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Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent

This long quote in the middle of the video sums it up:

    Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private license yields public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now it’s long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice it entails, as long as it’s possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can.
    At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny, and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves, but the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community.
    The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.

Thanks to my friend Oliver for sending me this link.


Comment from Jeff
Time: August 6, 2008, 14:35

Thanks for posting that Chomsky piece. I’ll be honest, I’ve never paid attention to his message. I found it compelling.

Question: Would getting a bumper sticker that said “Chomsky for President” be the equivalent of the famous “Nobody for President” sticker?

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