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GRID: Times of Crisis - John Berger and Noam Chomsky (4/22/14) - YouTube
Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth

JB: "ignore. ignore the jailers' talk. of course there are bad jailers who are less bad, and in certain conditions it's useful to note the difference. but what they say -- including the less evil ones -- is bullshit. their hymns, their shibboleths, their incanted words like 'security' 'democracy' 'identity' 'civilization' 'flexibility' 'productivity' 'human rights' 'integration' 'terrorism' 'freedom' -- they are repeated and repeated in order to confuse, divide, distract, and sedate all fellow prisoners. from this side of the walls, words spoken by the jailers are meaningless, and are no longer useful... they cut through nothing. so. reject them. even when thinking silently to yourself."
JB: "for the mass prison population, the aim is not to activate them, but to keep them in a state of passive uncertainty, and to remind them, remind them remorselessly, that there is nothing in life but risk, and that the earth is an unsafe place. this is done with carefully selected information, with misinformation, commentaries, rumors, fictions. and insofar as this operation succeeds, it proposes and maintains a hallucinating paradox, for it tricks a prison population into believing that the priority, for each one of them, is to make arrangements for their own personal protection, and to acquire somehow (even though incarcerated) their own particular exemption from the common fate. and this image of mankind has transmitted through a view of the world is truly without precedent. mankind is presented as a card: only winners are brave; and in addition, there are no gifts -- there are only prizes.
"but prisoners have always found ways of communicating with one another. and in today's global prison, cyberspace can be used against the interests of those who first installed it. think about it. like this, prisoners inform themselves about what the world does each day; and they follow suppressed stories from the past; and so stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the dead.
"and in doing so, they rediscover little gifts, examples of courage: a single rose in a kitchen where there's not enough to eat; indelible pains; the indefatigability of mothers; laughter; mutual aid; silence; ever-widening resistance; willing sacrifice; more laughter."
JB: "the fact that the world's tyrants are ex-territorial explains the extent of their overseeing power, but it also indicates a coming weakness. they operate in cyberspace , and they lodge in guarded condominiums, but they have no knowledge of the surrounding earth.
"furthermore, they dismiss such knowledge as superficial, not profound, because for them only extracted resources count. they can't listen to the earth. on the ground, they are blind, and in the local, they are lost.
"for fellow prisoners, the opposite is true, because cells have walls that touch each other across the world. effective acts of sustained resistance will be embedded in the local, near and far. out back resistance. listening to the earth. liberty is slowly being found not outside, but in the depths of the prison."

NC: "...the tory government is trying to turn first-class universities into third-class commercial institutions. it's happening to a lesser extent here, as well. the mentality of the administrative -- state legislators, and trustees -- increasingly is one of improving the bottom line... so, for example, if you can save money by employing ... people who are easily exploitable, who are part of the 'precariat' ... you save money. of course there's a cost, but the cost is to individuals. the cost is to the students, and the faculty. but in the moral calculus of contemporary economics and socioeconomics, that doesn't matter."
"costs to persons just don't count -- they're not calculated. and the cost to persons is enormous. every person is subjected to this. it's the same throughout society. ... that's a certain kind of, if you like, moral calculus, built into some of the professions like economics, and a large part of the business world. people just don't count. what counts is the cost to institutions... and one of the victims will, of course, be the humanities: our cultural wealth, the reasons for living, the reasons for having a rich, creative life, a life that contributes to yourself and to society and future generations. sure, why should that exist, if it costs -- if you can't sell it on the market tomorrow?

"this, incidentally, is happening in the sciences too. very striking, what's happening... in the united states, the proportion of the national income, national wealth, devoted to research and development has declined by 25% in the last decade. that's mainly under the attack of the republican right wing, which doesn't believe in science, and the willingness of democrats to go along. it's part of the neoliberal assault...

"that's also the basis for the future economy. so, they're perfectly willing to cut out, destroy the future economy, if you can make more money tomorrow. that's the same thing as not caring about destroying the environment, if in fact we can make a little more money tomorrow, by fracking, let's say. well, that's -- it's a way of looking at the world, it's destructive, it'll lead us to destruction. and what you describe about what's happening to the humanities and the arts is just one part of it -- one part of the whole large system which is part of sociopathic society."
2014  2010s  noam_chomsky  john_berger  lecture  discussion  video  youtube  college  crisis  capitalism  society  prison  labor  death  resist  writer  audio  philosophy  thought  dartmouth  safety  fear  nature  power  humanity  environment  q&a  activism  economics  greed  climate_change  quote  education  university  republican  america  canada  england  neoliberal  exploitation 
april 2017 by cluebucket
Becoming Bernie
really nice read... really glad this/he exists

the least important fact (but one that sticks out in my mind) is that his older brother is "Larry Sanders."  vermont  history  politics  politician  mayor  senator  burlington  bernie_sanders  brooklyn  independence  nyc  poverty  profile  writing  vermont_public_radio  1950s  1960s  1970s  1980s  1990s  2000s  2010s  2015  america  high_school  chicago  university  university_of_chicago  dissent  student  life  biography  independent  controversy  policy  law 
october 2015 by cluebucket

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