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The Weapon of Criticism Part 2: Why Are Things This Way?

The Weapon of Criticism Part 2: Why Are Things This Way?

By Dennis Loo (4/5/14)

The two most common views about why the political and economic systems are the way that they are might seem to be polar opposites of each other, but they are in fact rather similar in their premise upon closer inspection.

Let’s first begin with the most common view.

Most people when asked about the exercise of political power in the US would say that the political system exists as it does because the majority of people want it to be that way. If the people didn’t want it to be this way, they say, then the public would not tolerate the status quo and the status quo would change.

This belief that the system continues because the public wants it this way doesn’t come from people’s studied observations, from interviewing people, or from polling data or other systematic collection of evidence. Instead it originates from assumptions within the dominant theory in the US. It arises from classical democratic theory’s precept that the political system mirrors what the people want. If people are using democratic theory as their paradigm - which is what the vast majority of people employ - then they are compelled by the paradigm’s assumptions to see things this way.

According to democratic theory, the people are supposed to be in charge therefore they are in charge. You see this in statements such as “what’s on TV is because there’s a large audience for it, otherwise it wouldn’t be there” and “if people really wanted something else, all they have to do is boycott what they don’t like and demand what they do like and they will eventually get what they want.”

In two comments on articles on this site, for example, people wrote:

Many people choose to be ignorant about social problems… Perhaps many of the individuals [hide behind] their ignorance as an excuse for not participating or taking action [about] the problem.

[People] do not want to believe that political officials, such as our president, would lie to them. It is much easier for some people to live a blind life than [to] face reality.

While Americans as a whole take second place to no one in the world in terms of their capacity for self-deception, the idea that the public is choosing “to be ignorant about social problems” and that it is easier to “live a blind life” rather than face reality does not make sense if the actual problem is that all too many people don’t know what they need to know, and don’t even know that they do not know what they need to know. People in general aren’t making a decision to plead ignorance about social problems. They are in fact in general ignorant about those social problems.

It’s one thing to know a little about some social problem (e.g., climate change) and it’s another thing to know with certainty that climate change is real and that it’s destroying the planet.

It’s one thing to know that plastic is ending up in the oceans and another thing to learn that ocean fisheries may collapse within a few years and the ocean itself could be killed by human activity by 2048.

It’s one thing to have heard that waterboarding is uncomfortable. It’s quite another thing to see a videotape of an actual waterboarding session or to see a dramatization of waterboarding.

It’s one thing to be told that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and it’s another thing to learn that not did Iraq and Hussein have nothing to do with 9/11, but that those in the White House who were making those claims connecting Iraq to 9/11 a) knew that these were lies and b) that even if Iraq had had weapons of mass destruction, that the US invasion of Iraq was the supreme war crime - attacking a country that did not threaten and had not attacked the US first.

It’s one thing to believe that the people being held at Guantanamo are the “worst of the worst” and another thing to learn that 92% of those held according to the US government itself are not al-Qaeda fighters, that 86% were turned in for millions of dollars in bounty payments, that only 5% of them were picked up on a battlefield by US forces, that with only a few exceptions, they have never even been charged with a crime, that the youngest held there was 13 years old, and that scores of prisoners were cleared for release years ago yet still languish there today.

It’s one thing to think that Obama is for assisting the undocumented and another thing to find out that he has deported more immigrants than Bush. It’s one thing to think that Obama is for due process and the rule of law and another thing to find out that he has a “kill list” and that he adds names to his list every Tuesday in the White House.

Most people think that they already know what they need to know and do not know that they are being systematically lied to. They assume that the mainstream sources of information are giving them the real news and they have no reason to think that they are being massively misled.

The other common understanding of how the political system operates is the notion that government exercises monolithic powers over the people. In this variant it’s not that the people are in charge but rather the opposite, the government (and corporations) are in charge and they exercise unchallengeable powers over the people. The people have no ability to challenge the powers that be, as the powers that be are invincible.

