Manufacturing Consent

Topics: Propaganda, Mass media, Noam Chomsky Pages: 4 (1486 words) Published: June 28, 2008
According to the theories presented in Marc Achbar and Peter Wintonick's thought provoking documentary "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media," if the ideas in this reaction paper were to be published as a review piece for The Collegian, much of what I would say may well be censored. On the other hand, an even worse case scenario would be that my ideas would be regarded as irrelevant because the students of Penn State have been systematically numbed into apathy by the mind-control tactics of the "establishment" mass media and their corporate interests.

The first section of the film, entitled Thought Control in a Democratic Society, focuses on America's "power politics and protein guises." With his anarchist convictions, Chomsky's basic supposition is that propaganda and democracy are necessary accomplices in the functioning of state affairs. He compares it with a totalitarian state, where the government can use the military to keep the populace in order. In a "free" society, Chomsky believes, ideas are the state's weapons of control. "What you can't control with force, use manufacturing consent (propaganda in the old days) to control what they [people] think." That is why, he feels, we have become a "highly indoctrinated society" and why indoctrination has become the essence of democracy.

He offers the theory that the American media has, through the production of "convenient myths," allowed the government to play a role in global affairs that is far more influential, party-motivated, and repressive than the people believe. He feels the primary purpose of mass media in today's society is to mobilize support for interests of government. He also expresses his concern for the trend in mass, corporate-based media which recognizes the main function of the media to make people follow orders and not think for themselves.

The second part of the film, Activating Dissent, prescribes how these mind manipulation techniques can be counteracted and offers...

Cited: "The Drug War Industrial Complex" Interview of Noam Chomsky by Jon Veit. High
Times, April 1998.
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