Author Topic: "manufacture of consent."  (Read 4008 times)

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Plane

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"manufacture of consent."
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:08:43 PM »
http://www.zpub.com/un/chomsky.html

 I was looking for topic material on Propaganda when I ran into this thought provokeing peace by Chomsky  disussing the "manufacture of consent" .


I am sure MT will like this one, even though it includes comments about the way that the Soviet Union is a country run by the bludgeon.

I appreaciate the contrast though Chomsky seems to give th American public little credit for thinking and holding values without prompting.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 10:33:01 PM »
<<I am sure MT will like this one, even though it includes comments about the way that the Soviet Union is a country run by the bludgeon.>>

Thanks, plane.  Actually, Chomsky had co-written a book titled "Manufacturing Consent" with Edward S. Herman.  The concept is so closely associated with Chomsky's writings today that most people (myself included) are surprised when they find out that the phrase is Walter Lippmann's.

No, I'm not upset by comments that the U.S.S.R. is "run by the bludgeon."  The "dictatorship of the proletariat" means exactly that.  In a dictatorship, you do as you are told, or else.  This is strictly according to plan, the plan being that a period of communist rule is required to bring about true socialism and then the state, or more likely the involvement of the state in the lives of its citizens, will gradually  "wither away," i.e. shrink over time.  What was not foreseen, or not adequately dealt with, was capitalist subversion, greed, parasitism and careerism.

OTOH, the framers of the Constitution did not foresee the manufacturing of consent.  They envisaged what most of the texts on the subject refer to as a nation of "yeoman farmers," well-educated, beholden to no one and reasonably self-sufficient, casting intelligent and informed votes for their Congressmen and Senators, as well as for qualified delegates ("electors,") who would soberly elect the most suitable President from amongst the candidates.  So, unlike the former U.S.S.R., the U.S.A. is NOT functioning according to plan.  The whole fucking design is being subverted, effectively by the executive manipulating the electorate into electing a compliant legislature and thereby nullifying a key part of the system of checks and balances.

What do you think about Chomsky's idea, plane?

Plane

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 11:04:57 PM »
I wish the US were run by farmers , but since only 2% of us are farmers this has become impractical.

The manufacture of consent seems like an interesting idea and that it is needed where the people are free does seem to fit.

If the alternative is to give orders to the people and enforce their obedience regardless of how they feel , I strongly prefer the propaganda.

But the missing element in the Chomsky essay s the competition of ideas in the public , he even seem to be saying that such competition would be a good thing , but that it is absent. This is a mistake on his part , the publishing of this essay itself is a part of the competition. Perhaps he is simply sore because his side is not very popular?

The public is presented with persuasion all the time and this can't be prevented , but it can be balanced , such that all of the truth gets exposed to the public eventually . It may be to the advantage of one side to hide some bit of truth and to the advantage of another faction to hide another bit , but the public will get both of those bits as long as neither side is censored.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 11:18:17 PM »
<<But the missing element in the Chomsky essay s the competition of ideas in the public , he even seem to be saying that such competition would be a good thing , but that it is absent. This is a mistake on his part , the publishing of this essay itself is a part of the competition. Perhaps he is simply sore because his side is not very popular?>>

He also mentioned 85 editorials in a fixed period of time, only two of which even alluded to certain key facts that didn't match the picture the government wanted to pain.

The publishing of the Chomsky essay fits in with Marcuse's theory of "repressive tolerance" - - the so-called "liberal democracies" have discovered a form of censorship and controlling debate which works far better than the Nazi or Communist practice of total across-the-board suppression.  They allow the unwanted POV to surface very rarely and make sure that it is outnumbered by a ratio of 80-to-1 or higher.  Chomsky's views on manufactured consent were expressed in a book, but few people have heard of them.  Meantime every hour on the hour, you will be bombarded with "news" or "experts" who all expressly or implicitly say that this is a land of freedom with a completely unrestricted "marketplace of ideas" where ALL ideas are given an equal chance of appealing to the citizens and the best idea "wins."  Rarely if ever will you even hear the Chomsky POV expressed in the MSM.  But the fact that it's not totally suppressed, as it would be in totalitarian systems, enables the defenders of the status quo to claim, "News and opinion can't be managed, otherwise how do you explain that Chomsky was on TV five times last year and published 20 books so far?"

