Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies

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TruthToTell, Monday, June 3 - 9AM: TONY BOUZA: The "Expert Witness"; TruthToTell ENORE: Monday, May 27 - 9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable?

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The guy can drive you nuts. Just when you think he’s about to encase himself in a predictable cloak of political or public safety polarization, out he comes with sometimes shocking contradiction. This is Tony Bouza and his oft-quoted remark: 

“I am an unapologetic supporter of the use of police violence, even lethal force, but it has to be guided by the law, the standards of reasonableness and the U.S. Constitution. I have presided over clubbings, shootings, gassings, and other assaults by the police. I see violence as a key weapon in the police arsenal and trained cops in the full range of possibilities available to us.

"My only caveat is that the use of force has to be legally justified, measured, and appropriate, and that the weapons have to be in conformance with the law."

This is part of the Preface of Tony Bouza’s latest book, Expert Witness: Breaking the Policemen’s Blue Code of Silence, a volume of case files in which the former Minneapolis police chief, considered by most to be a maverick cop, remains a conscientious defender of ethics in policing – this, despite the statement above.

Those on the receiving end of police violence – especially serious advocates of reining in all police abuse – might dispute even this reasoning on its use in enforcing the law. And yet:

This is also the guy writing books and running around the country testifying against police abuse, abuse too often forgiven by chiefs, prosecutors, judges and juries, more often than not pitting the word of men (and some women) of color against cops known to their colleagues and other witnesses as “thumpers” or worse – killers – many willing to lie on reports and cover for each other, no matter how straight most of them may be – because the Blue Code of Silence is like the Mafia’s Black Hand: you never, but never fink on a fellow cop.

Multiply Rodney King times a million or more victims of out-of-control street muggings by uniformed police officers, unafraid of rolling cameras and cell phone videos, knowing the chances are somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% that the cops will get off, despite the visual evidence. Pictures don’t matter much when the public is scared to death – either of criminals or cops – and refuse to convict. The rare conviction usually means one’s network has failed him (or her – almost never her).

Tony Bouza’s years as a cop and his rebellious nature as chief lend him a certain cache of credibility as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases calling out his former brothers in blue for their arrogant excesses, similar to a few other ex-police officers, like author and retired Minneapolis supervisor, Mike Quinn. Quinn’s book, Walking with the Devil: The Police Code of Silence, like Bouza’s, depicts cops as dedicated law enforcement officers – until they lose it – and they lose it often, especially those in Minneapolis Police uniforms. But the criticism remains and some very broken heads and dead bodies have resulted in the name of “protecting and serving.”

As MPR reporter Dan Olson suggested in his 2004 interview of Quinn: “If observing the code protects police, protects citizens and puts bad people away, isn't it at worst, harmless and at best, beneficial?” Quinn says no. He says the code changes the police motto "protect and serve" to "convict and incarcerate." It encourages police to take the law into their own hands, because they know there's little chance their wrongdoing will be exposed by other officers.

‘Then we start having problems," Quinn says, "because then we start seeing that it's OK to start kicking in doors without warrants, that it's OK to make that drug arrest without really seeing them drop the drugs.’”

But that may only be the half of it. The very notion of such codes bespeaks a corrupting culture that may give a false sense of security to those who stay away from criminality or even legal dissent, but get in the face of any officer, and you will find the most innocent of democratic values may mean nothing to the uniform in front of you, one accompanied by a very large gun, a baton and a can of pepper spray.

TTT’s Andy Driscoll talks with a returning Tony Bouza, now author of some twelve books, about his latest, Expert Witness: Breaking the Policemen’s Blue Code of Silence.

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza

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Monday, May 27, 2013

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It seems appropriate on this Memorial Day (started by former slaves and Civil War veterans) to revisit our conversation with American History Professor Emeritus, David Noble.

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titledDebating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL visits once again with his former American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

 

TruthToTell ENCORE: Monday, May 27 - 9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable?; May 20 AUDIO: PERSONAL CAREGIVERS: Unheralded, Underpaid, Unrepresented

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, May 27, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It seems appropriate on this Memorial Day (started by former slaves and Civil War veterans) to revisit our conversation with American History Professor Emeritus, David Noble.

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titled Debating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL visits once again with his former American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, May 20, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Somehow, most of the people we know who are caring for another person, no matter if the caregiver is a family member or a detached professional, we rarely hear about the extraordinary work and, yes, loving, that powers the work that keep homebound aging, sick and/or disabled relatives and clients as comfortable and occupied as humanly possible. Many are too embarrassed to talk about the human frailties that require such care, a sad commentary on society's intolerance for such things. Often, it’s our wives, mothers, fathers, siblings entering the last stages of life – stages that can stretch ten years or more and often marked by diminished capacity or mobility or both.

