Project Censored: Understanding the Global Power Elite

Although a new administration has taken office in Washington, the administrators of the world’s wealth have not changed. Project Censored presents a rebroadcast of “Giants: The Global Power Elite.” Project Censored Show cofounder Peter Phillips returned to the show as a guest in August 2018 to discuss his book about the ‘transnational corporate class.’ The product of years of research, “Giants” identifies the institutions and individuals who manage trillions of dollars of assets, and wield the political might that such riches confer. As the Biden administration takes charge, observers of politics might watch for representatives of the ‘Giants’ on the Biden team.

Source: Project Censored

Table Stakes (And the Big Picture)

The Big Picture:  So many obstacles exist to true progress that most days many activists I know want to bang their head against a wall, or give up, or worse.  But it’s not so bad as all that, and in fact we have some advantages that were not even options for change-makers of generations ago.  Let’s begin by running some ‘cocktail napkin’ numbers, to make sense of the last few months in politics.

  • There are at least 330 million Americans right now.  Of those, ⅔ were able to vote in 2020.  That’s @218 million potential voters.
  • We had @144 million actual voters in the 2020 fall election.
  • Of those voters, @72 million chose Trump.
  • So here’s the real math: 2/3 of the total population of America can vote.  Of those, only 2/3 did vote in 2020.  Of those, 1/2 voted for Trump.  So that’s actually only about 20% of the whole who support him and his nefarious views.  That makes our job far easier – there are not nearly as many ‘hearts and minds’ we need to reach in this nation, as it may appear on the surface. 

For the Record: As noted in previous essays, there are always obstacles, and there are never enough dedicated folks, seemingly, to get the job done.  Yet over and over throughout the last 15,000 years, change has come to societies and the long arc has actually been in a direction of more justice, more fairness, and less oppression.  So clearly we simply need to keep on doing our work, and fret less about the long term.

Our mass media has done a bang-up job of making nearly everyone feel isolated, powerless, and flawed.  These are of course lies, and you should go right ahead and ignore the mass media.  The problems we face are merely the ‘table stakes’, and we can surely play our hand into a winning one.  We surely do NOT have to overcome half of the entire population wanting to calcify society as it was in the 1950’s.  Far from it.  But don’t take it from me, let’s go to one of our great recent philosophers…

What they’re saying: “One of the basic ideas of our culture is that people are fundamentally no good, that people are greedy, cruel, and vicious to the core: That is our nature, so get used to if, folks.  Get as much as you can, then get really good locks for your doors.  

I want to change that basic attitude.  Not only is the world a sacred place, but we belong in it.  We’re not alien monsters here.  We should stop perceiving ourselves in that way and begin to reevaluate our place in the greater community.  The view of this culture is that we are vicious beings, but still infinitely better than every other creature on this planet.  They are worthless beings we can kill off at will. 

I’m proposing that we all belong to a community of life.  We are no better or worse than other creatures.  We have to begin to think of ourselves as members of the world community, rather than as rulers of the planet.” – Daniel Quinn, interviewed by W. Bradford Swift in The Sun Magazine, December 1997 

Next steps: There is a shift coming.  I once thought it would be in a far distant future, but now I see that folks are agitating for it in nearly every city on the planet.  Reactionary leaders, cowed by fear and distaste for sharing their imaginary power, are doing rather a lot to crush / co-opt / belittle these forces.  That’s a pity but also should be encouraging to you – the fact that they can no longer ignore these efforts is in itself a telling victory for the progressives.  The shift can happen soon, within a generation or less, if we press our advantage. 

 


Go deeper: links and sources

Elsewhere on this site, I have posted many book reviews and other links, naturally I encourage you to study them in your free time.  

I do get a bit of heat since most of those recommendations are from the 20th century.  Well in fact I do keep current, it’s merely that I’m trying to work in order, and there is much to share.  However, this book is allowed to jump the line: Soft Landing, by Don Shepherd.  (2020, published by SaveTheWorld, Inc.)