The ruling elite is smart enough to realize that it doesn't have to control EVERY mind in the country, just a broad majority of them.  That way it can never be accused of manufacturing consent or opinion.

Plane

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 11:59:26 PM »
<<But the missing element in the Chomsky essay s the competition of ideas in the public , he even seem to be saying that such competition would be a good thing , but that it is absent. This is a mistake on his part , the publishing of this essay itself is a part of the competition. Perhaps he is simply sore because his side is not very popular?>>

He also mentioned 85 editorials in a fixed period of time, only two of which even alluded to certain key facts that didn't match the picture the government wanted to pain.

The publishing of the Chomsky essay fits in with Marcuse's theory of "repressive tolerance" - - the so-called "liberal democracies" have discovered a form of censorship and controlling debate which works far better than the Nazi or Communist practice of total across-the-board suppression.  They allow the unwanted POV to surface very rarely and make sure that it is outnumbered by a ratio of 80-to-1 or higher.  Chomsky's views on manufactured consent were expressed in a book, but few people have heard of them.  Meantime every hour on the hour, you will be bombarded with "news" or "experts" who all expressly or implicitly say that this is a land of freedom with a completely unrestricted "marketplace of ideas" where ALL ideas are given an equal chance of appealing to the citizens and the best idea "wins."  Rarely if ever will you even hear the Chomsky POV expressed in the MSM.  But the fact that it's not totally suppressed, as it would be in totalitarian systems, enables the defenders of the status quo to claim, "News and opinion can't be managed, otherwise how do you explain that Chomsky was on TV five times last year and published 20 books so far?"

The ruling elite is smart enough to realize that it doesn't have to control EVERY mind in the country, just a broad majority of them.  That way it can never be accused of manufacturing consent or opinion.

If it works better , then why is any country indulging in the old fashioned kind , where you really quash the opposition?

To controll 80% of the press and ensure a consistant theme is quite beyond the capability of the US Government , but where there is practically no censorship some ideas are prone to be much more popular then others. The unpopular idea works at a considerable disadvantage even though there is no "Ministry of Truth "to make it so.

In China a publication of the Faulin Gong would be dangerous to have on ones person , which makes such documents precious and more than otherwise believable.

Noam Chomsky can make a fortune publishing his work , even if only 5% of the public ever gives him credence. The imbalance in his exposure is a natural consequence of the public preference ,if people liked being called "imperialist" he would have a senate seat by now.

Plane

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 12:11:03 AM »

No, I'm not upset by comments that the U.S.S.R. is "run by the bludgeon."  The "dictatorship of the proletariat" means exactly that.  In a dictatorship, you do as you are told, or else.  This is strictly according to plan, the plan being that a period of communist rule is required to bring about true socialism and then the state, or more likely the involvement of the state in the lives of its citizens, will gradually "wither away," i.e. shrink over time.  What was not foreseen, or not adequately dealt with, was capitalist subversion, greed, parasitism and careerism.



That Greed would become absent in human beings and that then the state would cease to use the bludgeon strains the credibility severely , what a guy like me expects is the ascention of one Stalin after another because there is nothing to prevent ambition from manifesting itself in just this way.

Quote
OTOH, the framers of the Constitution did not foresee the manufacturing of consent.

You never heard of Benjamen Franklin? Patrick Henry? James Madison? The Federalist Papers?
Propagandists extrordinaire.

There was considerable familiarity with these concepts , our system is originated in them and is intended to cope with them , but not to change the basic nature of humanity, or promising to change drastically after the people come to deserve better.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 10:26:37 AM »
<<If it works better , then why is any country indulging in the old fashioned kind , where you really quash the opposition?>>

Different strokes for different folks.  In some countries lacking a tradition of liberty, it's easier to get away with a total repression policy and some leaders might think that even though the U.S. can't pull it off, they themselves can because of less public outrage.