Both of these variants are caricatures of the truth. Many people who adhere to the first version who learn much more about how they are being systematically misled and lied to about what’s really going on tend to slide from the first version into the second version: “I had no idea that things were this bad and that I was being lied to this dramatically. I now see that revolutionary change is needed. But I doubt that such radical changes can be effected in the face of this all-powerful government.”

What these two conventional views share in common is a one dimensional and static understanding of the conscious dynamic role of people and the decisive role of people's consciousness.

If you think that the public is in charge because we all have a vote, then you don't really understand how political power is exercised. You are being seduced into thinking that you have control when all you really have is the facade of control. While there are many different dimensions to this, to put this very briefly and with regards to three aspects of it:

If the party nominees are fundamentally selected by Democratic and Republican Party bureaucrats, then the fact that the public gets to choose from one or the other nominee isn't rule by the people but the equivalent of what parents tell their children when they say that the kids can have the peas or the carrots, but they have to eat one. The child is being fooled into thinking that s/he is making the choices, but s/he is really not in charge.

If the public's knowledge about and framing of public policy questions is tightly controlled via six major media giants, corporate America, and public officialdom, and they are being led to seeing the issues in ways that suit those in authority, then how could the people possibly be actually politically in control?

If the public is being lied to and misled constantly and is in general abysmally ignorant about the really critical questions of the day, then how could the public make good decisions, even if the public was in charge, which they are not?

The people who really run things know very well that they have to create the false impression that they are doing the bidding of the people and that the people have to think that they are in charge, which is why government and corporate propaganda are so crucial. If authorities did not consciously and systematically mislead people, do you know what would happen? Authorities know exactly what would happen. A revolution would happen. If the majority of people were truly apathetic, selfish, narrow-minded philistines, then authorities would not have to claim that they were doing things for the right reasons. They could just say: "Might makes right and we don't really care whether we're following the rule of law or due process. We have the big guns and the most money so we make the rules. And screw you if you don't like it. Who's with us?!" This argument would work on the public if the public as a whole was as capable of self-serving thinking as some people think. As condescending as authorities are towards the public, they know that the public as a whole is not that narrow-minded and that stupid and philistine, which is why they (falsely) present what they're doing as motivated by the highest principles.

Those who think that the government is all-powerful share this erroneous view about the importance of what people think and know - in other words, they discount the conscious dynamic role of people and the decisiveness of what people think in relation to what the people will do based on what they think. They think that what the public thinks is immaterial and that how people come to know what they "know" is unimportant, just like the first perspective does.

The public is not primarily at fault for its being misled. The blame rests primarily with those who are manipulating public opinion.

Those in power know, by contrast to conventional wisdom, that what people think is decisive because they know that if the people knew the truth that they would do something about it, which is why authorities put so much effort into concealing the truth from the people.

If authorities and their ideology of everyone being self-seeking-materially-driven-individualists were true, then there really would be no need for media and public officials to expend so much energy and resources constantly to reaffirm, reinforce, and impose their worldview over the population. President Obama would not have to keep claiming that he upholds the “rule of law,” “due process,” “transparency,” the “right to privacy,” and “Constitutional rights” if intellectuals, professionals, and other opinion-leaders and the average American did not care about the rule of law, privacy, Constitutional rights, and transparency.

While there are certainly a significant number of Americans who would be perfectly happy if the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments were eliminated as long as they still had their Second Amendment right to bear arms, the majority of people would not abide by this. It is precisely for that reason that Obama and others in the government continue to make a point of saying that they are against the invasion of privacy, for the use of warrants, for upholding the rule of law and due process, and against torture and the killing of innocents, even as they do precisely the opposite of those things.

It is this disjuncture between what authorities claim to be doing compared to the reality of what they’re doing that provides an opening for those who want to see a radically different world. It’s an opening that provides an opportunity to radically change things because those who rule over us now cannot continue to rule without continuing to be able to fool most people into thinking that they are doing the exact opposite of what they are actually doing. By pointing out in sharp and varied ways this disjuncture, growing numbers of people can be awakened to political life and come to see the truth and their potential role in altering the course of history.

