As a not-just-unemployed-but-unemployable-Ph.D. (I got fired from an experimental college in the early ’70s for being “too experimental), I’ve been living at culture’s edge for 40 years now (the last ten in a university town, Bloomington, Indiana). Funny how, when people meet me for the first time, they often think I’m a “professor.” Should I be annoyed or flattered? Not sure. Bemused, certainly.
Maybe what they’re picking on is that my “critical faculties” did not atrophy. In fact, I’m extremely grateful at this point in my long and peripatetic life, that I was fired, that I got to see the whole unraveling of academia from the outside. Indeed, thinking about this article in bed last night, a feeling of extraordinary gratitude washed over me. All this time, I’ve felt secure and connected to society despite not “having an (academic or other) job.”
How? I found my passion — astrology — and then leveraged it as a self-employed “consultant,” “teacher,” and “conference presenter.” I could decide how much I wanted to earn, who I would work with, and where. A very fun, fulfilling life. Plus, I did lots of trades — for restaurant food, hair cuts, clothes, and more. Living in a 20-foot diameter yurt, I didn’t need much money. My pleasures have always been sourced in the natural world, so “entertainment” not necessary. On and on.
In other words, I escaped the Matrix, early on. Looking back, I realize that I was guided to do this, and that my longing to serve the world through my own unique expression actually called this guidance in.
And this is what I’d tell my clients, too. Follow your nature, and nature takes care of you.
Here’s the article that got me thinking. Really wonderful. Go to alternet.org. It’s long. Read the whole damn thing! I had figured out a lot of it. But I hadn’t connected the dots the way Deborah Leigh Scott does. Bingo!
Now, this morning, I read through the comments section to the article. Again, really good! Here are a few that especially resonated with me:
• From Mamaotis: “The article hits the mark in so many ways. However I would add that this corporate takeover extends to all facets of American life and is a web of manipulation, deceit, and enforcement by numerous means. The whole web has to weaken or be weakened before any part of it will be altered in any meaningful way. This is a gargantuan challenge, one that can be met if a tipping point is reached where enough Americans rise to their feet and say “Enough!” It’s beyond me to say when or if this will happen. Actually though, strange and surprising things have been known to happen.”
• From Adiantum: “The author asks for ideas to make a better slingshot to bring down corporate higher education. Here’s mine: students refuse to go. No more indebtedness. No more getting “training” only to find there are no jobs. No more post docs working for peanuts. Let the whole damn thing go down. The myth of the Phoenix is relevant here. From the ashes of the failed system a new, better system will arise.”
• From Ed Goldman: “The article hits the mark in so many ways. However I would add that this corporate takeover extends to all facets of American life and is a web of manipulation, deceit, and enforcement by numerous means. The whole web has to weaken or be weakened before any part of it will be altered in any meaningful way. This is a gargantuan challenge, one that can be met if a tipping point is reached where enough Americans rise to their feet and say “Enough!” It’s beyond me to say when or if this will happen. Actually though, strange and surprising things have been known to happen.”
• From Jenny Nazak: “All very well thought out, well written, excellent points. AND, … WE average citizens have unconscionably been complicit in this ruin. Contrary to what the author says, we ordinary people DO bear some share of the blame, for abandoning our duty to maintain critical thinking in the face of this creeping toxicity. Why did we stand by and allow young people to take on mortgage-sized college debt? Why did their parents let them do this? We can’t blame it all on the PR machine; we have to blame ourselves too, for taking it in instead of maintaining the critical thinking we’ve been fully capable of all along. We all allowed ourselves to be seduced by visions of some form of “American Dream”, be it a cushy job (that is actually a soulsucking nothing-life), or kids whose fancy degrees we can brag about, or what have you. A lot of the parents who allowed their kids to take on this debt, a lot of the teachers who counseled it, were themselves caught up in the American Dream of endless growth on Wall Street, endless growth in home values, yadda yadda. Allowed themselves to be seduced. Now we have to wake up and create something different – it’s long overdue. The greedy corporatists ARE us. We ARE them. “Us” and “Them”, as ever, is an artificial distinction. We have to root out the greedy corporatist in ourselves – then real change will happen.”
• From tomdoff: “The US has become a corrupt society, in every aspect.
“Politically, our executive, legislative, and judicial branches are all corrupt. Political offices, including the highest, are all purchased, as are judges, including SCOTUS, the highest (or lowest, depending on one’s point of view). And, of course, since SCOTUS is the ultimate arbiter of what is ‘legal’, our corruption is now lawful, and has spread throughout this society, including business, media, education, religion, the military, and the police.
“Our language has been so corrupted that we can no longer communicate meaningfully.
“Nothing short of a revolution seems likely to serve as the slingshot to bring down the corruptors who have perverted and destroyed this ‘democratic republic’. The only question is whether the revolution can be peaceful.
“It will be interesting to see whether the 1% and the corporations and their primary lackey/slaves, or vast numbers of the populace, will be destroyed in the process.
“And, of course, whether it will be televised.”