Subverting Reinforcing the Dominant Paradigm

From a chapter titled “Red Scare” in a book students at work were reading today:

In that same postwar time, there were also some anarchists in America. Anarchists don’t believe in government at all. You don’t have to be very smart to realize that anarchy doesn’t work. But, when the anarchists looked around and saw poverty, war, and evil, they thought that this was the fault of governments. Some may have really believed that the answer was to do away with all governments. A few tried to do that by setting off bombs intended to kill government leaders. That, of course, was criminal behavior. Newspapers made big headlines of the bombs. Many Americans were frightened….

That was the entirety of the chapter’s mention of anarchism – except for the blurb on Sacco and Vanzetti, who, according to the book, “may or may not have been guilty.”

The book series was A History of the U.S.: War, Peace, and All That Jazz by Joy Hakim. Specifically, it was Book #9, Page 35.

The treatment of communism was almost as silly and just as shallow.

There was no mention of the Progressive or Labor movements at this time, or of the Socialist movement.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, this is an idiotic representation of anarchism…. but that’s what reinforcing the dominant paradigm is all about. Not only does the author lump the huge variety of existing anarchisms together, she implies the old “anarchy means chaos” bit by not acknowledging any other form of organization besides the “government” (and without further context or definitions, when written in a history book for high schoolers, that means “American-style government”).

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3 Comments on “Subverting Reinforcing the Dominant Paradigm”

  1. Jen Says:

    That’s not even good writing. It reads like a fifth-graders essay.

  2. "Steve-o and Heroin Bob" Says:

    I agree with Jen, that looks like it was written by a kid… This is what is being taught in High School today? seriously? “…. and then we, like bombed the shit out of Iraq cause like, they had Nukes’ or whatever, and we brought them freedom from America, cause we have lots of freedom and everyone should be free so we gave them some of our freedom…and everyone lived happily ever after… except Saddam…”
    Anarchy rules!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, how thorough and thought provoking. Glad to see that our kids are reading some quality materials.


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