One Word Away from Nuclear War

The confrontation finally came down to two basic issues: (1) Would Kennedy pledge that the US would not invade Cuba? And (2) would he make a public announcement that the US would withdraw its Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey, on the border of Russia and aimed at its heartland? On both issues, Kennedy ultimately refused.... Continue Reading →

The Continuing Struggle

“[F]reedom of speech is by no means a deeply entrenched tradition even in the United States, which by comparative standards is quite advanced in this regard. The same is true of other rights. [...] As is well known, even the right to vote was achieved in the United States only through constant struggle. Women were... Continue Reading →

“The public is not sovereign over the media . . .”

“The public is not sovereign over the media--the owners and managers, seeking ads, decide what is to be offered, and the public must choose among these. People watch and read in good part on the basis of what is readily available and intensively promoted. Polls regularly show that the public would like more news, documentaries,... Continue Reading →

A Propaganda Model

“The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major... Continue Reading →

Fake News on Russia and Other Official Enemies: The New York Times, 1917–2017

Edward S. Herman, best known for developing the propaganda model of media criticism (with Noam Chomsky), died a few weeks ago on November 11, 2017. Below is a section from a piece he wroted titled, “Fake News on Russia and Other Official Enemies: The New York Times, 1917–2017,” that appeared in the most recent issue... Continue Reading →

Disturbed Populations Stirring

“I do feel this period is kind of a turning point. […] The only question you can’t answer is how the population is going to react as they get slammed in the face--and they are getting slammed in the face. One way it could go would be like the building of the C.I.O., or the... Continue Reading →

Refugee “Crisis”?

In some countries, there is a real refugee crisis. In Lebanon, for example, where perhaps one-quarter of the population consists of refugees from Syria. Other poor and strife-ridden countries of the region have also absorbed huge numbers of refugees, among them Jordan and Syria. The countries that are enduring a refugee crisis had no responsibility... Continue Reading →

The Chomsky-Foucault Debate

In 1971, Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault debated on a few topics, by no means mutually exclusive: "human nature" (or whether there was such a thing), the "ideal society", and "justice" and "power". Make sure to put on English subtitles if necessary, as Foucault speaks in French, though Chomsky speaks in English (alternatively, a full English transcript of... Continue Reading →

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