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Customer Review

on 9 July 2001
A powerful book that blows apart the myth that we are 'free' societies. It brings a clarity and insight to the way we are manipulated by a captive media working to a self-policing paradigm. We make a Faustian compact - get on the consuming bandwagon and find power and status but at the price of losing our sanity. We are missing the information that is 'filtered out' by a system of mass communication that only tells us what is necessary to keep us in buying mode.
In many ways we are worse informed than we were 50 years ago. I feel this myself in my own field of nutritional anthropology. Common wisdom about how we should be feeding ourselves has been obliterated and replaced by a modern dysfunctional paradigm that only serves to seduce people into eating ever more processed and inappropriate foods - because that is what "shifts product" and builds short-term profits.
This book gives one the arguments and strength to resist the blandishments of corporate driven advertising. Much more, it makes it clear that we will only find a true harmony and peace in life if we actually DO something about this situation. We have to take control of our own destiny - no one will do it for us. And we must do it leaving ourselves open to doubt. False certainties that are at odds with reality are a great source of psychological stress in modern society.
I have a couple of niggles. For example, in the author's rush to condemn corporate driven profit motives he derides perfectly understandable fears (in human evolutionary terms) of mass immigration. It is perfectly normal for the baby wrens, turfed out of the nest by a newly hatched cuckoo, to be upset by it. Indeed, it is the brushing aside of these fears by well meaning authorities that lead to the psychological distress of multiculturalism. Nothing to do with corporate profits.
In his enthusiasm for attacking shibboleths the author lashes out unfairly at some vulnerable targets. For example, he manages to drill down very deep into Darwin's writings to find an excuse for calling Darwin a 'racist'. The author had to drill past all the other matter that demonstrates Darwin's humanity. (Darwin was immensely upset by the slavery of Brazil). This is one case where the term 'racist' has become just a six-letter term of abuse that can be made to mean whatever the user wishes it to mean.
These are just a couple of minor points which demonstrate that even the author is not exempt from false certainties! Still a great book - thought provoking and an escape route for people trapped in the despair of modern Western society.
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