Democracy’s invisible line
The US writer Noam Chomsky talks about the mechanisms behind modern communication, an essential instrument of government in democratic countries – as important to our governments as propaganda is to a dictatorship.
When discussing whether there is a limit to how far the media can manipulate public opinion, Chomsky responded-
If Iran and the US were true democracies, in which the majority really decided public policy, they would undoubtedly have already solved the current nuclear disagreement. And there are other similar instances. Look at the US federal budget. Most Americans want less military spending and more welfare expenditure, credits for the United Nations, and economic and international humanitarian aid. They also want to cancel the tax reductions decided by President George Bush for the benefit of the biggest taxpayers.
On all these topics, White House policy is completely at odds with what public opinion wants. But the media rarely publish the polls that highlight this persistent public opposition. Not only are citizens excluded from political power, they are also kept in a state of ignorance as to the true state of public opinion. There is growing international concern about the massive US double deficit affecting trade and the budget. But both are closely linked to a third deficit, the democratic deficit that is constantly growing, not only in the US but all over the western world.
This is a good article discussing the use of media in our society, within our system and a totalitarian one. They may be different approaches, but have excellent propagandizing properties that contribute to their necessity to manipulate us, while adhering to their apparent beliefs in free speech or it's repression or manipulation.
in fact, the media exert greater influence over the most highly educated fraction of the population. Mass public opinion seems less influenced by the line adopted by the media.
- so you can see who this propaganda is really aimed at. The poor just generally distrust the government anyway so that leaves the arguments to be filtered down from the intellectuals through the corporations (our jobs)and on down to the general populace, where choice is an emotional issue that can be easily manipulated by lying, cheating and stealing- three modern day monkeys that work just as well as the old ones did.- see no, hear no, speak no- which has the effect of "knowing no" on all of us.
Violence is not enough to dominate people: some other justification is required. When one person wields power over another – whether they are a dictator, a colonist, a bureaucrat, a spouse or a boss – they need an ideology justifying their action. And it is always the same: their domination is exerted for the good of the underdog. Those in power always present themselves as being altruistic, disinterested and generous.
In the 1930s the rules for Nazi propaganda involved using simple words and repeating them in association with emotions and phobia. When Hitler invaded the Sudetenland in 1938 he cited the noblest, most charitable motives: the need for a humanitarian intervention to prevent the ethnic cleansing of German speakers. Henceforward everyone would be living under Germany’s protective wing, with the support of the world’s most artistically and culturally advanced country.
When it comes to propaganda (though in a sense nothing has changed since the days of Athens) there have been some minor improvements. The instruments available now are much more refined, in particular – surprising as it may seem – in the countries with the greatest civil liberties, Britain and the US. The contemporary public relations industry was born there in the 1920s, an activity we may also refer to as opinion forming or propaganda.
So while we all fall for their sweet words and empty promises by choice, chance or force, we should remember why we are here- to make them accountable to us and not to receive another false history course fed by false narratives from our bought and sold media and its rulers- the elites-
....journalists immediately reply: “No one has been exerting any pressure on me. I write what I want.” And it’s true. But if they defended positions contrary to the dominant norm, someone else would soon be writing editorials in their place. Obviously it is not a hard-and-fast rule: the US press sometimes publishes even my work, and the US is not a totalitarian country. But anyone who fails to fulfil certain minimum requirements does not stand a chance of becoming an established commentator.
Chomsky also states that-
It is one of the big differences between the propaganda system of a totalitarian state and the way democratic societies go about things. Exaggerating slightly, in totalitarian countries the state decides the official line and everyone must then comply. Democratic societies operate differently. The line is never presented as such, merely implied. This involves brainwashing people who are still at liberty. Even the passionate debates in the main media stay within the bounds of commonly accepted, implicit rules, which sideline a large number of contrary views. The system of control in democratic societies is extremely effective. We do not notice the line any more than we notice the air we breathe. We sometimes even imagine we are seeing a lively debate. The system of control is much more powerful than in totalitarian systems.
Totalitarianism or Democratarianism- no matter how much you look at them- they're differences result in them being too much alike. Methinks we've been hoodwinked again. Thanks to a bought out media that would never bite the hand that feeds them their info and dollars, we have been swindled into this nefarious plot by our own greed and ignorance.
I don't know where this quote comes from. I found it when cleaning out a tenants apartment- Shows a brooding unrest within the poorer parts of youthful society- We do not live in a true democracy. It is a term for global public relations. We are no longer citizens; we are consumers. In a real democracy, we would have access to all of the relevant information concerning our decisions. Most newspapers and TV news programs whitewash and bias the news. They dispense incomplete and distorted information that legitimizes and continues the status quo. This world is in serious trouble environmentally, socially, and politically. No one will ever explain the rules of the game, but we still have to play. We need to help and educate each other. We have no right to consume this planet until there is nothing left. Help another living being. Heal yourself. Hope for the future. Inaction is criminally negligent. Please become politically and socially active. Disobey every day.
FEEL. THINK. ACT.
Pass it on.
The anarchists manifesto perhaps.
Chomsky responded to this question-
Isn’t it the case that all forms of autonomous organisation based on anarchist principles have ultimately collapsed?
NC: There are no set anarchist principles, no libertarian creed to which we must all swear allegiance. Anarchism – at least as I understand it – is a movement that tries to identify organisations exerting authority and domination, to ask them to justify their actions and, if they are unable to do so, as often happens, to try to supersede them.
The future is bright but we must get past the propaganda pumped at us each day and accept that it is time to learn the truth about what it is we are upholding here.
Predatory capitalism is not much different than most totalitarian states philosophy. It's just the attitude we are fed about it that we have to rewrite and come to sense a new reasoning about what is real by becoming united in what we do know for sure- that we need each other- and we can't do this unless we learn that caring and sharing are our only real choices. By allowing us to be divided we will never progress and we will never mature past our childish infantile state.
Real socialism must get better press. It's the fine line between us and them that they tell us we must never cross. Reason leading to reality and truth are just concepts we have to find, since no one wants us to show it to us so we must learn it ourselves anyway. It must be the only solution we have left to us- the one they don't want us to have because for once, their words about equality would be for real.
We can beat their lying liars and their lying profits, by exposing their idea of reality and juxtappose it to the realities of living on this fragile planet. We can choose to say NO, and not just go along with it because we have no choice- we do have choices- they have just been propagandized out of us. We are a planet of wimps who love authority and so we inflict it upon each other for the sake of retaining our oppressive advantage. But while we're cheering the next candidates debate, perhaps we should remember what we're deciding here. More of the same old oppression and social control for a world that is on the brink of having to answer it's age old problems.
Is it worth it if we are all slaves to the oppressors? Perhaps martyrdom is our only true act of freedom we ever really had- outside of madness- or is that just another act of madness as well. Either way, the participant feels free for a while, and then is free forever, when it is fulfilled.
Come to think of it, our forefathers were right- All men are created equal- when they're dead.