Well, here we are folks; our very first Recommended Reading post on ninaillingworth.com. As I get older, I often find myself literally amazed at the internet’s capacity to both inform and misinform in what was once, roughly equal measure. Unfortunately, over time, the rise of a powerful, cloistered and objectively corrupt corporate media structure has slowly eroded the balance between truth and lies, or at least heavily misrepresented information, online. So, it is that today, in the year two-thousand and sixteen, we can turn on our computers and instantly be bombarded by news, opinions and ideas literally crafted inside the boardrooms of thousands of corporations – many of which aren’t even actual media companies in any logical sense and are merely exploiting their relationships with giant media corporations to manufacture demand for their products or services.
Controlling your ideas, opinions and most importantly spending habits has become such a massive business that major media corporations are now establishing partnerships with thousands of smaller, content accumulation websites. Each of these “news” organizations take the same packaged, carefully designed corporate messages and cuts them into smaller and “dumber” chunks; summarizing and simplifying the exact same ideas, opinions and in some cases outright lies for larger and larger markets. While dissecting the minutiae of this process is far beyond the scope of this introduction, it is certainly fair to say that this constant bombardment of variations on the exact same theme has become a powerful force in politics, economics and the manufacturing of ideas. To paraphrase the late, and brilliant intellectual Marshall Mcluhan; the online “medium has become the message” and that message is all about the money my friends.
In light of the above, I can identify only one way to oppose the relentless, unstoppable opinion manufacturing machine that is rapidly migrating it’s primary base of operations from television to online formats, and that is to nurture, share and support to the best of my ability dissenting voices and truly worthy ideas or opinions in my daily life.
To this end, I have devoted a small section of my website, this section, to accumulating links to articles, essays and even the periodic video that I feel genuinely contributes to enlightening or informing us about the true nature of the world around us. Yes, this essentially amounts to a semi-regular “link dump” and yes, these links are going to trend toward socialist or at least anti-capitalist thoughts because I’m a pinko bleeding-heart leftist who shockingly believes the purpose of government is to serve the common people – imagine that radical, anarchist idea! What you won’t find here however, are manufactured opinions and lies that seek to obscure your understanding of society and in turn, actively make you “dumber.” No my friends and compatriots, we’re on a quest for enlightened, intellectual fulfillment and it simply won’t do to keep filling the temple of our minds with gross deceits and distortions. Our journey may at times take us to dark and disingenuous places (oh hello there Salon) but it is my sincerest hope that the links you’ll find here will help you and I learn, grow and ultimately change the nature of discourse in our lives. I don’t have a large platform to share, but one at a time and person by person, I hope that we can preserve the value of reason, objectivity and compassion in what is almost assuredly the most absurdly corrupt time in all of human history.
- Nina Illingworth
Links for March 31st, 2016
*As always, please be reminded that ninaillingworth.com retains no rights or responsibilities for these stories whatsoever; we just really think you should read them because they’re both enlightening and awesome. – NI
The Supreme Court Just Did Something the Supreme Court Shouldn’t Have to Do – personal favorite Charles P. Pierce at Esquire quickly examines the astounding implications behind a Wednesday SCOTUS ruling that may have (accidentally?) exposed one of the darkest unspoken truths of the American legal system. Does being impoverished enough to require a public defender constitute a violation of a plaintiff’s Sixth Amendment rights in America? Justice Kennedy may have at least implied as much in his dissenting opinion.
Bernie’s Right. Wall Street’s Business Model Really Is Fraud. – a curiously titled article from Richard Eskow at Huffington Post that lays out a basic, but detailed argument that modern financial industries openly seek to defraud customers, markets and governments expressly for profit; an opinion shared by Sanders and thus I assume, the reason for name dropping him in an article that’s otherwise entirely about fraud, banking and Wall Street.
The Realist’s Dilemma – Rodrigo Nunes at Jacobin takes a look at whether repeated compromise with big business and right wing political organizations have lead the Brazilian Worker’s Party into a coming Paraguayan-style coup. Although the article focuses entirely on the unfolding political situation in Brazil, many of the issues discussed within are equally relevant to westerners living under centrist governments that talk a good game about socialism but are in actuality, very much in bed with the very interests that oppose socialism in our societies.
The Anomaly of Barbarism – over at Lapham’s Quarterly, Professor John Gray (London School of Econmics) takes a thoughtful and scathing look at the folly of regime change and the cognitive dissonance behind assuming ISIS is an atavistic, radicalized cult clinging to the past; instead of the modern threat, born logically out of Western imperialism that it is. Lengthy, but absolutely worth it; few current writers are prepared to address this horrific situation in such clear, honest and thought provoking terms – a must read.
Paul Krugman: a Prizefighter for Hillary Clinton – Paul Street from Counterpunch examines the record and supposed objectivity of celebrated economist and New York Times columnist Professor Paul Krugman as it pertains to the 2016 Democratic Party nomination and the 2016 Election itself. Can shades of the 2008 primary season and attacks on future president Barrack Obama be found in Krugman’s recent discussion of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? Street certainly seems to think so.
- Nina Illingworth