Blaise Pascal
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"The gated individual,
scholar, artist, media pundit and celebrity - 
walled off 
from growing impoverished populations - 
are also cut loose from any ethical mooring 
or sense of social responsibility."

Gated Intellectuals and Ignorance in Political Life
by Henry Giroux in Truthout


"A group of right-wing extremists in the United States would have the American public believe it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of a market society."

"Neoliberalism or market fundamentalism as it is called in some quarters and its army of supporters cloak their interests in an appeal to "common sense," while doing everything possible to deny climate change, massive inequalities, a political system hijacked by big money and corporations, the militarization of everyday life and the corruption of civic culture by a consumerist and celebrity-driven advertising machine. ...this deceptive strategy does more. It also substitutes shared responsibilities for a culture of diminishment, punishment and cruelty. The social is now a site of combat, infused with a live-for-oneself mentality and a space where a responsibility toward others is now gleefully replaced by an ardent, narrow and inflexible responsibility only for oneself."

"The gated intellectuals, pursuing their flight from social responsibility, become obsessed with the privatization of everything. And not content to remain supine intellectuals in the service of corporate hacks, they also willingly, if not joyfully, wage war against what is viewed as the ferocious advance of civil society, public values and the social."

"The gated intellectual works hard to make thinking an act of stupidity, turn lies into truths, build a moat around oppositional ideas so they cannot be accessed and destroy those institutions and social protections that serve the common good. Gated intellectuals and the institutions that support them believe in societies that stop questioning themselves, engage in a history of forgetting and celebrate the progressive "decomposition and crumbling of social bonds and communal cohesion."

"Gated intellectuals do not work with ideas, but sound bites. They don't engage in debates; they simply spew off positions in which unsubstantiated opinion and sustained argument collapse into each other."

"The gated mentality of market fundamentalism has walled off, if not disappeared, those spaces where dialogue, critical reason and the values and practices of social responsibility can be engaged. The armies of anti-public intellectuals, who appear daily on television, radio talk shows, and other platforms, work hard to create a fortress of indifference and manufactured stupidity."

"Instead of the gated intellectual, there is a dire need for public intellectuals in the academy, art world, business sphere, media, and other cultural apparatuses to move from negation to hope." 

"If gated intellectuals defend the privileged, isolated, removed and individualized interests of those who decry the social and view communal responsibility as a pathology, then public intellectuals must ensure their work and actions embody a democratic ideal through reclaiming all those sites of possibility in which dialogue is guaranteed, power is democratized and public values trump sordid private interests. Democracy must be embraced not merely as a mode of governance, but more importantly, as Bill Moyers points out, as a means of dignifying people so they can become fully free to claim their moral and political agency."

And the Angels that warned me...

"so i wish i was under a tree
far away from society
where the only truth in me
is the soothing sound of my own entity
while my other voice is free
it expresses words of plea
to return to a stable form of reality
but i'm inside of that tree
that tree is inside of another tree
the perplexity is infinity
so i will just chill with a spliff"

Nothing left to do...
I am one man...
Waiting, out in the cold

Things are in the saddle...

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