“We’re gonna focus on two core philosophical components of Marxism: Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism. We’re going to show how both of these can be used to better understand the world and change it for the good of all poor and colonized people like ourselves. And in doing so we can debunk this widespread narrative in mainstream media that Marxism is somehow an outdated dogmatic religion. We can demonstrate that Marxism is truly a science and a weapon for revolutionary change.” — Ramiro Fúnez
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Jan 11, 2020
Chris Hedges talks to Ron Purser, professor of management at San Francisco State University, about the growth of mindfulness meditation in the mainstream. As meditation makes its way into schools, prisons and government agencies, Purser argues the booming cottage industry with its promises of “Buddhist-inspired” techniques tries to offer a universal panacea for resolving almost every area of daily concern. While it can be helpful, compartmentalizing the practice away from asking why there is so much stress in daily life and away from making challenges to corporate and political practices could do more harm than good.
“You should therefore know that there are two ways to fight: one while abiding by the rules, the other by using force. The first approach is unique to Man; the second is that of beasts. But because in many cases the first method will not suffice, one must be prepared to resort to force. This is why a ruler needs to know how to conduct himself: in the manner of a beast as well as that of man.” — Niccolo Machiavelli
PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.
PR: What has been of greater service to humanity, the dark vision of humanity, limned in satire, by Jonathan Swift or the positivity-rancid homilies of corporate church of self-actualization? What is more propitious to the psyche, a descent into the underworld by Orphic imagination or the Icarusian dazzle on Instagram or the narcissistic intoxication induced by gazing upon one’s image reproduced by a thousand retweets on Twitter?
Kenn, I’ve noticed in your pieces you explore the topic of the myriad and perpetual degradations that capitalism inflicts on the powerless. Thus given the unfolding of recent events e.g., the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, I’m curious as to your response to my (initial) take on the matter. Withal, the hyper-commodification of the bodies of young women is part and parcel of the economic dynamic of late stage capitalism whereby the earth is degraded to the point of global-wide ecocide and cities are rendered into vanilla cupcake zones of nada by hyper-gentrification.
I believe if we’re not self-aware, we can take on the values of the political and economical system as our own. If so we end up treating each other through that filter. We think we’ve gained individual liberties but it’s been at the expense of disconnecting ourselves from being one with each other, and nature. Rather than going with the stream of life we’re going against the current. The Earth has a frequency and we should be in tune with it. This is speculation but I really wonder if the technology we have today is throwing our frequency off. Regardless, rather than using technology to help liberate people it has been used to enslave us further by exploiting us along the way.
A note to Dandelion Salad readers: I updated Henry Wallace + Undoing the New Deal with Part 8 of the series.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 4, 2018
Carl Anthony, Author of The Earth, The City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race, discusses architecture as a form of oppression in the United States.
The natural instinct of human beings is towards cooperation and sharing, but, distorted by competition, personal ambition and nationalism, self-interest and greed have become preeminent motivating forces, distorting action and corrupting the policies of governments.
I woke up in the early 1970s. Since such an awakening happened in my life, I believe something similar happens also in the life of others. Though I didn’t realize it I had stood for sometime at a crossroads. I had to take the left. This sounds reductive but in retrospect it feels that my transformation happened more or less like that. Before, I was one person. Afterwards—the interval might have been months long, maybe a couple years—I was another. No need to over-dramatize and claim that the event happened as if it arrived like a thunder bolt. In any case, over a period of time, in the same way revolution happens, I revolted against my own self of the time; against my old life. And I became another. Today, as a result, part of my personal philosophy of life is that people can and do change. Fundamentally.
The quality of loyalty has played an important but perplexing role in my life, both positive and negative, which for many years has prompted countless nocturnal ruminations about the reasons for my concern for what at first glance might be considered banal. Along the way I have experienced that loyalty is often confused with sense of duty to which, in my opinion, it should not be reduced. Instead, rather than a quality related chiefly to duty, obedience or obligation, I have come to relate loyalty more easily to love. Nonetheless, in my experience too much loyalty has been a curse, a cross to bear. As a result of my family background, religious and typical American South, as well as the ideological environment of the second half of the twentieth century in which I became closely involved, I have been infected with a powerful sense of loyalty. The quality of loyalty as I intend it includes—by some complex extension in my mind almost a perversion—discipline and severity and, above all, love. Thus, although at times a handicap and an impediment, loyalty remains ethically desirable.