August 8, 2012

You have only yourself to blame

A friend writes:

Friedman is at it again: Average is Over, Part 2. Jesus, this guy is dumb. And scary. Who wants to live in the world he envisions; a fascist hell on earth — in fact this hell is already here in the US, with corporations pulling all the strings and calling all the shots, and shipping jobs overseas to slaves, or importing PhDs in from India, etc.... People are told again and again that they need so much "education" to survive well now, and then get stuck with an obscene amount of debt that in many cases forever stunts their lives, often can't even find work, it's just a horrible scam. Education should be free.

Education is important, but not the kind Friedman and most Americans think of. Friedman, and a lot of dumb Americans, think it's perfectly okay to tailor our lives to what the corporations want, they don't even question the whole notion of hyper-competitiveness and cut-throat workaholic get-ahead-ism. No, when corporations say "jump" it's our duty as foot-soldiers in the brave new world of fascist America to ask "how high."

A truly good education would give us the power and courage to say "fuck off" to these corporate monsters, not how can I deform myself enough to get you to hire me. Also a truly good education would move Americans to say goodbye to the government we have — a revolution is desperately needed, a real one and a revolution in thinking, but people seem so willing to go along with these fascist fantasies of the Friedmans of the world.

There are some good comments to the essay, but not many and out of the hundreds of comments thus far, most are lame and insipid, merely pointing fingers at parents for not being good enough re education, or kids being lazy, blah blah blah. No real questioning of the system, of it being driven by malevolent forces, and what is life for anyway, just to work like hell for a corporate master until you drop??!! Here is the ONLY unique and thoughtful comment out of hundreds (actually there was one other really good one but this one really gets it — it didn't get many recommends, no surprise):
The future will hopefully hold out for something other than science and technology. The concerns of this article arouse feelings that seem very very "old hat." What has been forgotten is the rape of planet Earth, mostly committed by the hyper-competitive hedonistic cohort that Friedman is championing here. It is hoped that the future will be won by those wise enough and courageous enough to see that business as usual must end, that the future demands an enlightened citizen, one who cares about the Earth and about universal sustainability. Someone who cares deeply about the many other species who share the planet, who cares about the unique cultural contributions of peoples everywhere, a citizen who doesn't measure worth in money, power, prestige — one who doesn't insist upon having more of everything than the next guy. If we're going to survive on this planet, have any future at all, we must stop this race to nowhere, come together across all continents to save the world from hyper-competitiveness, exploitation, greed and the wrong-headedness that has brought us to this frightful impasse. —Susan R., Honolulu
environment, environmentalism, human rights, anarchism, ecoanarchism, anarchosyndicalism