Somewhat more surprisingly, he notes that some studies have found that exposing people to opposing views doesn’t actually make them more open-minded about politics: One paper suggests it actually causes them to double down on their beliefs.
Every bad decision that has diminished media—every pivot to video, every injection of venture capital funds, every round of layoffs, every outright destruction of a publication—was only deemed necessary by the constraints of capitalism and dull minds.
So what would an ideal system look like? How might we politically and economically get along better with the planet?
You would have to have a democratically controlled accumulation fund. I think that banking and finance have to be socialized because otherwise you're continually at the mercy of big capital deciding what's profitable or not.
In his book How Fascism Works, the Yale philosopher Jason Stanley argues, “Corruption, to the fascist politician, is really about the corruption of purity rather than of the law. Officially, the fascist politician’s denunciations of corruption sound like a denunciation of political corruption. But such talk is intended to evoke corruption in the sense of the usurpation of the traditional order.”
More importantly, it is simply not the case that the police merely enforce the law as written. Like citizen-protectors, the police are also committed to the protection of a social order rooted in private property and white supremacy. In many cases, elements of this social order have been enshrined into law, such that the same conduct that the police view as illegitimate and immoral also happens to be criminal. But police officers will routinely violate laws that conflict with this social order, including laws designed to protect the rights of accused criminals and laws designed to protect protesters’ First Amendment rights.
I mean... this is from >10 years ago. Having just interviewed a few engineers last year and the year before I can say that I didn't encounter a single applicant who couldn't do significantly more complex things than the ones mentioned here.
It took the Economist 176 years to finally add bylines to some of their content pages. The holy shit! moment of creator’s realizing that their value could be larger than it’s getting credit for started with platforms and the ability to accumulate and engage followers directly on platforms. But the emergence of platforms like Substack, OnlyFans, Cameo & Patreon have accelerated that and are creating a new market indicator for individuals similar to what free agency does to athletes.
chief among staffers’ requests was a desire for prominent labels on editorials and op-eds indicating that the Journal’s opinion pages are independent of its news department. While the letter also asked for fact-checking and a “genuine commitment to transparency,” nowhere did it challenge the editorial page’s right to offer opinions and analysis.
A perfect illustration of the dichotomy of this topic that on one side a group of underpaid journalists ask for stronger fact checking & clear labeling on op-eds. On the other some well-paid columnists screech this makes them victims of cancel culture.
What a great illustration this is b/c it's the perfect example of some folks taking issue w/systematic problems w/some impact on people of privilege & instead of discussing those problems the criticized make the entire discussion self-centered. It's carnival mirror libertarianism.
I am old enough to disdain cancel culture, though not for the reasons the letter gives. My disdain comes from the belief that it doesn’t exist — at least not as anything new, anything more than yet another term used as a blanket criticism of people, often young but not always, deploying new forms of communication (in this case, social media) to call out those they believe are espousing or enabling racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassment and capitalistic exploitation. (Or, less grandly, to promote inter-influencer feuds.)
I think that Hedges understates the degree to which opening up the conversations about speech is useful and overstates (ironically) the moral purity of BDS, but I find his position of the problem being in our system of capitalism a useful lens to employ in reading these discussions:
Corporations have seized control of the news industry and turned it into burlesque. They have corrupted academic scholarship. They make war on science and the rule of law. They have used their wealth to destroy our democracy and replace it with a system of legalized bribery. They have created a world of masters and serfs who struggle at subsistence level and endure crippling debt peonage. The commodification of the natural world by corporations has triggered an ecocide that is pushing the human species closer and closer towards extinction. Anyone who attempts to state these truths and fight back was long ago driven from the mainstream and relegated to the margins of the internet by Silicon Valley algorithms.
"But if there was some assurance that real justice was possible, would cancel culture even feel necessary or important to so many people? Could we better separate the art and the artist if we could use a set of prison bars to do it?