US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
Commentary :: Education
The War of Everyday Life, manufacture of consent and watering down dept
24 Nov 2004
Modified: 06:24:39 AM
Of late i've been noticing a new deployment of coercion being reflected from a lot of college students. It appears that the Wizards of Is (or, Oz, pick your poison) have sent a new obfuscation order down to their implementers, or something where people's experiences and intuitions are reduced down to "mere opinions", while "reputable" views are somehow "more equal"!
sunbutton.jpg
You're not to figure this out, but the reality of our society is that there is a game being played. You read any dissident you can find, and read others, and you can start connecting the dots yourself. We continually get the same old techniques, designed, or "happening somehow" to water down the language and the concepts we use to try to think through all the obstacles we find in front of us.

Opinions
Re-defining words from their original intent has been called Newspeak, in line with George Orwell's book _Brave New World_. The latest Newspeak is the idea that informal individuals ("citizens", students, the public at large) hold mere *opinions*, and that is all that it is.

While, of course, "reputable" "authorities" have a curious monopoly on what has been called "facts" and "scientific observation" (supposedly free of the value assumptions of the profane masses).

Let's not bother, they say, with looking at what exactly supposedly constitutes "objective" awareness! That's not "the place" of "ordinary" folks, friend. Well, that's the basic effect, anyway, even if it's not spelled out directly.

Just MAKE SURE that you DO NOT take a read of those pesky 1960s and 70s dissidents whose writing has been mostly replaced by tons of "more reputable" media (at least in the places that count, i.e. municipal libraries)! They're "ancient history" after all! Significant paradigm challengers like Thomas Kuhn or Michael Polanyi or Paul Feyerabend or Theodore Roszak (specifically his book on the counterculture) are categorically out of bounds "for progress to be made"!

Nor should you even hear about a book called _Are We All Nazis?_ by Holocaust survivor Hans Askenasy! And DEFINITELY *DO NOT* under any circumstances, read _The Theology of Medicine_ by Thomas Szasz, MD! Or R.D. Laing's _The Politics of Experience_!

If you do undertake a self-instruction course of curiosity, then you'll begin seeing Oz (and *Is*) for what they actually be--behind the scenes sleight of hand as usual. Manufacture of consent, engineering of *opinion*. The meta game. Business as usual.

And you'll never get that comfy job in the so-called "elite" portions of the status quo! (As if such a "high place" is even really worth all the trouble! Sleight of hand, man, sleight of hand!)

Oooo, CONSPIRACY THEORY! No, institutional analysis, my dear watson.

How about so-called "reputable" authority in their own words? Noam Chomsky mentions a few in his speech "Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda" (ooo, there's another one that's been obfuscated--propaganda!). Chomsky mentions *public opinion leaders* like Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays, Reinhold Niebuhr, Harold Lasswell, and maybe someone else. The author of _Science of Coercion_, Christopher Simpson, mentions another crucial actor by the name of...sheesh, the name escapes me right now.

The basic reality is that so-called objectivity is itself a value-based assumption! The method takes some idea that has been established, say, that slaves who ran away from their Masters in the 1800s had a terrible mental illness called Drapetomania, and acts as though no sleight of hand is occurring whatsoever! They "just want to help", after all!

So, when "distinguished" professionals whom have successfully found ways to subordinate their individualities to ideology look at something, *they* automatically have "no emotional attachments" or such evil things that everyone who doesn't comply to the scientific faith has. What they do have is the backing of tyrannical power, like a government, which has permitted them to appear as though they are "reputable" and Trustworthy and etcetera.

How convenient! How handy! How thoughtful and friendly of Massa!

How about the idea of facts?
Facts are nothing without contexts. But you are not supposed to *have time* to look into contexts, and of course no mainline (or alternative, or "radical") media outlet worth their weight in hype spends *any time* with this, so thoughtful they are! Aren't they Nice?!

Take the "fact" that many minorities don't like white people for being "oppressors". That's a germ of truth, without context. The context is that minorities are to be kept corralled and mobilized when their "leaders" wish to mobilize them. They've been hyped-up by those they've been conditioned to trust, and led away from any really meaningful understanding of colonization and perpetual war. Because "the public" at large isn't "capable" of acting as our own agent, so goes the meta bigotry. That's another "fact" to which the context is, that we've been inundated and continually bombarded with ways to *keep us* hysterified and feeling incapable, and thus resorting to "the path of least resistance".

Okay, that's probably not a great example (but i was just itching to mess with that point!)...

The basic thing we've got to understand, tho, is that we're not SUPPOSED to be involved in leading our own understanding!

We're *supposed* to believe in and passively let established authorities allegedly "solve problems" (tho in reality, their game proves to perpetuate the undercurrent, while making cosmetic appearances of change!)


Take racism. You understand and are now finally encouraged to think through the stupidity of judging people based on race, but there are limits. You're not encouraged to, for example, question the popular idea that *white straight men* are "oppressors". As well, you'd better not "inappropriately" apply what you've learned about racism and sexism to some group that is right now being hauled through the hot coals of hysteria and fear! Otherwise, you might be called a witch yourself!

So this is an example of the bullshit game of "understanding" a portion of true oppression, while allowing the undercurrent which allows the same *type* of oppression *at large* to continue to perpetuate, until, with significant effort and momentum (of many decades or even centuries), social and cultural managers and their mainline, "alternative" and "radical" guard-dogs permit you to finally broaden your consciousness a little bit more.

Anyway, *all you have is an opinion* and while that's permitted, it's "not really very important, and you would do better to just shut up and go back to work, #4457939."

The bottom line is that you *don't have to* buy into these same old games, even if your Friendly Authority Figure says different!

SOURCES:
"The Propaganda Model" by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky (see at: www.zmag.org/chomsky/ni Chomsky's Media Control speech can also be found at zmag.org, albeit "edited" of much of its hard-hitting depth)

This work licensed under a
Creative Commons license
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.