Soft Landing lays out 3 major ways we can tell when the shift will have truly occurred – If we have succeeded in providing for the basic needs of every person on the planet, if we have stopped cutting down our forests and destroying the planet’s ecosystems, and if we have reversed our polluting ways.  In clear and amiable ways, he goes into some detail for doing so.  As well, (much ignored but crucial to overcoming our obstacles), the last ⅓ of the book goes into the current mess of our planet-wide financial system, and how we can ‘un-rig’ it in a reasonable time frame.  I do believe it is as if this fellow read his Quinn, Derrick Jensen and his Naomi Klein texts, and tried mightily to synthesize a readable and accessible version that won’t scare away the curious and the motivated-but-uneducated.  In that, I feel he has succeeded.  

And if you will indulge me, here’s another from that distant time of 2001… After Dachau by Daniel Quinn, (Context Books).  Since I quoted him above, it seems okay to mention one of his fiction tales.  In it, we see how life would be if society had indeed calcified in about 1956, and also no other cultures were allowed to exist.  Spoiler alert – it’s not pretty.  Also, it doesn’t get to be the last word.  As he always did in his fiction and non fiction works, the seeds of hope sprouted against the greatest odds.  We too, are about to see those seeds sprouting.  

Finally, we go out on a high note: the incomparable singer John McCutcheon and his story song “Well may the world go.”  Enjoy.  

“It’s not about eliminating anyone, it’s about welcoming people in!”

 

The Responsibility of Media is to Inform and Engage, not to Distract and Destroy

The United Nations has called for a sea change in the world’s media, urging the adoption of more constructive, solutions-focused reporting to galvanize people towards positive social change.

Michael Møller, director general at the United Nations Office at Geneva, joined editors from some of the UK’s biggest media outlets – from tabloid newspapers to major television broadcasters – at an event in central London on Wednesday morning to discuss constructive journalism. The event was also attended by representatives of the third sector.

Source: Positive News, UK

Møller warned that a negativity bias in much of the mainstream media stands in the way of progress and urged outlets to “change their modus operandi”. He called for reporting to be based on “facts and empathy” to a much greater degree than at present, and said “bringing in more positive, solution-focused stories is a must.”

Speaking to Positive News, Møller said: “The responsibility of the media, to me, is to inform, educate and to hold power to account. I think that on the educational part, a lot of media around the world has abdicated its responsibility. It needs to find its responsibility again.”

At a time when digital connectedness enables mass awareness of humanitarian challenges, people could rise to meet them, said Møller – if they receive accurate, useful and balanced information from the media.


Join Mobilized for life-changing opportunities, create new partnerships, discover new and improved ways to mobilize your ideas and actions, and discover a whole new world of opportunity dedicated to sustainable development of systems around the world.

We are a global collaborative and cooperative media platform dedicated to showcasing what’s possible when we work together to enable better, together instead in competition. We welcome all submissions and partnerships that abide by our ethical principles, standards and guidelines.

Click here to find out how! Sign up today!


“We have the expertise, we have the experience, the human capital, the financial means, it’s just a matter of getting our act together globally,” he said.

“We are moving into a world of incredible change. We have technology today that gives almost every person on this planet the ability to know everything that happens, but also the ability to comment. Many of these voices are fairly uninformed and based on very narrow personal agendas and local understandings of reality. It is very, very important that this cacophony of voices is as informed as possible.”

Changing narratives around refugees

Møller referred to much of the media’s portrayal of the European refugee crisis as a case in point. Not only did narratives lack sufficient facts and coverage of solutions, they fuelled stereotypes, leading to “extraordinarily negative” reporting, he said.

“The narrative on who [the migrants] are, but also that there’s this tsunami of people descending on Europe, is simply wrong. The fact that we need many of these people is completely forgotten.”

Migration will be a central element of our lives for decades to come, he added. “We can’t solve the problem by closing doors. Climate change will cause millions to move. The reality on this planet is such that, unless we do something dramatic, most of us are going to be affected in ways that we are now seeing others being affected. The level of collective responsibility for how our planet is run is such that we can no longer think we can do it alone: either as a community or a country or as individuals.”

