November 09, 2007 — Noam Chomsky on democracy, war, propaganda, manufacturing consent, media control, marxism-leninism, elitism, stupid masses, bewildered herd etc. From ‘Media Control’.
According to the The Government Accounting Office, the Bush administration spent $1.6 billion over the last two and a half years on public relations operations. That’s $1.6 billion of our tax money commandeered for, among other things, O.T.I.-style partisan propaganda here at home, aimed at affecting domestic elections. Included in this figure is a mysterious $15 million paid directly to individual members of the media.
This information comes on the tail of previous disclosures concerning covert propaganda operations including the production of fake TV news stories and Bush administration payoffs to crooked journalists to slant stories even further in a pro-Bush direction than the normal corporate media spin.
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century. He also helped spark the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior, in which he challenged the behaviorist approach to the study of behavior and language dominant in the 1950s. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has also affected the philosophy of language and mind. He is also credited with the establishment of the Chomsky hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power.
According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–1992 time period, and was the eighth-most cited scholar in any time period.
Beginning with his critique of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, Chomsky has become more widely known—especially internationally—for his media criticism and politics. He is generally considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of United States politics. Chomsky is widely known for his political activism, and for his criticism of the foreign policy of the United States and other governments.
About Creel Commission:
Noam Chomsky: Two kinds of democracy 1/3
Noam Chomsky: Two kinds of democracy 2/3
Noam Chomsky: Two kinds of democracy 3/3
by Noam Chomsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 17 March 1991
. . . Let me begin by counter-posing two different conceptions of democracy. One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free. . . .
An alternative conception of democracy is that the public must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. That may sound like an odd conception of democracy, but it’s important to understand that it is the prevailing conception. . . .
Early History of Propaganda
. . . [The Wilson administration] established a government propaganda commission, called the Creel Commission, which succeeded, within six months, in turning a pacifist population into a hysterical, war-mongering population which wanted to destroy everything German, tear the Germans limb from limb, go to war and save the world.
That was a major achievement, and it led to a further achievement. Right at that time and after the war the same techniques were used to whip up a hysterical Red Scare, as it was called, which succeeded pretty much in destroying unions and eliminating such dangerous problems as freedom of the press and freedom of political thought. There was very strong support from the media, from the business establishment, which in fact organized, pushed much of this work, and it was in general a great success.
From the archives: