the single biggest freedom we’ve slowly been winning back from empire is the freedom to love deeply and truly whomever we feel compelled to (and there’s still quite a ways to go for many folks);
so, forget, for a minute, your ‘freedom’ of consumer choice or to elect the next corporatized political puppet, and act love as freely as you can; it might not seem much next to ubiquitous social violence, but – unlike such forces – love is limitless
“Those of us who are saying these things are people who love our rivers and our mountains, and are fighting for… We love the music of the country that we come from. We love it. We don’t speak from a position of hate, we speak of a position of absolute love. And that is why we fight so hard, if there wasn’t beautify to preserve, if there wasn’t absolute adoration, we wouldn’t be there. One lives there because one loves it. And we fight to preserve the wilderness and beauty of the imagination that still exists, is still alive in India.
[…] So please don’t give me lectures about hating my country. I don’t.”
Arundhati Roy in response to being told, “You need to take a more wholesome view of India. Allow your mind to list at least three good things of India.” [x]
Corporatization can have considerable influence in other ways. Corporate managers have a duty. They have to focus on profit making and seeking to convert as much of life as possible into commodities. It’s not because they’re bad people; it’s their task. Under Anglo-American law, it’s their legal obligation as well. There’s a lot to say about this topic, but one element of it concerns the universities and much else. One particular consequence is the focus on what’s called efficiency. It’s an interesting concept. It’s not strictly an economic concept. It has crucial ideological dimensions. If a business reduces personnel, it might become more efficient by standard measures with lower costs. Typically, that shifts the burden to the public, a very familiar phenomenon we see all the time. Costs to the public are not counted, and they’re colossal. That’s a choice that’s not based on economic theory. That’s based on an ideological decision, which applies directly to the “business models,” as they’re called, of the universities. Increasing class-size or employing cheap temporary labor, say graduate students instead of full-time faculty, may look good on a university budget, but there are significant costs. They’re transferred and not measured. They’re transferred to students and to the society generally as the quality of education, the quality of instruction is lowered.
Austerity measures are eroding America’s public school system. With massive increases in school closures and class cancellations, advocates say educational opportunities for students of all ages are increasingly being diminished.
This is not a new problem, per se. It is, however, an escalating one, and one that is being resisted.
Currently in Chicago—under the auspices of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the former chief of staff for President Obama—it was announced in March that 54 public schools will be closed, with 61 schools scheduled to be closed before the 2013–2014 school year begins. Emmanuel says that the closings are a “done deal.” Not everyone agrees with Emmanuel, and countering his assertion Karen Lewis says ‘it’s pretty much indicative that he [Emmanuel] has no respect for the law.” Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and says that there are supposed to be hearings for each school, and that Emmanuel’s unilateral actions show “the depth of his contempt for people” in the community, especially those who are not “wealthy” and well-connected.
Right now in California, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is on the verge of losing its accreditation as a direct consequence of a $53 million dollar loss in state funding. Because of this, many classes are no longer being offered. Additionally, the cost of [in-state] tuition at CCSF has risen 25% in the last 2 years, and to boot, student enrollment is way down.
KQED reports that California’s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year enrollment low, and in a video report at the Real News Network, Alisa Messer, President of CCSF Faculty Union, says that “what happened in California in the last several years is that we’ve pushed a half million students out of the community college system.” And though the faculty had agreed last year to a voluntary 2.8% pay cut towards assisting in alleviating budget woes, the district cut faculty wages by nearly 9%.
In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is attempting to close 17 schools, which are said to be low-performing. However, the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Coalition for Educational Justice have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging the city’s school closures disproportionately affect “students of color and students with disabilities.”
From 2003-2012, in New York City, 117 schools were closed. Twenty-five more closings are scheduled for 2013. Sixty-three percent of the students affected are black.
Since 2001, in Chicago, 72 schools have been closed or phased out. Ninety percent of the students affected are black.
In 2008, 23 schools were closed in Washington, DC. Ninety-nine percent of the students affected were black or brown.
