”Divide and Rule” has rarely been more subtle, or more effective

blm corporate

Some of the most vociferous proponents of ‘woke’ identitarianism are the most privileged beneficiaries of the neoliberal status quo : corporations, the political, cultural and media elites – even (give me strength) the Royal Family.

Far from challenging the establishment, wokeness has become a means through which the establishment is able to reinvent itself. Corporations and public figures are falling over themselves to gain ‘woke’ points by engaging in empty, superficial gestures which win social validation – and accumulate capital – while real, urgent, systemic social injustices remain unaddressed and unsolved.

”Divide and Rule” has rarely been more subtle, or more effective.


In defence of colour-blindness

inaya2 ~ article by Inaya Folarin Iman ☑️

”Contrary to past anti-racist arguments, many today argue that we should  judge people by their race, emphasise racial difference and think along racial lines. And no, this isn’t just the far right – this is what is being put forward by a toxic strand of the new left, woke identitarianism. This illiberal, intolerant ideology is at odds with the universalist, humanist goal of a colour-blind society. It is a disempowering, backward-looking movement….

The current obsession with race often means we are missing the true dynamics in society. Class, for instance, plays a major role in social outcomes, but discussion of it is rare. There are many white working-class people, particularly in the provinces, who do not feel they have benefited from ‘white privilege’. Indeed, they would argue that they are far from privileged. Do their ‘lived experiences’ count?”

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/06/16/in-defence-of-colourblindness/?fbclid=IwAR1GSkDb4rhJrZJ6-9YmyUilp8u-bbFjKv2FH4_e6WJdfn5LNqGTWM6cDZU


woke

Wokeness and Neoliberalism

”We really should stop seeing ‘Wokeness’ or ‘Political Correctness’, or any other aspect of the so-called New Left as being left-wing at all.

‘Wokeness’ is a key part of the neoliberal drive against social solidarity. Wokeness makes a virtue of the atomisation that is a key feature of life in capitalist society.

Wokeness doesn’t challenge the individuation and corrosion of social solidarity that neoliberal society brings about. It simply repackages it as PC and celebrates it. It commodifies our atomisation and sells it back to us as right-on politics.

Far from being a new kind of leftism, the woke ideology is really the militant wing of neoliberalism. It is a campaigning arm of the neoliberal outlook. This is why woke activists and big business make such comfortable bedfellows. Banks and hedge funds and other capitalist outfits love to adorn their buildings in the Pride flag. These days there are really only two places where you see woke nonsense in action : among the trendy, supposedly leftist political class, and in the capitalist class. These people profess to hate each other, but in truth they have a shared outlook…

The bravest and most ambitious political parties today will completely oppose the anti-community, anti-democratic, anti-solidarity, anti-freedom outlook of the woke elites and the business elites. and seek to provide people with that sense of collective belonging and collective influence that they are crying out for. A free and democratic and connected society – that is what we need now.”

~ extract from a speech by Brendan O’Neill at the annual party conference of the SDP, 28/09/2019,  (edited).

The Masses and the Classes

slavery

I see that Liverpool University have just agreed to rename Gladstone Hall because he (quote) ”fell short of wholeheartedly fighting for the abolition of slavery”, and because Gladstone’s father was a slave owner.

To vilify Britain’s most progressive 19th century Prime Minister, a vehement anti-imperialist who proposed home rule for Ireland,  laid the basis of the welfare state,  and vastly extended voting rights, amongst many other important reforms, is beyond ignorant.

Sadly, these ‘woke’ students and academics fall a long way short too – not least in their capacity for joined-up critical thought and historical perspective.

William_Ewart_Gladstone_by_Elliott_&_Fry_-_March_1879

”All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes”. ~ William Ewart Gladstone


colston

….and a  thought on Edward Colston.

Colston’s involvement in slavery was as a director of the Royal African Company. The ‘Royal’ in that title is not meaningless. The company was set up specifically to make the monarch rich. A far more practical way to honour the memory of the slaves would be to abolish the monarchy. Now that would be a meaningful action.


”The word “slavery” conjures up images of shackles and transatlantic ships – depictions that seem relegated firmly to the past. But more people are enslaved today than at any other time in history. Slaves clean houses and flats; produce the clothes we wear; pick the fruit and vegetables we eat; trawl the seas for the shrimp on our restaurant plates; and dig for the minerals used in our smartphones, makeup and electric cars…..”

