The ploy

Another way of stating the problem of power and history: those who came to wield power in the past have used that power to entrench their position so that their power lasts into the future. Law, wealth, ideology have been useful means for this ploy. They are means by which those in power disguise their power-grab and make it appear legitimate, natural, and right.

On the ideological level, the power of the few is maintained by leading the many to believe that they are better than, but threatened by, some Other. Racism, sexism, classism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia — all are variations on this dynamic. At its root is our attitude of dominion over nature, our belief that natural resources are for us, not them, for we who are superior by nature.

Hence the paramount importance of education, by which most are indoctrinated into this game but an increasing minority learn to see through it. Learning how existence has determined and continues to determine us, learning how others have sought to take control — in attempts ranging from military domination to artistic expression — and learning to think of new ways — the questioning, critical, the creative. To overcome the oppression of history, the injustice of its determining our world, ourselves, we have ultimately this one means.


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