<<To controll 80% of the press and ensure a consistant theme is quite beyond the capability of the US Government , but where there is practically no censorship some ideas are prone to be much more popular then others. The unpopular idea works at a considerable disadvantage even though there is no "Ministry of Truth "to make it so.>>

You're forgetting that the U.S. represents the same monied interests as now control most of the MSM, so that the effort to manufacture consent is not only the effort of the U.S. government, it's the effort of the people who own both the government and the MSM.  That was the reason behind the outcry (unsuccessful as it turned out) against consolidation of the MSM.

Plane

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 12:46:48 PM »
<<If it works better , then why is any country indulging in the old fashioned kind , where you really quash the opposition?>>

Different strokes for different folks.  In some countries lacking a tradition of liberty, it's easier to get away with a total repression policy and some leaders might think that even though the U.S. can't pull it off, they themselves can because of less public outrage.

<<To controll 80% of the press and ensure a consistant theme is quite beyond the capability of the US Government , but where there is practically no censorship some ideas are prone to be much more popular then others. The unpopular idea works at a considerable disadvantage even though there is no "Ministry of Truth "to make it so.>>

You're forgetting that the U.S. represents the same monied interests as now control most of the MSM, so that the effort to manufacture consent is not only the effort of the U.S. government, it's the effort of the people who own both the government and the MSM.  That was the reason behind the outcry (unsuccessful as it turned out) against consolidation of the MSM.

I am not forgetting, you are assumeing that theMSM is in no competition.

I guess Mr Sorous might agree with you , even as he proves you wrong.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 12:49:54 PM »
<<I am not forgetting, you are assumeing that theMSM is in no competition.>>

I'm not assuming there is no competition, I have stated that there is very little competition due to (1) ownership by corporations with similar kinds of interests; and (b) on-going consolidation of ownership

<<I guess Mr Sorous might agree with you , even as he proves you wrong.>>

Soros may be trying to right the balance.  So far, he hasn't made much progress.  The problems remain as stated.

Plane

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 09:01:29 PM »
<<I am not forgetting, you are assumeing that theMSM is in no competition.>>

I'm not assuming there is no competition, I have stated that there is very little competition due to (1) ownership by corporations with similar kinds of interests; and (b) on-going consolidation of ownership

<<I guess Mr Sorous might agree with you , even as he proves you wrong.>>

Soros may be trying to right the balance.  So far, he hasn't made much progress.  The problems remain as stated.

The balance is not determined by the owners , Mr Sorous is wasting a lot of his cash finding this out.
Popular programs make money and unpopular ones use money up.
Underserved audiences attract service with sure profit.

Air America has ownership willing to dump lots of money , but this is a limited potential in an overserved market.

Excellence in Brodcasing (EIB) as only a few owners and much less original resources , but because it pleases an audience and doesn't share it much, it makes itself grow.

If consolidation of ownership results in uniformity and bias , underserved audiences will open and present a chance for growth to whoever is willing to speak to that audience.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2008, 07:12:21 AM »
<<The balance is not determined by the owners , Mr Sorous is wasting a lot of his cash finding this out.
Popular programs make money and unpopular ones use money up.
Underserved audiences attract service with sure profit.>>

I think you're attracted by the simplicity of a theory (market economics, media as commodity-providers to a discriminating public faced with a wide variety of choices) that just doesn't reflect today's realities.

The consolidation of media ownership, which has been dramatic, massively reduces the alternatives available to the consumer.  You're living in a fantasy world if you believe that the consumer today has anywhere near the same range of choices as existed even ten years ago.  The competition does exist between the old media and the new (internet) media, but I believe most of Amerikkka still gets most of its news from TV and print, both Old Media and both very much consolidated into the hands of fewer and fewer corporate owners.

In terms of POV, you don't really find any MSM giving a consistent alternative - - everywhere it's "Support the Troops" and acceptance of the basic premise that Amerikkka is in Iraq to bring them democracy.  In the very Chomsky article that you posted, he refers to MSM coverage of Vietnam - - the terms of the debate were framed as to whether success was possible or not, NEVER was the debate moved to the issue of whether or not the whole invasion was immoral, illegal and unethical.  And that taboo was applied across the board.

