On the 6th of January 2015, an informational event was hosted by us at the Muffatwerk that shed light on issues that are crucial to the current and future order of our global society. The focus was on the significance and role of whistleblowers, the alternative-independent media and activism amd involved experts from the media, science and intelligence services.
Background info to the event:
In an era of economic globalization through the capture of the state, wealth and privilege have been concentrating in the hands of unaccountable private power. Wikileaks and the revelations of the NSA documents exposed by Edward Snowden have provided us glimpses into the clandestine and entrenched relationship between private wealth and the state which have had significant implications on the Western democracies.
What is the role of the alternative media, whistleblowers and activists in such a world? What has history taught us when private power and the state coalesce? What mechanisms are available to the public in order to revive democratic tendencies in a given society?
These questions and many more were answered by our discussion panel which included Noam Chomsky, Paul Jay and Annie Machon.
Experts on the discussion Panel:
Noam Chomsky is one of the most important intellectuals of our time and since the 1960s he has been one of the most vocal critics of US policies both at home and abroad. His 1988 book, “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media” explains scientifically how the mainstream media serve as powerful ideological institutions that shape public opinion and carry out a system-supportive propaganda function. He is a role model for all whistleblowers, activists and alternative-independent media outlets. Prof. Chomsky is also a Professor Emeritus of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and his scientific contributions in linguistics have not only revolutionized the field itself but have also had wide reaching impacts on philosophy, cognitive science, sociology, etc.
Former British MI5 intelligence agent turned whistle-bower, Annie Machon, joined us to discuss the ramifications that a powerful surveillance state has on democracy. In 2005, Machon published her first book, “Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair” in which she offers criticism of MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) based on her experiences with the two agencies whilst in the employment of MI5. She is currently the European Director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition).
Paul Jay is the CEO and Senior Editor of The Real News Network. He has overseen the production of over 7000 news stories and is the host of TRNN news analysis programming. Previously, he was Executive Producer of CBC Newsworld’s independent flagship debate show counterSpin for its 10 years on air. He is an award-winning documentary film-maker with over 20 films under his belt including Hitman Hart, wrestling with shadows; Return to Kandahar; and Never-EndumReferendum.
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