Friday, July 28, 2006

The Illusion of the Free Flow of Ideas



As he often does, Noam Chomsky sums up the state of political debate in our country in a very few words:
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. "
---Noam Chomsky


Our current leaders have the concept down in spades: any argument or statement of fact that would damage their house-of-cards reality is immediately labeled "unpatriotic".

Unfortunately too many Americans buy into this crap (e.g. - WMD, Iraq - 9/11 connection, Democracy as a cure-all, Free markets as a cure-all, etc. etc.).

I have a news flash: words and debate don't kill people -- only the policies you implement as a result of them can possibly have that effect. By controlling the debate to the extent they have, the loonies in power still have more than 50% of Americans believing that Iraq has WMD.

How can real democracy exist in such a bizarro world?

7 comments:

skip sievert said...

Real Democracy.? The U.S. has not had one since about 1948. The corporations run America and most of the world. If any think that our political system here is not run by corporations they are dreaming. America is now ripe for another revolution. Organized crime, in the form of the religious mafia, bible talkers are the front people for the corporations. America is no longer an idea place. //// The group I belong to - Technocracy has a plan to create a good society. It revolves around freedom from and of belief. It gets rid of the current political control. -- People like you mention here Chomsky for instance never get at the real issue. That is our price system. We have a system that never can make a good choice because all choices are based on getting more money. I think that Noam is part of the divide and conquer aspect of keeping people in the dark./// Free speech is the most important thing as far as a basic of a free society. We all have to look in the mirror. It is time for a basic change. I urge your readers to explore the concepts of Technocracy. It is uniquely American. A site in Canada that is devoted to this subject is - www.technocracyvan.ca It is run by a Canadian, John Darvill. For those who haven`t run across these ideas I urge you to explore technocracy. We can create a better society for ourselves.

Reign of Reason said...

I agree with your assessment: we don't have real democracy here in the states -- it’s devolved into a plutocracy. Money drives the system -- utterly.

As for the religious right - there again, we have a group of people who don't see the problem with forcing their social agenda on the rest of us (by force of law)... Ironically, these are the same people who are the most vocal about radical Islam.

Look in the mirror.

I'll check out the site...

It may not be time for revolution, but it is certainly time to flush 99% of those in government. If people would spent a few hours a week really thinking about the issues, we could still take back our government.

skip sievert said...

I wish I could agree but I can`t. Americans have turned into the dumbest people in the world. Because they are blessed with many resources they however think they are smart. I honestly don`t think that Americans can think about the issues. Nothing has prepared them for it. There is an old saying,"Social change happens in direct proportion to the back of the stomach approaching the front of the spine." - We will be doing the crash test as a society shortly. Even though our system is no longer viable they will try to enforce it anyway. This is the fascist/authoritarian religious aspect of our price system. I do not believe that it pays to look up to the current system in any way. I suggest we look around it to a new thing. - True, our system got us here. But look where we are. If any of you would care to look at my website it is www.technocracynow.org - My book is available there for free. It is a free download as a file. Also there is the 1934 Technocracy Study Course. This is the most important and precedent document of the technocracy movement. My book is called Beyond the Cloak of Deception. Both books can be given to any and all as an email file or whatever. I do not believe in intellectual property. --- Thankyou for your interest in this subject. I found your site through Mr. Zahaqiel , who I think is a well rounded thinker. We dissagree on religion, but, freedom of and from religion is a given between intellegent people. I will fight for any ones right to believe. Any thing. No matter how ridiculous.// I draw the line at injuring people if they advocate that. -- When you say bizarro world, you are right. The truth is so well hidden that people do not recognize any portion hardly.

Za said...

You quoted the C guy! No-one credible will listen to you now!

Sorry, pretending to be a Republican is such fun. :P And ironically, fulfills exactly what Chomsky is saying - applying the idea of credibility, rather than validity or correctness of argument, is a very good way of slicing off a potentially damaging debate.

Reign of Reason said...

Exactly Za -- discredit the message because of the messenger is the conservative's calling-card.

We need people to start using their grey-matter instead of emotions... Analyze the debate... the issues... the points -- instead of focusing on the messenger.

Until our populace starts doing that, we're screwed.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you ROR but the fact is the majority of the country would not comprehend that quote from Chomsky. Sad but true.

Technocracy sounds a little like an updated technological front for socialism with an environmental slant.

skip sievert said...

Wrong. I suggest you look into it. You are complety wrong. Democracy, Communism, and Socialism are all basicly the same. All use Price Systems. That means money. All choices are then ill made. Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Hearsh are all spokespeople for the powers that be. They are part of the problem. They present fake alternative ideas. Look into things a little deeper. The system uses divide and conquer in the media. They do not want the truth to be known. It pulls the plug on them. ----- Chomsky is a multi millionair. He is thinking about his next book. He likes the adoration from his subjects. He never gets at the real issue`s. Why.? He is busy making more money for his grandkids college fee`s etc. Chomsky really is a pawn. He doesn`t really care about our society. He is presented as alternative. He is not.