Plane

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 02:13:54 PM »
<<The balance is not determined by the owners , Mr Sorous is wasting a lot of his cash finding this out.
Popular programs make money and unpopular ones use money up.
Underserved audiences attract service with sure profit.>>

I think you're attracted by the simplicity of a theory (market economics, media as commodity-providers to a discriminating public faced with a wide variety of choices) that just doesn't reflect today's realities.

The consolidation of media ownership, which has been dramatic, massively reduces the alternatives available to the consumer.  You're living in a fantasy world if you believe that the consumer today has anywhere near the same range of choices as existed even ten years ago.  The competition does exist between the old media and the new (internet) media, but I believe most of Amerikkka still gets most of its news from TV and print, both Old Media and both very much consolidated into the hands of fewer and fewer corporate owners.

In terms of POV, you don't really find any MSM giving a consistent alternative - - everywhere it's "Support the Troops" and acceptance of the basic premise that Amerikkka is in Iraq to bring them democracy.  In the very Chomsky article that you posted, he refers to MSM coverage of Vietnam - - the terms of the debate were framed as to whether success was possible or not, NEVER was the debate moved to the issue of whether or not the whole invasion was immoral, illegal and unethical.  And that taboo was applied across the board.

It always looks strange when you are looking in the wrong end of the telescope.

All of the congomeration has been accompanied by he increase in venues , there is mor veriety and choice in scorces o news than ever before , how have you missed this?

"Support the troops" is an extremely popular message because the People and the troops in the USA are little removed from each other , there is a fondness so widespread that an anti-troop message looses almost every sponsor.

It i the audience that demands the message , the tiller that the media owners hold is like the tiller on a raft on a river, they can choose the left bank or the right , i is the river that chooses the overall direction.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 02:35:50 PM »
<<All of the congomeration has been accompanied by he increase in venues , there is mor veriety and choice in scorces o news than ever before , how have you missed this?>>

I didn't miss anything.  What you missed is that ownership of the media has concentrated tremendously.  You see a phony variety where none exists.  Do you really believe that the concentration of ownership will co-exist with a variety of permissible opinions expressed?  It doesn't.

"Support the troops" doesn't really mean "support the troops," it means "support the war."  And that is  why it's all over the media, you don't see anything different anywhere.  You sure as hell don't see pro-war messages anywhere, and that's not because of what the public demands because a big chunk of the public wants the U.S. out and thinks going in was a huge mistake.

Does a large part of the public think "the Jews" or "Israel" are behind the U.S. entry into Iraq?  You'll never know, because THAT subject is so taboo that not only the MSM but the polls themselves won't touch it.  Yet based on conversations I've had and eavesdropped on, it seems to be a viable popular explanation.

I'm glad that you posted the Chomsky article, it's a pity you didn't read it.  He gives clear-cut examples of government/corporate control of the media and all you have to do is adapt what he was describing to the Iraq war and you'll see the same thing today.  Talk shows that cover a "wide spectrum" of opinion, which ranges from "We're losing" to "we can turn it around" to "We're winning," with virtually no representation for the view, "This is a gross violation of the UN Charter," "We got no business being there" or "This is highly illegal and immoral, both."

_JS

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 02:40:24 PM »
Plane, I used to have a really good website bookmarked (before I changed jobs) that delved pretty deep into the Nazi propaganda machine. It was very interesting as far as learning the psychology behind propaganda.

I'll see if I can find it again.
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   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Michael Tee

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Re: "manufacture of consent."
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 02:52:41 PM »
http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm

This was great for Nazi propaganda.  I don't know why but I love reading that stuff.  It reminds me of sirs - - not, of course, that sirs is really a Nazi, but it has the same grand disregard of the facts, the same outrageous certainty that they are the good guys and everyone else who denies it is either crazy, diseased or just plain evil.   It's the quality of living in some self-created fantasy world where the most outrageous lies are calmly and baldly asserted as if not only true, but universally accepted as such, and where obvious truths are stated in mocking tones without comment as if merely to mention them were proof in itself of their utter absurdity.