Authorities can keep telling people “who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” but reality has a way of not going away. Those whose power rests upon their ability to mislead people and their “monopoly over the means of legitimate violence” (Weber’s concise definition for state power) can pull the wool over people’s eyes and they can scare and kill people, but they cannot change the reality of what they are actually doing to people and to the earth. Those who have had the wool pulled from their eyes – or have pulled the wool away themselves – have a huge responsibility and a tremendous opportunity to wake other people up to these truths.

Comments   

 
0 # Elizabeth Arroyo 2014-04-06 18:26
This article shows the fact that it is true that people in the United States are so detached from reality and turn a blind side to what is really going on in the world. I liked the statistics of Guantanamo in the fact that it underlines the complete truth in the fact that the government tries to make it's citizens believe that these people are the cause of terrorist acts is solely by these people when the article clearly states that some of these prisoners do not even know what they are being held for. Sadly, things will never change because people are to ignorant to even realize that yes, the government does lie to you and they are gate keepers of the truth.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-06 20:30
Quoting Elizabeth Arroyo:
This article shows the fact that it is true that people in the United States are so detached from reality and turn a blind side to what is really going on in the world... Sadly, things will never change because people are to ignorant to even realize that yes, the government does lie to you and they are gate keepers of the truth.

My point, tho, is that things CAN change and they NEED to. The reason why most peo are ignorant isn't mainly their own fault. Those who know better have the responsibility to and it is in fact our role to help others to learn that they are being lied to and misled.
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0 # Monique Velardez 2014-04-07 04:10
Quote:

My point, tho, is that things CAN change and they NEED to. The reason why most peo are ignorant isn't mainly their own fault. Those who know better have the responsibility to and it is in fact our role to help others to learn that they are being lied to and misled.
I agree that change needs to occur, but I just question how. With all the lies being fed to us it is clear that we do need change. However, I wonder if we will ever live to see the day that that will happen. In no way do I wish to discourage change, but I question how just one person can help make a difference in the way our society is being misled and lied to. What will need to occur to truly see a difference and will that be in our lifetime? We live in a society where the government seems to have complete control over what is being fed to us and with them being so powerful I wonder how one can seek to make a difference against these powers.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-07 04:46
Quoting Monique Velardez:
[quote name="Dennis Loo
We live in a society where the government seems to have complete control over what is being fed to us and with them being so powerful I wonder how one can seek to make a difference against these powers.
This is a point that I explicitly address in the article itself so please take another look and comment on it based on that review.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-07 04:50
Quoting Monique Velardez:
We live in a society where the government seems to have complete control over what is being fed to us and with them being so powerful I wonder how one can seek to make a difference against these powers.

That's why I make the second point in my article, exactly the point of view that you are putting forth. Please take another look over the article and post your thoughts based on that re-read.
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0 # Monique Velardez 2014-04-07 05:35
From my understanding it seems that the only way to change our current situation is to simply not buy into what we are being fed. You gave the example of a child being given a choice to eat one or the other of their vegetables. They believe they are being given a choice, but in reality they are not. In the end they are still doing exactly what the parent sought out for them to do. The same can be said for society. We are led to believe that we indeed have a choice, but it is all a facade. So, it's simple. We can "choose" to not buy into the falseness of what we are being fed, and individuals who are awakened to this should work to open the eyes of others.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-06 20:48
Quoting Elizabeth Arroyo:
This article shows the fact that it is true that people in the United States are so detached from reality and turn a blind side to what is really going on in the world.

