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I Really Do Care – Shouldn't We All?
From Sputnik to Trump & Socialism
The Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This event tricked the world into believing that socialism, as a politico-economic system, had buried itself forever in the junkyard of historical social experiments. Liberal democracy, with the spotlight on the self-actualized individual, had won over
the ineptitude of socialist ideology and its economic principles of collectivism.
Thirty years later, the West, however, has found itself at the edge of its own systemic ineptitude. And the victorious psychology of the free self-actualizing individual has evolved into a self-possessive neoliberalist culture.
In I Really Do Care – Shouldn’t We All? I put forth the theory that this societal transformation traces its roots back to the time of the Cold War race. Born and brought up in the former Soviet Union, I combine the stories
of my childhood with my doctoral research in education in Australia to develop a unique perspective on
the evolution of Western neoliberalism.
I see the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik in 1957 as an epicenter of a massive ripple within the socio-political world, and the examination of its interactions with other ripples in a ripplework becomes a central theme
of this book.
I argue that by counteracting the actions of the “enemy” (the former Soviet Union), the United States unwittingly entered into the process of merging with its antagonist. By affirming the Soviet Union as superior (more for political reasons than real ones), the United States set the national school curriculum on a course focusing predominantly on science and technology. This gave rise to increased IQ scores through teaching and learning standardized technological rationality, algorithmic problem-solving, and individual competitiveness. But at the same time, it resulted in the rapid decline of political and cultural literacy; the reduction of personal curiosity and creativity; and the ruin of collaboration and empathy, leading to the cultivation of self-centered, entertainment-addicted I-Don’t-Care (ID'C) culture.
ID'C culture, in its turn, served as a fertile soil for the rise of Trump (ID'C-ing about others) on one hand,
and socialism (ID'C-ing about historical facts) on the other, influencing the decline of democratic values
in every other society in the world.
I Really Do Care – Shouldn't We All? From Sputnik to Trump – is a book written by Lena Redman (2020).
The book argues that due to the educational reforms resulting from
the United States' response to the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957 (and other Western countries being influenced by this act), the emphasis
of school curricula shifted to favoring scientific and technology disciplines.
This shift caused a decline in the humanities, which led to the production
of technical rationalist thinkers,
IQ-efficient but week in understanding humanities issues.
This manifested in the emergence of
the neoliberal culture of 'possessive individualism.'1
1 Mouffe, Chantal (2019). For a Left Populism [Kindle version, loc. 141]. Verso.
Available on Amazon.com