Links to source material are provided in the pattern listings for several purposes:
- They enable readers to check for themselves that quotes have not been taken out of context.
- They can offer further clarification to the points made in the pattern listings.
- They can form the basis for readers to research a topic more deeply, especially where the quoted material is supported by links to its own sources.
In electronic versions of the Patterns of Power books, the source material can almost always be retrieved by clicking on the link. The URLs are listed in the endnotes of paper versions. If source item has been removed from the Internet, it can quite often be retrieved by using its complete title or several words of a sentence within inverted commas on Google for example.
Choice of Sources
Sources have been chosen partly for the durability of the Internet links. Preference has been given to sites which maintain material online for many years, so that readers are not frustrated by the disappearance of the relevant items. This accounts for the heavy preponderance of quotations from the BBC and The Economist.
Endorsement of Source Content
When a quotation is used in one of the pattern listings, or in blog posts, it is only to clarify the point being made and to indicate that the view being expressed is not solely Hugh Winter’s opinion. It does not imply editorial agreement with the rest of the quoted book or article.
The BBC has an editorial policy of neutrality, upon which its licence depends, so it has been taken as the source of choice when seeking a simple statement of facts.
The Economist offers opinions which promote free trade and have often supported neoliberalism, as described in the article Liberalism According to the Economist; the articled noted, however, that the magazine has more recently shifted towards a “pragmatic liberalism …a grudging response to democratic pressures from below”. The editorial position of PatternsofPower.org is that power ought always to be at least minimally acceptable to everyone who is subject to it (2.3); the pattern listings include criticisms of both neoliberalism (3.5.9) and libertarianism (188.8.131.52) on that basis.