Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Manufactured ignorance is a primary function of public education (or, how the world economy really works)

And it works.

By Denis G. Rancourt, PhD

A main function of the public education enterprise, beyond destruction of the personality and individual thought and agency, is to ingrain a camouflaged ignorance that becomes a permanent fixture in the host brain.

One of the best examples of such manufactured ignorance is the widespread ingrained notion that the dominant global military-industrial-propaganda complex does or could allow a large measure of "free enterprise capitalism".

This false notion is one where individual motivation to maximize individual wealth accumulation is the first mechanistic organizational principle at work, which "explains" USA economic hegemony.

This myth of "the invisible hand" as being compatible with reality is so pervasive that it has even penetrated the reinforced stronghold of independent thought that is the Libertarian mind.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

USA economic dominance is imposed and enforced by projected military power, which ensures physical control of both energy resources and trade routes, and which imposes global extortion via control of the world currency and financial transactions (the US dollar printed at will by the boss, and direct control of global investment and transaction conditions).

Projected military power also installs direct corporate exploitation on territories, thus preventing any national emergence. Corporations themselves are not so much for directly making money, but more for directly controlling human and natural resources to prevent local emergence.

Projected military power is visible in military bases in every region, and in a fleet of aircraft carriers, each more powerful than the militaries of most nations.

Macroeconomic hegemony is visible in the existence and operation of global finance instruments (World Bank, International Monetary Found) and in the regular USA use of devastating "sanctions" and associated physical blockades.

That the organizing principle is military-CIA-etc-mediated dominance and exploitation rather than benign self-organization from individual motivation for individual benefit is true at all scales: from "health and safety" regulations that create controlled markets further occupying the mind, to the regulated industry of death, to urban building-zone battles for more isolating and sanitized cubicles, and so on.

The Libertarians detect and denounce personal-scale and nuclear-family-scale oppression but largely accept the myth that a mega-corporation is simply an expression of free will. Many find it impossible to distinguish a small private business from an entangled "public" mega-corporation.

Think of the efficiency of the public education enterprise when even the minds of Libertarians are contaminated to this degree.

Surprisingly, fragments of the actual societal organizing principles at work nonetheless occasionally emerge, even in the academic literature: "Preferences for group dominance track and mediate the effects of macro-level social inequality and violence across societies, by JR Kunst et al., doi: 10.1073/pnas.1616572114, PNAS, May 8, 2017."


Levantine said...

I think you take Libertarians too seriously.

They are dogmatic. (1)

'Dogmatic pursuers of freedom' is a description also fit for communists, and I have come across comments of other people remarking of an unexpected resemblance between Libertarians and communists.
Communists, too, were popular among the youth in many places during the early and mid-20th century.
One might be in awe of people who put their lives at stake to fight against, e.g., Hitler.... Until you have more contact with them and realize the extent of their minds' limits.
(Similarly, after having just watched a film such as Life of Brian, one might fall under the impression that its creators are a kind of giants. ... the truth being far from it.)

Long before I have ever heard of libertarianism, I have known a number of young people who have expressed libertarian views and sentiments. They were leaving me less than delighted:

o Those young people were all privileged. Their vision of everyone being free to pursue whatever he or she wants and pretty much disregarding their interactions supported the status quo, which in turn supported their retaining their privileges.

o Most if not all of them had been bullies in childhood. Serious ones, either I've seen them or they were telling me about that. Again, their vision actually tended to supported the status quo and their retaining whatever they have gained from being bullies.

o They were in turn bullied by their seniors. The libertarian vision allows them to conceal or put aside the issue of how deeply tired, mindless and slavish they have become ...

o ... and how that conflicts with the narcissistic images of themselves.

o Their narcissism, seriously in crises because of life's brutal realities, was nourished by the thought of how fine, friendly and gentle they are by embracing this libertarian abstract dreaming.

o Just expressing libertarian nice thoughts was in accord with their being trained into addiction to positive responses from others. Like the circus seal in the Tom & Jerry cartoon, saying those things was more often than not equivalent to tooting the right horns at the right moment in front of the right audience.

OK, enough ....

It is mildly alarming seeing both Denis Rancourt and N. N. Taleb expressing soft spot for libertarians virtually at the same time.

If you can't criticize them, who will?

Ron Paul's and generally Libertarian enthusiastic call "Secede!" as a way to freedom is so irritating ... The last thing we need is balkanization of the world into fiefdoms. https://disqus.com/home/discussion/therightstuffbiz/2017_a_time_of_big_league_change_for_all/#comment-3075872911

(1) http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/01/27/how-ron-paul-could-win/)

opit said...

There is another notion : that 'libertarianism' is a dogma directed to accomplish freedom for corporations rather than freedom for individuals, ignoring the reality that, in a world lacking competition because of a rigged system, "freedom" is a chimera reflecting an unrealistic aspiration to a Utopia.