From the Left: In Defense of Free Speech

The following article posted by Caitlin Johnstone is very disturbing but more worrisome is that it is disturbingly accurate. I have both praised and criticized Caitlin’s posts, although my praise has dealt with their substance and my criticism with their sometimes acerbic style, but even the criticism is somewhat steeped in praise as what I regret is that they sometimes lose some of their value for those who most need them. But that is her absolute right.

One of the things that bothers me most about the ludicrously monolithic mainstream media, their trolls, and even the decent people who have fallen for their manipulation, is the largely held belief that they speak for the left. The Democratic Party is not a left wing party, it is abjectly neoliberal economically, neoconservative with reference foreign affairs and corrupt when it comes to the financial industry and its sources of political donations, a virtual mirror image of the GOP. Left wing politics is not based on calumny, distortion and lies, it is a philosophy based on the quest for peace, equity and equality politically and economically, and that realizes that concerns in the collective we call society sometimes supersede individual interests, especially when collective societal institutions are involved. The political left is utterly bereft of representation in the government of the United States of America and barely recognized in the purportedly social institutions that comprise the mainstream media, finding its voice now primarily in the alternative media among people like Caitlin, Robert Parry, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and a growing number of concerned progressives.

The brutality of attacks on fair-minded progressives not only from sources on the right of the political spectrum but from all too loyal Democrats is shameful but more importantly dangerous. Even more dangerous is the fact that such behavior is not only spreading virus-like, but growing increasingly aggressive, negative and crude. To objective progressives with open minds who take the views of others seriously, that is not only offensive but hurtful and intimidating even when we find the moral strength to keep on writing and remain true to our progressive ideals which is what we need to do if we are to not merely watch passively as the world enters another dark age at best or faces nuclear holocaust at worst.
I fear that we are living in an era when the worst aspects of our humanity are being drawn to the fore although perhaps it just seems that way because the mainstream media exercises such a strangle hold on the flow of information. As the growing inaccuracy of polling data demonstrates, rather than discovery and sharing of accurate information, the mainstream media is engaged in the creation of alternate realities that promote the selfish needs of the tiny portion of the world’s inhabitants that own the vast majority of its wealth, and truth is a necessary casualty of that campaign. Fortunately, they have not been completely successful although, starting during the second week of last November, they have increased their efforts at least tenfold.

Given the abdication of responsibility for providing the complete and accurate information required by the citizenry in a democracy by what currently passes for journalism in the United States, we must either fill the void with comparable energy or also abdicate our responsibilities as citizens.
Thank you Caitlin.

View story at Medium.com
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved

Guillermo Calvo Mahé is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia. Until recently he chaired the Political Science, Government and International Relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science, law, international legal studies and translation studies and can be contacted at wacalvo3@autonoma.edu.co. Much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

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