Gramsci, Dogs, and Pub Cookies


Tommy Matt (Scribe), Kat Lukens, Gillian Hunt, Asana Hamidu & Nicole Eigbrett

Our Cafe Discussion started out by discussing the ISA.  We all agreed that the church used to be the most important ISA, but we wanted to talk about important ISAs today.  Although we agreed that media is probably the most important, we also talked quite a bit about schools being a powerful ISA.  The pledge, encouraging competition, and learning to obey authority are all parts of the education system in America.

The Discussion turned back to media as an ISA with particular attention given to commercials.  We become so numb to commercials.  We see commercials about Smartphones but don’t take the time to think about the wars funded by coltan mining in the DRC.  We are too far removed from problems and our eyes are covered by advertisements.

Someone brought up “Mean World Syndrome” which is the idea that the more one watches the news, the worse off he or she believes the world is.  We questioned where all the positive stories are.  Many of the most uplifting and encouraging stories are stories of dissent or social change, but the media often doesn’t cover them because they like the status-quo.
How do the North Koreans create such an effective hegemonic bloc?  Someone in our group mentioned that many North Koreans believe that their country won the world cup.  Do North Koreans that go to work in EPZs in South Korea return with different views?

It was about this time that a man walking his dog passed our table and we had to stop our discussion to pet it.  It was a successful dog break.

Someone asked how Gramsci is any more positive than Marx. Marx is totally dependent on the base.  He believed that we have to wait for the crisis of capitalism for the revolution to begin.  Gramsci, on the other hand, is more fluid.  He believed we can work to create a country hegemony and that average people influence hegemony too.

Pub cookie break.

What is the National Popular?  Is there only one National Popular?

Why do Republicans sometimes create better hegemonic blocs?  We decided to compare the Tea Party to the Occupy Movement.  They had very different methods; the Tea Party had more defined goals while Occupy had many different ideas and sections (ie Occupy WS, Occupy ALEC, Occupy DOC, etc.).  Tea Party focused on Congress while Occupy focused on the people.

What is the difference between traditional and organic intellectuals?

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