Who Wins Today's Godwin Award?
Is it … Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, talking on Capitol Hill today about health care obstructionistas?
You think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough.
Nope! It's old-timey media futurist Douglas Rushkoff, recipient of the Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Intellectual Activity (no, really!) talking about–shudder–free journalistic content online:
Unless something is done to address the issue, Rushkoff said, professional journalism could collapse leaving society to rely on an army of online amateurs.
"There is a tremendous value to a literate, self-expressive amateur society that can't be overemphasised. At the same time, when corporations and governments are employing highly-professional communications managers, it requires that people have professional journalists who can deconstruct all this public relations.
"People will not understand that until they are living in something akin to fascism."
I for one am guessing that people's ability to understand will actually be hampered by fascism, but maybe that's why I don't win Intellectual Activity awards.
Interestingly (or not), Rushkoff has been banging the fascism gong for years. Here he is in a pre-9/11 Adbusters:
We are so inundated by the free market's rhetorical whitewash that we are fast approaching what can only be labeled "market fascism": a social contract that can no longer tolerate any opinion or event that doesn't serve the speculative economy.
Or in 2006, answering R.U. Sirius's query about whether we are already living in a fascist state with a hearty, "Yeah, for sure we do." Or in March of this year, advocating some kind of Disaster Anti-Fascism:
The current financial crisis is the best opportunity we have had in a very long time for a bloodless revolution against the faceless fascism under which we have been living, unaware, for much too long. Let us seize the day.