The article isn't arguing that the public is consciously turning a blind eye to reality. On the contrary, I'm arguing that they don't know that they are being misled and if you don't know you're being misled then it's not your fault if you accept these falsehoods as the truth. The mainstream are the mainstream because they are not opinion leaders and the mainstream in any society and at any point in time will always be dependent to a significant degree on those in leading positions. The solution then is for a new group of leaders to emerge from among those who see things more clearly so that they can provide the leadership and help others to learn how to evaluate evidence and bridge the gaps between leaders and the led.
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0 # jnandez 2014-04-07 06:03
It is hard to not get annoyed when you talk to someone who is clearly naive about the realities of the government's lies and fake persona that they are portraying to us, but as you said, they are completely unaware of these realities. The blame cannot be put on them because they never had, for example, a "new group of leaders" to show them the truth. The blame must be put on those elite people in power who clearly know the truth and continue to defend the government. It may be wishful thinking to think that if more people knew about the truth than they would immediately choose to do something bold about it, but it is probably more complicated than that. For those who do wish to do something bold about it, myself for example, would greatly benefit from this "new group of leaders" who are better informed to help assemble and act.
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0 # Katgrl15 2014-04-09 23:46
I agree with your ideas about the article. It is all about manipulation and making social problems looked as and perceived in a way that the general population will adhere and always believe in. When addressing September 11th, I was so young when it happened that all I had to go off of was mass media and soon to find out recently that the perpetrators were not who I thought they were. Simply getting information from the news, this so called reliable source, I have been deceived for so long. My knowledge were based off of assumptions and I too was detached from what is real and factual.
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0 # Elizabeth Arroyo 2014-04-06 18:54
This article was interesting because it showed how blind Americans are to what is really going on in their own country. The government feeds them lies and the people are naive and believe that everything that the government says is the truth. It is like the government wants to blame everyone else for the wrong that they are causing in the country and makes everyone else seem like the enemy. One part that stood out to me was when the topic of Guantanamo was discuss in the fact that the government is holding people there that have not been given the right to know why they are held there. The president wants to make it seem like everything that they do is for the good of the people but like stated in the article, Obama has deported more immigrants than Bush as well as continually adds names to a kill list every Tuesday. The media makes it seem like the country is moving forward and doing what is best for the people, but they just cause destruction.
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0 # Sarah Heitz 2014-04-06 20:15
It is a shame that more people don't know how to think for themselves and look beyond the ideas of others. This comes from a lack of higher education where meta-analysis is taught. Without being able to meta-analyze something, the person will always go off of someone else's judgment and opinions. Truly understanding how political power works takes someone who can look past something that is shown to them and make a decision about it using facts and evidence that is provided. This is one of the major concepts that Benjamin Bloom makes in his argument about the basic stages to cognitive development.
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0 # Natalie Rivera 2014-04-07 06:32
Sarah,

