Neoliberalism in a Day of People Craving Stories, Authentic Voices and Anything-but-Pablum
Seeking a next generation of truth tellers in a time of Neo-Capitalism's Total Mind Control
What is the state of today's American-style journalism? That's an embedded question haranguing me since I cut my teeth on the lofty pursuit of truth in Arizona, as a kid, reporter, college newspaper, Arizona Daily Wildcat. Deeply disturbing how out of balance this false balance and equivocating and manufacturing consent Press has devolved now, antithetical many times to someone like me who has had an unflinching bargaining back and forth as to what journalism is when we are driving by our own compulsion to question authority, to deny a “carte blanche” platform gifted to the controllers, and to seek the underbelly of each and every propagandized card set in this house of cards that is Capitalism.
The conference was held in Seattle, and it was a precursor to an awards ceremony for Region 10 writers like myself – in my case, magazine writing, competing against writers from six states: Washington, Arkansas, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.
I live 2.5 hours from Seattle, and my magazine publisher ponied up the $60 for the gala, where I would be receiving some award for some of my writing that came out in 2015 for Spokane Living Magazine, in “my” column called, Metro Talk.
This is a double-edged for me, going into traditional venues, like mainstream journalism, although at the gala awards celebration, it was good to see two street newspapers, Real Change News and Street Roots make some killer awards recognition in many categories, representing Seattle's and Portland's homeless communities efforts for some form of self-sufficiency – newspapers with some homeless writers and all homeless vendors. I am proud to have penned a few stories for Seattle's paper when I was struggling up there as an adjunct instructor and writer.
Going into traditional journalism haunts is not so tough on me, but returning to that self-congratulatory city with Bill and Melinda Gates and Jeff Amazon.dot.com Bezos written all over it, very tough for me since I know for a fact that the majority in that “blue city” votes hard for Mrs. Clinton and votes even harder for the Art of War bible on how to do business. Libertarians United is Seattle on many levels. The Power of Disruptive (sic – destroyed) economies (sic – money hoodwinked, made, stolen by the Five Percent) and Disruptive Neighborhoods (sic – gentrification on steroids and a larger, magnified class dichotomy) and Bombarding Creative Class (sic – only defined by the pretexts and caveats set forth by capitalists) are the reverberations I feel each and every time I return to Seattle.
The beast is the 18-pack belly, Metrosexual, tragically hip, proto-polyamorous feminist, Whole Foods gone wild person who represents the “style of the place,” not necessarily the superstructure or underbelly of Seattle – home to immigrants, poor, displaced wage slavers.
I tend to also have this emotional, spiritual and intellectual triage effect, rubbing elbows with folk I normally do not share a campfire or political diatribe with: slick magazine editors, Pulitzer prizewinners, traditional journalists, PR impresarios, business journal editors/writers, and academics who are part of the problem, not solution.
While I was there just to parachute into a more traditional set of venues since I am more than a radical writer with a book coming out that will I am sure be the last book on any Powell's Books loving folk's or Seattle foodie's reading lists – I tend to also have this emotional, spiritual and intellectual triage effect, rubbing elbows with folk I normally do not share a campfire or political diatribe with: slick magazine editors, Pulitzer prizewinners, traditional journalists, PR impresarios, business journal editors/writers, and academics who are part of the problem, not solution.
Hats off to Ethan Chung, the SPJ Region 10 organizer. The Conference held at University of Washington's Communication Building was sparsely attended – but the talks were interesting – SPJ president Paul Fletcher looking at the new “code of ethics” just passed by the voting members of Society of Professional Journalists, then following, Podcasting; Digital Tools; Covering Trans and Non-binary News, and finally, Long Form.
Going backwards, the long form especially touches me, since I write LONG, HARD and LONG. That's Mark Armstrong, founder of longreads.com. He was interviewed on stage by editor-in-chief James Ross Gardner of Seattle Met, a monthly magazine that is making waves in the region. The viability of long narrative writing was posited as being robust by Armstrong and Gardner. The idea is that some people hooking to/on/with their tablets or phones, while commuting, want meat and grist and depth of field as well as a micro and macro look at subjects.
