Tag Archives: Mass Media

The Breakaway Civilisation, by Mohsin Siddiqui

Illustration by Steve Cutts @ http://www.stevecutts.com/
Illustration by Steve Cutts @ http://www.stevecutts.com/

The US elections much like the rest of our usual daily consumption of Mass Media are more about stage managed theatre with bucket loads of Americanism, a seasoning of hyperbole and most certainly reality-free. The constant barrage of infotainment from the indispensable nation, the exceptional nation and the benign super power tells us of a distinct desire to consume information reality-free.

This informational GMO has permeated every facet of our existence and has infected the minds of billions around the world. It can be ridiculed, seen as inferior or even unsustainable. But do understand that it is the food for the liberal soul and it is a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Human beings drive the vast bulk of their understanding of the world through information either delivered directly via consumable media or indirectly via peer impressions, religion, anecdotes, fables and cultural norms. All of it ultimately centres on the flow of information which is a commodity that has been designed, refined, repackaged and is continually ‘improved’. Most of us underestimate the true awesome power of mass media, we read the statistics, the concentration of power and observe the echo chamber yet we still need to let it all sink in to truly grasp what it means.

Mass media is the encapsulation of the spectrum of information; From magazine to sports to history to business to politics, it is driven by a seamless thread of a philosophy guiding the ego & soul towards an atomised individualistic view of the world. It is an echo chamber that has not seen its parallel before on this planet, an organ to shape reality for the billions. A human being is a hodge-podge of history, culture, religion, philosophy, geography, epigenetics and a host of many more layers of information. Mass Media is the flute that organises this cacophony into a melody, and just like that a marionette of the modern man is born.

Resistance to the pied piper is possible but requires one to leave that womb of comfort that the information matrix provides with its legions of followers; That feeling of belonging, of being understood, of being ‘right’ and of being good. The strength can only come from reality but in our upside down world many are malnourished on the diet of GM information and it is not a problem for only Americans – who are severely affected – but instead it is a global phenomenon.

Successful entrepreneurs, businessmen, academics, financial experts, journalists, neighbours, friends, brothers, sisters and parents can all be entangled in the web of the information matrix.  Many of us have been at pains to explain the conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine and Yemen to our colleagues and friends but it is as if the words fall on deaf ears. The cognitive dissonance is heavy and the Teflon like value-matrix – a product of pre-packaged popularly accepted globalised values- lets all facts, figures and evidence that we present slip off. It is about the first woman president elect and not her war crimes, it is about the opposing camp saying that a racist, misogynist bigot is worse than a psychopathic mass murderer. It is inverted reality. It is full on dystopia.

Where do you begin to explain that elections are for the most part mere stage managed theatre? That the USA is an Empire of 1,000 military bases and not a country? That Obama the peace maker has incinerated civilians in 7 countries with impunity? That Hillary’s black lives did not matter for whole black Libyan towns that were extinguished? That President Asad’s Syria is LGBTQ friendly and the “Syrian revolution” that never was is the opposite? Or that it simply is not about personality politics, gay rights and black lives but is about a class struggle?

Continue reading The Breakaway Civilisation, by Mohsin Siddiqui

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Bertrand Russell on Education and the Social Order

“Children are instinctively hostile to anything ‘odd’ in other children, especially in the ages from ten to fifteen. If the authorities realize that this conventionality is undesirable, they can guard against it in various ways, and they can place the cleverer children in separate schools. The intolerance of eccentricity that I am speaking of is strongest in the stupidest children, who tend to regard the peculiar tastes of clever children as affording just grounds for persecution. When the authorities also are stupid (which may occur), they will tend to side with the stupid children, and acquiesce, at least tacitly, in rough treatment for those who show intelligence. In that case, a society will be produced in which all the important positions will be won by those whose stupidity enables them to please the herd.

Such a society will have corrupt politicians, ignorant schoolmasters, policemen who cannot catch criminals, and judges who condemn innocent men. Such a society, even if it inhabits a country full of natural wealth, will in the end grow poor from inhability to choose able men for important posts. Such a society, though it may prate of Liberty and even erect statues in her honour, will be a persecuting society, which will punish the very men whose ideas might save it from disaster.

All this will spring from the too intense pressure of the herd, first at school and then in the world at large. Where such excessive pressure exists, those who direct education are not, as a rule, aware that it is an evil; indeed, they are quite apt to welcome it as a force making for good behaviour.”

Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order (1932)


Image: Members of the DJ Fähnlein Hitler Youth (German: Hitlerjugend often abbreviated as HJ in German) a so-called elite branch youth organization of the Nazi Party in Germany and to a lesser extent in Austria. The members of the Hitler Youth were viewed as future “Aryan supermen” and were indoctrinated to believe racism and especially antisemitism by their schoolmasters. The primary aim was to instill the “proper motivation” that would enable its members to become soldiers, to fight faithfully for Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich. Needless to say, there was more emphasis on physical and military training than on academic and intellectual study.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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