Some of our most prominent citizens can be found caring for family members or spelling professional caregivers. Since some of them are known publicly, I can mention them by name. For example, former Governor Al Quie, who must care for his beloved Gretchen with some respite, but very steadily day in, day out. That great lawyer of progressive causes, including Wounded Knee defendants and 1980s Powerlineprotestors, among dozens of others, Ken Tilsen, is himself struggling with severe loss of memory recording while his equally prominent spouse of some 12 years, Connie Goldman, the former arts correspondent for National Public Radio and a multi-book author on volumes about keeping aging people active, tries to care for him. Sometimes, family care is simply not possible; then come the high costs of skilled nursing facilities, for which many public funds are simply not available – including Medicare – which does NOT pay for “custodial” care – care that escorts all of us to our life’s end.

But, for all its nobility, personal and family caregiving is notoriously unheralded and badly underpaid. Even professionals suffer under the assumption that people who do such good works ought to just love the work right into the poor house. Professional caregivers struggle enough, but human services professionals responsible for compensating family members were, until a court order reversing them a short time ago, convinced that if you paid a living wage to a family caregiver, they’d rip off the state, and besides, it's a family member, after all. Why should they be paid to care for one of their own? Never mind the human and pocketbook costs that can devastate caregivers almost as much as their charges. Never mind the emotional and physical toll such continued concentrated care takes on – not the patient, but the caregiver.

State courts agreed unanimously with caregivers who challenged those state and county bureaucrats’ contention that family caregivers need or deserve that much less than the state is willing to cough up for professional aides, and that ain’t much, either.

Finally, this year, thanks to the efforts of both professionals and family personal care assistants, legislation is on the cusp of providing what the courts have already insisted must be done: adequate compensation and the ability to unionize. The Legislature finally passed the bill just before the session adjourned, barely, thanks to a raft of misinformation scaring the daylights out of independent daycare providers.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with personal care assistants and advocates and hear their stories while tracking the work of the legislature and those pressing for measures to empower and professionalize the entire field.

GUESTS:

CONNIE GOLDMAN – Author, former Arts Correspondent and Personal Caregiver

BRIDGET SILJANDER – Executive Director at The Youth Legacy Foundation; President and Chair at Direct Support Professional Assoc of MN and Self-Employed Home Health Aide

BOB HINES – President of Mature Voices; Personal Care Assistant to family member; former newscaster, KFAI

GALEN SMITH – Organizer SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, representing Direct Support Professionals

DARLEEN HENRY – Professional Personal Care Assistant

 

TruthToTell ENCORE: Monday, May 27 - 9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Streaming @ KFAI.org

On-air date: 
Mon, 05/27/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It seems appropriate on this Memorial Day (started by former slaves and Civil War veterans) to revisit our conversation with American History Professor Emeritus, David Noble.

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titled Debating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980, Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL visits once again with his former American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 21–9AM: OBAMA & MLK: Dream Fulfilled? Or Dashed?; TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 14–9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable? – Audio HERE

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We now have four years of the very first Black presidency behind us.

Despite the insane vilification of Barack Obama and the extraordinary overreach of the country’s rightwing politicians and media, the most extraordinary, lowdown, miserable NRA ad going after the President’s children, and the wild portrayals of Fox News mouthpieces whose hypocrisy fairly oozes from their on-camera personas and dependence on a forgetful viewership over time, a few million folks on the other end of the political spectrum did, in fact, reluctantly mark their ballots for his reelection.

Why? And how would Martin Luther King be assessing this first four years of the first African American to occupy that end of Pennsylvania Avenue? Does Mr. Obama embody the Dream Dr. King talked about. Or the Black pride he encouraged (“Walk with your head high! Be a man!”) in other settings outside of Washington, DC?

The enthusiasm with which many progressives (most of them white, of course) greeted the nation’s first nominee of color and helped send to the White House began to fade quickly as Mr. Obama, little by little, day by day, displayed a baffling willingness to maintain the policies of his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush. This was immediately true in the initial days of his inheriting the financial mess dumped on his administration in the waning days of the previous Congress and the fiscal disaster that proved to be the worst recession since the Great Depression. Mr. Obama’s Wall-Street-based donors, soon to be in charge of his Treasury Department, the Fed and the Council of Economic Adviser recommended – and he bought into – a multi-billion-dollar bailout, not of the ravaged and savaged homeowners entering history’s worst foreclosure crisis and underwater drag on housing values, but of already super-wealthy investment bankers who eventually were caught making more billions by betting against their own investors.

Then came Guantanamo, which Mr. Obama had promised n his campaign to close and which festers still as a sore on the nation’s conscience. Then Iraq and Afghanistan and, in direct contravention of his campaign promises, signed the first renewal and recently, the second  of National Defense Authorization Act which legalizes government wiretaps without a warrant and crushes dissent in the streets and sends drones over foreign and domestic territories to either spy on or kill so-called targets the President unilaterally deems a threat, including American citizens who die without a shred of due process – a charge, a trial and a conviction.

BUT…this is the President who muscled through the Affordable Health Care Act. And wound down the War in Iraq (eventually), and strengthened some of our environmental protections and brought the children of undocumented workers into a state of innocence – if not amnesty.

