[Marxism] Highly revealing Cockburn interview
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 20 10:17:32 MDT 2005
Which brings us to the Internet, yes?
The Internet, yes. I came late to the Internet, unlike the guy I work with,
Jeffrey St. Clair, my co-editor at CounterPunch. Ken Silverstein, who had
been my intern at The Nation, actually started it. I said, you get it
going, and if it works I'll step on board the raft. And it did. And we were
very happy to be selling 5,000 copies of a newsletter, and then Jeffrey
really showed what we can do with the Web. And now I think we have a
million hits a day, which translates to about 80,000 unique visitors a day.
People read it all over the world, including 30,000 people on U.S. military
What percentage of your readers did you say are on military bases?
There's about 30,000 a month on U.S. military bases reading CounterPunch.
Now that's pretty good, isn't it? If I said to you 30 years ago, "We're
gonna get pamphlets, and we're gonna go stand outside a U.S. military base
and leaflet--and hopefully we won't get our brains beaten in," we'd have
been happy if we'd have given away 500 leaflets. If we had actually managed
to get 500 leaflets into 500 hairy military hands--or delicate military
hands, like Lynndie England's, maybe--we'd have counted it a good day's
work. And here you've got 30,000 reading our seditious prose.
So, now that we all have access to the Internet, is that why things seem so
much worse politically than they did when only Noam Chomsky could access
that much information? Is Iraq that much worse than Vietnam?
No, no. But I think politics in the mainstream, the whole center of gravity
has moved to the right over the last 25 years. I'll give you an example. In
1976, I followed the candidates in the Democratic primary around. And there
was Jimmy Carter and Jerry Brown and Scoop Jackson and Fred Harris--a whole
range of people. And during that primary, there was a public interest group
on the left called Energy Action, and these guys were going around asking
all the Democratic candidates to sign on to their program. And their
program included vertical and horizontal divestiture of the energy
companies. That meant that if you were an Exxon, if you had an oil well,
you couldn't own a filling station, or a refinery, or a coal company. So,
in other words, it was breaking up the oil companies. Every single
candidate, from Scoop Jackson, who was of course totally in the pay of
Boeing, to Jimmy Carter to the lot of them. They all felt it necessary to
sign on to that. Even though they, of course, didn't have the slightest
intention of doing anything about it, with the possible exception of Fred
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