This is a collection of essays about the media, the environment, and the whole of humanity at the brink of extinction. As the demands of overpopulation and of an unsustainable consumer economy dry up existing natural resources and destroy vital ecosystems that we need to survive, the corporate-controlled media saturate worldwide audiences with a barrage of hypnotic images and narratives to stimulate over-consumption and to distract us from the consequences of rampant consumerism, while remaining silent about the systematic destruction of the environment and our future. Academicians from the across the sciences, the social sciences, the arts, and the humanities engage in an interdisciplinary discussion informed by a vision of an interconnected humanity and focused on the role of the media in forging public discourse. Contributors to the collection argue that today's media are failing humanity. Rather than providing pictures of reality on which the world's citizens can act, the corporate-controlled media are widely used as instruments of commercial and political propaganda, creating an immense web of images and narratives that their creators know to be not true--fabrications designed to sell, to manipulate, in a sense to enslave worldwide audiences. At the core of the discussion in this book is a utopian vision of one unified humanity--billions of people whose destinies and dreams are imbricated and interdependent, and who share the same world, the same habitats. It is a vision of a world that cherishes diversity but is also united--a world where our differences are no longer a cause for conflict and where separate countries or separate ethnic or religious communities no longer have to compete or wage war to exploit available resources. As extensions of humans, the media can be instruments of salvation instead of destruction, liberation instead of oppression. But first, we must recognize the challenges we face.
About the Author
Jean-Marie Kauth is associate professor of literature at Benedictine University. Luigi Manca is professor of communication arts at Benedictine University.