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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Dr. Gilbert Doctorow: “America Is Absolutely Corrupt”

Click here to access an interview with Doctorow by independent Algerian journalist Mohsen Abdelmoumen posted on American Herald Tribune's website. (I must thank an attentive and dedicated activist for this post.)

This is a most fascinating interview of a Russian scholar with a PhD in history from Columbia University. The interview obviously took place in Belgium, and the journalist asks wide ranging questions about the USA in relation to Russia. Several questions asked about the state of journalism today and the appearance of fake news in the USA which was of considerable interest to me.
[Abdelmoumen:] Do you think that the disappearing of the paper press plays in favor of misinformation?
[Doctorow:] This plays a huge role, but it is not a recent situation. Mr. Noam Chomsky, the great American dissident, wrote as co-author in 1985 the book The Manufacture of Consent. It's a matter of censorship out of censure. Today, when someone graduates as a journalist and hopes to make a living, to have a family, there is only one thing to do: go into public relations for a big company. It requires the same skills for an employer who pays the salary. And finally, the journalists became corrupt. .... Journalists are retiring and it's over, they are not replaced them because there is no money.
[Abdelmoumen:] Is not journalism disappearing and are we not moving towards a press made by the citizens, like the alternative press?
[Doctorow:] The alternative press is a good thing but it is not the same size and it is not the same quality, in principle. If real journalism had continued, it would be much more sophisticated and much more educated than what we have now. We are talking about fake news. There are many fake news because there are no professional intermediaries, and even among the major publishers, I do not speak of the press but of the publishers in general, they sacked the writers. If you are dealing with a big edition, in most cases there are no real writers. All the services of an edition have disappeared, that is to say that the professions are under digital attack.