I strongly agree with what you are saying. We all need to think for our selves, but it is difficult to think for ourselves when we are unaware that we are NOT thinking for ourselves. So how do we differentiate between what we believe and what they believe? I think we can begin the quest for the truth by doing as you mentioned, basing our decision on facts that we seek and research. The key is to find where to find the true facts, and that in itself can be challenging.
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0 # Heng Chang 2014-04-09 23:44
I strongly agree with you. People should find out the truth by themselves instead of being influenced by what other people tell them. We also choose what we want to believe (even though as stated in the article, the choices are limited most of the time) instead of finding out the real truth. We like to go along with the crowd because we are afraid, most of the time, to be stand out alone with our own thoughts.
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0 # Dbug 2014-04-06 20:24
The system is not created to benefit the majority of the people. Political power is implemented by the few to benefit the few and the status quo cannot simply change if the majority wanted to. The elite will not simply hand over their power to the people. If the system is working in their favor why should they give up their power to the people? They live in luxury while their children are assured an education from the most prestigious schools. The people do not choose to be ignorant, in fact the people are unaware of these social problems because they are being misled. While the people trust in the media for information, the media misinforms and conceals the truth. The people are misled to believe that they are apart of a democratic system. The political system does not exist because the majority wants it to be, yet they are blamed for system that exists.
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0 # cutemeow 2014-04-13 00:34
I agree, that the system is heavily manipulated by the elites who benefit from it. And it is also true that the people do not chose to be ignorant, because they have no idea they are being lied to. Because of both of these points, I can't help but wonder how change is possible. Loo suggests that things can change, and change needs to happen, but how else can change happen as long as these people continue to hold the power. As long as the elites are benefiting from the system, I don't see why they would want to appease the public. The only way I see the deception ceasing is if they decide to stop bending the truth, but why should they if they're reaping all the benefits without punishment.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-13 00:54
Quoting zzchi:
As long as the elites are benefiting from the system, I don't see why they would want to appease the public. The only way I see the deception ceasing is if they decide to stop bending the truth, but why should they if they're reaping all the benefits without punishment.
Authorities will not cease to attempt to deceive, it's true. And it's foolish for anyone to hope that they will do so as they personify a system that exploits and plunders so they won't stop. What needs to be appreciated and acted upon, however, is a deeper understanding of how things work and the dynamic nature of the balance of political forces than is common now. The vast majority of peo aren't trained to see things in a dynamic and dialectical way. It'd be too much to expect that the analytical tools that are customarily made available WOULD give peo that kind of insight. (cont.)
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-13 01:09
The necessary tools to see beneath the surface of things ARE, however, available. They are just not widely known and require, like anything else that's really worthwhile and unusual, study. Historically, appeasing the public (as an INITIAL stage, b/c appeasing by itself isn't anywhere nearly enough as a radically different system is what is needed) has occurred when the public is politically mobilized to challenge the system's legitimacy (rather than simply asking for a better deal) and the system must then respond. This is where really deep exposure of this system's true nature is vital, made accessible thru a creative and varied program devoted to that end.
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0 # zzchi 2014-04-06 21:17
The power of manipulation solely rests in the hands of politicians and government officials. " Marx's analyses of the dynamics and workings of capitalism, the exploitative and alienating nature of wage-labour and the stratification of society into classes may all be controversial and continue to generate much debate and discussion but they still stand as a powerful set of arguments about, and critique of, modern society.(P.5 McIntosh)" People continue to be misled under misconceptions of the public good not realizing it is the attempt to maintain power and control. Inequality is a prime example of power and control. If one does not have power and control he or she is expendable. This article clearly points out the nature of the government. Being misled or lied to is an attempt to justify the capitalism (power and control, but it also keeps the inequality alive.
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0 # MayDay 2014-04-06 23:20
People come to terms with our governmental institution because we know little of how to change it and the power of the government is perceived so strongly that, to tamper with it rather than to live with it would be invaluable because of the individualistic society we live in. People will generally choose the most beneficial way to increase what they believe to be of importance in their lives and because of the way that the U.S. government propagates themselves above the “regular” people in hierarchy, leads us to believe that they are in a sense, unattainable. Their ladder of success is not in frequency with the general population so we choose the easy way to attain gratification rather than go to the source of the problem and change from there. The pursuit of happiness that we are lead to believe we have can only be attained if we either detach ourselves completely, or speak and educate those who do not know. Either of those paths are difficult to pursue.
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0 # MayDay 2014-04-06 23:23
CONT from previous comment--That is why people would rather live in the system and be ignorantly content than to pursue this ideal that we are taught is optimal. I am not saying it’s a good decision but it is what we typically do to belong and to go with the flow and if we were able to become mindful of the situation we honestly live in, would we be happy? Would people be willing to sacrifice a majority of their lives to implement a new system and change the way we work at a larger scale? Would the change be successful? I do not know and being optimistic and believing that the general population has critical opinions of this, I would say that they do not know either and this uncertainty is what drives individuals to create a life within the system. I do agree with your article and my opinion is that this uncertainty is a feeling we innately avoid and it would take a lot to change a person’s perspective on how to live while trying to be “happy”.
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0 # Monique Velardez 2014-04-07 03:52
It's interesting to see just how "in the dark" the public is when it comes to many social issues. The mainstream media/news outlets report what seems to be a watered down version of the truth when dealing with many issues. For example, GITMO. Unless one truly searches for answers beyond mainstream media outlets then they will continue to be misled and misinformed, but will accept it anyway, since they do not know any better.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-04-07 04:14
If you don’t study or know the constitution the media leads the public to believe that the citizens (normal everyday people) individual vote for the president and vice president make a difference. In the end it is the Electoral College that elects the president and vice president. The Electoral College is selected through political parties just like the president and vice president candidacy. Citizens are given choices on whom to vote for; however, do the citizens really like any of the choices?

