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#317#318#319#320 Episode #321 - Dark Ages America
(Modern US and the Fall of Rome)

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Sun 27 August 2006  Morris Berman, John Taylor Gatto (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 The period of European history following the collapse of the Roman empire has been called the Dark Ages because of its domination by superstition. It is characterized by mass ignorance and hostility to reason and science and a lack of technological development which is, in our culture, synonymous with progress. The Roman empire and its collapse is the metaphor for the social critique put forward by the speaker we're going to hear in the first half of the program, and it has echoes in the deliberate construction of national ignorance that is emerging from our ongoing reading of John Taylor Gatto's Underground History of American Education, which will continue in the second half of the program.
Our first speaker is Morris Berman, a scholar and critic of Western cultural and intellectual history. His recent book, Dark Ages America: the final phase of empire, uses a comparison to the fall of Rome to analyze present US society. Berman's presentation is very dark and he mourns for the passing of an America that barely existed. In the question period that follows his talk, his audience challenges him on that point.
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