Since 2005, in Detroit, 130 schools have been closed. Ninety-three percent of the students affected are black.
Curiously, while public schools are rapidly closing, charter schools—using public funding for privately-operated schools—have sprouted and expanded to take their share of budget dollars.
Many find this educational shift troubling, including a public school teacher of 30 years, Stan Karp, who is director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, and the editor to Rethinking Schools. Karp wrote in a March 8th commentary about charter schools, saying “nearly every teacher dreams of starting a school…[b]ut the current push for deregulated charters and privatization is doing nothing to reduce the concentrations of 70, 80, and 90 percent poverty that remain the central problem in our urban schools.” He says a more “equitable” approach to school reform can be seen in Raleigh, North Carolina, where efforts “were made to improve theme-based and magnet programs at all schools, and the concentration of free/reduced lunch students at any one school was limited to 40 percent or less.” That simple plan, Karp says, resulted in “some of the nation’s best progress on closing gaps in achievement and opportunity.”
Further making his case in the article, Karp says:
Significant evidence suggests that charters are part of a market-driven plan to create a less stable, less secure and less expensive teaching staff…working to privatize everything from curriculum to professional development to the making of education policy.
[C]harter school teachers are, on average, less experienced, less unionized and less likely to hold state certification than teachers in traditional public schools.
As many as one in four charter school teachers leave every year, about double the turnover rate in traditional public schools.
Charter schools typically pay less for longer hours. But charter school administrators often earn more than their school-district counterparts.
It’s past time to refocus public policy on providing a deserved quality education for all Americans, says Shawn Fremstad, an attorney and Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).Because inevitably, he believes, a good education leads to a good career and thus economic security.Fremstad says that actually the funding issue “goes to the larger issue of are we creating good jobs, and what happens when you don’t do that.” Fremstad says there “are all sorts of people who want to start a career, but if there aren’t good paths—what’s available for you—then I think that lacking those resources, the criminal justice system ends up trapping a lot of people in its net.” More and more, he says “the criminal justice system has become the dragnet that is replacing our safety net.” This trend, he says “is a failure to invest in people,” causing undue harm to students, teachers, local economies and communities.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
Many days, it seems that all the advances our country has made are being dismantled one court decision at a time. A recent decision in Michigan, which has largely flown under the radar, should it hold up on a national level, could mean that poor children will have no access to education.
On November 7, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that one poverty-stricken school district didn’t have to…
Democracy is dead. It’s been ‘corporatized’ and now it’s only a brand concept that’s been co-opted by big business as a way to get people over extended on predatory pay-day loans, GMO food, sugary food substitutes, compromised technology products that act as spy instruments for these same kleptocrats and movies made in Hollywood pushing “freedom’ and “democracy” while the prison population in America sets new all-time highs every year.
Max Keiser, ‘Exclusive: George Galloway will fund his London mayoral campaign using crowdfunding’, Russia Today
Pride started off amazing and quickly became horrifying. I started off the day excited to march with BAGLY and join my first pride parade. I felt like a Disney princess waving and cheering to the crowd.
However, when the parade was interrupted by Black Lives Matter, you really saw the day for what it was. BLM brought attention to problems facing the QTPOC community including criminalization, poor education, predatory banks and their policies, segregation of white and POC communities in Boston, and especially the eleven trans women of color who had been murdered this year.
The BLM protesters took eleven minutes out of the parade’s time in order to highlight the eleven women who lost their lives. It was really telling with how angry the white people in the crowd got. They told the protesters they were disrupting the parade, and started a counter chant ordering them to march. Shout out to garnetsgauntlets for speaking up and shouting back what I couldn’t say at the time.
The police also got in the face of the protesters and almost attempted to arrest them, almost arresting minors in the process if they were “with them”.
After that it was like the spell was broken and the magic was gone. The truth was they would allow us to chant Black Lives Matter as long as we kept marching. As long as we didn’t stay long enough for the message to sink in. So it could in one ear and out the other. So they could see us sing and dance and didn’t have to take notice of our pain. They couldn’t stand eleven minutes of their time being taken away, because the truth was they’d rather give us none of it at all.
