Reader feedback: Middle class makes the difference

Re:Handling the truth, Editorial, September 22 - 28,2003, Volume 9, Number 36

There is no such thing as a free press since all press is dependent on its beneficiaries, be it government sponsorship or corporate advertising. Free press as it is presented here is dependent on corporate advertising, which basically means they need to sell copies. And that means they need to write things people want to read.

This brings us right back to the principal point of the article: "Do people want to know the truth about their government?" The answer seems obvious to most readers here and it is a very clear "No". The majority of people see the media as a source of entertainment rather than a source of information. That's why MTV will always get higher ratings than CNN.

So what does it take to get people interested enough in their government to actually make a change? In my opinion this can only happen through a strong intellectual middle class. It takes people whose economic and social situation allows them the time and the money to be involved in what their government is doing, without the ambition of becoming part of that government. Those are the people that are willing and able to use their economic power (the only real power in today's Western society) to make the truth known.

At the moment Slovakia, and many other countries, lack an intellectual middle class that is strong enough in numbers to make a change. This middle class will need to grow gradually out of the "lower" class that has been, until now, the majority. And I am confident that this will happen, through economic growth which in turn will (hopefully) foster better education.

I know that in Slovakia anyone who talks about social classes is quickly labelled a communist, so I would just like to say I am not a communist. I am a realist trying to figure out what makes the capitalist world we live in turn.

Jeroen Philippe,
Belgium

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