Here, an example of a Long Reads republished piece with Ali as the linchpin to a woman's “father's day” tribute: “The Man Who Put Down Clay.”
Long Reads is now a Word Press-owned venue, and Armstrong and 12 others are employed to look at the world of narrative, and they work on exposing to the world writers, both alive and dead, who had the compunction to tackle interviews, new and old journalism, memoir-anti memoir style, essays, and other forms in a landscape of contexts, word-love and full force. Sometimes that's a Long Reads list of old and new things, reposted/republished, and available for download so one might get a subway read in even if Wifi is sketchy. And, now, Long Reads is accepting original work, by authors, for a little pay.
The most germane talk was by the SPJ national president, Paul Fletcher, who talked about the new fix on the country's Freedom of Information Act, going on 50 years July 4, 2016, signed into law by the very reluctant LBJ (all presidents are haters of freedoms on the Press's ability to speak-seek-expose truth to power, in this country's case, the oligarchy and plutocracy that we are at the hands of a jeweled top 1000 billionaires and millionaires who set policy on how much lead we are supposed to consume in our water, how many brown people will be murdered in the Middle East, how much more is wiped clean from lower and higher education, and which cultural “wars” shall and shall not be allowed/battled).
Fletcher talked about/took aim at Obama's loser, Josh Earnest (what a name for a press secretary), who is just one Kevlar body suit away from being the ultimate press flak. Imagine, now, this Teflon president Obama and his felonious justice department actively fighting against press freedoms and now these clones of the propagandist Public Information Officers who won't even take questions from the so-called Fourth Estate, the Press.
The Code of Ethics deals with aspirational ethics systems guiding journalists to be some of the most “pristine” folks on planet earth:
- Seek Truth and Report It
- Minimize Harm
- Act Independently
- Be Accountable and Transparent
Take a look at these four areas, with 35 bullet points in total explicating the value system of what could be considered a theoretical set of standards for a perfect world with fair government, democracy by, for, with and inside the people, and a common spirit of upholding the basic rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It's a morass out there, with Bezos of Amazon Billions Fame buying up (sic) the WashingtonPost and then this other sicko Adelson, the family, trying to keep secret that they bought up the Las Vegas newspaper, ReviewJournal – Then we have Rolling Stone with one source on its debased University of Virginia rape story or its even more bizarre thing, having non-journalist Sean Penn with film crew and screenplay “do” an interview of cocaine dealer a la Al Capone, El Chapo, and having or letting the thug read the piece prior to publication.
The more the world of cultural superficiality, capitalism gone zombie and this absurd agnotology and complete shifting baseline disease gets into the DNA of the Press, the more the general population becomes that Brave New World definition of insanity:
"The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted." -- Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
Now, of course, which is really not “now,” but starting 40 years ago when I was a newspaper student in Tucson, we have the Adelson's, the Gates's, the Boeing's, GE's, the Nike's and Monsanto's et al going after student journalists on high school and college rags! The best thing is college students with college newspapers reporting on college shenanigans but the powers, those ADMIN class Little Eichmann's, well they are being drawn and quartered for REAL work. SPJ and others in freedom of press circles and First Amendment junkies want real protection for student journalists, and North Dakota passed protection of student journalists and to keep their sources protected. There is another movement, a project, New Voices, advocating for 100 percent protection of student voices as well as all journalists' voices.
Probably the most interesting and disturbing in some way was the conference's session on “covering trans and non-binary people and news.” As many in the cultural wars movement attest, everything is not right in covering each and every thing in America. As with all topics, what I have an ax to grind ties into the sickness of accepting American and European Capitalism's (Canada, Japan, Australia, too) racists, misogynistic, anti-human policies of destruction worldwide. The never ending implosion of civil societies and cultures and peoples and nations corner to corner.
