John Swinton emigrated to Canada from Scotland and, later, to the United States. He began his journalistic career by contributing articles to the New York Times, whereupon he was eventually offered a position on the editorial staff. Working his way up, he became managing editor of the New York Times, and, later, managing editor of the New York Sun.
Swinton is well known for a speech that he gave one night at a dinner that was given in his honor in 1880. A colleague toasted the independence of the press and Swinton was quick to respond with the following:
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
"There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
"The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
"We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes.
We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our
talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other
men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert
M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers
of America, NY, 1955/1979.)
We encourage you to benefit from and copy this work.
Please remember that we are not universalists and do not believe that the principles contained herein would be of benefit to "all mankind."
We trust the ingenuity and resourcefulness of other peoples to come up with their own evolutionary strategies.
Ours assumes self-control, limiting one's consumption of natural resources and production of offspring, not overrunning and exhausting the earth, and other ethics of a distinctly North European flavor. This work should certainly be shared with other North Europeans.
All we ask is this: if you copy this work, have the honor to use it whole, as this is more representative of the greater body of spiritual writings from which it is excerpted and will avoid the taking of parts out of context.
The Gambanreiši Statement, printed since 1979
and offered as an on-line journal at
Comments are encouraged and welcomed.
Your input and submissions are important to us.
History & Perspective regarding this Gambanreiši Statement