Money and wealth equal power in the United States. It is the wealthy people that control, influence, and buy political powers to vote in their best interest. Political and economic systems run together looking out for each other. The economic system pays the political people off. It is not something that is being broadcast to the general population; it is something you have to search for to find out.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-04-07 04:16
If you don’t study or know the constitution the media leads the public to believe that the citizens (normal everyday people) individual vote for the president and vice president make a difference. In the end it is the Electoral College that elects the president and vice president. The Electoral College is selected through political parties just like the president and vice president candidacy. Citizens are given choices on whom to vote for; however, do the citizens really like any of the choices?
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-04-07 04:19
Money and wealth equal power in the United States. It is the wealthy people that control, influence, and buy political powers to vote in their best interest. Political and economic systems run together looking out for each other. The economic system pays the political people off. It is not something that is being broadcast to the general population; it is something you have to search for to find out.
Maybe people cannot handle the truth or do not want to know the truth. Just like the textbooks for K-12 students that do not tell the whole truth about things such as American history. The “truth” can be one sided. Some people mistake their imagination for their memory.
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0 # Natalie Rivera 2014-04-07 06:15
Many times I have wondered how many things the media and others in power keep from "the average Joe?" Or how many lies we are fed in order to comply with our "democracy." Are we living for a freedom that is a lie? A statement in regards to Obama in this article really hit a cord with me. Obama has deported more undocumented individuals than the Bush administration, which means that Obama's broken promise to legalize citizenship for thousands of undocumented individuals; in return for votes. It is not the first time nor the last time that people in power will sway what we should believe, in order to keep us unknowingly complacent.
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0 # jnandez 2014-04-07 06:22
America's citizens are constantly lied to so that the lies have become truth. In fact, they are not even lies in the minds of most Americans, they are facts. If you try showing them the truth, they will fight so hard against it because it is foreign to them. They may turn from you and deem you as a crazed communist, but by showing them the truth you have opened a new realm of reality that does exist. Even if they choose to ignore, by merely being exposed to it once, they have shed a layer of blindness and are one layer closer to seeing the truth. All that is needed is more consistent and bold leaders who are willing to expose the truth against the government.
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0 # Natalie Rivera 2014-04-07 06:26
It seems that we live for a freedom that is a lie. How many things is the media and others in power keeping from us? The article spoke of how Obama has deported more undocumented individuals than the Bush administration. It reminded me of how Obama promised legalization for undocumented individuals, a legalization that has yet to occur. It will not be the first or last time that the government will lie to us, in order to keep us unknowingly complacent.
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0 # Heng Chang 2014-04-09 22:44
It is true that we don't know what we believe in most of the time. We believe that we have freedom in this country and it is our right to have a freedom of choice, when in reality, we don't. There is nothing for us to choose from because the government only gives us limited choices. How can we make the right decisions when we don't even know if it IS the right decision? We say that the sky is blue, but how are we so sure that it is actually the color blue? We are so used to things being the way that it has always been, that we don't come out of our comfort zones. It is time for us to think outside the box and step into reality and understand what is actually going on in this country instead of just listening to what others, or the government, is telling us!
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0 # Karen Cornejo 2014-04-09 23:22
The only thing ignorant people have to blame is themselves. It is our job to seek out information that changes our own lives and has to do with out government. The big 9/11 event lies are still a slap in the face i believe. It brought on things such as discrimination and fear to so many innocent people who simply wanted answers and the truth about that that horrible day.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-04-11 02:34
Maybe some people cannot handle the truth and the government doesn’t want them to know the truth. If they knew the truth they might feel inclined to have to advocate for change and that would require thought and work. The government puts some of the truth out there, but many people are satisfied with what they are fed through the media. By giving limited information to the public it keeps them docile, obedient, and easy to manage. Just like the textbooks for K-12 students that do not tell the whole truth about things such as American history. The “truth” can be one sided. Education is another place where the government teaches us how to be obedient.
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0 # CamouflagedWife 2014-04-13 15:29
