TEENAGE LIBERATION HANDBOOK, How To Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn; Lowry House Publishers; Eugene, OR1991 (includes an excellent critique of history and interests in compulsory schooling)
§ School is dead; Learn in Freedom! (highly documented and excellent analysis of compulsory schooling)
§ THE UNDER-ACHIEVING SCHOOL by John Holt; Dell Publishing, NY; 1969
§ MYTH OF THE HYPERACTIVE CHILD, And Other Means of Child Control by Peter Schrag and Diane Divoky; Pantheon 1975;
§ THE LEARNING MYSTIQUEby Gerald Coles (Excellent list of resources on "learning disabilities" and education)
§ “The I.Q.Ideology”by S.Bowles and H.Gintis; This Magazine is About Schools Vol.6 #4: Winter 1972-’73
§ The Science and Politics of I.Q. by Kamin, L.J.; Wiley; NY, 1974
§ For a history and contemporary documentation of high school and college student press problems with officials check the Student Press Law Center (active since early 1970s)
JUVENILE “JUSTICE” CRITIQUES
§ hype and politics of juvenile deviance by Ronald Boostrom
§ “The child savers’ rhetoric was about liberating children…but the reality was tighter supervision and control by adults”–in a review of “The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency” (search, i.e. Indymedia for this rare text) by Anthony Platt, University of Chicago Press, 1969;
§ see also “An Incriminating Expose of the Juvenile Justice Juggernaut” from Ann Arbor Youth Liberation’s FPS Magazine (link possibly forthcoming)
“A social control belief system (“social paradigm”) blankets a society filling almost every intellectual niche. It is like air to land animals or water to a fish, one is totally immersed in it at all times.”–from the Institute of Economic Democracy
ADULT CHAUVANISM CRITIQUES
§ Ann Arbor Youth Liberation (1970s youth-run liberation group, active for about 10 years!)
§ ESCAPE FROM CHILDHOOD, The Needs and Rights of Children (see excerpt via link at right) by John Holt 1974;
§ “Children’s Rights: The Latest Crusade” TIME Magazine; December 25, 1972; p.41-42 (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,906714,00.html )
§ the INDIANNER KOMMUNE –argued against “adulto” (adult- centered) society for 20+ years in Germany
§ GROWING UP ABSURD by Paul Goodman
§ (aRE KIDS ‘irresponsible and incompetent’? See “The Final Prejudice”–a commentary by John Zerzan on a Star Trek show and kids’ treatment therein.
“If the first half of the twentieth century was the era of the technical engineers, the second half may wll be the era of the social engineers…To the question ‘quis cusodiet custodes?’–Who will mount guard over our guardians…–the answer is a bland denial that they need any supervision. There seems to be a touching belief among certain PhD’s…that [they] will never be corrupted by power. …their heart is pure because they are scientists and have taken six thousand hours of…studies.”–Aldous Huxley p.34 of _Brave New World–REVISITED
MENTAL “HEALTH” CRITIQUES
§ The Antipsychiatry Coalition
§ AND THEY CALL IT HELP by Louise Armstrong, 1993;
§ THE WAR AGAINST CHILDREN and TOXIC PSYCHIATRY: Why Empathy, Love, and Therapy Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the New Psychiatry 1994 by Peter Breggin, MD; 1994.
§ Article by Breggin challenging an upcoming government conference
on the “Violence Initiative”
§ A letter by Breggin to the New York Times: Whose Attention
Disorder Does Ritalin Treat?
§ THEY SAY YOU’RE CRAZY by Paula Caplan, PhD;
§ ROUGH TIMES (“therapy means CHANGE not adjustment”) edited by Jerome Agel Ballantine, 1973 Discusses and demystifies how social and psychological science has served state power by "convincing the individual [sufferer] to accommodate to the oppressive conditions", and points out more responsible alternatives like that which Franco Basaglia implemented in Italy.
§ R.D. LAING and the PATHS OF ANTI-PSYCHIATRY by Zbigniew Kotowicz; Routledge; 1997. An overview of Laing's ideas from this "radical" psychotherapist's perspective. One thing i enjoyed most was the detailed examination of his critics' views including Thomas Szasz. Quite interesting, but Kotowicz, it turns out, seems to be taking Szasz out of context in a way that sounds very under-handed.
§ THOMAS SZASZ: Primary Values, Major Contentions by R.E.Vatz and L.S.Weinberg, Prometheus 1983; and THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS by Thomas Szasz, M.D. (challenges all psychiatry including Breggin’s faith)
“Oppositional Defiance Disorder” (ODD):This "disorder" basically attacks all those whom are inarticulate about their intuited dislike /rebellion of strictness/authoritarianism/either-or mindsets in the lives of the youngest and most unprepared persons (including parents with little time or critical resources); as with ADHD, those so labeled will certainly grow up uncritically accepting that their brains are "broken" and lay a beach-head for the introduction of open Soviet-style psychiatry in the U.S. and territories--after all, how can children *want* to rebel from/defy their *loving* caretakers?? They *must* have a brain disorder goes the conventional wisdom! Ultimately, this could seriously mean the persecution of *all* dissent as "mental illness", or at least that dissent which has been marginalized by the most superficial and un-threatening forms.
