Saturday, January 1, 2011

Who Rules in the World?

Reading the intro to Robert McChesney's "Communications Revolution"* today I was reminded of the following quote. It's from "The Revolt of the Masses" by Ortega y Gasset*, chapter 14 entitled, "Who Rules in the World?":

"It is necessary to distinguish between a process of aggression and a state of rule. Rule is the normal exercise of authority, and is always based on public opinion, today as a thousand years ago, amongst the English as amongst the bushmen. Never has anyone ruled on this earth by basing his rule essentially on any other thing than public opinion."

Not sure I buy much else written by Ortega y Gasset, but this resonated.

McChesney observes that the communications system is going through a transition that we can influence. In simple terms, the outcome of that transition will a media system that either "emphasizes democratic values" or "corporate profits." The default will be greater corporate domination, or "rule," over every facet of our lives and the future of our republic.

McChesney calls on us to seize "an unprecedented opportunity in the coming generation..."

... to create a communication system that will be a powerful imptus to a dramatically more egalitarian, humane, sustainable, and creative society, where justice and self-government are the order of the day.

He warns that

This window of opportunity -- what I call "a critical juncture" -- will not be open for long. We will be opposed by very powerful entrenched corporate and political interests. We will need all hands on deck to win the fight.

If we fail, the outcome of "who rules in the world" is predictable.


Communications Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media, Robert M. McChesney, the New Press, (2007).


No comments:

Post a Comment