(110). Employment of adjunct professorsis undermining the integrity of the faculty(110). Expert professionals havereplaced a humanistically educated elite(110-12). Elite institutions produce notmorally autonomous individuals butmanipulative characters (112-13).Barack Obama and his cabinet areproducts of this system (113). Theywon’t know how to save us when “ourrotten financial system . . . implodes”and “our imperial wars end in humiliationand defeat” (113-14).
Ch. 4: The Illusion of Happiness.
Theideology of positive thinking servescorporate interests; the quack science of “positive psychology” mirrors it andserves them (115-19). Realism isregarded as an illness; people areencouraged to change their attitude, nottheir real circumstances (119-20). MartinSeligman, author of
(2002) (120-21). MihályCsíkszentmihályi, author of
(121-22). Psychologists (Shelley Taylor,Dacher Keltner, Barbara Frederickson,Christopher Peterson & Nansook Park,Kim Cameron) who believe thathappiness can be measured arepromoting self-delusion as beneficial(122-28). “Most positive psychologistsbelong to the 148,000-member AmericanPsychological Association (APA), whichhas lent its services for decades to themilitary and intelligence communities toresearch and perfect techniques forinterrogation and control” (128; 128-29).Positive psychology, like the “NewIndustrial Relations” of the 1980s thatwas used by GM and Toyota, is an“assault on community andindividualism” by an oppressive systemof power (129-35). Its use at FedExKinko’s (135-37). Like celebrity culture,positive psychology “feeds off theunhappiness that comes from isolationand the loss of community” (137-38). Ina culture where, as Robert Lane showedin
The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies
(2000), happiness is indecline, it has “a dark, insidious quality”that comforts “totalitarian andauthoritarian structures” (138-39).
Ch. 5: The Illusion of America.
Hedges no longer lives in the America he“used to live in” and that he “loved andhonored” despite its “imperfections,” helives in a “shell” of that country, whichhas been “hijacked by oligarchs,corporations, and a narrow, selfish,political, and economic elite, a small andprivileged group that governs, and oftensteals, on behalf of moneyed interests,”having “systematically destroyed ourmanufacturing sector, looted thetreasury, corrupted our democracy, andtrashed the financial system” (141-42). The government “has become thegreatest illusion in a culture of illusions”(143). Corporate power holds thegovernment “hostage,” using it for“technical expertise” (143).Infrastructure decay (144). War andmilitarism (144-45). Outsourcing of jobs(145). Totalitarianism in America is a realpossibility; many observers have seen itcoming (Wolin, Saul, Bacevich, Chomsky,Chalmers Johnson, Korten, Naomi Klein,McKibbin, Berry, Nader, Riesman, Mills,William H. White, Mellman, Boorstin,Niebuhr) (146). Interview with SheldonWolin (
2008)(146-50). The American empire is indecline (150-51). Corporate forces willnot allow true reform (151-52). Themilitary-industrial complex has thesystem in a firm grip, having created a“permanent war economy” (SeymourMellman’s phrase) (152-55).Corporations dictate the government’sactivity in every sector of the economy(155-57). Democrats have abdicated justas much as Republicans (157-59). It isthe less well-off who pay “[t]he cost of our empire of illusion” (159; 159-62). The nature of the corporation; corporatepersonhood (162-64). We are falling intoa depression that is disguised by themanipulation of statistics (164-68).Dislocation is little reported; instead, we