§ “mental health” critique and resource listing: http://www.stopshrinks.org
§ What You Can Do about aggressive authorities if you have to “go it alone” (see appendix in 1975 book by Peter Schrag and Diane Divoky _Myth of the Hyperactive Child: And Other Means of Child Control_
…AND CONTINUES THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES
“The powerful were, and still are, writing history to maintain control of the thoughts of the masses well into the future (the intention is forever). Unless the process is fully exposed, sincere researchers will forever be using these [thousands of surreptitiously] published accounts as sources to write history. In addition, intelligence agencies of most major nations were simultaneously producing supporting propaganda… The intelligence services of all empires… cooperate in misinforming their citizens to gain their backing supposedly for suppressing tyrants but in reality to maintain control of the world.
“To target the American people, American intelligence services must simultaneously target those the masses look up to for designing and interpreting our world, Congress and academics.[CIA dissident Ralph] McGehee claimed that “He has never once seen a CIA official tell the truth to Congress. Instead comes a steady stream of lies.”(5) Even the information going to those with security clearances is controlled.”-The Institute for Economic Democracy(new link 1-’01)
1635 Via Sabroso, Santa Maria, CA 93454, USA, Ph & fax 805-928-7060
To join the Institute, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In a talk (reprinted with permission: http://www.angelfire.com/psy/intheheart/Chom1.html ) given in Kentfield, CA in 1991, one of the more articulate analysts of the desire to control the American people (or "stupid masses"), had a few things to say about how policy makers (and their obedient implementers) think:
“[T]here’s a logic behind it. There’s even a kind of compelling moral principle behind it. The compelling moral principle is that the mass of the public is just too stupid to be able to understand things. If they try to participate in managing their own affairs, they’re just going to cause trouble. Therefore it would be immoral and improper to permit them to do this.
“We have to tame the bewildered herd [say famous PR gurus--who weren't in this business for the fun of it--like Edward Bernays, Walter Lippmann, Reinhold Niebuhr, Harold Lasswell, and others]. Not allow the bewildered herd to rage and trample and destroy things. It’s pretty much the same logic that says that it would be improper to let a three-year-old run across the street. You don’t give a three-year-old that kind of freedom because a three-year-old doesn’t know how to handle that kind of freedom. Correspondingly, you don’t allow the bewildered herd to become participants [in meaningful democracy because] they’ll just cause trouble.” (…)
We’re Taught To Trust Them…
GENERAL CRITIQUES OF FORMALIZED and INFORMAL AGGRESSION
- C. Wright Mills (The Power Elite)
- Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy by Richard Lasch (W.W.Norton & Company, NY; 1995
- Trust US we’re *Experts*! (audio on Public Relations game with John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton)
- “The Age of Spin”; editorial in ESQUIRE, Dec. 1996
- SCIENCE OF COERCION by Christopher Simpson (see chapter: “Internalization and Enforcement of the Paradigm of Domination,” p.95);
- Lillian Smith (Killers of the Dream, Anchor Books, 1963) (best for awareness of the way whole societies behave towards those allowed to be badly treated)
GENERAL CRITICS OF DOMESTIC (and foreign) U.S. POLICY:
read viewpoints by:
- the "London Times" newspaper for a somewhat independent, yet mainstream view of US domestic and foreign policy (available at your local university library--the best place to find a diversity of views far out-doing local public libraries)
- Noam Chomsky
- John Stockwell (The Praetorian Guard, et al; see especially: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com)
- Howard Zinn (especially The Zinn Reader but also You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train
- Aldous Huxley (Brave New World–REVISITED)
- Jaques Ellul (PROPAGANDA, The Formation of Men’s Attitudes; 1973; Knopf)
“[The people ask] ‘How is this possible?’…I get that all the time. [They say:] ‘Are you telling us that people in Washington [D.C.] are evil?’…[Stockwell responds:] And I kind of flared up; Americans are decent people; they are nice people, and they’re insulated in the world that we live in and they don’t understand, and we don’t read our history…”–John Stockwell, ex-CIA colonel in “The Other Americas” Radio Broadcast from Santa Barbara California, 1980s (see text at http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com )
CRITIQUES OF MAINSTREAM MEDIA
- “Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky (Deeply demystifying) (www.angelfire.com/psy/intheheart/Chom1.html )
- Charlotte Ryan in PRIME TIME ACTIVISM (is this brand of media activism only good for those whose views are already somewhat supported by Left/Right-wing elites?)
- “Stealth History” by Reginald Major (somewhat superficial Leftist tone, but still important insights to rewritten histories about Black history) in “The Black Scholar”Volume 24, #4 pp.39-45
- Michael Parenti, Robert Machesni, Ben Bagdikian
“…we look back [in history] at these these simplistic reductionist explanations of a problem and are appalled…and perhaps amused by the investigations, conclusions, and statements made under the guise of ‘scientific thought’. Yet, in their time the theories were presented and received as credible and became part of an acceptable social outlook.”