~ article by Kate Hodal

slavery map

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/25/modern-slavery-trafficking-persons-one-in-200?fbclid=IwAR32bbKBO5YuCTnMTaENaUI4KhqW3KGDWFEkMWRima1SgekbIQz2Gk-1tKY

BBC : The British Brainwashing Corporation

 

bbc

Why should anyone pay a licence fee while the last vestiges of intelligence and integrity are being stripped from schedules to provide extra funding for celebrity trash and pernicious brain-rotting garbage ?

Why should anyone pay a licence fee when BBC News has all but abandoned analytical journalism, as well as its much-vaunted ”impartiality”, to become little more than the propaganda arm of the neoliberal establishment and its tedious and hypocritical ”political correctness” agenda ?

Why should we pay a licence fee when It’s apparent that we are viewed as successfully lobotomised sheep, or rather as obedient slaves to be distracted, propagandised, intellectually emasculated, neutralised and pacified ?

bbc bullshit

 

Leave Them Kids Alone

kids climate strike

These children are not “engaged” – they are scared stiff.

But adults should stop scaring kids about climate change. They should dispel children’s worst fears, not encourage them. Their fears about the future should be challenged in the same way as their fears of ghosts and monsters.

And it is not science that has put this apocalyptic understanding of climate change into these children’s heads. The truth is that science has yet to detect any statistical increase in the kinds of floods, wildfires, droughts and storms that these kids have been told will rip civilisation from its foundations.

Moreover, even if natural disasters were to multiply in the way that the doom-merchants predict, far fewer people would be exposed to them than in the past. Thanks largely to the very economic development that is held responsible for climate change, extreme weather today kills barely two per cent of the number of people it claimed in the early 1900s, despite the global population increasing nearly five-fold. ( sourcehttps://www.spiked-online.com/…/the-myth-of-a-climate-cris…/ )

It is extremely unlikely that any of these young strikers, their children, or even their great-great-grandchildren will ever experience climate-change-related devastation.

Yet irresponsible teachers, journalists, broadcasters, politicians and even academics have told them that they are going to die horribly and that they have no future.

At the same time, any semblance of perspective, or even debate, on the causes of climate change, in schools, textbooks, media and the public sphere has quite shamelessly been effectively abolished.

We can, I hope, all agree that atmospheric pollution is a ‘bad thing’, but it really is alarmist – and dangerous – nonsense to suggest, especially to impressionable young minds, that we are all going to drown under melting ice-caps (or something) if we continue to burn stuff.

The scare-mongering does however divert kids’ attention away from the issues that really do threaten their future – the dumbing-down and financialisation of education; growing inequality; permanent war; permanent debt; money-worship and gross materialism; the mendacity of their rulers; etc, etc….

And perhaps that is the whole point.


climate

Humpty Dumpty

humpty

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’


#Freedom  #Democracy   ||  #Neofeudalism  #Kleptocracy 


 

Economic Theory and its Discontents

econ jr”Economic Theory” – as taught in academia and propounded in mainstream media – is nothing more than a smoke-screen used to support and preserve a neoliberal status quo, which allows a few dozen people to own half of the world’s wealth, while billions live in poverty.


Recommended :

debunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debunking Economics  by Steve Keen

”If you look at mainstream economics there are three things you will not find in its economic models – Banks, Debt, and Money.  How anybody can think that they can analyze capital while leaving out Banks, Debt, and Money is to me a bit like an ornithologist trying to work out how a bird flies whilst ignoring that the bird has wings.”

 


killing the host   Killing The Host  by Michael Hudson

”What is at work is an Orwellian strategy of rhetorical deception to represent finance and other rentier sectors as being part of the economy, not external to it. This is precisely the strategy that parasites in nature use to deceive their hosts that they are not free riders but part of the host’s own body, deserving careful protection.”


paul-mason-post-capitalism Postcapitalism : A Guide to Our Future  by Paul Mason.

“Neoliberalism’s guiding principle is not free markets, nor fiscal discipline, nor sound money, nor privatization and offshoring – not even globalization. All these things were byproducts or weapons of its main endeavour : to remove organized labour from the equation.”


 




The pursuit of economic – or more accurately capital – ”growth” at all costs has reached a critical point.

