Occupy Wall Street: The Right To... Educate Oneself

Occupy Wall Street: The Right To... Educate Oneself

Politics is defined as the art and science of running governmental or state affairs. In a modern democracy, politics is the process of determining and implementing how we want to be governed. It is the process by which we choose government officials who will implement public policy in our best interests. Throughout history, there has been a struggle between those who govern and their subjects. In his 1922 book titled "Public Opinion", Walter Lippmann introduced the term manufacture of consent. He believed that propaganda could be a useful and necessary tool for a cohesive society. He pointed out the need to summarize complex issues for the masses. I'm not sure that he envisioned that through manufactured consent, dictators, tyrants, politicians and interests would act with impunity. In the years since, politics in the United States has shifted from effective governance of public interest, to, a marketing campaign whose goal is to manufacture consent in the name of certain special interests. The price tag for this year's upcoming election is expected to be $8 Billion, mainly spent on propaganda to manufacture consent. Issues are rarely discussed in campaigns any more - not with any depth or clarity. Instead, we get lies, glittering generalities and attack ads. He or she who can best deceive gets elected.

Propaganda costs money. Money buys consent. It buys politicians. Unfortunately, as pointed out in an earlier post, it even buys scientists. The mainstream media readily pushes any agenda that is "profitable". This cycle thrives because we have been depoliticized to a point where we eat up whatever the media feeds us. Whether it is conservative or liberal, the media capitalizes on a few wedge issues we agree with to push a whole set of issues that is against our own self interests. After all, none of us really have the time to study complex issues to separate fact from fad. But we must, if the media machine is only there to misinform us. If we do not show the effort to see through the propaganda, our so called "rights", one after another, will be taken away from us. Propaganda is impotent against well informed citizens. Some citizens, like the ones in the photo above, understand this. Sadly, most citizen do not, or, care not to.

More Occupy photos.

Song of the Day: Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan (1965)
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