Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent

Noam Chomsky:

Concentration of ownership of the media is high and increasing. Furthermore, those who occupy managerial positions in the media, or gain status within them as commentators, belong to the same privileged elites, and might be expected to share the perceptions, aspirations, and attitudes of their associates, reflecting their own class interests as well.

Journalists entering the system are unlikely to make their way unless they conform to these ideological pressures, generally by internalizing the values; it is not easy to say one thing and believe another, and those who fail to conform will tend to be weeded out by familiar mechanisms.

In earlier times, “Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers,” so the American rapporteur, Samuel Huntington of Harvard University, reflected. In that period there was no crisis of democracy, but in the 1960s, the crisis developed and reached serious proportions. The 1975 study  (by the Trilateral Commision) therefore urged more “moderation in democracy” to mitigate the excess of democracy and overcome the crisis.

Putting it in plain terms, the general public must be reduced to its traditional apathy and obedience, and driven from the arena of political debate and action, if democracy is to survive.

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