It starts with Jonathan Shockley directly challenging one of capitalism's key false assumptions - asking passers-by whether they would still contribute to society if they had enough money to meet their needs. After hearing Murray Bookchin on how deeply hierarchy is ingrained in modern society, we hear a section on the bushmen of the Kalahari. This provides a counterexample to some of developed man's fundamental misconceptions about how life has to be - for example, that all societies use money or have some notion of property.
Noting how hierarchy violates the golden rule, we hear Derrick Jensen on the asymmetry of the way that violence is treated in US society, a point underlined by Robert Jay Lifton, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and audio from the Stanford Prison experiment on how social situations can induce particular behaviour. Zinn challenges the idea that humans are naturally warlike, supported by Chris Hedges and Gwynne Dyer on the carefully calculated process of military training used to overcome the natural disinclination to kill. Chomsky looks at how commercial media is used by the rich to dumb down the workers and to set the agenda of which issues are important, and frame public discourse on them. Thus, US aggression is presented as defending the national interest, workers are distracted with irrelevant diversions such as sport to keep them divided and distracted, while the business of wealth extraction goes on unabated.
In our second hour, Juliet Schor looks at the consequences of consumerism for its young participants. Jack Shaheen reviews how US culture and especially Hollywood has vilified Arab culture. We hear a section from The Corporation exploring the psychopathic nature of corporations and modern organisations in general, and hear Noam Chomsky and Peter Phillips on how corporate PR twists public perception of the truth. Erich Fromm reflects on expropriation of human self-worth by materialism, a point underlined by Jonathan Shockley's survey of US passers-by.
Thanks to Jonathan Shockley for his video, which is available from http://www.vimeo.com/12661078 . This week we include various short samples especially from Pink Floyd.
This episode rebroadcasts content from UG#240, UG#311, UG#312, UG#425, UG#509, UG#510, UG#513 & UG#518.