“Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.” — Howard Zinn, (2012) The Historic Unfulfilled Promise, p.208, City Lights Publishers
Have you noticed that it’s no longer PC Dixon of Dock Green who mediates the relationship between the state and its citizens as he goes about his beat in your neighbourhood? Instead, it’s a Kevlar-armoured, video-monitored, taser-equipped, drone-surveilled, spit-masked supplied soldier, straight out of Star Wars, who now staggers along under the weight of an industrialized capitalism, visibly physically disconnected from the citizens they monitor by their bullet-proof uniforms, that more resemble a rack of tools in your local hardware store than the Bobby on the beat.
On January 16, 2018, the World Socialist Web Site will video livestream a discussion on Internet censorship, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and WSWS International Editorial Board Chairperson David North. WSWS reporter Andre Damon will moderate the discussion. The webinar will explore the political context of the efforts to censor the Internet and abolish net neutrality, examine the pretexts used to justify the suppression of free speech (i.e., “fake news”), and discuss political strategies to defend democratic rights. Hedges and North will also field questions from on-line listeners.
At the end of the 1970s, when I first started using and investigating digital media, it quickly became apparent to me, that what became the World Wide Web, was very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it afforded independent journalists and investigators, a vehicle for reaching a public outside the control of corporate/state media and whose only parallel lay back in the 17th century, with the invention of the printing press and moveable type, broadsheets and later the so-called Penny Dreadfuls. Sold on street corners and in coffee houses, and produced in literally hundreds of small printing shops, they challenged the status quo in ways previously impossible. Often banned and their writers/publishers thrown in jail under the then new sedition laws, they heralded the arrival of modern capitalism.
Censorship is the foe of freedom. It comes in many forms. The choking grip of control silences dissent. The bullhorns of propaganda blare out lies and fictions of consent. The maddened clench of greed stifles outlets for a diversity of expression, creativity, opportunity, and invention. The lurking spies of mass surveillance send chills down once-fearless spines. The data collectors of corporations mine our lives for ways to shrink-wrap our worldviews into commoditized sales pitches.
Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly-owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.
On Reality Asserts Itself, former NSA senior executive Mr. Drake and host Paul Jay talk about the “dark state” and how 9/11 opens up disturbing questions about power, who we are, who’s in charge and the secret subversion of the U.S. constitution.
‘[For us] it is one thing to remain a good friend, but too close an embrace will lead Americans and others to resurrect the “deputy sheriff” tag. The Americans have always put their own interests first and will continue to do so; we should follow their example. American interests will not always be the same as Australian and vice versa. The bottom line, however, is the domestic political one. Australians are afraid of the outside world and convinced of their inability to cope with it. Any Australian government which suggested that we do without a great and powerful friend to look after us would have to consider the electoral implications.’ — Source: Cavan Hogue — fmr. Ambassador and Dep. Permanent Representative when Australia was last on the UN Security Council. He has also served as head of mission in Mexico, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow and Bangkok, along with other posts. He is an Adjunct Professor in International Communication at Macquarie University, Sydney.
Truthdig columnist & Pulitzer Prize–winner Chris Hedges and Portland-based award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco spoke at The Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon on May 27th, 2017 — the day after the horrific hate crime occurred on the MAX.
Truthdig columnist & Pulitzer Prize–winner Chris Hedges speaks at the Aladdin Theater for KBOO Community Radio on May 26th, 2017. Hedges takes a provocative look at the current state of revolt in the United States and recounts the US’s continuing history of domestic terrorism while outlining ways for communities to resist before it’s too late.