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#353#354#355#356 Episode #357 - Culture and Class Power
(The Creation and Maintenance of a Capitalist Culture)



Sun 6 May 2007  Michael Parenti, Michelle Goldberg, Mike McCormick, John Taylor Gatto (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week, we look at some aspects of US culture, beginning with a talk by political scientist Michael Parenti on the topic of his latest book, The Culture Struggle. Parenti focuses on the use of culture to maintain class power. We'll then look the alliance of Protestant Christian fundamentalism with empire with Michelle Goldberg, author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, finishing off as promised, with a reading from The Underground History of American Education.
Culture is defined as "The accumulated habits, attitudes, and beliefs of a group of people that define for them their general behavior and way of life; the total set of learned activities of a people." If culture is a set of learned activities, how is it taught and learned, by whom and why? John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education, to which will return this week in the second hour, documents the institution of compulsory schooling as a program to impose cultural uniformity to create something called Americanism, a mass culture based on an aristocracy of wealth and the submission to the needs of industrial commerce. In the 20th century, due to mass media, especially television, the aristocracy of wealth has had unprecedented ability deliberately create and impose culture - a process which came to a head in the 1950's. So deliberate was this imposition of culture that it gave rise to a movement that actually called itself a counter-culture. It fought not only for rights within this system, but challenged the culture vision of Americanism itself. That struggle over culture continues to this day, and is playing out on a widening series of battlefields in an increasingly complex society.
Thanks to Out Far press and Mind Over matters
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