Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Aiming for a Frame--Help. 

Via AP:
Speaking on the 63rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Bush was to express appreciation for the troops' service and their families' sacrifice, especially during the holiday season. He also was to suggest ways Americans can actively support the troops.

Several options include a Defense Department program called "America Supports You," designed to showcase support for the military from individuals, businesses and groups as a way of encouraging others to do the same.

Media control. Support our troops. Danger all around us. Be afraid. Wait! Look, a nurse handing out condoms to teenagers!

...Let me begin by counter-posing two different conceptions of democracy. One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free....

An alternative conception of democracy is that the public must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. That may sound like an odd conception of democracy, but it's important to understand that it is the prevailing conception....

Duh! I read this from Chomsky ten years ago. How could I forget?

The bewildered herd is a problem. We've got to prevent their rage and trampling. We've got to distract them. They should be watching the Superbowl or sitcoms or violent movies. Every once in a while you call on them to chant meaningless slogans like "Support our troops." You've got to keep them pretty scared, because unless they're properly scared and frightened of all kinds of devils that are going to destroy them from outside or inside or somewhere, they may start to think, which is very dangerous, because they're not competent to think. Therefore it's important to distract them and marginalize them.

When you have total control over the media and the educational system and scholarship is conformist, you can get that across... The picture of the world that's presented to the public has only the remotest relation to reality. The truth of the matter is buried under edifice after edifice of lies. It's all been a marvelous success from this point of view in deterring the threat of democracy, achieved under conditions of freedom, which is extremely interesting. It's not like a totalitarian state, where it's done by force. These achievements are under conditions of freedom. If we want to understand our own society, we'll have to think about these facts. They are important facts, important for those who care about what kind of society they live in. Media Control

Wow--there's a lot in there. This is the model of democracy we are exporting under the gun. Support the troops—nevermind the policy. Look, over there—it’s a (insert scare du jour). But as malleable as this “democracy” is to the regime, aWol himself said that a dictatorship is easier.

Maybe someone smarter than me and less academic than Chomsky can frame this in a more useful way.

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