Friday, July 11, 2014

Spectator Sports and the State

-Charles Burris
Award-winning author and journalist Chris Hedges brilliantly illustrates in “Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War,” how spectator sports have become the establishment’s release valve or recreational outlet for the masses to both project their aggressive instincts away from rebellious or seditious behaviors, and to instill an artificial sense of camaraderie and loyalty to their rival tribal teams which act as surrogates for the State.

I have always viewed the modern State’s promotion of competitive team sports (such as football, tennis, cricket, baseball, basketball, or soccer) as an insidious reintroduction of the ancient Roman concept of “bread and circuses,” a diversionary endeavor to manipulate the masses by enhancing their primal aggressive instincts with false loyalties or allegiances to manufactured idols and tribal teams.

This is the theme of the classic film, Rollerball, one of my favorites.

That the introduction and promotion of such sports is contemporaneous with the introduction of mass compulsory government schooling is not incidental or accidental. Elite English public schools such as Eton, Rugby, Harrow, Charterhouse, Shrewsbury, Westminster and Winchester, etc. which engaged in training the future leadership cadre of the British Empire, recognized the value of instilling certain cultural norms regarding oligarchical domination and coercion via sports.