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"For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments."[
“In 1991 the [Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, DC] did an exhaustive analysis of network news and New York Times stories on the rapidly recovering U.S. economy. An astounding 96 percent of stories about the general economy were negative in tone; pessimism occupied 87 percent of the stories on real estate, 88 percent of the features on the auto industry, and a perfect 100 percent of stories on manufacturing. [Now] the intervening years have produced one of the longest economic expansions of the postwar era, [it] looks positively foolish.”
“In previous centuries, the Church was the great controller, dictating morality, stifling free expression and posing as conservator of all great art and music. Today we have television dictating fashions, thoughts, techniques but doing it so palatably that no one notices. Instead of "sins" to keep people in line, we have fear of being judged unacceptable by our peers (by not wearing the right running shoes, not drinking the right kind of beer or wearing the wrong kind of deodorant), and fear of imposed insecurity concerning our own identities. Borrowing the Christian sole salvation concept, television tells people that only through exposure to TV can the sins of alienation and ostracism be absolved.”
“Television has become the resident priest of Trash, catering almost entirely for thrill-seekers with short-attention spans. Adverts are quick and shocking, programs are simplistic and moronic. Although more educated content exists it is unpopular. Thankfully the government takes a strong hand in monitoring domestic channels for content and worth, otherwise I suspect local TV would be almost entirely lost to stupidity & contentless entertainment.”
“One of the reasons I highlight the effect on mass media on democracy is that the media is a big influence on most of us, frequently greater than both peer pressure and parental controls. How many parents sit their children in front of the TV in their most formative years just to keep them from being a 'nuisance'? It thoroughly informs all of us with specific cultural mores that are stoic, commercialist, short-term, thrill-seeking, unintelligent and moronic.”
"One view, that of Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt school, is that the popular media exist to dull people's minds and get them to accept the work and consumption patterns that are needed to sustain capitalism"
“If the masses are stupid, democracy doesn't work. The government has to rule by stealth, tricking the people through things that merely sound good but in intelligent society promoting and doing things that are good, or democracy shoots itself in its foot and causes the downfall of the nation into an anarchic mess. Shallow policies do not make for good government, but, most stupid people vote on shallow issues. The solution is to trick the stupid people into voting for you or to educate them. A good-intentioned deception is nearly always much easier and will never be dispensed with, the only alternative is to restrict voting for uneducated people. This is the dilemma of modern Western democracy!”
“Politicians come to rely on appearances, slogans and image rather than substance and content. This is because the masses do not have the ability to understand the content, statistics, the sociology of required changes: they only understand the surface patterns, the veneer. You end up with people being concerned with outrage and shock more than issues. Naom Chomsky is an intelligent critic of the way modern democracy works. This employing of "dumbed down" politics, which is really nothing more than a soap opera and just as shallow, is summarized by Chomsky into what was known as the "Mohawk Valley Formula" [Chomsky 1991]: The use of hollow slogans and shallow campaigns for the stupid masses. Because while parties still explore issues and produce in-depth papers and analysis, it's only the intelligent minority that understand them. As a result of stupidity and trash culture, democracy is threatened because the masses votes are not hinged on pertinent factors but on frivolous ones.”
“The low turnout of voters affects the authority of governments who are keenly sensitive to the erosion of their legitimacy. [...] In 1997, New Labour was backed by only 31 per cent of those qualified to vote, voter turnout at this election was the lowest since 1945. [...] The 1999 UK elections to the European Parliament brought a turnout of 23 per cent - and in one Sunderland polling station, only 15 people turned up out of the 1000 entitled to vote. In the 2001 General Election, apathy emerged as the dominant issues under debate - and the turnout was an all-time low of 59 per cent.”
“Large multinational companies are able to outmanouvre and ignore local governments, which sometimes places them above-the-law. Mass stupidity and voter apathy means that the people normally vote (if they vote at all) on short-sighted, shallow and unimportant issues, which reduces the ability of government to make required sacrifices to overcome long-term problems. If the people vote on good-sounding but shallow policies, only good-sounding but shallow (short-term) parties will be elected. This is potentially disastrous and represents the biggest threat to democracy.”
“The lack of intelligence in the content of poor quality media has an effect on the quality of democracy; leaders are forced to circumvent the wills of the masses simply because the masses are misinformed and have been prompted to care about shallow issues by the press and TV.”
There is a very proven link between reality and the impact of TV reality. Issues that appear in “soaps” tends to become very large issue in the times, whether its racism, sexism, violence, whatever. We see it, we talk about it, we correlate it with what we see in news segments and the process of how we form reality is contaminated by a false sense of what reality is.
Originally posted by silver6ix
Also I believe that knowledge isnt as widespread as you suggest. While educated people may well know in some cases, I can assure you its not the rule of thumb.
As for patronising, unfortunately truth is truth. Theres a very heavy weight of theory behind all of the contests, beyond that it correlates with the polls, statistics and facts of life. Im afraid while it may seem patronising, its simply something which exists in the modern world.
Uk Id cards, never going to happen, people dont want them, cant do it. That was the position 15 years ago.
Now what? 15 years of media saturation on "illegal immigrants" and social fears regarding immigrancy and illegal aliens. Whats come in now?
Thats right, national ID cards biometric IDs for immigrants. Next step? Positive publicity, saturation of the success, ohh look ID cards work and in 5-10 years everyone carries biometric ids.
Originally posted by damagedoor
Silver - in all honesty, I'm struggling with this. I may be wrong, but it feels to me like you've very recently discovered these writers and are now throwing your course notes out in a fit of enthusiasm.
Which is exactly what I expected. You thought your course notes were impressive and so threw them out there, but, when questioned, you were unable to find an answer so retreated to "Erm... I've got a degree so trust me that the answer's there". Did they teach you what an 'appeal to authority' was?
It's ironic, because nobody would accept your approach from a skeptic; you would be the first to condemn it. "Trust me - that object is a fighter jet. I know, I've studied them." "Which fighter jet?". "Erm ... it's obvious, but I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to study them too".