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This report is taken from PN Review 81, Volume 18 Number 1, September - October 1991.

Comment C.H. Sisson
One cannot be old without having lived through a number of public confusions. No need to stir new furies by recapitulating the errors of the past. But the errors of the present? They are, of course, precisely the opinions which are generally thought to be right. The shine has already come off the notion that the market is an oracle which decides what is best for everyone by simply doing sums. Still flourishing, however, in the skulls of all liberal-minded people is a belief that in the nineties -a time still set to rank ahead of all the decades which have actually taken place, and made a mess of things, each in its own manner - 'our problems' (and we have some) can be solved only by a process of Europeanization.

One may listen for hours to politicians and commentators, to find them competing in vagueness and ignorance, occasionally even in neat little ideas which do not, however, belong to the real world. It is of course the trade of the media operators to ensure that, so far as the general public is concerned, the real world should be phased out and replaced by the dominant fantasies of television, radio and the grande presse. When nothing is heard publicly which does not come from one of these centres of vast investment, all will be well. It must be supposed that journalists at large have no more clear understanding of the functions of their profession than they have of the ...


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