A Critique from 1964

From another blessing of last week’s used book sale – one published the year after I graduated from high school.

Consider it this way: at present, the organization of American society is an interlocking system of

• semi-monopolies notoriously venal,

• an electorate notoriously unenlightened,

• misled by mass media notoriously phony,

• and a baroque State waging cold war against another baroque State.

Of course, a lot has changed since this was published in 1964 – e.g. the reference to the “cold war”. Now the wars are hotter. But clearly a lot remains the same.

Do we expect God or the Universe or the Great Spirit, Eternal Wisdom, Ultimate Goodness, the Absolute, or any such thing as there may be, to honor and support such characteristics? If not, do we expect our lives or our grandchildren’s lives to be better for our having persisted in such patterns?

(“Venal” means greedy, open to bribery, influenced by the scent of money.)

[This is from Compulsory Mis-education and The Community of Scholars, by Paul Goodman, c 1962, 1964, a Vintage paperback, p171 (in the “The Community of Scholars” half of the book). ]

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