Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Episode 75: Lower Education

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

Lewis Powell, Jr. was adamant that his United States and its enterprise system, business culture, capitalism, call it what you will, was under assault. He was most explicit, though, about the primary source of that assault: academia. I explore a portion of what he recommended—and what was done in his name—in this Episode 75: Lower Education.

In this episode, I read a bit from The Memorandum and extensively from Jane Mayer's Dark Money. D. L. Myers also reads from The Memo. I play Ga'an's "Vultures of the Horn," and "Part III" from Jahzzar's album, Moonxine. A new Henry Giroux/KMFDM intro opens the show. Mistle Thrush closes it.

Addendum: In this episode, there is a brief stretch where I pull out the dictionary, it would seem, and run through a bunch of big words like "obfuscatory" and "chicanery." I'd like here to defend myself. I was talking about how the Distortion Factories, well, distort. And one of the best ways to distort is to sound like you are an expert in the topic, and to prove it you use big words like "obfuscatory." I was quite deliberately trying to sound like they sound, these producers of university-bound curricula designed to warp young minds positively in the direction of Big Business.

This is something you can do as well!

One of the words I think everyone should know, and one that I used, was:

Sesquipedalian: long words.

That is a brilliant word from the 17th century, reportedly made up by some college wit long forgotten. Break down the Latin, and it literally means "words a foot-and-a-half long:" Sesqui = "one and a half," like sesquicentential, or the one hundred fiftieth anniversary; pedal, meaning foot. In context, I referred to "sesquipedalian chicanery;" chicanes are curves and obstacles in road race courses. Therefore, the term refers to phrases using big words to obstruct understanding of what is actually being said! It is literal irony, in that the accuser blasts the accused of using big words ... by using big words!


  1. Your overall point about slavery is correct, but you make a factual error when you say the Emancipation Proclamation specifically was the cause (or even a cause) of the Civil War. (The Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves free not in all of America, but in the areas then in rebellion.)

    The Civil War began in earnest with the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1961 (the secession crisis dates back further than that). The Emancipation Proclamation was threatened by Lincoln on September 22, 1862 and formerly issued as promised on January 1, 1863.

    1. *Sigh*

      So much of what I learned in school must be corrected. One would think that the war which killed the most Americans in our entire history would be treated with far greater emphasis as to historically accurate detail in our public education, wouldn't one?

      Goof aside, there was a legal precedent involved in starting the hostilities. Now I have to figure out what it was; once that omission is solved, my original point should stand. Shouldn't it?

      Thanks again, L33t!

  2. Meant "formally", not "formerly".