While the quote provides a bird’s eye view into the minds of the Empire’s chief architects, to say that there is nothing new blurs over the 30 year phase when education WAS about liberal values, imagination, inquiry, and a broader scope altogether.
Of course, in that era l960s-1980s, the opponents of The New Deal had not yet managed to fund and foment enough think tanks to dominate what passes for informed debate; and all print, book, radio, and TV media were not held in a few corporately concentrated hands; and the lobbying pool had not so fully descended upon Washington, D.C.
Neither was there yet NAFTA, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, the fusion of both parties into one entity answerable to deep pocket corporate donors, or the infusion of private money into academe to thereby control the parameters of funded research so that entities like Monsanto could (falsely) assert the safety of biotech foods, and such.
Human history is a tug-of-war between the influence of concentrated power/elites and the voice and needs of The People.
It’s chiefly been a recent deregulatory phase that allowed Big Money to control far too much of The Commons. Prior, progress WAS in evidence and much of it in response to the Vietnam war and fomented by Peace Groups, Civil Rights Groups, Gay Rights groups, Women’s Rights Groups, and prescient Environmentalists.
There is a psychological component to The Shock Doctrine. I see it as the worse matters become–lousy jobs, greater frequency of Cancer, Depression, obesity, government figures selling out–the more likely it is that people will turn to religion for solace. There they find Authoritarian leaders telling them that their suffering is God’s will, that the evils abundant in our midst are proof of End Times, and that people who don’t follow the same narrow ideology (and rules!) that they do, are dangerous outsiders/sinners and/or untouchable persona non grata.
When the multitudes turn to the old religions, they lose the capacity to think for themselves. And it’s the old Conservative patriarchs who use religion AS a call to war, a rationale for suppressing women’s rights, and excuse for controlling children’s minds that are what’s holding back progress in this world. By imposing a one-size-fits all standardized model, no alternatives to the status quo that they built and they hold in place can emerge. THAT is how they thwart progress and control the masses.
The era of dominion by The Predators is coming to its denouement.