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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Snowden: Stop Putting So Much Faith (and Fear) in Presidents

Click here to access article (includes a one hour video featuring comments by Snowden) by Jon Miltimore from Intellectual Takeout.

I am posting this interview from this website (also re-posted on the alternative website Russia Insider) because I think the post's primary focus on certain comments made by Edward Snowden says much more about the website's ruling class allegiance than it does about Snowden's observations about government surveillance.

Also I want to illustrate how a website functioning as a non-profit (they are designated "NGOs" when in foreign countries) shapes your views about current events to protect and preserve the existing capitalist system. By perusing the "About" sections here and here you can get an initial idea of their mainstream political orientation. 

The post is about an hour long interview, which I believe was broadcast on a Dutch TV program using a livestream feed from Moscow to obtain comments from Snowden, that touched on many issues relating to government surveillance of communications by citizens. 

Now I want you to contrast this post's coverage of the event either by listening to the one hour program or by reading an accurate summary of all of Snowden's comments posted on RT's coverage. By focusing on only one weak comment by Snowden, this post highlights or frames the entire one hour interview on government surveillance to blame the victim, the American people, for their political misfortune, and to obscure the nature of capitalist ruling class power.
“We should be cautious about putting too much faith or fear into elected officials,” said Snowden. “At the end of the day, this is just a president.”

He said if people want to change the world, they should look to themselves instead of putting their hopes or fears in a single person. “This can only be the work of the people,” Snowden said. “If we want to have a better world we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”
The author reinforces this message by concluding the following: 
Would America not be a better place if people more often looked inward instead of putting their hopes and fears in some distant leader? Would we not be better people if we did so?
An accurate comment by a more perceptive person than Snowden would have said that you can't take seriously what political candidates say during their campaigns for office because once in office they serve as puppets for the capitalist ruling class.

Finally in this lesson on media bias and how the ruling class deviously shapes your news and views, I want you to do a little web research by using search engines to look for information on this website. If your search is thorough enough, you will find a website sponsored by The Center for Media and Democracy that provides information about Intellectual Takeout's connections to the Koch Brothers and major capitalist organizations.