Todd Gitlin Quotes

todd gitlin quotes



My position is not that John Kerry is either Jesus Christ or the prophet Mohammad. My position is that John Kerry is the possibility of restarting politics.


I am a realist as well as an idealist, and I think that it is incumbent upon those of us in opposition to try to work within what are always arduous circumstances to stretch the limits of the possible.


There is a fuzzy but real distinction that can and I believe should be made, between patriotism, which is attachment to a way of life, and nationalism, which is the insistence that your way of life deserves to rule over other ways of life.


The genius of the economic machine is in its ability to convert these indulgences into profitability. It converts desire into attention, a grip on our eyeballs and eardrums, which in turn can be marketed to advertisers.


So every day I'm mindful as I watch the Bush crowd extend their sway into policies of every imaginable variety, and over almost every square foot of earth, that the control of the American state is a matter of urgency.


As I write at the end, if we step back and face the enormity of the torrent, then we have taken the first step to imagining what we might want to do about it.


Like Americans, people outside America want fun, want an emotional compensation for the utilitarianism and calculation that mark the rest of their lives.


The manufacture of desire isn't at the heart - if it isn't absurd to speak of a heart - of the media torrent. Chronic dissatisfaction is at the heart of the matter.


The only people available to change the world are the people now living in it, with all the beliefs they bring along - however retrograde those beliefs may appear to those of us who see ourselves as enlightened.


American movies and music deliver themes of freedom, innocence, and power that appeal to others - partly because America itself was put together out of a multiplicity of national traditions.


I don't for the life of me understand how anybody could contemplate the results of the 2000 election in the US and say that electoral politics doesn't matter any more, and that Ralph Nader was right when he said there is no difference between the two parties.


I first came to think about media and politics in the late 1960s, having observed some distortions up close, but since then I wouldn't say that my personal experience has remained an important motive for my writing about media.


My book is focused on the power of the American state, not least because the government of the United States governs so much that the case could be made that everybody around the world ought to have a vote in determining some of its policies.


Some fine day, Democrats may figure out how to get on the right side of the value divide - how to define America as a place of the common good and not a playground of the strong.


The mobilisation which Bush has been able to perform since 11 September 2001 has to be fought - at least by Americans - in the name of a wise, honourable and democratic patriotism.




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