The Indiana Toll Road is more than a highway. It is an infinite loop through the neoliberal world order, the mirror of a recursive economy in which every step toward corporatization creates more hardship – and every increase in hardship calls for more corporatization. Indiana is winning headlines today for enshrining bigotry into law in the name of religious freedom. But its toll road fiasco deserves a headline of its own.
IN INDIA now we have to reimagine the state, because the state is being run by these gigantic corporations. If you look at corporations like Reliance or Tata, I think even in the United States you would be hard-pressed to find corporations of that nature. Because they have this tremendous cross-ownership of businesses. So if you look at Reliance, they have petrochemicals, they have natural gas, they have twenty-seven television channels. Tata owns everything from, once again, power projects to vehicles to TV to broadband to salt to publishing to bookshops. So they have a way of kind of maneuvering complete control. And you see increasingly in places like Odisha and Jharkhand that mining companies are running their own mafia. All the police work under their instructions. So what is the state? It’s nothing new. It was what was happening in Latin America when Eduardo Galeano wrote Open Veins of Latin America, except the pace of global capital and corporatization and the arguments about climate change weren’t there at that time. So today a handful of big corporations really run India.
The kind of violence that that subservient state is capable of unleashing on everybody. Initially it was just the fragile village communities and the states of Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland. We’ve been through that. But now you have a situation today where we’ve seen that the Indian army has been deployed against “its own people,” right since 1947. There has never been a year when the army has not been deployed. But now all of it is going to be put to use for the corporate project. In Arunachal they are building something like 260 dams. Dissent will be controlled and crushed by the army, by the security forces.
It would sound as if you’re being careless to call it terrorism, but the situation is that India cannot push through its economic agenda without becoming a military state, without passing laws that are so punitive that people on the one hand think they have a democracy and on the other that democracy is undermined by a plethora of laws, like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which allows noncommissioned officers to kill on suspicion. So those laws were there in Kashmir and Nagaland and Manipur. Now the government wants to deploy the army in Chhattisgarh in central India against the poorest people in the country and in the world. The army won’t go unless it has impunity from the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. They already have special area security acts which criminalize every kind of dissent.
What I think the Indian authorities, which is the government and the corporatized government, are experimenting with is very interesting. How do you maintain this kind of image of this almost circus-like acrobatic democracy that makes such a show of elections and yet legally and in every other way undermines that democracy completely? In India, unlike in China or, until quite recently, in Pakistan, it’s not a question of a government becoming more and more authoritarian. It’s a question of getting a class of people who are so entrenched in the system that that entire class of people colludes in the administration of that militarized state, which includes the media and so on.
Q: As an academic and a political figure, you stand in an interesting position to observe shifting trends in the academy. How, in your view, have spiking tuition fees, sky-rocketing student debt and a corporatization of academic institution affected higher education? What’s your outlook on shifts in the education system in general in this country?
Well for me personally, it hasn’t been a change, but there are changes and developments in the higher education system and also K-12 which I think are extremely threatening and harmful. To keep it at the higher education: Over the past generation — roughly speaking the neoliberal period — there has been a substantial shift towards corporatization of the universities, towards imposing of the business model on higher education. Part of that is what you’ve mentioned, tuition rises. There has been an enormous increase in tuition. I don’t think you can give an economic argument for that. Take a look at the comparative evidence. Right to our south, Mexico, which is a relatively poor country, has a quite respectable higher education system, and it’s free. The country to that consistently ranks among the highest in educational achievement is Finland. A rich country, but education is free. Germany, education is free. France, education is free.
