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August 28, 2012

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Grace

The world is a battleground, and we are constantly barraged by weapons created by public relations departments, people who work in the advertising industry, and others whose job it is to lie convincingly.

As this weapons race has developed, our faith in the notion that there is such a thing as "truth" has been undermined, at least as much on the Left as on the Right. We no longer live in a world of reality and fantasy, what-is and what-isn't.

This kind of detachment from reality would be impossible without the participation of our schools. At universities, whole departments proclaim that no understanding or description of the world is more accurate than any other. This Postmodernist virus (as Dennett calls it http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/postmod.tru.htm) has made it impossible to formulate a coherent argument against the further dumbing-down of Americans through, for example, the use of public funds to teach kids to be anti-gay bigots who think their grandparents played with dinosaurs. (Louisiana has many strong points, but this is not one of them.) Hell, without the conviction that some statements are more true than others, how do we argue against any form of stupidity or nastiness, however Rick-Perry-like it might be?

In our culture: All-pervasive advertising + intellectual incoherence on the Left + crummy education for almost all = Goodies for the super rich, who will not stop until the whole shit-house goes up in flames.

So ... Yes, without fundamental cultural change there is no hope for the world. But I think we need to push for a renaissance of the mind and the spirit, and not focus too much on Colbert's zingy gotchas (which I love).

Albert

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Grace. And thank you also for invoking The Doors, although I must add that your pre-Post-Structuralist appeals to phallogocentric binaries such as truth/falsehood and reality/fiction evince a naive indifference to the interrogation of hermeneutical boundaries sportscar potato.

Prentice Zinn

Rashad is right.

We default to the policy conversation because it is the language and culture of our dominant institutions.

Good luck getting a grant without all of your boxes and arrows pointing to capital P- Policy as the outcome.

Your theory of change better have all of its managerial and technocratic I's dotted and T's crossed.

I just reviewed nearly 20+ snoozarific guides about how activists can measure social justice.

They studiously avoid any conversation about cultural change.

"Color within the lines of our normative behavior in policywonklandia and you will be richly rewarded".

The good news is, that when you escape the echo chamber of policywonklandia there is a quiet conversation about cultural organizing, creativity, building community, and how real people construct meaning, become politicized and get engaged.

In this conversation, cultural change is the goal and the policy wins along the way are proxy indicators for the change we want to see in the world.


Albert

Thanks for your comment, Prentice. I'm reminded that policies still need to be enforced, and that policy changes can be and have been quickly undone with regime change. I resonate very much with your notion of reversing our priorities, putting greater emphasis on cultural change, treating any subsequent policy changes as welcome epiphenomena. A lot of food for thought.

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