Having these issues tied to “how the media covers us wrongly” is both robustly interesting and, to be sure, to be put into perspective. I made a rhetorical comment to the trans speaker, Danni Askini, ED of Gender Justice League, about some pink washing of one of my pieces years ago. Five sources – two men and three women – who were part of an addiction and homelessness and recovery story, and their own disenfranchisement in circles because all five said they identified as straight in their youth until a PTSD trigger – all of them were raped. The gays said they picked homosexual prostitution to feed an addiction and to feed that early childhood sexual abuse by abusive stepfathers, and the lesbians too said they had a DNA flip, from their own abuse at a young age by fathers and other family men.
We talked about epigenetics (see New Republic, for a primer) and trauma in the article. It was a good piece, but some comments came back from so-called LGBTQI feminists who went on the attack against me, the writer (why am I focusing on 'how people turn gay') and more importantly against the sources, attacking them saying they 'have no idea what they are feeling or talking about . . . this trauma-triggered sexual orientation').
The problem was that Danni patronized me, Saturday, corrected me, was a language cop of the ultimate kind, and inferred that I was making the common mistake of zeroing in on gays/lesbians sexuality. Of course, that was not what the article did or I did, but the people in the Seattle audience, as expected, clucked and had those furrows in those brows.
Read another view of these cultural wars here:
The point I am making is that in many ways, this country's cultural wars have derailed revolution, activism, the eye on the real prize – ending capitalism. I understand the power of the word, the power of one's historical and narrative contexts. Robert Jensen wrote about transgender identity politics:
"People from varying ideological positions also claim that these biological differences give rise to significant differences in moral, intellectual, or emotional characteristics between males and females. While it is plausible that differences in reproductive organs and hormones could result in these kinds of differences, there is no clear evidence for these claims. Given the complexity of the human organism and the limits of contemporary research, it’s unlikely we will gain definitive understanding of these questions in the foreseeable future. In the absence of evidence of the biological bases for moral, intellectual, or emotional differences, we should assume that all or part of any differences in observed behavior between males and females in these matters are a product of cultural training, while remaining open to alternative explanations.
In short: males and females are more similar than different"
Dissident Voice, where I publish a lot, also gave voice to counterpoint views, from one writer, Dexter M. Thomas,
"Unfortunately, anti-transgender prejudice is so deeply rooted and systemic that it is rarely noticed or even considered. Discussions of anti-transgender prejudice, often amongst individuals never directly impacted, are replete with misunderstanding and misused or ill-defined concepts and terminology. For clarification, I’ll attempt to break down some of the relevant terminology in a nutshell:
Cissexual (or cisgender) refers to possessing a self-identity congruent with one’s birth assigned sex and gender. Broadly, people who are not trans* are cisgender.
Cissexism and transphobia have been defined in various ways, but generally imply that being transgender is inferior to being cisgender. This is often a consequence of the underlying perception that gender is properly and unambiguously determined by a simple “biological” sex dichotomy (male or female). Gender ambiguity is seen as a violation of a natural binary order. Whether intentional or not, both transphobia and cissexism have severe consequences for the victims of these attitudes.
For anyone interested in learning more, Dr. Eric Anthony Grollman wrote a great article on this titled, “What is Transphobia? And, What is Cissexism?”, where he also elaborates on a growing body of research examining the wide-reaching negative consequences of anti-transgender prejudice.
Jensen interprets transgender via the myopic lens of his personal ideology. He seems to have little or no genuine appreciation of the experience and perceptions of those who are transgender. And I strongly disagree with and felt deeply offended by his article. Below I summarize some of my reasons."
These are great debates of our time, and we know that currently there is so much violence against marginalized communities, the so-called LGBTQII community (sic), as well as our American of any-sexual identity society's victims' marginalization (murders) in our 'shoot-anything-that-moves' American Heart of Darkness internationalism.