Take a look at the United States: Go back fifty years to the early post-war decades. It was a much poorer country than it is now, but for a large portion of the population, education was free. The GI Bill provided education for a great number of people who never would have been able to go to college otherwise. It was highly beneficial for them, and highly beneficial to the country in terms of the contributions they were able to make in terms of the economy and culture and so on. And it was essentially free. Even private universities costs were very slight by today’s standards. And that was a much poorer country than it is now. So in general I think that the economic arguments for the sharp rise in tuitions in the United States and to a lesser extent in England and a few other places, one can’t offer a persuasive economic argument for that, these are policy decisions. They are related to other changes that have taken place, so for example over the same period there has been an enormous expansion of administration in universities. The proportion of the University budget that goes to administration has skyrocketed…. This is all part of the imposition of a business model which has an effect also on curricular choices and decisions.
Similar things are happening at K-12 level with, first of all, the underfunding of schools, which is very serious as is the demeaning of teachers, the undermining of teacher’s respect and independence. The pressure to teach to tests, which is the worst possible form of education. In fact most of us have been through the school system have plenty of experience with courses we weren’t very much interested in, we had to study for an exam, you study for the exam and a couple weeks later you forget what the course was about. This is a critique that goes way back to the enlightenment, where they condemned the model of teaching as analogous as pouring water into a vessel — and a very leaky vessel, as we all know. This undermines creativity, independence, the joy of discovery, the capacity to work together with others creatively — all of the things that a decent educational system should foster. It’s going in the opposite direction, which is quite harmful. So there is a lot to reverse if we want to get back to a much healthier system of education and preservation and growth of cultural achievement.
Noam Chomsky, the Salon interview: Governments are power systems, trying to sustain power
Whoa.. And u listened. The allusions to the marching horde is inconsequential. There ain’t any army marching or otherwise. Then why the title? B-Coz, Due to the cosmic humour, thats the second title that came to mind. The first being “WiggleeeDiggleeeDooo”. I just yak around…
(..thats a lot generally)
So Now is the time for u to quit reading and go back to work..if u r unemployed please do continue..
Talking about armies. Do we get to see the day when the defense sector will be corporatorized. It will be fun. And the advantages
1. There will be deals between Defense Corporation for waging wars. Just imagine, A properly timed (preferably on weekends) wars..Yippeee..Move aside F1, GrandSlams and WorldCups
2. Exclusive coverage rights for Broadcasting, Podcasting, ironcasting, Baitcasting etc etc. It aint just any sport.It will be the Ultimate Entertainment..HBO and ESPN and MTV will be competing for the rights..For the Drama, The Competition and the Music!!
3. Mercenaries can be called in to provide the entertainment. All the adrenaline junkies would be raring to have a go…volunteering for getting into the “Great Wagga Wagga Defense Corporation”.
4. Real Estate prices of waste lands will shoot up as soon as they are turned into battlefields. Start buying up real estate in Sahara, Siberia and the Shallow Seas
5. The Populi, they are safe in the knowledge that they wont have to fight it out now.
6. And the employement opportunities for a lot of people.. (Removinf all the nuke waste requires specialized ppl with expertise)
It would be something like the gladiator stuff of yore..At a much larger scale ie.. Some people get paid to be killed or maimed. (Better than not getting paid for being killed).
This coin does not exist. Literally. This photo is imaginary. Literally. This currency is imaginary. Literally.
BitCoin. More than 95% of BitCoin advocates & users are male. This is a problem.
This is a problem especially since women drive economic activity much more than men. But… Such substantial gender imbalance in usage isn’t problematic — IF we are talking about a hobby group.
And BitCoin shows every evidence of being a hobby group.
BitCoin is the pet rock of our time. BitCoin is the tamagotchi of our time. BitCoin is the Beanie Baby of our time.
BitCoin is a speculative fad for tech-saavy men with disposable income.
I would like Time & evidence perhaps to prove me wrong in this. But I currently just don’t see it.
The idea behind BitCoin may be informative. With augmentation, public oversight & improvement, the ideas behind a completely “digital currency” may indeed be a wave of the future.
At present, however, an “all-digital currency” is not the miracle cure its advocates seem to make it out to be.