Informing people about solutions that are being worked on should sit alongside holding politicians to account on how they are addressing global issues, said Møller.

“One of the big problems in the world right now is that our short term political structures are at odds with the long term needs. Most politicians are looking at three or five-year horizons to be re-elected and it’s becoming more and more of a problem. That’s where the media can come in, to provide the continuity. To remind them of their commitments.”

Sir Martyn Lewis, Positive News patron and chair of National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), first made a stand against media negativity when he was a BBC news presenter in the 1990s. Lewis chaired the event in London on Wednesday, which was convened by Constructive Voices – a project run by NCVO to encourage socially-useful, constructive journalism. It also aims to link media with stories from the voluntary sector and social enterprises.

Lewis said that the unprecedented gathering reflected a surging interest in constructive journalism.

“Key people came together to discuss the subject: editors, representatives of the voluntary sector and social entrepreneurs, for a very frank discussion,” he said.

“It was fascinating to see the range of approaches, with almost everyone agreeing on the need for constructive journalism. The question now is how to overcome the obstacles at national newspapers, such as a lack of resources, and the need to build relationships between journalists and the people or organisations working on solutions.”

Positive News editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Constructive Journalism Project, Seán Dagan Wood, said: “We are seeing the beginnings of a cultural shift across the media as the industry realises the value, for both itself and the public, of good journalism about progress and possibility.

“Media must continue to hold power to account and expose problems, but while doing so we can empower people by also investigating potential solutions. This is not about feel good stories or advocacy. It is about informing people in a way that contributes to a fuller picture of truth and creates a space for society to respond more effectively to its challenges.

“The press can maintain a critical journalistic approach alongside a constructive mindset, applying its valuable expertise to producing compelling stories about how problems are being tackled. I know that the public want this, and I believe we’ll continue to see forward-thinking media move towards this approach.”

Source: Positive News, UK

 

Can Media Help to Eliminate the Stigma of People with Disabilities?

The Role of Media in Eliminating the Stigma of People With Disabilities: Msafari  Msedi, Tanzania

Africa is a Continent of many resources and one of its greatest resource its its talent pool of creative individuals who are the change they wish to see in the world. During this special presentation, we will hear from a few creative individuals who are taking their passions out of the laboratory and into their communities.



 


Join Mobilized for life-changing opportunities, create new partnerships, discover new and improved ways to mobilize your ideas and actions, and discover a whole new world of opportunity dedicated to sustainable development of systems around the world.

We are a global collaborative and cooperative media platform dedicated to showcasing what’s possible when we work together to enable better, together instead in competition. We welcome all submissions and partnerships that abide by our ethical principles, standards and guidelines.

Click here to find out how! Sign up today!


 

 

 

 

 

 The Tremendous Power of Women’s Voices: Frieda Werden, Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS)

According to Rights Info at https://rightsinfo.org/press-freedom-and-the-journalists-fighting-injustice/ Press freedom is vital for our human rights, and a crucial part of a free and fair democracy. While there are wonderful stories from female journalists, many are not heard or shared effectively. Women’s Investigative News Sharing Network (WINGS) and Mobilized are proud to share some of the stories as well as an understanding of the obstacles facing female journalists from around the world. Please join a talented group of women from over a dozen nations as we delve into new opportunities and possibilities for these amazing reporters and news gatherers.

 

 


Mobilized is building an empowering constructive solutions-based journalism network from the ground up. While most news is the story of disease and dysfunction, we believe that media can empower, inspire, inform, educate and enable healthier outcomes for us all.

We  are collaborators in creation of better together. 

Stay inspired and Discover how you can get involved with your vision and mission with the Mobilized Network!


 


 

Ralph Nader: Breaking Thru Power: It’s Easier than you think

 

In his most recent book, "Breaking Through Power,"  Nader draws from a lifetime waging—and often winning—David vs. Goliath battles against big corporations and the United States government. This is classic Ralph Nader, a crystallization of the core political beliefs and commitments that have driven his lifetime of advocacy for greater democracy.  In this presentation, Nader presents the inspiration to enable the ideas into actions.

 

 

 


	
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