Ups and downs, Seattle June 18, equinox, the naked bike ride and the summer equinox parade, all that job-killing, international-cultural-culling disruptive economy money and those high rises, all those so-hip and fused fusion foodie joints, the Puget Sound lapping up against out-of-whack real estate, oh, the emerald city, Seattle, named after, hmm, Chief Seattle, Salish:
"To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -- the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.
Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.
Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.
Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds."
Seems silly going off my rails citing Seattle, since June 18 I met so many people who will be the new lungs of this new libertarianism, how the unfettered greatness of corporations and businesses need absolute full-force agency to do what good CEOs and corporations do – make money, and trickle it down. I find the places in Seattle filled with those ghosts, those people, the powerful dead that Seattle talks about.
I was there at Amazon shareholders meeting protesting his shitty operation, and I was on the corner at Bank of America, at the Occupy encampments at Seattle Central College, and with Cornel West for a day, and was over at Sea-Tac, protesting the treatment of sky caps, luggage folk, truckers, by Alaska Air and the Port of Seattle.
This is the place where I met Somali women in their homes, turned into adult foster homes for people dying, aging, and living with developmental disabilities. Worked for SEIU, the largest service workers union, and had to stomach my union throwing down for Obama before he even campaigned, and saw the Union Honchos Making So Much Money work us to death, we organizers.
Here's a funny cathartic mishmash of why people Hate Seattle at I Hate Seattle (dot) com. While's it's tongue in cheek and cheeky, too, there is some resonance to it. The libertarian bent of cities like Seattle and San Francisco is a by-product of techie-lore, billionaire class, the entire mess that is part of this digital world. The hyper-consumerism, the dependence upon wage slavers to keep the One Percent and their Abiding 19 Percenters going, the self-aggrandizing of Seattle, now a “real Pacific Rim” city, and the huge wage and wealth and power gaps that define these refining cities based on regimented thinking, class warfare, and patriarchal shit that makes the techies and disruptive economists so hot these days!
But make no bones about, Mrs. Clinton-leaning Libertarians are ethnic cleansers, are lovers of economic apartheid, enjoy self-importance, self-benefiting thinking. Check out Truth-Dig's gentrification page.
So, maybe these Seattleites will get into gear, the press, that is, and criticize the giant cancers that are Amazon and Gates and Paul Allen, and the list, well, goes on, but look at this simple indictment of Seattle and how far reaching the implications are in this world where one has very few friends, lasting friends, and where everything tied to the military-prison-real estate-big pharma-energy-ag-tech-data-policing-surveillance-financial Complex with a big “C” sucks the activism and chutzpah out of youth.
The more people in the new Seattle are defined by their jobs, the less they talk about them. Seattleites used to take great interest in what they did, and have time to pursue outside curiosities. Both are less true now, thanks to the “convenience” of software. Anyone who has availed himself of this convenience (for example, through writing) knows working with computers is tedious and antisocial. A friend described his development job as “trying to instruct a small child who sucks at learning,” while reporting: “I have made no friends at work.” These “professional relationships” call to mind the “Seattle Freeze,” a phenomenon where people here pretend to be friendly but form only the most superficial of social connections. The cause is obvious: Wikipedia hilariously deadpans, “The rapid growth of Amazon and its accompanying influx of mostly young, male technology workers may be making the problem worse.” They don’t have time to be interested.
Even millennials hate Amazon less than we should. Many of us who do hate it leave. A decade ago, the college diaspora could always come home, and did. Now the exodus accelerates. Amazon’s churn catches all Seattle in its gyre. The wrong people move in, the right people move out. Andrew, my best friend, has gone to Los Angeles. I couldn’t argue compellingly for him to stay. Part of me didn’t even want to. My other creative friends have also scattered to the winds. Seattle is losing its voices who can speak up against Amazon. Those of us who remain too often mute ourselves.
