Complex Reality is the Key to Saving Our Democracies

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow, father of modern broadcast journalism

Dear Subscriber,

Having been both a mainstream journalist and a writer of TV news, I understand what the famous war correspondent and television journalist, Edward R. Murrow, meant when he told his audience at an awards banquet that:

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men – not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.”

I have the same problem with my historical and complex fiction. The people of today don’t want to think too deeply about any problem. The folks who enjoy my fiction usually enjoy that “deep thinking” is part of finding the “real truth” about any issue. They prefer reading rather than memes and talking heads. They prefer researching on their own rather than “executive summaries.”

What I detest most about mainstream journalism is the fact that the other sides of an issue are rarely, if ever, covered or even hinted at. Once the story is about a foreign ally, or a “too big to fail” corporate entity, for example, we never hear how that ally might be at fault or if there are other ways of viewing the entire confrontation.
Also, with all the gun deaths we’re experiencing, we never hear about how the gun manufacturers are running things in Congress (in the Fed and in the States). These corporate perpetrators of the violence cannot be sued, for example, by any victims in the public sector. And, of course, we’ve already seen what happens when a soldier dies from “friendly fire” (one of the most egregious Orwellian terms ever created). The government is never the bad guy, in these instances, so the families have to take the brunt of the “patriotic service” with a dead son or daughter, including the civilian patriots who died on 9/11/01.
What is happening to this country, I can now readily see, is the gradual and sophisticated nationalization of corporate welfare, in the name of “more jobs,” and “better economical progress.” When, in fact, we are running up a national debt of 31 trillion dollars, and it is foreign governments who play us, like mainland China, who has over 30% student enrollment at MIT from the mainland, and in many other high tech positions. Not to mention the secret spies who are attempting to set-up hidden police forces in the public’s midst!
This complex article fairly assesses what I’m talking about, referencing a recent 60 Minutes program that was “supposed” to be bringing opposite sides together, with Oprah, to discuss what is driving a wedge between them.
I became an independent author after getting screwed-over by both my agent and by the Harcourt-Brace publisher in 1995. In my opinion, publishing has only gotten worse today. With the advent of AI, the problems will soon escalate beyond our wildest dystopian novels, in my considered opinion. Unless we begin allowing complexities in our reading and in our discussions, we will soon reach a critical mass, as we used to say at Caltech. Only the Black Hole will save us.
Have a great weekend, and keep reading and writing. The only sane method to keep a democracy truthful.
James Musgrave
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