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neoliberalism

What is the most credible conspiracy theory you know? [Translation from French version]

[This is a translation from the French version, "Quelle est la théorie du complot la plus crédible que vous connaissez?"] The mass media is the mouthpiece of the corporate world. It pretends to reflect the opinions of we masses but, in reality, it tries to create a perception that the exploitative economic system benefits us. Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent is about this conspiracy. Chomsky shows how people are convinced that the corporate media reflects the opinions and thoughts of ordinary people, even if it isn't true. Ordinary people continue to read the corporate media, believing that it will represent them. They finish up adapting to what is presented to them as the opinion of their equals, even though this is rarely true.

The idea of 'fake news' is a feature of this propaganda machine, which now characterises all criticism of its prejudices as 'fake news'. This distortion of reality is more exaggerated and obvious in video games and social media, which exploit a younger, naive, social cohort, who lack classical education.

I think that one of the principal results of this media has been the stigmatisation of nationalism. When you think of it, what other concept can unite a country? Initially, small localities resisted the notion of 'nations' because they feared that nations would overwhelm their self-determination, their identities, their societiies and their local economies. In many cases, they were right, although the French system of communes within the roman (Napoleonic) system, resisted this better than the Anglosphere systems.

Patriarchal values are not male values.

Feminists may say that the prevailing attitude of men has always been that women’s place is in the home. Well the truth is that until the industrial revolution, everyone’s place was in the home. Home was where families worked – together. Men did not go off to work in offices and factories until there were factories and offices to go to. For most of western history they worked on the farm or in the shop with their wives and children. It was only the industrial revolution that rendered families and communities asunder, culminating in the stereo-typical 1950’s housewife – at home, isolated and alone – in a way, and on a scale, never seen before in human history. This article asserts that neo-liberal values may rule more men but that they are not natural male values and that Christianity, for instance, although dominated by male figures, endorsed values opposite to liberalism. Comments welcome. Editor, Candobetter.net.

Don's party 2016 and the culture of opportunism - article by Sally Pepper

It was a hot night and twelve of us approached an impressive spread of endangered sea-creatures at a large table under cover outside. It was Don's birthday party. We had met him a few months ago at the local squash courts, and we only recognised four of the other guests, also squash players. I looked around me carefully. Would we all get on and have a laugh, reach furious agreement on something important, or would my friend and I be silenced in the face of others’ opinions in our effort not to make waves? Worse, would my partner open his big mouth? Unlike the 'old days' when it was so exciting to meet new people, on this particular evening I was plagued with doubt because of the strong political divides that are appearing in Australian society.

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