It has long been understood that a society that is based on the principle of "individual material gain" will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails as long as it is possible to pretend: that the destructive forces that humans create are limited; that the world has infinite resources; and that the world has an infinite garbage. At this stage of History, either one of two things is possible:
1. The population will take control of its own destiny and concern itself with community interests guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others; or
2. There will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority its going to set policy in the special interest that it serves. But the conditions of survival require rational social planning in the interest of community as a whole, and by now that means the global community.
The question is whether élites should dominate the media and should use this power as they tell us they must to manipulate the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena.
In this possibly terminal phase of History, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured: they may well be essential to survival.
1. Chomsky, Noam: Manufacturing Consent.
2. Forrester, Viviane: Une étrange dictature.
3. Fukuyama, Francis: The end of History and the last man.