Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Colloquy


This is the exact transcript of a discussion on the Book today:
Michael D: Great article. Woody, I'm hoping to get your thoughts on something. Do you believe that the corporate control of our government and media is a conscious plot cultivated by a handful of people in power over the years, or just the natural and inevitable result of the capitalist system? I know you've spent a great deal of time on these issues, so I'd love to get your thoughts.
about an hour ago ·

Woody Aka-John Konopak That's a really good question, Michael. The answer is: Yes.

Yes, there is/are conspiracies. Of course there are. Why WOULDN'T people--wealthy, powerful people, with interests in STAYING wealthy and powerful-- conspire to use such influence as they had to affect events in directions which would redound to their benefit, and to preserve the system that advantages them so thoroughly?? Wouldn't you? It strikes me as peculiar to imagine there weren't such conspiracies.

Or that such folks wouldn't avail themselves of such advantages they might have through birth or industry or cunning or cruelty have access. These are 'structural" advantages, advantages available only to folks who tread in pretty esoteric circles. Privilege. You know it when you have it. You can find an approximation in "white privilege."

And then there are what Foucault called 'discursive practices.' These are the textual/ritual habits of institutions, the practices for which there is no single, nameable author, but the authority of which are irresistible. The often unstated, but consensually understood, arrangements, agreements, deals. If you ever spent any time in a corporate hierarchy, you know what I'm talking about.

Liebling said "dogs bard; politicians lie." And gamblers will cheat if they get a chance. And the games we're talking about here, there's always a chance to cheat.

And that --that chance to cheat--is what's built into Capitalism, as Marx pointed out 150 or so years ago.

So, yes...okay?

3 comments:

Suzan said...

Thank you, John,

Proving that moniker "helluvafella" (and thinker/reporter) wery well.

Why WOULDN'T people--wealthy, powerful people, with interests in STAYING wealthy and powerful-- conspire to use such influence as they had to affect events in directions which would redound to their benefit, and to preserve the system that advantages them so thoroughly?? Wouldn't you? It strikes me as peculiar to imagine there weren't such conspiracies.

And quoting Foucault's discursive practices really excited me.

I knew there was a good reason why I read you every day.

Carry on, my friend.

S
____________

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