Mr. Obama and his youthful, attractive family, his winning smile and incredibly confident, articulate voice, along with his squeaky clean image, has maintained a certain level of comfort among a slim majority of Americans. Yet, the political machinery behind his reelection was deceptively competent and engineered such an awesome victory that the self-deceived right and its billionaire PACs were completely blindsided when the President completely swamped Mitt Romney in the Electoral College.

So. On this day when the inspiring ghost of Martin Luther King is heard once again in terms that echo still today and almost singing,

“…But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition…I have dream today…I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’…”

…how would Dr. King look upon this Presidency today? What changes in the plight of people of color might he have expected? Would he be justified? King hated the Vietnam Conflict and other wars that pitted Black Americans against other cultures of color. How would he feel about the Mideast, Afghanistan, Israel, the drone wars? How would he view Mr. Obama’s almost blank slate in addressing racial inequality and white privilege, the urban public education achievement gap, and the burgeoning prison populations everywhere, top heavy with Black, Latino and American Indian males?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring in two observers of the political scene as well as the racial inequality index of our communities. (We wish we could have added a female African American voice to this mix, but the women we contacted are all meeting with Children’s Defense Fund founder and CEO, Marian Wright Edelman. Perhaps another day.)

GUESTS:

BRETT BUCKNER – former Executive Director, Color the Vote; Candidate, Minneapolis 5th Ward City Council; former President, Minneapolis NAACP.

DOUG ROSSINOW, PhD – Associate Professor of History, Metropolitan State University

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, January 14, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titledDebating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL, assisted by MICHELLE ALIMORADI, will revisit his old American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 14–9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable?; TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 7–9AM: DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second?

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titledDebating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL, assisted by MICHELLE ALIMORADI, will revisit his old American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

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Monday, January 7, 2013

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Few readers and listeners are unaware that the United States is and has been sending unmanned aircraft with the rather insidious moniker – drones – over a wide swath of countries and territories overseas and targeting specific individuals with their deadly missiles. Another of these occurred Thursday or Friday of this week (Jan 3rd or 4th) inside Pakistan – again. Others occur regularly inside Afghanistan and Yemen. With good reason, howls of anguish and protest have pierced the global cyberspace and diplomatic community over the “collateral damage” –deaths and maiming of civilian innocents caught within the area of the blasts designed to destroy some single US-designated combatant the government calls a terrorist.

Hundreds of women and children have died in the wake of these targeted assassinations. At least three of those targets have been American citizens, tracked down and killed without a shred of the due process American citizens are supposed to receive in the wake of charges that they have committed crimes. This, of course, is an egregious affront to Constitutional guarantees – in other words, illegal actions – administered by this newly re-elected President, who, despite other commendable domestic actions, has adopted a dictator-like cavalier attitude toward due process when it comes to political dissent and national security issues.

This leads us to the next step in drone development: one that could, any day now, start hovering over your house, your home right here in the good USofA. 

 Hover drone

It is now estimated that some 30,000 drones have been ordered or made available to local law enforcement agencies through grants by US justice officials, only we can’t know about these, either, because the Department of Justice – read Obama Administration – refuses to inform a still-unaware public that the government may now believe it can spy on your town, your city, you neighborhood or your home with secrecy and impunity.The Justice Department's own Inspector General's Year End Report (Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department) warns about the "challenges" such machines make for a deaprtment whose job it is to protect civil rights and privacy, not dispense with it. Where it could go from there few people want to even think about – and that would be their use as weapons, not just spy machines. (Naomi Wolf insists it’s simply a matter of time.) And drones need not be flyovers, but hovering little camera-bearing robots peeking into windows and backyards and playgrounds – as they did over the Humphrey Dome at the last Vikings-Packers game in Minneapolis Sunday, Dec. 31.

Why does anyone find this necessary? All the former police officers and executive we’ve talked with are as fearful of this tool in the hands of local police agencies and the FBI as any one of us might be.How should we respond to the secrecy surrounding the development of this surveillance machine for domestic use? How should we view the potential for the maximum intrusion into our long-revered privacy these robotics represent? Who’s looking into this extraordinary interruption of American life as we’ve known it? Who’s challenging it?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with various advocates at the national and regional levels as an alert to citizens to take action toward curbing the use of drones – domestic surveillance types, especially.

GUESTS:

COLEEN ROWLEY – Former Minneapolis office FBI agent and 9-11 whistleblower; Peace advocate, blogger, Huffington Post contributor

CATHERINE CRUMP – Attorney, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY

MATT EHLING – President, Lead Producer, Public Record Media, St. Paul; Plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice; CEO, ETS Productions

JT HAINES – Attorney in Private Practice representing plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 14–9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Streaming @ KFAI.org

On-air date: 
Mon, 01/14/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titled Debating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980, Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL, assisted by MICHELLE ALIMORADI, will revisit his old American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory