Gender and racial discrimination, surveillance, exploitation and so forth are only effects. The real problem is – that it is possible to suppress the people by false Science or false descriptions of the world – that supports Might Is Right. Or like this. We are not genuine citizens.

13 February 2018

Chomsky and Herman – How The Propaganda Machine Produce Consent by Rejecting Alternatives




The brilliant animation of the Propaganda model, that demonstrates how the political élite and their massmedia keep the people in a false reality where the People can only Accept how it is and Obey, is published by Al Jazeera English’s media analysis show The Listening Post.

The Propaganda model was introduced in the book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy (1988) written by Edward S. Herman (1925–2017) and Noam Chomsky.

This is the first post in a series about the perspectives and work of the linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky can easily be said to be the most prominent radical critic of the current Western culture.

I will give the basics, present the best videos that I have found and I will also try to explain Chomsky's arguments from the perspective of Platonism.

This post will be changed/updated as some of the material will be placed in later posts.



Contents of this Post

The Decisive Difference Between Chomsky and Me

Propaganda and Platonism

Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann

Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky and Herman

The Propaganda Model

Communism in the USA and the Concept Flak

Noam Chomsky on Manufacturing Consent – Video

More Links



The Decisive Difference Between Chomsky and Me


I demonstrate how the People of the West are forced into servitude by Platonism that in practice are hidden religious dogmas; proclaimed to be, for example, Reason or Science.

Chomsky says that the People are forced to servitude and does not, what I know of so far, present any main reason or method, except the passion of total power and money, for how this suppression is accomplished.



Propaganda and Platonism

Summary of Platonism: The False Democracy is Based on False Science – The Minimum Requirements To Get It

The People can be fooled by Propaganda because they have been trained to take for granted that to understand is the same as to Accept and Obey or to Worship authority.

Accordingly can the People not ask for Cause, Effect and Context as concrete understanding is outside of to Worship authority.

Or like this.

The study of Propaganda as well as the Propaganda model is at first concrete and systematic when you know the basics of Platonism and the Dualistic ideal that is integrated in Platonism.

Here is a brief explanation.

The current Western culture is based on the ideal or worldview that is formally called Platonism.

Platonism means in practice that only what the Ruler or the ruling elite demands is concrete or real; whereas the perspectives of the people is unreal or mystical.

The desired effect is, of course, that whatever you say that is not according to the official perspective can be rejected.

The formal definition of this function is that the current Western culture is based on the Dualistic principle or Dualism where the demands of the Ruler is in the Positive position whereas the perspective of the people is the Negative position.

This means that Propaganda is to actively use the Negative position where the Peoples hopes and fears can be manipulated (without any connection to what actually can be proved or demonstrated).

Accordingly can, for example, the Propaganda promotes Diversity when the formal rules, at the same time, demand Conformity. The result is that the victims are forced to believe that Conformity is the same as Diversity; as the hard or concrete demands of the Positive position decides in the real world.

All in all. Propaganda, in the current Western culture, can promise whatever as there are no concrete relations between the propaganda and what they force you to think and do.

It can also be said that the very existence of Propaganda is a powerful evidence of the importance of Imagination; and the reason why you are forbidden to understand the concrete functions of Imagination.



Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann

The concept “the manufacture of consent” was coined by Walter Lippmann (1889–1974) in his book Public Opinion published in 1922.

Herman and Chomsky say the following in the Preface of Manufacturing Consent.
...
The social importance of propaganda in what Walter Lippmann referred to as the "manufacture of consent" has long been recognized by writers on public opinion, propaganda, and the political requirements of social order. ...
Google Books

Here follows a part of the text, of Public Opinion, where “the manufacture of consent” is mentioned the first time and that is at the end of Chapter XV – Leaders and the Rank and File (Rank and File is the workers not the leaders).

I have broken up the text in more paragraphs here to make it easier to read.


The established leaders of any organization have great natural advantages. They are believed to have better sources of information. The books and papers are in their offices. They took part in the important conferences. They met the important people. They have responsibility.

It is, therefore, easier for them to secure attention and to speak in a convincing tone. But also they have a very great deal of control over the access to the facts. Every official is in some degree a censor. And since no one can suppress information, either by concealing it or forgetting to mention it, without some notion of what he wishes the public to know, every leader is in some degree a propagandist.

Strategically placed, and compelled often to choose even at the best between the equally cogent though conflicting ideals of safety for the institution, and candor to his public, the official finds himself deciding more and more consciously what facts, in what setting, in what guise he shall permit the public to know.

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough.

The creation of consent is not a new art. It is a very old one which was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy. But it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technic, because it is now based on analysis rather than on rule of thumb.

And so, as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power.

Within the life of the generation now in control of affairs, persuasion has become a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government. None of us begins to understand the consequences, but it is no daring prophecy to say that the knowledge of how to create consent will alter every political calculation and modify every political premise.

Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart.

Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.

Read Public Opinion as this book is simply the best overview of how the victims of the West are fooled.

Or like this. Lippmann understood that the big thing is that they fool or force you to take for granted that the perspective of the Ruler or the ruling élite is the same as the only possible reality.

And observe, Lippman begins, his masterpiece, with to describe how the People are trapped in Plato's Cave that is the very foundations of Platonism. And then is the first chapter named: “I. The World Outside and the Pictures in Our Heads”.

Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann on Project Gutenberg. Read NOW!



Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky and Herman


The Introduction of Manufacturing Consent released in 2011 includes the effects of the Internet.

Here follows some of the first sentences of the Introduction; that makes it clear that the book is about the Propaganda model and that the manufacturing of consent is done with smooth procedures.

This book centers in what we call a "propaganda model," an analytical framework that attempts to explain the performance of the U.S. media in terms of the basic institutional structures and relationships within which they operate. It is our view that, among their other functions, the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them.
The representatives of these interests have important agendas and principles that they want to advance, and they are well positioned to shape and constrain media policy. This is normally not accomplished by crude intervention, but by the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors' and working journalists' internalization of priorities and definitions of news-worthiness that conform to the institution's policy.

...
Google Books

Under the headline Updating The Propaganda Model is the following.

… The Internet is not an instrument of mass communication for those lacking brand names, an already existing large audience, and/or large re-sources. Only sizable commercial organizations have been able to make large numbers aware of the existence of their Internet offerings. The privatization of the Internet's hardware, the rapid commercialization and concentration of Internet portals and servers and their integration into non-Internet conglomerates the AOL- Time Warner merger was a giant step in that direction-and the private and concentrated control of the new broadband technology, together threaten to limit any future prospects of the Internet as a democratic media vehicle.
...

… Former New York Times editor Max Frankel says that the more newspapers pursue Internet audiences, "the more will sex, sports, violence, and comedy appear on their menus, slighting, if not altogether ignoring, the news of foreign wars or welfare reform."
...

… But entertainment has the merit not only of being better suited to helping sell goods; it is an effective vehicle for hidden ideological messages. Furthermore, in a system of high and growing inequality, entertainment is the contemporary equivalent of the Roman "games of the circus" that diverts the public from politics and generates a political apathy that is helpful to preservation of the status quo.
...
Google Books

Even if Facebook and other Social media has changed the big picture a bit is the main relations today in 2018 the same as before the Internet in many aspects the same; as the absolute majority of the citizens are trained to be passive consumers.

Their Concluding Note begins.
The propaganda model remains a useful framework for analyzing and understanding the workings of the mainstream media-perhaps even more so than in 1988. ...
Google Books


The Propaganda Model

Here is the core of Chapter 1 - A Propaganda Model. The chapter begins.
The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfil this role requires systematic propaganda.

...

… The essential ingredients of our propaganda model, or set of news "filters,"fall under the following headings:

(1) the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms;

(2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media;

(3) the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business,and "experts" funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power;

(4) "flak" as a means of disciplining the media; and

(5) "anticommunism" as a national religion and control mechanism.
These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.
...
Google Books



Communism in the USA and the Concept Flak

It must be noted that in the USA there is a tradition to say that everything that is not according to the established Static ideals of total obedience is Communistic.

The concept Flak, used in the Propaganda model, is a bit strange without an explanation.

Flak means literally anti-aircraft artillery as it refers to the German abbreviation of Flugabwehrkanone, Flugzeugabwehrkanone or Fliegerabwehrkanone where “abwehr” is the same as repelling, defense, resistance or rebuff.

Another use of Flak is, for example, Flak jacket.



Noam Chomsky on Manufacturing Consent – Video


Here is the best interview that covers the main ideas of Chomsky that I have found so far. The Interview is made by Andrew Marr, BBC and was probably sent in 1996.





Di” and "Fergie" mentioned in the intro.



More Links

The documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992), Wikipedia, The full film on YouTube

I do recommend you to explore Chomsky's own website

Search Chomsky on YouTube

Chomsky's Philosophy, YouTube channel of clips

Obituariy, Edward S. Herman, media critic who co-wrote ‘Manufacturing Consent,’ dies at 92, Harrison Smith, The Washington Post, 16 November 2017.

And check out this post and the documentary about the man that formulated the concept Propaganda as it was used by, for example, the Nazi Germany: Edward Berneys Perfected The Hidden Obedience, 7 April 2017

And as a kind of summary of it all:

Fake news has a long history. Beware the state being keeper of ‘the truth’, Kenan Malik, The Guardian, 11 February 2018

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