This is mainly because Amazon employs us. If it doesn’t employ us, it employs people we know, some of whom we might even like. If our generation’s cardinal virtue is a mistrust of institutions, its worst vice is a hesitation to criticize our friends’ jobs, especially in writing or in public. This is a direct result of the economic and emotional insecurity promoted by organizations like Amazon. Four years ago, a friend tendered his resignation on a cocktail napkin. Today’s drones are more circumspect, and less free."
It was an interesting 18 hours back in the city of my displeasure, the debasement that is easily refluxed up in a big fat breath around how trendy and 'oh-we-are-so-important Seattle easily spits at you when you are a guest.
The award I got for the night was a third place for a piece on a virtually one-woman fight against cell phone tower placement in her neighborhood – magazine writing, government and politics category. I got to sit next to some interesting people, but one journalist, Alex Cipolle, was vibrant, full of Eugene anti-capitalism verve and up here to win a first place for an art's piece on a local artist, Rick Bartow, first for her work in the Eugene Weekly, alternative magazine:
So, Alexa was there, having fun, but with an inquiring mind, asking me about my life, having some moments of envy for all the work and travel I have done in my 59 years, and we talked about how expensive life is, especially foreign travel, and, she is in Eugene, a tough city, a college town with poverty and homelessness, and that gentrifying zeal in some circles.
We might collaborate, or do something from my gig working in Portland for a non-profit, fighting homelessness, and, well, the idea is that some young people in journalism, like Alexa, have not be colonized yet by the libertarianism that is Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic Wall Street War Party, and all those controllers' cultural hip thing we have sucking agency and thought in this society.
We talked briefly about controlled opposition, as it has been explained by former-Israeli writer and now jazz saxophonist, Gilad Atzmon:
Orwell’s personal account of the Spanish Civil War “Homage To Catalonia” clearly presaged the creation of Emmanuel Goldstein. It was what Orwell witnessed in Spain that, a decade later, matured into a profound understanding of dissent as a form of controlled opposition. My guess is that, by the late 1940’s, Orwell had understood the depth of intolerance, and tyrannical and conspiratorial tendencies that lay at the heart of ‘Big Brother-ish’ Left politics and praxis.
Surprisingly enough, an attempt to examine our contemporaneous controlled opposition within the Left and the Progressive reveal that it is far from being a conspiratorial. Like in the case of the Jewish Lobby, the so-called ‘opposition’ hardly attempts to disguise its ethno-centric tribal interests, spiritual and ideological orientation and affiliation.
A brief examination of the list of organisations founded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) presents a grim picture – pretty much the entire American progressive network is funded, partially or largely by a liberal Zionist, philanthropic billionaire who supports very many good and important causes that are also very good for the Jews. And yet, like staunch Zionist Haim Saban, Soros does not operate clandestinely. His Open Society Institute proudly provides all the necessary information regarding the vast amount of shekels it spreads on its good and important causes.
So one can’t accuse Soros or the Open Society Institute of any sinister vetting the political discourse, stifling of free speech or even to ‘controlling the opposition’. All Soros does is to support a wide variety of ‘humanitarian causes’: Human Rights, Women’s Rights. Gay Rights, equality, democracy, Arab ‘Spring’, Arab Winter, the oppressed, the oppressor, tolerance, intolerance, Palestine, Israel, anti war, pro-war (only when really needed), and so on.
As with Orwell’s Big Brother that frames the boundaries of dissent by means of control opposition, Soros’ Open Society also determines, either consciously or unconsciously, the limits of critical thought. Yet, unlike in 1984, where it is the Party that invents its own opposition and write its texts, within our ‘progressive’ discourse, it is our own voices of dissent, willingly and consciously, that are compromising their principles.
Soros may have read Orwell - he clearly believes his message – because from time to time he even supports opposing forces. For instance, he funds the Zionist-lite J Street as well as Palestinian NGO organisations. And guess what? It never takes long for the Palestinian beneficiaries to, compromise their own, most precious principles so they fit nicely into their paymaster’s worldview.
