Listen live Fridays 8 to 10 pm Eastern on Revolution.Radio
First hour: International Affairs professor Michael Brenner recently sent out an essay entitled “The Power of the Word.” It begins:
“A divide between elites and the populace is a recurrent feature of every large organized society. That has been true without exception since the abundance generated by the mastery of agriculture encouraged the growth and elaboration of earlier Neolithic tribes. There are no known exceptions; but there are variations in modalities. A key to elite dominance always was the superior group’s monopoly – or quasi monopoly – of crucial knowledge. Before the introduction of writing, it took oral form. The subjects covered matters temporal as well as sacred. In those cultures, like Hinduism, where most practical matters were sacrilized, access to religious materials – the mythic eschatology, prayers, rituals – was crucial to consolidating the power of a priesthood in alliance with warrior castes. That alliance, overt or tacit, has been the foundation stone of elite rulership and economic control throughout history. Only over the past 250 years has it been challenged by the radiating influence of the Western Enlightenment…”
Brenner says mass literacy has leveled the playing field…and today, the declining literacy of elites may be leveling it even more: “In the inaugural Nixon-Kennedy debates, linguists judged the level of speech at the 9th or 10th grade. The best estimates of today’s debates place it at the 5th grade level – that includes the grade inflation of Trump’s verbal ejaculations…” His conclusion: “These days we find ourselves in the intriguing situation where ultra-sophisticated scientific and technological advances continue apace, on the one hand, while our performance in managing our collective affairs seems to be getting stupider and stupider – or, at least, our managers are getting stupider and stupider, on the other.”
Second hour: If elites have gotten too stupid to solve the world’s pressing problems, who will? Maybe ordinary people? Is the ultimate solution deceptively simple: Grow our own good food and mind our own damn business? That’s my takeaway from the work of Greta Zarro, Organizing Director of World Beyond War and co-founder of Unadilla Community Farm, and Brian Terrell, an Iowan farmer and long-time peace activist. They will be hosting a Peace & Permaculture Webinar this Wednesday, December 16 at 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern Time (GMT-5).
One Thought to “LIVE RADIO! Prof. Michael Brenner on “Power of the Word”; Greta Zarro & Brian Terrell on Peace through Farming, Permaculture, & Simple Living”
These 2 guests seems to be at peace – to say the least – with having “elites” managing them like brainless entities and solving their world problems. Problems that their beloved “elites”created in the first place. European people have a long history of being slaves to their landlords, their kings, queens and “elites”, and they think that everybody ought to be like them.
The Quran puts emphasis on personal responsability and intellect :
Quran [033:66-68] :
يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ يَقُولُونَ يَا لَيْتَنَا أَطَعْنَا اللَّهَ وَأَطَعْنَا الرَّسُولَا وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلَا رَبَّنَا آتِهِمْ ضِعْفَيْنِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ وَالْعَنْهُمْ لَعْنًا كَبِيرًا
“On the Day when their faces shall be tossed about in the fire, they will exclaim, “Oh, would that we had paid heed unto God, and paid heed unto the Apostle !. And they will say : “O our Sustainer! Behold, we paid heed unto our leaders and our great men, and it is they who have led us astray from the right path !. O our Sustainer ! Give them double suffering, and banish them utterly from Thy grace !.” (as translated by ‘Mohammad Asad’)