Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Liberal press and Arundhati Roy

  Photograph: Tom Pietrasik courtesy of the Guardian
"The nation state is such a cunning instrument in the hands of capitalism now. You have a democracy that strengthens the idea of the nation as a marketplace."
Arundhati Roy
The Guardian has this typically "liberal press" piece on the Indian writer, activist and radical Arundhati Roy which supposedly celebrates her political radicalism, but actually patronizes and trivializes her.

Why do journalists who write for "liberal newspapers" find it so difficult to engage with those who propose radical ideas and who shine the light on the brutality of imperial war and/or the excesses of corporate and political elites.

Instead of engaging seriously with the issues, liberal journalists too often display their mistrust and suspicion of radical thinkers and their ideas by falling back on all the rhetorical devices of supposedly objective journalism.

Here's Chris Hedges from his book The Death of the Liberal Class.
"The liberal class's disposal of its most independent and courageous members has long been part of its pathology"


Jim Johnson said...

Colin - The answer to your question is simple: "Because liberals are not radicals or progressives." They want to engage in what Roberto Unger calls the "humanization of the inevitable" instead of questioning inevitability of the inevitable. - Jim

Colin Penter said...

Cheers Jim. I was not familiar with Unger's work or the quote and look forward to reading more of his work. Thanks for your interest and for your fine blog, which I visit daily and find so challenging and stimulating.