While I’ve been knitting I’ve enjoyed listening to Raoul Martínez talking about his project Creating Freedom. It seems radical, admirable and beautiful, especially in comparison to my own current project, a minute-by-minute log of the output of Radio 4’s Today programme with pie-charts.
I liked that he talked about how we like to restrict democracy to voting in elections but it’s rare to see it applied elsewhere, at work, for example, or at school.
I was particularly struck when he pointed out the difference between bounded and unbounded empathy. Bounded empathy is encouraged, especially in the form of patriotism. A scarier example is the feeling of brotherhood you might create in a military unit, this being the best way to persuade men to kill strangers. Meanwhile unbounded empathy is a thoroughly radical proposition which would turn our world upside down. Empathy for every living being on the planet. Imagine.
I’m not saying I’ve read all of Noam Chomsky, but the idea of Manufacturing Consent hasn’t gone out of date just because of the rise of social media and the impact of fake news. In fact it’s more relevant than ever today as our public service broadcasting has started to play by the same rules as commercial media. Where do you begin protesting first? Who do you trust? Where do you go to find out about the world ?