How We Are Impoverished, Gentrified and Silenced – and What To Do About It by John Pilger

Dandelion Salad

by John Pilger
25 July 2013

Rise up

Image by Lorianne DiSabato via Flickr

I have known my postman for more than 20 years. Conscientious and good-humoured, he is the embodiment of public service at its best. The other day, I asked him, “Why are you standing in front of each door like a soldier on parade?”

“New system,” he replied, “I am no longer required simply to post the letters through the door. I have to approach every door in a certain way and put the letters through in a certain way.”



Chris Hedges: I’m Calling For the Overthrow of the System, Part 7

The Bubble Economy as a 2 Part Play for Privatisation by Michael Hudson

Locking Out the Voices of Dissent by Chris Hedges

David Rovics: Welcome to the Working Class

Rise Up or Die! by Chris Hedges

Brave New World (1980)

13 thoughts on “How We Are Impoverished, Gentrified and Silenced – and What To Do About It by John Pilger

  1. Robin Lane Fox wrote a well balanced book on this called ”Pagans and Christians ” about the early centurys after Christ , when the debates really raged between the Pagan thinkers and the Christian ones. Justin Martyr is a great example in his ”Apologia ” of going beyond the Stoic ideal into the Transcendence –ineffable , and its socio -personal impact . i helped a friend of mine with her paper on ”Virtue verses Sainthood”. it is great that we have all of this history to show examples of this conflict .

    • I reckon the really saintly thing is to dutifully internalize what has preceded us, not make a fetish of re-constructed or imagined idealism by forever revisiting a vanished past.

      Once we get that we are walking in our own moccasins & free to co-evolve into sanctity as a conscious species. Karma is difficult, but politics is not difficult, and Laozi wrote the best book on it in my estimation that has endured for more than 2000 years and is still fresh and meaningful. So we ought to leave people get on with their lives and banish or dissolve the obstacles to their self-fulfillment, that is what politicians should be concerned with, not their own stinking careers.

      The trouble with the American dream is that it is about advancement through exploitation and the suppression of others. There is nothing more radical than reality, but reality can be quite simple if it is honest, not simplistic. That is the fake reality politicians love to witter on about because the more complicated they make everything the more money and kudos for them.

      It’s bullshit.

      • David , Sainthood is not brought about by psychological trickery but rather divine grace. IT is just a thing of the past not it is fetish . it is reality itself . it is a personal thing , not a collective thing , and does not depend on the past nor that which has proceeded us as a species . This is why it cannot fail .

        We must as you say ”dutifully internalize ” …but it must be the divine grace that we do it with . of course this goes way beyong the cognitive facultys . Being to consciuos of our own sentinience and counsciuosnesss has held us back from inner transformation . Gee … i sound like a mystic . the guy who lives in the apartment above me thinks i am a mystic . maybe that is becuase he is so stuck in his mind and variuos thinking patterns .

        the american dream has alwyas been bullshit . i am interested in God’s dream . ……which is US . The Greeks were spot on in that one . Plato figured that out late in life and came to renounce his work ”The Republic ”.

        • Rocket you are a mystic.

          I suspect that there are very many anonymous saints at large within the Arabic and greater Moslem Ummah. Probably the majority are women and completely unrecognized.

          And Africa? China?

        • david , no doubt . The book ”Merton and the Sufis ” gets into it . there are many people to whom divine providence has bestowed itself upon , male , female , all traditions , all places.

          if i am a mystic , then i am an existentialist one . there is a debate going around town here with female platonic friends that i am a romantic . mmm– a celibate romantic . possible . i see myself as a romantic about the Arts, God , intellect ..etc.. but women ? well i just don’t know . then again …..

          i have not figured myself out yet. that is i write songs.

  2. This brings us to MLK , Gandhi , the Dalia Lama , the hearkening back to the Franciscans , Dominicans , etc.. Spirituality that transcends the burden of seeking for an ethos to construct a culture within a culture by . and this is where we see real change . The New Atheism is post modern reaction to all of this seeking an ethos in vain .

  3. This is the oldest dilemma on earth, how to bring morality to those without morality who are nonetheless endowed with power and authority. We’re right back there with Martin Luther only Luther didn’t go far enough, because he never questioned the message only the ethics of the messengers, not to mention their medium that was the “church.” Of Mohammed he has not a lot to say we are told.

