Sunday, May 11, 2008

Recommended Reading

Some things to read and think about. Recognizing a problem is the first step toward solving it.
Outright Barbarism vs. The Civil Society

By Sara Robinson
May 6th, 2008

Call it holocaust, lynching, or apartheid -- whatever the atrocity, it always begins with language that privileges us, dehumanizes them, and somehow justifies their removal from our midst. The right has scored some very specific and tangible (and otherwise politically untenable) benefits by the simple act of grinding our discourse down the point where it's now mostly conduced in the coarsest of us-versus-them terms. Somehow, we need to find our way back to each other. full article »

The Gospel of Consumption
And the better future we left behind
by Jeffrey Kaplan

...By the late 1920s, America’s business and political elite had found a way to defuse the dual threat of stagnating economic growth and a radicalized working class in what one industrial consultant called “the gospel of consumption”—the notion that people could be convinced that however much they have, it isn’t enough. President Herbert Hoover’s 1929 Committee on Recent Economic Changes observed in glowing terms the results: “By advertising and other promotional devices . . . a measurable pull on production has been created which releases capital otherwise tied up.” They celebrated the conceptual breakthrough: “Economically we have a boundless field before us; that there are new wants which will make way endlessly for newer wants, as fast as they are satisfied.” ... (full article)

No comments: