Thursday, March 03, 2005

Podcast: Technology, Knowledge, and Democracy

I've been thinking about the influence and intrusion of the capitalist system and corporations into our understanding of the world around us. In particular I'm wondering about how Americans have isolated themselves from the democratic ideals they supposedly uphold and how this plays out in our relationships with the larger world community. What follows is yet another cheerful podcast in which yours truly rambles on about the unquestioned assumptions which underly our understanding of the world and our place in it. Hell, it's a complex world and we don't have time for complexity! Give me simple: good vs evil, you are either with us or against us!

We consider ourselves to be the most intelligent species on the planet but our behavior seems to indicate otherwise. More often than not we seem to move through life more ignorant (unaware) than we realize. That's the interesting thing about ignorance. We are all ignorant but it is difficult to know how ignorant we are in regards to any particular issue or area of knowledge. As citizens is it not our responsibility to discuss and debate important issues so that we may reduce our ignorance and thus make more informed decisions? We claim to be a democratic republic yet we very clearly fall down in this crucial area of public discussion and debate. More often than not the vast majority just seems to go along with what it is told without questioning assumptions or authority in a way citizens probably should.

We've allowed for, and been manipulated into, accepting a corporate takeover of social structures. It is the agenda of multinational corporations, which are not at all democratic, that dominate the content of legislation in the US. Do we really want a planet dominated by corporations and capitalism? The increasing dominance of captialism over policy and culture is something we should not ignore. We need to examine our vision of the world as well as the assumption that it is a vision shared by all others. American arrogance hinders its ability to learn from, and understand, the ideas and visions of others on the planet. Last but certainly not least, what's up with our ignorance of the fundamentals of our own culture and society? We seem to have no awareness of the issues surrounding the natural resources upon which our economy is based.

If we refuse to resist the dominance of state and capital then we deny responsibility and our future generations will ask why. Will we have an answer?


More via the Podcast which is also available as a direct mp3 download runtime: 19'18, 3.6 MB.

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