Tuesday, 6 April 2010

How the Corporations Broke Ralph Nader and America (and Australia), Too

I met Ralph Nader briefly in the 70’s when I helped organise one leg of his Australian tour. He struck me as a good man.

So I was interested to read How the Corporations Broke Ralph Nader and America, Too by Chris Hedges in TruthDig.com about the intentional marginalisation of Nader by corporate America.

Among other things, I was fascinated by the account of how the big end of town copied Nader’s own tactics, establishing “lavishly funded think tanks and conservative institutes to churn out ideological tracts that attacked government regulation and environmental protection … and … organizations to monitor and pressure the media to report favourably on issues that furthered corporate interests…”

Which got me to thinking about the plethora of right-wing think tanks established and funded by corporate Australia in recent decades to represent their interests over all others.

Judging by the daily column inches and airspace given over to the likes of the Australian Business Foundation, the Brisbane Institute, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, the Centre for Independent Studies, the HR Nicholls Society, the Institute of Public Affairs, the Lowy Institute, the Menzies Research Centre, and the Sydney Institute (to name a few) it is clear that the same tactic is a work here. Supported so enthusiastically by big media of course.

Other suggested reading:

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