JOURNALISTS, PROFESSORS, LEGISLATORS: What do they have in Common?

By Alex Vavoulis

All three have become victims of the Corporate State; they are all victims of the capitalist class because the three provide fertile ground for the capitalist to improve its income; it is their primary motivation. In this article it will identify the character of each victim, each is different, but for the capitalist this is of no consequence; the bottom line is the ultimate prize.

In the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution it says: “Congress

shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of people to peaceably assemble for a redress of grievances.”

Paul Craig Roberts, a U.S. Newspaper critic, a former Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Economic Policy and Assistant Editor of the Wall Street Journal, has given speeches on how the press falls short of the First Amendment. He blames the failure of the U.S. Media to serve the public interest “on the vast consolidation of the media in the hands of only six companys.” In a speech in Mexico recently, he also said that: “the U.S. Press is no longer run by journalists; it’s run by former government officials and corporate advertising executives.” Roberts believes that the loyalty of real journalists is to the truth, not a government. . .ïf major newspapers allow corporations to influence what they print because of fear of losing advertising revenues, Democracy is in peril.”

Several months ago, Jacobin, an internet web site, published a speech by Noam Chomsky with the title: “The Death of American Universities.” It

is reminiscent of a book published in 1979 by Kenneth A. Seib, at that time a Professor of English at California State University, Fresno. The title of his book is “The Slow Death of Fresno State.” The name of the institution at the time of the events he writes about was Fresno State College.

When the Seib book was recently published as an e-book, the author wrote a Forward for the new publication in which he spoke of the professors and administrators who were responsible for the Slow Death of a College. He writes: “Their model for the institution is the corporation, its president a CEO hired often at a six figure salary –to oversee its workers (faculty & staff) for a Board of Directors who have little contact with the daily activities of the institution itself.”

In 2015, Chomsky, Professor Emeritus in Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in his speech: “When universities become corporatized, as has been happening quite systematically over the last generation as part of the general neoliberal assault on the general population, their business model means that what

matters is the bottom line. . .the effective owners are the trustees (or the

legislators, in the case of state universities), and they want to keep costs

down and make sure the labor force is docile and obedient.”

The legislators and the entire governing apparatus in the U.S. are victims of the Corporate State. This is very important , because it is pernicious and affects the body politic and the democratic process. In the 1950s a book by Professor Helen Sullivan was published in Greece. She was educated at Cornell University and did her thesis under the renowned European historian, Carl L. Becker. In 1935, on a Guggenheim Fellowship, she went to Spain to begin her research that would eventually lead to the publication of a 728-page book with the title: “The Communal Mind and the Master Artifice.”

Sullivan writes a fascinating account of the community wars; these were communities fighting against unjust centralized power which developed in Spain. Her research took her to England and writes about how the British Monarchy deliberately transformed the local traditions in order to construct the Anglo-Saxon system of parliamentary representative government and capitalism. This form of government exists today in the U.S. and Europe and in many other parts of the world. Although the Sullivan book was written more that 50-years ago, its basic themes are still relevant today.

The present day globalization, that is, centralized power on a large scale—and the ever growing threat to the world economy, make the historical conclusions of Sullivan vital, not only for scholars, but for everyone concerned with the future of humanity. In the U.S. there is an obvious threat to the democratic process as corporate people like the Koch Brothers plan to inject almost a billion dollars into the presidential campaign in 2016.

It is not surprising that Evangelos Venizelos, a Constitutional Professor and a Greek Statesman wrote a forward to the Sullivan book. It part he wrote: “With remarkable skill, Helen Sullivan handles the vast richness of her sources. . .I am convinced that in the very near future this book will have become a point of reference in scholarly discussions throughout the world.”

It follows from the above that the professionals in the three categories cannot be allowed to perform in the manner that they were educated and trained. Forces in society are constantly preventing the individuals from adhering to the ideals and ethics of their chosen profession. It each case it is due to outside forces with different motivations and goals. The journalist cannot report news from the point of view of the public interest, professors cannot always speak truth to power, and the legislators cannot escape the temptation of business lobbyist. In all cases it is the Corporate State that is the toxic influence that prevents individuals from living according to the ideals of a democracy and, in general, transforming material into spirit.

*****

Dr. Vavoulis is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fresno. He is an Honorary Board Member of the Sword of Zeus Project, and was President of the Fresno Free College Foundation for 20-years and is Founder of KFCF Radio.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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