Culture

'Horrifying' Trump Budget Plan Would Privatize PBS and Destroy National Arts Endowment (1/19/2017)

House G.O.P. Votes to Gut Independent Congressional Ethics Office (1/3/2017)

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." George Orwell

“Major ways of thinking about the world constitute just-world theories...The Catholic Church is a just world theory. If the Inquisition burned heretics, they only got what they deserved. Bolshevism was a just-world theory. If Kulaks were starved and exiled, They got what they deserved. Fascism was a just-world theory. If Jews died in the concentration camps, they got what they deserved. The point is not that the good people get the good things, but the bad people get the bad things. Neoclassical economics, our principal source of policy norms, is a just-world theory.” Avner Offer, author of the Challenge of Affluence , Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain Since 1950 quoted in Wages of Rebellion, the Moral Imperative of Revolt:  Chris Hedges pg 77.

"'The ruling classes have in their hands the army, money, the schools, the churches and the press. In the schools they kindle patriotism in the children by means of histories describing their own people as the best of all peoples and always in the right. Among adults they kindle it by spectacles, jubilees, monuments, and by a lying patriotic press.'" (Tolstoy, Government is Violence - Essays on Anarchism and Pacifism, Phoenix Press, 1990, p.82)

... your professed religion (whatever that may be) is NOT something that 99% of believers have any choice in - it comes to a child as part of the "Welcome Package" when they are born. Included in the package - your race, social status, tribal identity, geographic location, etc,, In many societies trying to reject the tenents of that package can lead to expulsion from the group - or your death as an apostate (and the Christians were as bad as other cultures in this)." Hugh Spencer

"No other industrial country has anything like the degree of extremist religious beliefs and irrational commitments that you commonly find in the United States. The idea that you have to avoid teaching evolution or pretend you're not teaching it is unique in the industrial world. And the statistics are mind-boggling. Roughly half the population think the world was created a couple of thousand years ago. A huge percentage, maybe a quarter or so, say they've had a born-again experience. A substantial number of people believe in what's called "the rapture." Large majorities are convinced of miracles, the existence of the devil, and so on." Noam Chomsky: Imperial Ambitions pg 178

...pitting market values against human values, is the real culture war of our time. James Gustave Speth: America the Possible

If you want to know what's really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. If money is flowing to advertising instead of to musicians, journalists, and artists, then a society is more concerned with manipulation that with truth or beauty. If content is worthless, then people will start to become empty-headed and content-less. The combination of hive mind and advertising has resulted in a new kind of social contract. The basic idea of this contract is that authors, journalists, musicians, and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising. Jaron Lanier, from You Are Not a Gadget excerpt January. Harper's Magazine.

The corporatization of just about every aspect of American life, including the publishing industry, is at its core an assault on culture. Chris Hedges, The Progressive, August 2011.

"The infrastructure of suburbia can be described as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world." -- JH Kunstler

Celebrity culture--with its very limited room at the top -- is another cause and effect of the winner-take-all society. Karen Sternheimer

Our per-capita spending for public media currently stands at about $1.63 a citizen a year, while Finland and Denmark spend seventy and eighty times that amount. This lack of direct government sponsorsip opens a widening space for corporate underwriting, despite the compromising and sometimes overtly censoring effects of this strategy." The People's Platform, Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age: Astra Taylor p217

"A ... paradox is evident in America's workaholic marketplace, where leisure time and playful spectatorship are anything but leisurely or playful, and where people actually work longer hours than their compatriots anywhere else in the industrialized world, not for the glory of work but for the supposed rewards of play. No people work harder at play or expend more energy on leisure than American consumers. Leisure means anything but lazy here. No French-style, thirty-five-hour work week in the United States, the abbreviated Gallic workweek mandated by law now being ridiculed in those parts of Europe anxious to imitate the United States. No six-week summer vacations where business literally comes to a nearly summer-long halt in world cities like Berlin or Madrid. No original slow food in the manner of the charming Italian movement that affects to put a roadblock in the way of McDonald.

In the postmodern capitalist economy it's hard work creating the easy life. A full-service shopping society needs consumers with a lot of leisure, but in fact leaves them little time for anything but consumption and the hard work that pays for consumption, so that they rarely feel leisurely or free. Vacation destinations and the travel to reach them are anything but vacations from shopping. There is shopping underway at airport malls and train-station malls, shopping at theme-park and casino facilities, shopping all along the highways leading to and at the tourist destinations to which they lead, shopping at every grand hotel lobby, and shopping on television and the internet when you get to your room." From Consumed by Benjamin R. Barber

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible." --Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals, p. 58

"In the pointy-headed northeastern America of my experience there were no legends of wandering prophets, no dinner-table discussions about personal salvation. But in the rest of the country you had this weird dichotomy, and advanced industrial economy confidently riding the superconductor and the microchip into the space age while most of its population hurtled backward away from the Enlightenment, living out a Canterbury Tales-type quest for revelation in a culture dominated by superstition and mystery." Matt Taibbi: The Great Derangement

