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  1. Yeah, that one kinda confuses me too. I turned off my TV, canceled magazine subscriptions, and try not to shop based on advertising. Despite folks knowing the media is actively deceiving us, though, I know folks who practically hunger for it. Why is that?

  2. To be fair, the term ‘conservative’ has gotten the same treatment as well. But we can point that to the media as well.

    You know, one thing that I’ve found consistently between right and left, liberal and conservative and libertarian and anarchist and statist, etc. etc. etc…. is that the modern Western media is all considered to be at the root or close to the root of much of the lack of rational political discourse in society. And yet the media corporations chug right along….

  3. My personal suspicion is that all those phrases you report as being effectively devalued have had it done with a sort of deliberateness — not that there’s some Circle of Doom[TM] somewhere who decides these things, so much as people often mock that which annoys or confuses or frightens them. The words “liberal” and “feminism” have received the same treatment, for example. It’s a shame that the power of the media is often behind these efforts to ignore or refuse such important ideas. As far as I know, the only way to oppose this sort of thing is to quietly and doggedly continue to do your work and to use the terms in the way they were meant to be used. I truly believe power comes from below, after all.

  4. A second thought in addition to the one I had mentioned to you earlier…. President Obama, while (IMHO) being problematic in many of his policies, established much of his credibility on his community organization work in Chicago. I don’t know the extent of that work, or what it entailed, or even how effective it was; that’s for a different discussion. But I’ve noticed that since 2007, ‘community organization’ has become a ‘dirty word’ in some circles. I find this sad and ironic; those same circles decry government that’s not small enough to drown in a bathtub, which one would think would be the fertile ground for good, up-and-coming community organizers. And yet, ‘community organization’ has been tossed into the same dumpster as concepts like ‘social justice,’ ‘compassion,’ ’empathy,’ and ‘equanimity.’ All things that are vital, are *critical* for exactly the kind of communities that need to be formed in lieu of government (at least, when government has ceased to be an effective tool of the governed.) “Liberation theology” has also been thrown in that same dumpster, which ties into the spirituality you mention above.

    How do you oppose this sort of memetic gymnastics, when the things you hold up as virtues have their definitions twisted by Orwellian doubletalk into vices; while vapid and virulent consumerism, greed, kyriarchy, and scorn for the less-well-off are all raised into virtues?

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