We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ridleyed With Errors

from George Monbiot's own blog. 

The article discusses the favorable reception Matt Ridley received from mainstream media in the UK over recently published book, The Rational Optimist. Monbiot makes a convincing case that this is another very dramatic example of how big corporate media grossly favors those who favor unrestrained corporate rule.

This excellent illustration reminds me of the mainstream media coverage of the noted author, John Le Carré. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union he wrote numerous novels that focused on Russian and East European spy themes. Because they were "politically correct", he was given widespread publicity in mainstream media in the West. 

But things radically changed after this period when Le Carré turned his attention to themes relating to Western spy agencies. Suddenly he was dropped from all coverage. One certainly cannot argue that the quality of his writing dramatically deteriorated. I think that his novels are better than ever. However, he has been relegated to obscurity in the literary world of the West. I was most startled by this fact during the course of a conversation I had with an English instructor at Oregon State University in 2000. He expressed surprise that Le Carré was still writing novels.