The idea of a controlled opposition is tied to how the Democratic Party has now colonized Bernie and his supporters (not all of them). This country with its fake free speech and press freedoms rhetoric is one placated by the controllers, and while we still see a powerful leaning toward “truth” and “transparency” even in the ranks of the Society of Professional Journalists, our media, our press, is being bought by and sold to libertarians!
Ironically, the journalist of the year went to Anna King, who works on the radio, out of the Tri-Cities area, which is part of the desert land of Washington, where Hanford was built to immolate civilians in two Japanese cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Compelling was her talk, acceptance, admonishing us to realize that she – older than 40 like me – has seen newsrooms decimated, and photographers recently have been the victims of cut after cut. Anna King talked of this great cherry orchard rolling down to the scrappy Snake River, a large one, one of the largest in the world. There in Washington state, a picker from Michoacan, in his thirties, with three fingers missing from his right hand, waiting for this public broadcasting reporter to report on his life.
King said he did not think his lowly life was worth reporting on, and he was surprised anyone would want to hear his stories and his songs he sang in the vast valley of cherries, but King made it clear that this is her job, to give a megaphone through her microphone in or for real people to be heard: people in the middle of a bi-coastal work, or those in the shadows, those not smack dab in the center of cities like Seattle of New York or LA, those whose stories have been bastardized or vilified in mainstream, corporate media.
King was proud of her Eastern Washington roots, working in farming and rural communities, slogging through mud and scab lands. Here, NW Public Radio, "Daughters of Hanford".
That moment, in a fancy gala, with so many young people accepting scholarships to J-schools around the region, well, for me, someone way left of the socialist line, it was compelling. King's voice is around her persistence to stay and know a people, a culture, a set of cultures, an area, and many states of mind. It's not easy going for marginalized writers and journalists like myself and so many others, but hearing King decry the newsroom cuts, the profession's bleed, the complete (almost) lack of consideration by the general public about the need to have journalists speaking to the powerful, culling the lies, finding new truths, new narratives, and reviving old narratives in order to follow through with a ever-changing and morphing American culture, it was a worthy night inside that rarefied town of Micro-processing Mutants.
I will continue making those bizarre juxtapositions in my life, putting myself through galas where I have to listen to and confront this reverberating silence around community directed power, communitarianism, socialism, from the people who think America, CEO creative destruction modus operandi, and American exceptionalism creative destruction. They go to bed thinking our species was wired to compete to the death, to fulfill some shitty dog-eat-dog reverse Darwinism, or this flagrant meanness that is part of the continuing criminal enterprise which is the thinking of Seattle's elites, the Ted Talk folk, all those Wired and Geeks and Big Data demigods.
It took Khufu twenty-three years to build his Great Pyramid at Giza, where some eleven hundred stone blocks, each weighing about two and a half tons, had to be quarried, moved, and set in place every day during the annual building season, roughly four months long. Few commentators on these facts can resist noting that this achievement is an amazing testimonial to the pharaoh’s iron control over the workers of Egypt. I submit, on the contrary, that pharaoh Khufu needed to exercise no more control over his workers at Giza than pharaoh Bill Gates exercises over his workers at Microsoft. I submit that Egyptian workers, relatively speaking, got as much out of building Khufu’s pyramid as Microsoft workers will get out of building Bill Gates’s pyramid (which will surely dwarf Khufu’s a hundred times over, though it will not, of course, be built of stone).
No special control is needed to make people into pyramid builders—if they see themselves as having no choice but to build pyramids. They’ll build whatever they’re told to build, whether it’s pyramids, parking garages, or computer programs.
Karl Marx recognized that workers without a choice are workers in chains. But his idea of breaking chains was for us to depose the pharaohs and then build the pyramids for ourselves, as if building pyramids is something we just can’t stop doing, we love it so much.” ― Daniel Quinn, Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Paul K. Haeder