At present — for an exchange so early in its development — BitCoin seems riddled with opportunities for covert & black market use, fraud, theft & corruption. And the “value” of this imaginary currency fluctuates wildly, without apparent cause or prediction. Hardly a cause for confidence in a currency touted as infallible, incorruptible & “more reliable” than state-backed currencies. The central workings of BitCoin are privately held and hidden from public view & scrutiny. Which… of course makes it attractive to covert & criminal activity.
BitCoin is, in short, an additional movement towards corporatization.
That is problematic. It is worth noting that the movement of government function into private hands carries with it — always — an increased risk of totalitarianism. When the people of any state lose oversight of their collectively-held government to hierachicly-structured private corporations: The chances of dictatorial power go up rather than down.
I am not saying that BitCoin will lead to fascism. Not at all. It hasn’t (yet) that kind of ideological zeal or political clout. But BitCoin is part of a disturbing line of thinking that suggests that “the public good”, “the public welfare” cannot be trusted — that every movement towards private corporations is “good”.
And that line of thinking cuts The People out of the equation.
BitCoin is NOT being built “for the public good”. It is being built as a speculative (obscured) market for a bunch of men hoping to get rich quick. It is an elitist function. You don’t see BitCoin being used by women (who, remember, run the economy). You don’t see BitCoin being used by the Poor. You don’t see BitCoin being used by “Joe Six-Pack”. This is not being built for a public good. No, BitCoin is a fascination for a technically saavy predominantly male elite.
BitCoin: Of the Privileged, By the Privileged, For the Privileged.
This essay is scary, infuriating, and, I fear, all too true. I encourage the young med students and doctors who follow me to educate yourselves, join together, and build the kind of collective effort it will take to undermine and oppose this horrible valuing of profit over compassion.
Dr. Melos is a gastroenterologist in solo practice in a medium-sized Midwestern city. One day she hears a knock on her door. When she answers, she finds two representatives of Athenian Health System, who request a few minutes of her time. She invites them to take a seat in her office.
After exchanging pleasantries, the visitors get down to business. They extend Dr. Melos an offer to join the ranks of Athenian’s employed physicians. If she declines, they say, they will hire their own gastroenterologist, whose practice will grow rapidly on referrals from their large network… .
Athenian Health’s representatives demonstrate remarkable candor. “This is not a debate over how the world of healthcare should be. This is a demonstration of how the world is. You owe it to your patients and yourself to accept our offer.”
Dr. Melos argues that, although her tiny practice cannot begin to match the resources of a vast health system, she still might prevail. After all, she believes that what she is doing is right – a moral high ground that the health system cannot claim.
The representatives of the health system respond that the discussion is not about high ground and low ground or right and wrong. It is about strength and weakness, and as the far weaker of the two parties, Dr. Melos has no choice but to submit.
Again, Athenian Health’s representatives do not mince words. “What we have here is a straightforward business necessity. We urge you to confine your attention to the hard facts on the table, not invisible hopes that can only lead to the loss of your practice.”
Dr. Melos repairs to examples from history. “What if the Israelites had continued to submit to the Egyptians or the American colonies had simply capitulated to the British? Many of the most important chapters in history were written when the weak stood up to the strong.”
The representatives of the health system respond that the weak should not place their hopes in historical anecdotes or moral arguments. For every weak community that successfully stood up to power, there are hundreds – perhaps thousands – who were simply crushed and forgotten.
Dr. Melos insists that her colleagues will come to her aid. A variety of professional organizations — county, state, and national medical associations, not to mention her own specialty societies – they would never stand for such coercion.
The health system’s representatives respond that such professional associations have very little to gain and a great deal to lose in taking up the cause of a solo practitioner, largely because their plates are filled with far higher-profile concerns.
“We are not making a new set of rules here,” conclude the representatives of Athenian Health. “This is how the strong have always treated the weak. In fact, we are certain that if you were in our position, you would be doing exactly the same thing.”
Despite the overwhelming force of the health system’s arguments, Dr. Melos chooses to resist. Soon the health system makes good on its threats, hiring its own specialist and using its large physician network to erode away Dr. Melos’ referral base.