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July 18 , 2009

Free to be Human

Intellectual Self-defence in an Age of Illusions


This is a book about freedom, and above all about the idea that there is often no greater obstacle to freedom than the assumption that it has already been fully attained. While in the West few individuals today suffer physical restraint by the state, we are still constrained by powerful psychological chains which are in many ways far more effective, if only because they are so difficult to perceive. Influential writers such as Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman have shown that the corporately controlled mass media of Western democracies serve as a giant filter system favouring powerful state and business interests: what we receive as objective news about domestic politics, human rights and environmental issues, is in fact an extremely partial and biased view of the world. Free to be Human shows how the same filter system distorts our understanding of many personal, ethical and spiritual issues, ensuring that we remain passive, conformist, confused and uninformed and willing to accept the irrational values of corporate consumerism. David Edwards argues that, in order to counter this continual process of disinformation and disempowerment, we need to master the arts of intellectual self-defence and so become able to challenge the deceptions of a system that subordinates people and planet to the drive for profit.
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