–Gerald Coles points out in The Learning Mystique (p.283, note 22)
- Michael Polanyi: General articles and Scholarly papers(new link as of 1-’01)
- Thomas Kuhn: Learn about the 20th Century American thinker who proposed that paradigm shifts, rather than scientific method, actually advance the sciences. Excerpt from "Paradigms Die Hard":(new link as of 1-’01)
Students of science learn to deal with the world around them in the context of the paradigm they are taught. Ideally, students then grapple with the issues left unresolved within their paradigm and thus continue what Kuhn calls the enterprise of “normal science”–”an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies”
- Against Method by Paul Feyerabend; The book seems to be a pretty technical read, but Feyerabend is hailed as a key critic of "hard" science and its practitioners' particular outlooks on reality.
- ARE WE ALL NAZIS? by holocaust survivor Hans Askenasy, Lyle Stuart Ltd. 1978. Askenasy challenges a broad range of social "holy cows", including science and religion; the appendix area on this topic was the most interesting to me.
- EXPLODING THE GENE MYTH by Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald; Beacon Press; Boston, MA; 1993. Discusses some of the biases they see in Genetic and DNA science and methodology, including how it is applied by the "learning disability" crowd; the ways in which the f.b.i. has consistently blocked independent inquiry, and provides an interesting look at the patterns of related sciences like U.S. and Britain-based eugenics theories and 19th and 20th century sterilization science, and many others.
The f.b.i.’s* illegal “COunter INTELligence PROgram” (COINTELPRO)
- Extensive website dedicated to exposing illegal covert action, includes info on Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall’s Agents of Repression (new link as of 1-’01)
- WAR AT HOME, Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It, by Brian Glick; South End Press, Boston; 1989 (92 pages)
A to-the-point record and analysis of this infamous scandal that often successfully discredited and destroyed many U.S.-based justice-seeking political and non-partisan organizations from the 1950's, '60s, 70s, and 80s. Reviewing the facts and evidence obtained by means including a burglary of the f.b.i.'s Reading, PA office, whistleblowing by an insider, and later, the Freedom of Information Act, Brian Glick (a practicing activist lawyer) contends that COINTELPRO-type warfare against independent, legal organization continues (recent case concerning Judi Bari and Earthfirst! is a large example where feds and local police were CAUGHT red-handed.). To see ways that we may minimize this problem in our own movement try the following two links: one and two
Covert action did not end in the 1970s
some groups who've suffered from official covert attack:
- CISPES (Communities In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador)
- Physicians for Social Responsibility
- gay and lesbian groups
- Earth First!
- the Black Panthers (before and after they turned to violent selfdefense)
- the American Indian Movement
- even private citizens, like teachers (see book Alien Ink for examples)
Some other sources:
Documentary film: THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (a blunt and convincing record of lies coming from Congress members and other federal officials caught in the act concerning the federal slaughter of Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. Not for the squeamish, but very eye-opening.)
Partial bibliography from the Institute of Social Economics:
Angus MacKenzie and David Weir, Secrets: The CIA’s War at Home (University of California Press, 1997)
M. Wesley Swearingen, FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Exposé (Boston: South End Press, 1995)
Ward Churchhill, Cointelpro Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Domestic Dissent (South End Press, 1990)
Margaret Jayko, FBI on Trial: The Victory in the Socialist Workers Party Suit against Government Spying (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1989)
Nelson Blackstock, Cointelpro: The FBI’s Secret War on Political Freedom (New York: Anchor Foundation, 1988)
Ward Churchhill (and Jim Vander Wall), Agents of Repression : The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (Boston South End Press, 1989)
Philip S. Foner, editor, The Black Panthers Speak (New York: Da Capo Press, 1995)
“To understand why powerful nations resort to state terrorism, as covered in the above books” says the Institute of Social Economics, “one must understand policies of [the] State [and presumably, their corporate owners]. The following books on diplomacy further outline those policies”:
more books and references: John R. Commons, Institutional Economics (New Brunswick/London: Transaction Publishers, 1995) Carey B. Joynt and Percy E. Corbett, Theory and Reality in World Politics (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1978); Richard L. Rubenstein, The Age of Triage (Boston: Beacon Press, 1983); Peter Rodman, More Precious than Peace (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1994); Angelo Codevilla, Informing Statecraft (New York: The Free Press, 1992); Arie E. David, The Strategy of Treaty Termination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975); Francis Neilson, How Diplomats Make War (San Francisco: Cobden Press).
Now that you are hopefully becoming more aware of some of the extent upon which the public seems to be systematically disinformed and lied to, it is important to understand that probably no structure that serves the "stupid masses" should be exempt from our sober scrutiny.
YOUR COMMUNICATIONS ARE APPRECIATED!
OTHER VITAL LINKS: