11. Disdain For Intellectuals and the ArtsPosted: September 14, 2008 | |
From 1964 to the end of the Vietnam war in 1974, corporate America learned the dangers of an educated public and a truly free press. The Cold War against communism required an educated public so that the Soviet Bear would not beat us in the arms race or the space race. Imagine their surprise when the public began to actually use that education, and saw through the propaganda and manipulation involved in the entire arms race and space race. Educated young people are not going to simply give up their lives in a corporate war because their government tells them to.
Corporate America decided that education just had to go. Schools were putting radical ideas into kid’s heads. Before you knew it, corporations would have to pay taxes like they do in Europe. Worse, corporations would have to stop using deadly force to break strikes in the Middle Eastern oil fields. Then the State department would stop supporting dictators. I’m sure the top executives of Exxon and AT&T were swooning from the horror of it.
The first confirmed Libertarian sighting was when Proposition 13 was passed in California. Proposition 13 froze property taxes in California, not only for privately owned property but for corporately owned property as well. There was an immediate impact on the California public school system which dropped from being the top in the nation to where it is today, near the bottom. Public colleges and Universities were free before Proposition 13. As President, Ronald Reagan soon followed up by attacking the national college education system . Education once again became the privilege of the rich, and corporate profits were assured.
Libertarianism is not a movement that would survive amongst an educated public. Like the Christian Right it depends on a strict belief. The Christianoids believe in the infallibility of scripture and the Libertarians believe in the infallibility of the Federalist Papers. Back when I was in Junior High School, Mr. Moore, my American History teacher, taught us the difference between the Federalist Papers and the Constitution. He had his eighth graders write a paper on it. By the same token, my elementary school civics class included how our tax money was invested and spent. Educated people simply laughed at Goldwater and his myth of government spending. The Black Panthers and the SDS were not working to do anything as suicidal as deregulating the Marketplace. They were working towards taking the mechanisms of government away from the corporations. They were not Libertarians who are trying to neuter our government so it can no longer keep the corporations in check.
Worse, Libertarians are making a concerted attack on everything that makes up a civilization. Libertarians are working against public funding of schools, libraries, museums, universities, and art in general. Libertarians have been trying to end the government investment in scientific research, forgetting that the government keeps a financial interest in every patent it funds. An educated public would know that the government takes in billions of dollars a year in patents it shares with the public sector. Libertarians have even focused their ire on Wikipedia, because it is an intellectual project that cannot be taken over by the corporations.
Of course the corporations are jumping in to take over the institutions that are being underfunded. Lockheed and Exxon are taking over public schools and libraries. Most Charter schools in California are corporate fiefs. Corporations are taking over museums and universities. Education is being taken out of the hands of the public and into the hands of corporate America. Soon corporations will be choosing curriculum. Corporate executives will decide who graduates to high school and who gets to go to college. Due to their adherence to the myth of government spending, Libertarians are handing over our most precious right into the hands of the tyrants.