Today, the media is in crisis, and a free and open society is at risk. Fiction substitutes for fact, news is carefully filtered, dissent is marginalized, and supporting the powerful substitutes for full and accurate reporting. As a result, wars of aggression are called liberating ones, civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with governments that are lawless.
"Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media"
Reviewing David Cromwell and David Edwards' book
by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, January 9, 2008
Case studies and ideas discussed:
Iraq - The Sanctions of Mass Destruction
Iraq Disarmed - Burying the 1991-98 Weapons Inspections
Iraq - Gunning for War and Burying the Dead
Afghanistan - Let Them Eat Grass
Kosovo - Real Bombs, Fictional Genocide
East Timor - The Practical Limits of Crusading Humanitarianism
Haiti - The Hidden Logic of Exploitation
Idolatry Ink - Reagan, the 'Cheerful Conservative' and 'Chubby Bubba' Clinton
Ultimate [Climate] Change - The Ultimate Media Betrayal
Disciplined Media - Professional Conformity to Power
Toward a Compassionate Media
and the conclusion of the book review:
Full Human Dissent
Corporations today manipulate society and our lives by harming the greater good for profits. Consider the cost: "individual depression, global environmental collapse, wars for control of natural resources" and global dominion. It happens because we're saturated in a "mass consumer culture" that ignores "our needs as human beings." To counteract this, we need "to find more humanly productive answers" mainstream culture calls "dissident" or "absurd," but the authors believe are possible and vital.
Approaches to "individual and social well-being (are) practiced in many traditional cultures (but have been) filtered out" of ours because they conflict with corporate goals already explained. The authors once worked for corporate employers and described their condition as "unrelieved boredom and stress....work....of no intrinsic interest (and) simply a means to the end of material acquisition." They concluded that life centered around money and status "becomes a depressing dead end, a kind of emotional wasteland."
They contrast that experience to their involvement today in "unpaid human rights and environmental work" that includes their Media Lens efforts. Compassionate dissent holds promise as a motivating force - "for media activism, peace activism, human and animal rights activism, and environmental activism." It's also "profoundly conducive to our own well-being." The authors end by stating political dissent must be combined with human dissent. The combination can be powerfully self-liberating and "all the motivation we need to act for the welfare of the world." Isn't that a goal worth working for? Isn't it what what we want for ourselves?
One of the authors, David Edwards, discussed the effects of our corporate society on our own well-being in his 1996 book "Burning All Illusions: A Guide to Personal and Political Freedom," where he argued that we should not change the actions and societal structures that lead to climate change for the benefit of people in developing countries or the future, but because these actions and structures are not making us happy.