- At Sixth Estate, Government of Canada Issues Statement Opposing the Alphabet
- At Politics and its Discontents, Sun News Network – Full of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing
- At Porcupine Blog, The Hegemony of Authoritarian Ideology and the Vancouver Hockey Riot
All worthwhile reads, but there is, as you might gather from the title of this post, a common theme: the facility for critical thinking and its absence in far too many of our fellow citizens. This absence manifests itself in all kinds of tiresome and disturbing ways. A willingness to swallow the garbage peddled daily by the HarpoKKKon government and its mouthpieces in the braying tabloid press / crapaganda Fox News North channel betrays not just stupidity and intellectual laziness, but a fundamental lack of curiosity. And it's that lack of curiosity that makes people susceptible to manipulation and the cynical, divisive and despotic politics practiced by the Conbots.
It's especially worthwhile reading in the Porcupine post, which starts with a discussion of the online lynch mob that arose in response to the Vancouver hockey riot after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup finals to Boston. A sample:
But for all the ordinary people who engaged in this blame fest, it only goes to show the hegemony of authoritarian ideology. Such hegemony means that most people are incapable of a structural or systemic analysis of an event. All they can do is conjure up demons, scapegoats and conspiracy theories.
Once again, the inability to think critically features prominently. George Carlin captured it perfectly with a terrific rant which I've blogged about previously. The essence of his argument was that the powers that be don't want educated citizens, they want obedient workers. Thus, they have a great deal invested in making sure schools don't teach people how to reason, how to see shades of meaning, and how to question the validity and evaluate the worth of everything they're told and everything they see, hear and read.
I know I go on about the G20 (chorus: No shit, OB. Really?), but I can't help but think that part of the motive for such orchestrated and sustained brutality was a demonstration of what happens to people who ask too many questions. Even if people were equipped to question what they're told in a systematic and structural way, they're less likely to speak up when they're worried about catching a police boot in the teeth.
So, fellow progressives, a challenge. Think of this as an attempt to crowdsource and kick-start a new strategy session: how can we bypass the intimidation and inculcate the faculty of critical thought within our fellow citizens? And how do we do it without insulting people, sounding condescending and / or opening ourselves up to the usual flying-monkey attacks?
Operators are standing by ...