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The Democratic Gulag

Patriarchy, Leadership and Education


Robert Bahlieda

The Democratic Gulag is a provocative, comprehensive investigation of the pervasive and transparent power of patriarchy in social evolution and contemporary society. It asserts that we live in a well-constructed ideological, intellectual and social gulag of patriarchal values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that is created through the primary social institutions that we see as the foundations of modern civilization. The book is an in-depth academic study of the role of patriarchy in shaping modern social values and a comprehensive and contemporary cross-contextual analysis of the seminal role and paradoxes of patriarchy as the meta-ideology of human history. Employing the perspective of critical theory, it traces patriarchy through history to our contemporary world by examining its role in shaping democracy, education, religion, politics, economics, leadership and gender relationships. It suggests that rather than a social/historical curiosity, patriarchy is an under-theorized, active and virulent agent that continues to be the foundational source of our global social dysfunction. Without deconstructing and altering its ideological core as well as its complex and multidisciplinary role in our present and future society, positive human social organization is unsustainable. It argues for the necessity of developing democratic and open leadership and governmental and personal relationships that will liberate humanity and create a post-patriarchal world.
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We live in a democratic gulag within the well-orchestrated illusion of democracy, freedom, and autonomy in a world of self-deception that is so complete that we rarely question it. It is a restricted reality circumscribed by the values, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of patriarchy. This gulag is no different than the Soviet gulag described by Alexander Solzhenitsyn except that it is global and both internal and external. We live in the forest but cannot see the trees or the forest. It has become so normal that we do not even notice that we are living in a gulag; we accept it as our reality because we have no other point of reference. We are all Patrick Mcgoohan in The Prisoner. However, as this book has attempted to demonstrate, if we scratch the surface of its thin veneer, we can gain a glimpse of the paradoxical and pervasive inconsistencies and dysfunctions of patriarchy that dominate and threaten our modern world and skew human relations in destructive, subliminal ways. It is a world in which one gender prevails, and within that gender a small, elite group of the most ruthless and contriving dominate our social existence through violence, intimidation, and control. It is a world where the female half of the world’s population is excluded, subordinated, and denied their basic human rights through the capricious and self-effacing beliefs of men. It is a world that most of us would prefer to ignore because confronting its ugliness implicates us all and...

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