Different Class Message Board › "The other part of the story is the development of corporations, which

"The other part of the story is the development of corporations, which is an interesting story in itself..."

Trisha
user 10455453
Lehigh Acres, FL
Post #: 1
http://www.chomsky.in...­

I found this short(ish) excerpt (from Class Warfare; a book of interviews with Noam Chomsky) titled "Education is Ignorance" to be interesting. It is a misleading title in that the main thrust is not just about education, but also about socioeconomics. Reading this along side Max Weber's "The Types of Legitimate Domination" was thought provoking. (I'm still not finished with Weber's excerpt yet though.) Any thoughts?


Nathan Charlton
nathancharlton
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 1
Thanks for the tip, will try to read it once I've finished Weber
A former member
Post #: 2
I did find the Chomsky interview gave an interesting angle on the design of educational systems and corporations.

Something which threw me a bit at the meetup was that the questions handed out for discussion were different to those on the webpage, which had been:

"when, if ever, should some person or group rule over another? How do they convince us to let them do this? Is it trickery or is there a legitimate reason why we should allow ourselves to be ruled?"

I'd focused on Weber's section "Legal Authority with a Bureaucratic Administrative Staff", and the unevidenced claims that a system of detached career-based hierarchical domination is the most rational, efficient, calculable etc ( http://www.scribd.com...­ )

Another meetup recently went to a talk at the LSE called "The Leaderless Revolution" by a former british diplomat who strongly challenged such claims. He discussed (vaguely) possible modern alternatives that don't have a single ruler or ruling group ( http://www2.lse.ac.uk...­ )
Trisha
user 10455453
Lehigh Acres, FL
Post #: 3
Thanks for the link. I found it interesting..though as you said a bit vague. I wish I could have attended the meet up on Weber. Weber claims that states progress from charismatic to traditional and finally onto Legal/Rational methods of domination. Can we progress towards something else beyond legal/rational or are we struggling to create a more efficient and pure "Legal/Rational" system (ie, one that is more democratic and less corrupt)? I am not sure what the alternatives are that Carne speaks of. He mentions a non violent revolution without leadership but uses Gandhi in India as an example of what he has in mind. It is intriguing to think a movement without a "leader" but I'm not sure its tenable. The Occupy Wall Street movement seems to have orginated in the same manner but has been criticized for lacking a cohesive objective (something that may happen without a leader figure). I am reading "The Fear of Freedom" by Eric Fromm right now. He might suggest that we let ourselves be ruled because of an anxiety that occurs when we have to decide for ourselves what is meaningful and right. There may be trickery involved, but we seek security much as a child looks to its parents...part of growing up as free thinking citizens involves taking an active role and responsibility. I recommend the book.
A former member
Post #: 3
I guess in the end what I took most from Carne was what he'd been through personally. That despite the position he'd achieved in his career, and all the powerful incentives that go with such a thing, he resigned after Iraq and went into quite a deep depression I think he said, and started reading different perspectives on how to organise things. And ten years later is at least trying to support ordinary people more (a friend has a more cynical view that it's typical of how the political class can mess up but go through an ideological makeover in order to come back seeming just as sincere!)

Re. improving the (so-called) legal/rational system. I do wonder what might be a good recent unpacking of the components of it, with the same kind of focus and scope as Weber but looking at which elements could be modified or replaced. Actually I recall Dr White mentioned at the meetup about recent scolarship on how Weber himself was critical of bureaucracies (at least if taken to extremes? like http://en.wikipedia.o...­

I like the sound of the book by Fromm, including apparently his critique of Freud - am going to try and get hold of it. No doubt psychology, including evolutionary and social, has come a fair way since then but get the impression he might have been a bit neglected compared to some of his contemporaries - thanks for the tip.
A former member
Post #: 2,839
I read the very interesting article in the New Statesman by Nicholas Shaxton on The City, "as the tax haven at the heart of Britain" and I assumed that this thread was on that topic. Have I come in on a previous conversation that is not on the MB ?
Trisha
user 10455453
Lehigh Acres, FL
Post #: 4
No I don't think you have missed anything. I had just stumbled across an essay by Noam Chomsky and was considering how it related to the suggested reading (types of legitimate domination) for a previous meet up. Interesting article by Nicholas Shaxton. I came across an article about the corporation of the city of London myself not long ago...by George Monbiot in the Guardian.

http://www.guardian.c...­
A former member
Post #: 2,862
Yes, I see it is based on the book.

What does it say about the knowledge base of our supposedly intelligent and educated population. While issues such as this are entirely ignored (if that's the right word!) the myths, prejudices and elitism of religion is taught as good and true in our schools, at tax payers expense.

Something that is never discussed, yet it is blatant human rights abuse.
A former member
Post #: 4
I was reading the other day about how in the Soviet Union (and China I think) a debased version of dialectical materialism - Diamat - became an official creed enforced on to school children. A 'bureaucratic script' where humans were cast as puppets shaped and directed by material historical forces, but leaders of the Party were supposedly able to transcend and change things through the dialectic process.

So I suppose ruling elites seek to legitimate themselves and create sheep whether through religion or determinism (or deliberate neglect/commercial brainwashing as Chomsky seemed to be saying).

I found quite inspirational Fromm's idea that a solution to the problem of freedom (insecurity vs entrapment) is to cultivate personal spontaneity. I thought it could even be related to:

"The second chapter of Max Weber’s Economy and Society deals with the relationship between formal and substantive rationality...where substantive rationality is the basis from which resistance springs as a menace to power, at least where it entails a project for humanity instead of a project for private individuals. ... Where an individual has so internalized commitment to a rational institution, such as the civil service, or science, or academia, that the commitment shapes their dispositions in such a way that their will knows little or no resistance to its formal rationality, then this represents obedience to an institutionalized will to power."
A former member
Post #: 3,254
The elitism includes the separation of ideological, academic debate from the people whose lives would be most improved by knowledge and debate. This has been the pattern of philosophical discussion through the centuries in which relatively small groups of men protected by their wealth and status have been tolerated in their questioning .....'just not in front of the servants'

I consider that insecurity (personal, psychological, financial, political and social) is the major factor in the vulnerability to trickery, indoctrination, manipulation, social control and domination). The larger the population the 'smaller' the individual, the more pronounced their vulnerability. They have least power or influence. It becomes a self-promoting process. IMO this is inevitable particularly in large sophisicated (cunning) societies in which massive wealth can buy the essentials of life, health, education, access to the media and ultimately all aspects of social control.

Indoctrination techniques themselves (on ideas or behaviours) rely on the power relationship between a dominant teacher/doctor/parent/ boss and inferior pupil, child, patient employee.

The two largest countries - despite having secular constitutions,India and the US, both have massive inequality and massive majorities of observing religionists.

William Sargent in looking after shell-shocked soldiers post WW1 noted he found that these patients were particularly vulnerable to suggestibility. I found this an interesting observation. Battle for the Mind



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