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#332#333#334#335 Episode #336 - The Politics of Knowing
(Media, Science, Education, War, Capital and the State)

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Sun 10 December 2006  Les Roberts, John Taylor Gatto (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 This week, the first 90 minutes of our show is given over to a community dialogue with Les Roberts, author of two studies of mortality in Iraq that were published in the UK medical journal, The Lancet. We finish our second hour with another reading from The Underground History of American Education about how rich industrialists supervised the rise of mass production, and engineered the school system to provide the burgeoning factories with an obedient labor force.
Last week on the program we heard how the emerging class of 19th century industrialists and their political and intellectual allies re-imagined prosperity in terms of coal fired mass production culture, how they set out to deliberately reshape society to that end. This was in essence, a war, in that a few leaders would dictate the sacrifice of the lives of many who were unwitting or unwilling, in the name of national success. This historical example allows us to read between the lines of the official policy debate on the US occupation of Iraq between the Bush administration, the incoming Congress and the the Iraq Study Group. It also illuminates the meaning of the response of the political and media establishment toward the work of Dr. Les Roberts, our featured speaker this week.

The politics are being framed as a contest between bipartisan so-called pragmatists of the study group, versus administration national security hardliners. In fact, both of these groups represent industries with some type of present or hoped for economic interest in Iraq. The policy conflict is just political theater, as the study group has merely repackaged the original and still officially unacknowledged objectives of the invasion: the control of the future of Iraq and its resources by an Anglo-American state/corporate alliance.

Dr. Les Roberts is the author of two studies of mortality in Iraq, conducted in 2004 and this year, which were published in the UK medical journal, the Lancet. Though Roberts' research takes him all over the world, he was raised in the Syracuse area and now makes his home in Chenanego county, part of New York's 24th congressional district. Roberts made an abortive run in the Democratic congressional, primary this year and he addresses the politics of politics as well as the politics of science and of the media.
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