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Free Press For Sale

How Corporations Have Bought The First Amendment — An Interview With Robert McChesney

Thomas Jefferson and like-minded individuals included freedom of the press in the First Amendment because they knew that if the party in power were able to outlaw dissident newspapers, it could essentially abolish any dissent whatsoever. And, just as Jefferson had foreseen, in the late 1790s, President John Adams and the significantly antidemocratic Federalists who supported him tried to purge many of the radical newspaper editors in the country by means of the Alien and Sedition Acts: So the First Amendment wasn’t something the Founders dreamed up in order to protect Philip Morris investors two hundred years later. They had a very real, immediate political cause: the survival of democracy.

The Sun Interview

Nothing To Lose But Our Illusions

An Interview With David Edwards

What prison could be more secure than one we’re convinced is “the world,” where the boundaries of action and thought are assumed to be, not the limits of the permissible, but the limits of the possible? Democratic society, as we know it, is the ultimate prison, because who’s going to try to escape from a situation of apparent freedom? It follows, then, that we must be happy, because we can do whatever we want.

The Sun Interview

The Broken Promise Of Democracy

An Interview With Frances Moore Lappé

The hunger that is so common worldwide and that kills so many people every day does not result from a scarcity of food. Hunger is not about the relationship of people to food: it is about a human relationship in which a small number of people determine who has access to food and what is grown on what land. In Diet for a Small Planet and with my work at Food First, I’ve tried to drum home the fact that, in many of the countries where people are the most hungry, much more land is devoted to crops grown for international trade than to crops that sustain the people who work the land.

The Sun Interview

War On Truth

The Secret Battle For The American Mind — An Interview With John Stauber

Public relations is now inseparable from the business of lobbying, creating public policy, and getting candidates elected to public office. The PR industry just might be the single most powerful political institution in the world. It expropriates and exploits the democratic rights of millions on behalf of big business by fooling the public about the issues.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Liberation Marketing And The Culture Trust

Liberation marketing takes the old mass-culture critique — consumerism as conformity — fully into account, acknowledges it, addresses it, and solves it. Liberation marketing imagines consumers breaking free from the old order, tearing loose from the shackles with which capitalism has bound us, escaping the routine of bureaucracy and hierarchy, getting in touch with our true selves, and, finally, finding authenticity, that holiest of consumer grails.

The Sun Interview

The Common Good

An Interview With Noam Chomsky

If a true democratic society were allowed to function, it’s extremely unlikely that the things now called “inevitable results of the market” would ever be tolerated. These results certainly concentrate wealth and power and harm the vast majority. There’s no reason for people to tolerate that. These so-called inevitabilities are really public-policy decisions designed to lead to a certain kind of highly inegalitarian society. Talk about the inevitable processes of the market is almost entirely nonsensical, in my opinion. And if we did have a functioning democracy, we would solve the problem as Aristotle suggested: by reducing poverty and making sure that almost everyone had “moderate and sufficient property.”

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

One Man, One Vote

Clinton knew that the federal government was the last line of defense for millions of poor people against the predatory forces of the free market. He signed the bill anyway. Clinton understood that there could be no meaningful welfare reform without a guarantee of decent jobs. He signed the bill anyway.

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