We like to see the world in black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, usually with our side being on the side of right and the other side being on the side of wrong. Therefore, it is refreshing to see an individual embrace more of a “new energy” perspective on things where a supporter on the side of “right” says ‘hey, wait a minute, we need to look inside for a moment.” That is just what this sociologist does as he examines not only what’s great, but what is not so great, in America’s Grand Old Party (GOP). Now if we could just get the left to do the same.
Colonel Muammar Gadhafi’s days as Libya’s overlord are fast coming to a close. For an astonishing 41 years the people of Libya have been subjected Gadhafi’s abusive reign. However, seizing upon the revolutionary fervor that is sweeping through North Africa, the Libyan people have surged into the streets to demand an immediate end to the Gadhafi regime. Three cheers for the good people of Libya!
As Bob Dylan once sang, times they are changing. Finally it does appear to be that way. The Middle East has boiled over with grass roots, ground up revolution! It’s too soon to tell what’s going to happen, and the installation of a military dictatorship in Egypt doesn’t bode well for democracy, but things are certainly on the move. What will the powers that be do to contain the nascent democratic leanings. Only time will tell.
Academic communities and higher learning facilities like universities are the places where great knowledge is born and passed on with the purpose of ‘enlightening’ our societies for the better. Or is it? Aren’t academies and universities about socialization into The System and indoctrination into ideas that support hierarchy, exclusion, etc. According to Anna Brix Thomsen, its both. Universities are useful and do make a [technological] improvement in things, but usually only for the primary benefit of the elite. Trickle down benefits there may be, but its ultimately about maintaining the status quo and further enriching those who are already with privilege.
Here is an awesome article that questions the western view of Arab women, the Western view of women, the Westernized view of the family, the Western fetish with the Hijab, and even Western understandings of the politics of colonialism and occupation. A veritable sociological tour de force, but not from a traditional sociological source. A fascinating alternative to views common in the mainstream, and accepted without thought, by most.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, some 36 million people (mostly women and children) die every year from preventable hunger. Who is to blame for this situation? According to Anna, we all are. Corporations and governments manipulate the global economies for the benefit of wealthy corporations and individuals and we, the masses, plug into the television, get our daily dose of indoctrination, and feed our bodies with a consumer intravenous, bloating up and dying of obesity as a result. It’s time to quit playing the game of separation and start working on the problem together else Gaia may fail and or our days of wine and roses may be over.
** World Hunger **
We are the cultural and political elite of this world. We believe our society is the pinnacle of evolutionary development (what is better than “democracy” after all), we believe our products and services and capitalist ethics form the basis of our emerging technological utopia, in short we believe we are God’s gift to this earth, developing the lands and bringing culture and prosperity to the unwashed spiritual and scientific heathens. But is that really so? Not according to this commentator who points out that behind our subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) airs of intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and scientific superiority lies a brutal and greedy imperialist reality. Exaggeration or brutal truth? You be the judge. Imperlialism in Action
You think we live in a functioning democracy? You think you’re a powerful actor in a sea of democratic choice? Think again. According to this psychologist we are nations of people broken by a socialization process that teaches passivity, fear of authority, and a-social competition, a medical process that applies chemical straitjackets to the emotional sequelea of oppression, and a psychological establishment that pathologizes children who refuse to conform.
The scholarly propaganda is simple, technology makes the world a better place. We are moving towards a post-industrial utopia characterized by human care and service, and away from our dark, industrial, and exploitative past. Hogwash says this student who, after familiarizing herself with the debates notes that despite the propaganda of a caring and connected world, the reality is more of the same. Sweatshops, child labour, and the violation of human rights go hand in our with our Western technological fetish.