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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

At C4SS: Ignorance is Strength


Blogger Julia Riber Pitt said...

It's truly disgusting. Love of the State, whether it be patriotism or nationalism or both, is a mental illness in my view. The way we're taught from early childhood to venerate the nationalist flag really puts us in the mindset of: "We're all Americans. We *need* to *love* America because the state gives us all our freedoms and unites us all under its governance!" And as we get older, we are taught that we must be "responsible" only as it relates to elite interest. It is "responsible" to shut up and follow government policy, and it is deemed "irresponsible" or "extreme" to criticize government policy in a way other than the political pundits on the news. And once more, any criticism is simply criticism of the *person* in power, never a criticism of the power structure itself.

Not to toot my own horn, but did you see the latest entry on my blog, Kevin? For a college class project, I chose a subject I knew would be controversial yet informative, and when I went up to present my professor (who was obviously disturbed by my topic, as he is a nationalist in his own right) did nothing but interrupt and irk me, and we ended up in a heated debate in front of the whole class. Horrible, but I would put principles ahead of pleasing the authority under any circumstance.


- Julia

December 09, 2010 12:28 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

You might enjoy Arthur Silber's writing about authoritarian personalities and childhood conditioning to authoritarianism, based on Alice Miller's work.

Re your exchange with your professor, I spent about 15 minutes making a long comment and Blogger ate it, dammit.

I'll sum it up more briefly here.

Even the students who disagreed with your interpretation of the facts couldn't have failed to note your professor acting like Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny," or the contrast between his treatment of you and of other students. He really sounds like he's about to come apart at the seams.

Based on what he said to the effect that "the Jews were there first," I hope he doesn't teach either history or critical thinking skills.

So the area was inhabited by a Semitic people who spoke Aramaic and practiced an earlier version of a religion now practiced by European Jews? Well, contrary to the myth of the Diaspora in its cruder forms, a substantial portion of the native population stayed in Palestine and assimilated after Titus's seige of Jerusalem. And a great many people converted to Judaism in the cities of the late Roman Empire. So when it comes to the amount of genetic material preserved from the population of Judaea and Galilee in 70AD, I'd put the present day Palestinian population up against the population of Williamsburg any day. Modern Zionism's appeal to Old Testament history is as much a legitimizing myth as Mussolini's appeal to the Roman Empire.

Re "conspiracy theories," I think in most cases the term is just a lazy person's way of stopping debate. Whenever anyone uses it, I immediately ask them to define it. Are they really suggesting that anyone who questions the official rationale of a policy and argues that it benefits powerful interests is the equivalent of someone who believes in the Illuminati? Are they really equating a belief that (say) the Tonkin Gulf Incident was fabricated with a belief in David Ickes' lizard people? If so, they're just STOOPID.

As for Herman and Chomsky, how could you have presented their propganda thesis without quoting them by name?

Watch your back when it comes time for your final grade, because this guy sounds like someone who can be very petty and vindictive when his sacred cows are barbecued.

December 09, 2010 9:36 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

BTW, in terms of historical literacy and critical thinking skills, your professor sounds about the speed of Sean Hannity, plus a tweed jacket and ten extra IQ points (I'm being generous).

December 09, 2010 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Aster said...

I didn't know you were a fan of Alice Miller (or Arthur Silber). It's nice to hear.


December 10, 2010 3:27 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Definitely. I'm also a fan of Larry Gambone's work tying Alice Miller to cooperator and dominator societies.

December 10, 2010 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Alice Raizel (Aster) said...

Gambone I've been aware of for some time. I like his weltanshauung, which seems greatly influenced by the neo-Pagan feminist academic Riane Eisler, who greatly influenced my own worldview at one point. (I consider myself a vanilla secularist now, except poetically)


With no presumption intended, I hope you'll let me compliment you for your courage in convictions. I've known plenty of professors with horrific ideas and vast overestimations of their own competence, but this guy takes the cake. Anyone who assumes a perspective of uncritical endorsement of the societies which fortune first gave him has flatly failed as a teacher and as a being of reason. My reading of the Israel/Palestine conflict is probably not identical with yours, but it's heartening to hear such boldness. And I totally agree with you concerning the intrinsic perniciousness of nationalism.

December 10, 2010 9:38 PM  

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