From the above article:Hedges...asserts in Chapter 3, "The Illusion of Wisdom," that Harvard, Yale, Princeton and most elite schools "do only a mediocre job of teaching students to question and think." Elite universities are in the business of producing "hordes of competent systems managers" not critical thinkers(emphasis added by me).
This, my friends, is as accurate, succinct definition of the coordinator class I have ever read. Economic class is at the base of America's political and economic problems yet we, the vast majority of the American people, fail to discuss it. So brainwashed are we as a people with the notion of "upward mobility" we do not see that for the vast majority the game is rigged against us.
Again from the article:Hedges not only blames the elite universities for our mortgage-fueled financial crisis but is sure their alumni on Wall Street and in Washington have no capacity to really fix the economic system..."They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one." (He includes George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Obama's "degree-laden" cabinet members in this group.)
Elsewhere on this Web site Naomi Klein excoriates President Obama for squandering ...once-in-a-generation opportunities... to clean up the global environment and repair our broken economy at the same time. From my perspective President Obama fails to see the opportunities Klein describes for the very reasons Hedges outlines above. The president is a product of two of the most prestigious Ivy League universities, Columbia for his degree in journalism, then Harvard Law, and as such is, in Hedges' words, he is first and foremost a competent systems manager, a coordinator.
And why, I think, our center-left and center-right coordinator class politicians and economists try to work within and not alter the fundamental elements of what for the greater majority of Americans is an increasingly flawed and inequitable socio-economic system, is because it works for them. My coordinator class, real estate developer, Democratic state senator is known as a "champion" of the poor in my state, because his district includes some of my hometown's poorest neighborhoods. Yet at the same time he profits from tax incentives, rebates and credits laws for developers, many of which he has hand a hand in fashioning.
Discussion of socio-economic class in the United States is taboo unless it is coupled with race, i.e. blacks and Hispanics are poorer that whites. Yet there is real class resentment which the reactionary-right coordinator class recognizes and exploits to their own benefit, think of the tea party movement.
Sadly unless we can get the big money out of politics and end the myth of corporate personhood I can think of no solution to this dilemma other than the trumbles and guillotines. And this is a step that even the farthest left of the coordinator class will never take.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Hedges truly diagnoses our national problem
Posted originally at Alternet.org: