Noam Chomsky Essay
Modern industrial civilization has developed within a system of convenient myths. The driving force of industrial civilization has been individual material gain - which has been accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits (in the classic formulation). It has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principal will destroy itself in time. It can only persist - with whatever suffering and injustice it entails - as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource and the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage in history, either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and concern itself with community interests guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control.
As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interest that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice require rational social planning in the interest of the community as a whole - and by now that means the global community. The question is whether priveledged elites should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must - namely to impose necessary illusions; to manipulate and deceive the "stupid" majority and remove them from the public arena.The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided.
In this possible terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may be essential to survival.
-the words of Noam Chomsky
from the film 'Manufacturing Consent'