Thursday, June 9, 2016

People Get Ready

From this interview:

"In this interview, Robert McChesney, author with John Nichols of People Get Ready, discusses their new book, its challenge to the idea that technological advances always benefit humans and a framework to envision a digital age that will benefit workers over the super-rich."


"We desperately need a new economy, one that is not capitalistic -- based on the mindless and endless pursuit of maximum profit -- or one where capitalism has been radically reformed, more than ever before in its history. It is the central political challenge of our times."

"Our argument is that we currently have a citizenless democracy. By that we mean a governing system where all the important decisions of government are made to suit the interests and values of the wealthiest and most powerful Americans, and the corporations they own.This is not a controversial point, as several prominent political science studies have reached that exact conclusion in recent years. In short, if the vast majority of Americans want something from government and a small number of very wealthy Americans want something else, the rich guys always win."

"This is why John and I argue that building out our democratic infrastructure -- the institutions and practices that give citizens real power -- is the central battle of our times. If we win that battle, and it will be a political revolution to do so, we will be in a position to address and solve the issues of automation, a stagnant economy, militarism, inequality and the environment. We need to extend the democratic infrastructure to our economy. It will not be easy, as those that benefit by the status quo will oppose democratization tooth and nail, but there is no other choice. The great debates and experimentation will concern how to do so justly and effectively."

"John and I argue that rejuvenating an independent news media is a public policy issue of the highest magnitude. It is a cornerstone of the democratic infrastructure that a self-governing society requires. As we have written about at length, the framers of the US Constitution -- while they were far from proponents of democracy in many regards -- fully understood that creating a free press was mandatory for a free society and job one for a government dedicated to self-government. We must return to their wisdom posthaste."

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