    What is the root of this disease? It could be race, it could be gender. I think it is indeed a spiritual malaise, an illness of the soul, a sociobiological psychosis. We mistake the simulacrum for the thing itself, that is life. Thus, it is an evolutionary crisis ~ even the birth-pangs of a new epoch in consciousness ?

    We extol the idea of classical civilization yet we revile the reality of a new Socratic age. We pay lip-service to religious principle but in practice we shun it as unrealistic and ideologically naive. We struggle with need when desire is more attractive.

    So what is to be done? Why not, examine your own life. Think about your purpose, why are you here? Is it actually your will to serve a bad master who tells you what you want to hear, or should you strive against the public odds and work ethically for the legitimate development of humanity, by recognizing the need to improve yourself?

    • David , i dont think that there is any hope for morality or ethics. there is hope however for things spiritual that transcends the ”approximate almosts” of the collective culture of an adopted ethos. The ethos must be abandoned and suspended for a teleological purpose that is efficacious and lasting .

      Radix — the root ( in Latin ) is the only game in town . Luther’s problem was the same problem of the Roman Catholic Church — it was royalty in a different form . Luther started the Royal Reformation that exchanged St. Jerome’s universal translation into the vernacular. The rest of the Royal Reformation became as oppressive as that which it ,broke away from . So much for Luther , Calvin , Zwingli , Knox , etc..

      But alas underneath it all with the quiet ones of the Earth appears what is known as the Rustic Reformation –the Huguenots , the Amish , the Mennonites , the Quakers . ..etc.. so …. Martin Luther meet Martin Luther King !

      • Rustic reformation is fine by me! Somehow I think our social paradigms need to be stretched a bit like dough, kneaded well and brought together in a fine lump to rise and prove itself.

        We never had a world yet in which truly proportionate values could be trialed adequately. Why not set a heuristic top line as well as a bottom line? It is just obscene to condone the bean-brained dominance of an arbitrary cult of control over those whose deprived context is literally of unknown potential. And not only among our own kind, as we must not ignore the inter-species dialectic nor forget the utter catastrophe of mankind’s impact upon our genetic brethren.

        Why do primitives within “advanced” societies deem it their “god-given” privilege to persecute and torture innocent creatures? Presumably because they are victims themselves, preyed upon by the predatory monsters of capital. The difference today is the “means of production” is some Goldman-Sachs quant-engineered algorithm ~ just another incredibly sophisticated, shit tune.

        • David , why ? because ”Manifest Destiny ”is a heresy . it is totally opposed the true gospel as we see in the life of say St. Francis .

          also , those who embrace the ”Biological imperative ” via Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism , Ayn Rand , etc… must be challenged by the Saints in the here and now . Saints are not into blood hereditary myths . those who embrace virtue are . of course their virtue is a vice . it is my conviction that only a living saint that becomes God in the flesh like their master can set up by their very presence a measuring stick by which to expose those who oppress others be they religious or secular oppressors.

          Art Katz said ”nothing has changed since ancient Athens and todays Singapore . the only question is –where are the Pauls of our generation ”?

        • God in the flesh is a pretty tall order, insofar as there’s always going to be that little stain of ego corrupting the pure intention. This notion of sainthood is also saddled with the squeaky-clean catholic version, I mean that sanitised brand of holiness, sort of like a Walmart guide to “happy” shopping ~ a gilded saint for every day of the year & for every conceivable vestige of an implausible reason, guaranteed to sucker the poor & fill the ecclesiastical coffers, isn’t it? How disempowering is that? Talk about utopianist blag…it’s a priestly scam, no different from Madison Av!

          Let’s be honest, that whole bag of tricks is sheer propaganda of the faith; hence the inevitable, excessively dystopian atheist response.

          In principle you are right, so far as “by their works ye shall know them etc” & I profoundly support your benchmark of exemplary virtue, but let’s think deeply about how that virtue will be translated into ~ what exactly?

        • david , i did not bring the Roman Catholic Church in regard to this conversation . i am talking about Saints in the general sense , not in the catholic definition of it .

          When a saint appears on the scene it is tectonic plate shift . Jungian notion of the collective unconscious recognizes the saint . people know. so do the powers that be . then collision , then real progress. this far exceeds institutions and virtue.

          the earth quakes and shakes when real person of transcendence appears. Virtue is the enemy of Sainthood .

          Ethos dissolves when the real thing comes.

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