An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Peter Hart follows:
It’s fair to say that the complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys.
In Ukraine, the takeaway was that there are two sides, and the people seeking to topple the government (successfully, as it turned out) wanted to be more like us…
This casting of the conflict is obviously simplistic. There is a case to be made that now-deposed Yanukovych spurned an economic deal with the European Union–one that he seemed inclined to accept weeks earlier–because it was insufficient to deal with the scale of the country’s economic problems (Reuters, 12/19/13), which made Putin’s offer more attractive.
That is not to suggest that anti-government protesters do not have serious grievances with the state of their country. Likewise, it has to be said that, for all the portraits of a movement that wants US-style freedoms, a substantial minority of the protest movement is drawn from fascist and neo-Nazi factions (Guardian, 1/29/14; Slate, 2/20/14).
If you are learning ‘passively’ (which is not learning in a positive sense), then you are getting your knowledge of the world, and your reports on trouble in it, and your knowledge of God, from corporate owned media. That media is everywhere because those who run the world can afford to have so much of it and they will use it to get you to think what benefits their class. You have to make an effort to avoid it. So, You flop in your chair or on your couch, tired from work, or tired from looking for work, turn on the tv and stare blankly. Ego plays a role. When those who learn actively, going to many sources for information, reading books, and thinking about the things going on around them, tell you things about the events you see on tv, those things will sound strange to your ears. Without humility, you will negatively and automatically reject the strange, non conformist things you’re hearing. You have to. The alternative is for you to admit to yourself that you’re clueless and mentally lazy, which your false pride disallows. The engaged, caring observer is a cow. You’re informed and wise. And elites are delighted.
Additionally, No one wants to be left out. Elliot Aronson wrote a great book titled “The Social Animal,” in which he described a phenomenon called “social reality.” That also plays a role. People just find it easier to go with the flow and follow the crowd, even if they pretend, like Bono, that they don’t. To buy truth (Proverbs 23:23) and refrain from selling it can be extremely difficult when those who you rub shoulders with, including your family, friends, employer and neighbors expect you to support a lie they’ve embraced. And, when the rich and powerful, who are worshipped by millions, believe The Lie, then the temptation is to believe what they believe because your neighbors, friends and so on do and you want their approval and friendship. Additionally, When those ‘believers’ are celebs who have entertained you for much of your life in this miserable world, giving you happiness, To be faced with the moral imperative to reject evil when you learn that they have sold their souls and aid and abet destruction feels too much like committing suicide, like you’re killing your own happiness. How can you do that?
How? The principled will choose to do so. And they will get by fine.
“At the same time, there are many situations in which we conform to the behavior of others because their behavior is our only guide to appropriate action. In short, we often rely on other people as a means of determining reality… According to Leon Festinger, when physical reality becomes increasingly uncertain, people rely more on “social reality” – that is, they are more likely to conform to what other people are doing, not because they fear punishment from the group but because the group’s behavior supplies them with valuable information about what is expected of them.” – page 25 of (the third edition of) “The Social Animal” by Elliot Aronson
Elliot also looks at other reasons why people conform to the behavior and expectations of others. As for the above example, You certainly will need some sort of guidance if you have consented to have your own intellectual lights turned out by those who only value you to the extent that you buy their stuff, vote for them, support their views, etc.. And then bovine parents reproduce and the bovine population increases greatly. And we are deep into Idiocracy. But it isn’t funny, unlike the movie of the same name.
My online response to the top of post FAIR blog post follows:
To the very sharp point. Well done!
It occurs to me that this says a lot about the corporatists’ own assessment on it’s war on light. Whistleblowers are treated like terrorists and under attack. Here in Canada the war on science rages, with books being written about by people like (scientist) Shiva Chopra and author Chris Turner. Generally, Education, along with all other institutions, has been captured by powerful, special capitalist (of the neoliberal sort) interests and cranks out poorly educated ‘citizens’, specialized into stupidity and therefore of use to CEOs and the military. Chomsky has talked and written tons about the sophisticated propaganda system that elites in developed ‘democracies’ depend on to turn people into cattle and keep them that way. When thinkers like the late Walter Lippman writes about the bewildered herd, we can reasonably conclude that it’s wishful thinking. Noting that people – regular people and, to a lesser extent, well off people – have succumbed to propaganda isn’t the same as hating people and desiring that outcome. 99% of the 99% in some ways joins with the 1% in attacking the 1% of the 99%. Boy are we outgunned. Boy is this dawn before the sunrise dark! Boy are elites and their tools – who, clearly, are observing the same mass dimming as I am – loving it!