I did my project on the Czech republic.
Really makes you THINK…or it SHOULD
A deep irony, underlying our political season, is that the U.S. middle class…the biggest victims of the first decade of this century, are also being slandered relentlessly. The ongoing campaign of propaganda that democracy can’t work and we should turn to oligarchy has many threads. May I take you on a tour of some of the nastiest and most repulsive component memes?
One of the oldest is a nostrum that under a democracy the people will inevitably drain the public treasury by demanding more spending than taxes. The theory is that citizens who get more than they pay for will vote for politicians who promise to increase spending.
This is often called the “Largesse Canard” — an outright fantasy that was first fabricated by Plato, in order to demean the Athenian democracy, and that more recently was expressed in an oft-quoted aphorism, supposedly by Alexander Tytler: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”
Among those who have carelessly bandied this smugly cynical assertion has been sci fi author Jerry Pournelle, along with many of his more right wing colleagues. It circulates widely among the dour Rothbardians and Randites who dominate today’s warped version of the libertarian movement….
…and it is a damned lie.
Extremism and conflict make for bad politics but great TV. Over the past two decades, conservatism has evolved from a political philosophy into a market segment. An industry has grown up to serve that segment—and its stars have become the true thought leaders of the conservative world. The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much. As a tool of political mobilization, it backfires, by inciting followers to the point at which they force leaders into confrontations where everybody loses, like the summertime showdown over the debt ceiling.
But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”"
— David Frum (via engagedelectorate)
— We Are Winning - Flobots (via moonwalkwithme)
Sure, we cherry pick evidence, we spin world events, and we impose our worldview when we talk about policy. Everyone does that. But generally speaking, our opinion leaders don’t go on national TV, look straight into the camera, and just outright lie about stuff. Theirs do. And you know, if you’d been told over and over that Obamacare meant getting government permission every time you want to go to the doctor; if you’d been told over and over that the economy is in bad shape because a tidal wave of regulations are strangling American business; and if you’d been told over and over that stimulus spending didn’t create one single job — well, what would you think about Barack Obama’s presidency? Not much, I imagine.
It’s awfully hard to fight stuff this brazen. Everyone understands that politicians fudge details and engage in partisan hypocrisy. All part of the game. But most of us don’t expect them to flat out lie. So when they do, we figure there must be something to it. It’s a pretty powerful formula, especially when the mainstream press no longer seriously polices this stuff, and isn’t much believed even when it does. The answer remains frustratingly elusive."
— Kevin Drum (via blissandzen)
“The broad mass of the nation … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”
— Adolf Hitler, in his 1925 book Mein Kampf.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
— Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.
— Aldous Huxley (via little-angelfuck)
Listening to both Fox News and Prozac as I jot down this note. (lmao)
For real, I don’t know what irritates me more: the FOX NATION over the United States at the top, the close-up picture of Sitting Bull that I’m supposed to find sinister and scary, the headline “Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General”, or the fact that isn’t even what the original article was about.AND ARE THEY REFERRING TO CUSTER???
Oh yeah, I forgot that most of white America views Little Bighorn as the ultimate American tragedy.
Fox “News” is not news. If a news desk must make a slogan of “Fair and Balanced”, then you can bet the mortgage on that desk being neither. —Chris