As William I. Robinson explains in his book ‘‘Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity’, the world financial system has now centralised and over-accumulated capital to such a point that investment opportunities have become limited.

Professor Robinson argues that only three mechanisms for investing excess capital remain : risky financial speculation, wars and war-preparation, and the privatisation of public institutions.

Not a pleasant outlook for the 99%, who are forced to bail out bad bets through austerity, pay for (and die in) endless wars, and suffer the consequences of the dismemberment of public services by complicit governments.

Historicism

answers

(from Wikipedia)

”HISTORICISM is a mode of thinking that assigns major significance to a specific context, such as historical period, geographical place and local culture. As such it is in contrast to individualist theories of knowledge such as empiricism and rationalism, which neglect the role of traditions. Historicism therefore tends to be hermeneutical, because it places great importance on cautious, rigorous and contextualized interpretation of information, or relativist, because it rejects notions of universal, fundamental and immutable interpretations”.

No No Nicky

slave auctionIain Duncan-Smith may have resigned in a cynical attempt to give the impression that he has some residual integrity, but sadly, we are still stuck with this cretinous woman as Education Minister, despite the fact that she appears barely capable of independent thought, and does little else but parrot the mendacious platitudes provided to her by her toryboy spin-doctors. This vacant, vapid, arrogant (and intellectually-challenged) woman repeatedly declined to answer an interviewer’s simple question ”What is 7 times 8 ?” when her department was introducing mandatory multiplication table testing earlier this year. The Education Minister – ( ! ) – even lacked the good grace to admit that she did not know…


 

nick morgan

The UK  government is wasting no time in its renewed assault on the education system. Following the announcement that all schools will be forced into academy status, the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, has published an education White Paper. Although cloaked in the language of progress, the ”reforms” point to an extremely regressive aim : nothing  less than the elimination of any say in our schools, for anyone other than their new corporate masters.

”Voices of parents, governors and the local community are being silenced by a government that does not believe in proper democratic accountability in our schools.” ~ Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers

Nietzsche on Education

nietzsche

For Nietzsche, the process of a true education consists not in rote memorization, or in attaining cultural signifiers consistent with one’s class or ambitions, or in learning a set of practical skills with which to make money.

It is, rather, an exhortation to break free from conventionality, to be responsible for creating one’s own existence, and to overcome the inertia of custom and tradition.

Nietzsche believed that education should consist of a clearing away of “the weeds and rubbish and vermin” that attack and obscure “the real groundwork and import of thy being.”

This kind of education, of course, cannot be formalized within our present institutions, cannot be marketed to a mass audience, and cannot serve the interests of the state and ‘the market’.


Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Education and Critique of the Modern University (1872)

http://www.openculture.com/2016/01/nietzsches-philosophy-of-education-and-a-still-timely-critique-of-the-modern-university-1872.html


In a recent entry in the New York Times‘ philosophy blog “The Stone,” Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle locate a “momentous turning point” in the history of philosophy: its institutionalization in the research university in the late 19th century. This, they argue, is when philosophy lost its way—when it became subject to the dictates of the academy, placed in competition with the hard sciences, and forced to prove its worth as an instrument of profit and progress. Well over a hundred years after this development, we debate a wider crisis in higher education, as universities increasingly resemble global corporations with their international campuses and multi-billion dollar endowments. Tuition has skyrocketed. Debt is astronomical. The classrooms themselves are more often run on the backs of precarious adjuncts and graduate students than by real professors.

It’s a cutthroat system I endured for many years as both an adjunct and graduate student, but even before that, in my early undergraduate days, I remember well watching public, then private, colleges succumb to demand for leaner operating budgets, more encroachment by corporate donors and trustees, and less autonomy for educators. Universities have become, in a word, high-priced, high-powered vocational schools where every discipline must prove its value on the open market or risk massive cuts, and where students are treated, and often demand to be treated, like consumers. Expensive private entities like for-profit colleges and corporate educational companies thrive in this environment, often promising much but offering little, and in this environment, philosophy and the liberal arts bear a crushing burden to demonstrate their relevance and profitability.