"I'd seen poverty before, of course, even incomprehensible poverty, as in the slums outside Maputo, in Mozambique. But I'd never seen anything like this. If what I had seen tonight--house after house after house abandoned, deserted, decaying as if there had been disaster--if this was poverty, then it must be a new kind poverty, maybe in the same way that the wealth that had amassed here in the 20th century had been a new kind of wealth. I had never really understood how a nation that so celebrated the individual could obliterate all differences the way this country did. In a system of mass production, the individual workers are replaceable and the products are identical. The identical cars are followed by identical gas stations, identical restaurants, identical motels and, as an extension of these, by identical TV screens, which hang everywhere in this country, broadcasting identical entertainment and identical dreams. Not even the Soviet Union at the height of its power had succeeded in creating such a unified, collective identity as the one Americans lived their lives within. When times got rough, a person could abandon one town in favor of another, and that new town would still represent the same thing. Was that what home was here? Not the place, not the local, but the culture, the general?" Karl Ove Knausgaard: Saga

Two surprising conclusions emerge when America's culture wars — from Jefferson's heresies to same-sex marriage — are stacked up and weighed together. Conservatives typically start the battles, and liberals almost always win them." Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars, Even When They Lose Elections: Stephen Prothero.

Those species that do not live in compliance with the law become extinct. In the scale of biological time, they become extinct very rapidly. And this is going to be very bad news for the people of your culture - the worst they've ever heard. (From a novel: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn p104)

"those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire

This Christmas, Tune it all out (12/24/2015)

Republicans prefer to have celebrities in office, not career politicians (9/7/2015)

The 15 Members of Congress Who Share Cliven Bundy’s Desire to Seize or Sell Off America’s Public Lands (5/22/2014)

Bully Nation (2/1/2014)

Why Aren't We Having a Middle Class Revolt? (1/27/2014)

The Rise of Gladiator TV (10/5/2009)

Jihad vs McWorld (Atlantic 3/1992)

Too Much Magic: 
Wishful Thinking, Technology, 
and the Fate of the Nation

Migration Flows In the United States in 2012

Copyright for People, Not For Publishers (1/17/2013)

The Southernization of America

The republican war on everyone (3/4/2012)

Despair Is Not An Option (12/12/2011)

Elizabeth Warren: The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class


How Are the Kids? Unemployed, Underwater, and Sinking Friday 26 November 2010

Jonathan Haidt on the moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Has the American Dream Become Our Nightmare ? (7/3/2010)

A Heaven Sent Rent Boy (5/14/2010)

Why Are Americans Passive as Millions Lose Their Homes, Jobs, Families and the American Dream? (2/2/2010)

Earth Charter

The Beauty of What's in front of You (1/7/2009)

The Collapse of the Middle Class: Elizabeth Warren Lecture

The Critical Unraveling of US Society

The Audacity of Depression (4/4/2008)

 
Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?  

Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?

Millions of Americans are embarrassingly ill-informed and they do not care that they are. Read more ï¿½

Hidden Holocaust, USA

Culture Wars

Photos: Worlds Collide Outside Obama Speech: Randall Terry, Code Pink, Militant Gays and the 'God Hates Fags' Folks Commune in DC Posted by Adele Stan, AlterNet  (10/ 10/ 2009).

Religion

Race

Corruption

What is corruption? Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority. Transparency International's corruption perception index.

Violence

Culture of Peace

Steve Lendman's Blog on the culture of violencel

Guns

Video

Swearing: Steven Pinker (video)

Who Owns Culture ? Lawrence Lessig

Links

Barbara Ehrenreich

DownTheUpEscalator

Bibliography

 Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and The Triumph of Spectacle: Chris Hedges

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections: Stephen Prothero

The Culture of Fear, Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things: Crime, Drugs, Minorities, Teen Moms, Killer Kids, Mutant Microbes, Plane Crashes, Road Rage, & So Much More: Barry Glassner

Forty Years War: Jim Hinch

Culture Crash, the Killing of the Creative Class: Scott Timberg (formerly of the New London Day)

Idiot Proof, eluded Celebrities, Irrational Power Brokers, Media Morons and the Erosion of Common Sense: Francis Wheen

Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Karen Sternheimer

The Sound Bite Society, Television and the American Mind: Jeffrey Scheuer

Information Doesn't Want to be Free: Cory Doctorow

Labor's Love Lost: Andrew Cherlin

Corruption in America From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United: Zephyr Teachout

Freedom For Sale: John Kampfner

The Great Risk Shift, Jacob S. Hacker

The Unwinding: George Packer

Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War: Joe Bageant (an excerpt)

Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free By Charles P. Pierce.

The Age of American Unreason: Susan Jacoby

The Art of Community (available for free download.)

Next Stop, Reloville: Peter Kilborn

The Big Sort: Bill Bishop

The Two Income Trap: Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi

The Great Risk Shift: Jacob Hacker

The chalice and the blade : our history, our future / Riane Eisler.

Going Broke: Why Americans Can't Hold On to their Money: Stuart Vyse

Before the Shooting Begins: Searching for Democracy in America's Culture War: James Davison Hunter

A People's History of the United States: Howard Zinn

Culture Matters: Edited by Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington.

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole: Benjamin R. Barber

Repairing The Social Safety Net Demetra Nighingale

The Watchers: Shane Harris

Bowling Alone:Robert Putnam

Everything For Sale: Robert Kuttner

The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future: Juan Enriquez, Crown Publishers.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman

Before the Shooting Begins: James Davison Hunter

The Overspent American: Juliet Schor

The Trap, selling out to stay afloat in winner-take-all America: Daniel Brook

The Irrational in Politics: Maurice Brinton

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