All too often, the phrase "corporate free press" is something of an oxymoron. Whether to maximise sales, to attract advertisers, or simply to promote the interests of their wealthy owners, the mass media open strange, self-serving and grossly distorted windows onto the world.
This website is another window. Here you'll find documentaries, lectures and interviews following a different editorial line.
The US company Raytheon is one of the largest arms manufacturers in the world, supplying guidance systems for many of the missiles and bombs used by US and Israeli forces in the Middle East. Raytheon systems guided the Qana bomb to the bunker where it blasted and crushed at least 51 people, including many children, to death.
In 2003 Robert Newman toured his one-man political/musical comedy show From Caliban To The Taliban – 500 Years Of Humanitarian Intervention, the precursor to his acclaimed A History of Oil which was filmed for More4, and his BBC TV series The History of the World Backwards.
In a breathtaking ninety minute performance filmed in front of a live audience at the Brighton Corn Exchange Theatre during the 2003 Paramount Comedy Festival, From Caliban To The Taliban details an unlikely but true history of modern imperialism, from the Virginia Company to the occupation of Iraq, and demonstrates the towering intelligence and sparkling wit of comedy superstar and former teen heart-throb, Robert Newman.
To mark the occasion of the latest step in the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, I bring you a 2006 interview (36 mins) with Noam Chomsky on Serbian TV.
As it becomes less and less possible to hold up the invasion of Afghanistan as the good war that justifies our imperialism, tame media pundits can still look back fondly upon the 1999 bombing of Serbia as a truly humanitarian intervention. In fact that war fits the pattern set by its successors: a propaganda fairy story of saving savages from each other to disguise the violent projection of Western power.
In the sixties too, the U.S. was engaged in an unpopular, unjustifiable and ultimately unwinnable war. Then, a whole generation of young men were drafted to fight, to die, and to kill in Vietnam. This is the story (50 mins) of how those young men said “no”.
Decades before the rise of Hitler, the German elites’ quest for Lebensraum led them to a more aggressive colonisation of their newly-acquired African territories, in what we now call Namibia. This culminated in the systematic annihilation of two native peoples, through slave labour and concentration camps. (h/t Popper’s List)
The African survivors’ descendants are still lobbying the German government for recognition and reparations for the genocide today, while many of the racial theories and demobbed soldiers went on to play important roles within the Freikorps and the Nazi movement. The genocide of the Armenians is now slowly gaining recognition, but the precursors to fascism in European imperialism remain a taboo subject.
To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history.