Howard writes about this situation in the context of her review of Nietzsche’s little-known 1872 series of lectures, On the Future of Our Educational Institutions, published in a new translation by Damion Searls with the pithy title Anti-Education. Nietzsche, an academic prodigy, had become a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel at only 24 years of age. By 27, when he wrote his lectures, he was already disillusioned with teaching and the strictures of professional academia, though he stayed in his appointment until illness forced him to retire in 1878. In the lectures, Nietzsche excoriates a bourgeois higher education system in terms that could come right out of a critical article on the higher ed of our day. In a Paris Review essay, his translator Searls quotes the surly philosopher on what “the state and the masses were apparently clamoring for”:

as much knowledge and education as possible—leading to the greatest possible production and demand—leading to the greatest happiness: that’s the formula. Here we have Utility as the goal and purpose of education, or more precisely Gain: the highest possible income … Culture is tolerated only insofar as it serves the cause of earning money. 

Perhaps little has changed but the scale and the appearance of the university. However, Nietzsche did admire the fact that the school system “as we know it today… takes the Greek and Latin languages seriously for years on end.” Students still received a classical education, which Nietzsche approvingly credited with at least teaching them proper discipline. And yet, as the cliché has it, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing; or rather, a little knowledge does not an education make. Though many pursue an education, few people actually achieve it, he believed. “No one would strive for education,” wrote Nietzsche, “if they knew how unbelievably small the number of truly educated people actually was, or ever could be.” For Nietzsche, the university was a scam, tricking “a great mass of people… into going against their nature and pursuing an education” they could never truly achieve or appreciate.

While it’s true that Nietzsche’s critiques are driven in part by his own cultural elitism, it’s also true that he seeks in his lectures to define education in entirely different terms than the utilitarian “state and masses”—terms more in line with classical ideals as well as with the German concept of Bildung, the term for education that also means, writes Searls, “the process of forming the most desirable self, as well as the end point of the process.” It’s a resonance that the English word has lost, though its Latin roots—e ducere, “to lead out of” or away from the common and conventional—still retain some of this sense. Bildung, Searls goes on, “means entering the realm of the fully formed: true culture is the culmination of an education, and true education transmits and creates culture.”

Nietzsche the philologist took the rich valence of Bildung very seriously. In the years after penning his lectures on the educational system, he completed the essays that would become Untimely Meditations (including one of his most famous, “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life”). Among those essays was “Schopenhauer as Educator,” in which Nietzsche calls the gloomy philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer his “true educator.” However, writes Peter Fitzsimons, the “image” of Schopenhauer “is more a metaphor for Nietzsche’s own self-educative process.” For Nietzsche, the process of a true education consists not in rote memorization, or in attaining cultural signifiers consistent with one’s class or ambitions, or in learning a set of practical skills with which to make money. It is, Fitzsimons observes, “rather an exhortation to break free from conventionality, to be responsible for creating our own existence, and to overcome the inertia of tradition and custom”—or what Nietzsche calls the universal condition of “sloth.” In “Schopenhauer as Educator,” Nietzsche defines the role of the educator and explicates the purpose of learning in deliberately Platonic terms:

…for your true nature lies, not concealed deep within you, but immeasurably high above you, or at least above that which you usually take yourself to be. Your true educators and formative teachers reveal to you what the true basic material of your being is, something in itself ineducable and in any case difficult of access, bound and paralysed: your educators can be only your liberators.

As in Plato’s notion of innate knowledge, or anamnesis, Nietzsche believed that education consists mainly of a clearing away of “the weeds and rubbish and vermin” that attack and obscure “the real groundwork and import of thy being.” This kind of education, of course, cannot be formalized within our present institutions, cannot be marketed to a mass audience, and cannot serve the interests of the state and the market. Hence it cannot be obtained by simply progressing through a system of grades and degrees, though one can use such systems to obtain access to the liberatory materials one presumably needs to realize one’s “true nature.”

For Nietzsche, in his example of Schopenhauer, achieving a true education is an enterprise fraught with “three dangers”—those of isolation, of crippling doubt, and of the pain of confronting one’s limitations. These dangers “threaten us all,” but most people, Nietzsche thinks, lack the fortitude and vigor to truly brave and conquer them. Those who acquire Bildung, or culture, those who realize their “true selves,” he concludes “must prove by their own deed that the love of truth has itself awe and power,” though “the dignity of philosophy is trodden in the mire,” and one will receive little respite, recompense, or recognition for one’s labours.