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

Monday, February 23, 2015

Peter Oborne opens a media can of worms

Click here to access article by Jonathon Cook from his blog.

The can of worms the title refers to is the old problem of media serving a capitalism ruling class. Cook makes reference to this problem surfacing again with disclosures made by the former chief political commentator at a prominent British newspaper, The Telegraph, which has temporarily rocked the British media world.
...revelations last week by the Daily Telegraph’s former chief political commentator Peter Oborne that his newspaper spiked stories that upset advertisers to avoid losing lucrative ad revenue....
Cook correctly identifies the problem as an old one, as old as capitalism itself. (If you have any doubts, read The Brass Check by Upton Sinclair published nearly a century ago.) A capitalist ruling class, like any ruling class, will always insure that every institution serves them. This problem is a particularly egregious one in relation to information (think media, education, and even entertainment) that people depend on to navigate their world. That is the significance of ruling classes. Ruling classes always privilege certain groups over the rest of society, and that is precisely why we must eliminate ruling classes--it has been a scourge to humans ever since civilization began 10,000 years ago, and now it is threatening the very existence of humans. Equality is no longer something that is desirable, it is now essential to the survival of humans and many other species.

Cook also correctly predicts that the issue will once again be swept under the rug or deflected toward other causes (e.g., The Flat News book cited by Cook) by the directors of the same contemporary ruling class because it threatens the legitimacy of their system, the goose that lays for them the golden eggs of wealth and power.