Lomonaco, I definitely see how it seems there is a correlation between not being able to "Take" the truth and governments control of the truth, but how do we really know if we can "Take" it or not, if we don't receive it? As we have been talking in our Seminar lectures, we are given this limited view because of the control of media (directed from the government). We are given either a skewed or vague view in order to stay in comfort. People like to be entertained and "happy," and the job of the media, in a sense, it to provide that. We like to think that if people are truly in charge of the world, then we would be able to control the information available to us (the truth), and yet we are flooded with entertainment and reality television shows. I think that's because that is what we want in the end....to be happy and content not knowing..
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-04-13 16:09
Quoting CamouflagedWife:
how do we really know if we can "Take" it or not, if we don't receive it? As we have been talking in our Seminar lectures, we are given this limited view because of the control of media (directed from the government). We are given either a skewed or vague view in order to stay in comfort.
I agree with this completely. The end of your whole comment above, however, contradicts this by stating that "this is what we want in the end...to be happy and content not knowing." People do in gen'l want to be happy and content but the "not knowing" part is I think incorrect. Most peo don't seek to be ignorant. Some, it is true, consciously choose to be ignorant, but they are not representative of the best of humankind and they are not the ones who determine the state of the society as a whole. Media seek profits, not public needs & adhere to and propagate the dominant ideology.
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0 # Elizabeth Arroyo 2014-04-14 04:54
I agree with the fact that the government gate keeps information from us and that we will never really know what is going on. In my social stratification class I learned that the top five media stations control 80% of the news. If all of those stations have the same view on topics that are impacting our lives, their will never be room for change in the fact that people will never know about the key issues that we can change in the world.
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0 # flr9d 2014-04-14 03:00
The status quo continues because even though the public sees that the system is not working they are too consumed with their own lives even though political matter do have an affecting result on them directly. I agree that when American actually see the reality of injustices within the government, people are going to be more opinionated and a change can began. And I also agree that the public can not speak on things that they are unaware of, because they are mislead by the the manipulation of public opinion. It is only the people that can choose to become informed on what is going on in their own backyard.
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0 # marcam 2014-04-14 16:57
I believe there to be a correlation to people being ignorant by only knowing things they want to know and the media not telling the full story about situations. First, people can be ignorant by only focusing on things that affect their lives in the present. Ex, people don’t pay much attention to the damage we put on the ocean and the effects it can have in the future but they pay attention to the latest thing Justin Bieber is doing. Second, the media only tells a small fraction of the truth. The media cares only about itself and its ratings. The more dramatization the higher ratings they get, thus giving junk news to people. But if people want change then they should focus on news with facts or they should do their own research to get the truth.
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0 # Giovanna Serrano 2014-04-16 00:21
This article was amazingly put together. Everything it said was indeed true. As Americans I believe we are most of the time more concern by other material things as oppose to what is happening in our country. Americans are so blinded and like it stated in the article it is easier for us to ignore the true reality than to face the truth. We are fed with lies on a daily basis by our government and mass media and we consume these lies without questioning it because we indeed assume it is true. If we want change we need to focus more in researching and less on mainstream news and media. It was almost appalling to realize that we are indeed puppets to our government and we just do what they want us to do while all in all making us believe we have the final say. America needs to wake up and realize that not everything that is said is true.
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0 # mitchell denerson 2014-04-19 04:48
I loved this article. i agreed with almost every point made. The fact that i know the government has total control of us, makes me not trust a lot of people. I never watch the news, except for big stories, but even then i often find myself having big questions and tend to look up information myself, instead of letting the media feed us lie after lie. The media just tells people what they want to hear, they try to make it seem like everything is in control and our government can do no wrong. Lucky for us Americans many of us already know that we have a pretty sketchy government. Whatever will give them higher ratings, even if its false or opinionated stories, they will present it to the people to make their money. But then again, maybe some people do not want to know the truth, because the truth may hurt. But in my opinion, it's best not to trust the news, it's ok to believe some of it, but always do your own research.
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0 # Marisol Parra 2014-04-20 06:34
Soc 305- Being mislead and blindfolded as the articles points out can devastating to see even those who know the truth they turn away from reality because it’s much so much simpler. However there are those in societies that trust those in power to make concrete changes and guide the U.S. People need to share the truth with one another. Relying on media to educate our views is not a creditable source digging deeper to uncover the problems and finding accurate answer to change society for the better. Removing the blindfolds and sharing our views with society will motivate us to start a revolution.
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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12