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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“Come back , into the Cave” Unpacking Coveyism.

Where do I begin?

I’ve been reading Covey’s “Seven Habits…”, which certain elements at he local Public School seem to view as a Panacea….a cure for all of our societal and economic ills.

When you get right to it, there’s hardly any There, there…very little substance to turn one’s critical eye upon. What substance there is, is cloaked…hidden behind Testimonials, from happy CEO’s, Teachers and Parents…(approximately 70% of the book is praise for the “Program”, which the book is purportedly about)…behind this Testimonial Wall, is much Happy Talk…Magical Thinking.

It’s “The Secret”, or “The Power of Positive Thinking”, as a model for Education.

At the foundation, appears to be an Assumption of Limitless Growth.
The New World of Endless Opportunity, brought to you by Globalism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce(whose dour assessment of the state of education, from the late 80’s, is referenced many times) and various political appointees and Public Figures from the Reagan Administration. Morning in America,2.0.

It Sounds Great!

The Sky’s the Limit….everyone can be successful!

Too bad, that Reality disagrees.

There are no Cornucopias, and to Assume, as a Foundational Belief about the Real World, that there is, is Folly…the same Folly, the same Error in Judgment, that brought us the last 35 years of Dwindling Standards of Living. Nowhere is it acknowledged that “Globalism” is where all the Jobs went…with too few of the Promised “Knowledge”, Service Jobs to replace them. Nowhere is it admitted, that the benefits of Globalism, accrued to the Very Rich…while all of us’n’s were left to eke out a living by doing each other’s laundry…and going into Debt.

We are to continue to Ignore the harsh realities, turn, once again, to the Wall of the Cave, and Dream, Dammit!

….which leads us to another Foundational, Unexamined Assumption, contained in this work: it’s all your fault!
Ignore the Poisoned Water, Little Fish.

Ignore the Pond, in which you swim…if you cannot “make it”, it’s all on you.

We’ve heard this, before…many times.

It’s Blame the Victim…in this case, Blame the victim of Labour Arbitrage, of “Free Trade” Agreements…the Victim of Tax and Regulatory Policies that have Eviscerated the Working Class…

An Anodyne for the Proletariat. Soma.
Drink this Kool Aid, you’ll Feel better.

I realize, that to many, if not most, of my Countrymen, my Critique of such things is dour…Depressing. How utterly Hopeless it seems , next to such Unmitigated HyperOptimism.

I readily admit this.

However, I fail to see how Ignoring Reality, no matter how Dire and Ugly, will help us Rise Up to meet that Reality.

Reality is where Mr Covey, and his Missionaria Protectiva, falls flat.

Instead of Feel Good, “Abundance Mentality”, we must remove the Blinders, look at the World as IT IS…not how we Wish it Could Be.
This Mythos…this Reworked and Repackaged Denial of Reality, is why we are in the Mess we find ourselves in, today.

The One portion of Mr Covey’s work that I agree with, is our failure to “Teach Character”…our utter Lack of Integrity, as a Culture.

What I disagree with is the How.

We enjoy almost 4000 years worth of Philosophy.

In this Information Age, it is all but Free for the Taking.

I note that Philosophy, let alone Ethics, seems to be Missing, from our Public School Curricula.

Indeed, these days, it is difficult to Teach Science, in school…how many “Biology Teachers” do not “Believe” in Natural Selection?

I know of at least One, right here.

Instead of a choice, between my Realism, Depressing and Sad….and Mr Covey’s Sky’s the Limit Fantasy….well…let’s just say I’m Open to Discuss all of this.

Reason dictates that we should Examine the World, not as we Hope it is, but as we Find it….and that we should, once armed with a Rational Framework, endeavor to do what we can, to mitigate the negative aspects of that World.

Our Hope lies in Relocalisation…in Decentralisation…the Democratisation…of Everything…Every aspect of our Lives.
Placed next to Hyperoptimism and Happy Talk, this may seem Depressing…I see it as an Opportunity.

It is an Opportunity to set about rebuilding America, starting at our doorstep.

We must learn to Do For Ourselves, and for Each Other.

Someone must make the Toilet Paper, however Unglamorous that Job is.

Someone must Grow the Food.

Produce the Energy….on and on…

For too long, we have relied on the Corporate Vampires of Monopoly Capitalism…and their Teeming Hordes of Third World Labour, to do for us.

Mr Covey talks a lot about “Integrity”, without defining it.

Integrity lies at the root of what I’m talking about.

Let us take care of ourselves…and each other.

And Step Out of the Cave.

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