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Fine Young Cannibals We | Media Control | Sorrows of Empire | Shock Doctrine | 64KB

<start with the Conclusion>  the media pied piper is a luxury of venal citizens and their hypocrisy about the cannibalism of their culture ...deliberately and corporately (evil) - just dumb monkeys doing their job
Media Control, Second Edition: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
by Noam Chomsky
47 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars small book... powerful ideas., January 13, 2003
By  Pen Name? "mlarsony" (Toledo, OH United States) - See all my reviews

Media Control is perhaps the best short introduction to Chomsky's thought on politics and propaganda around. Whereas books like 9-11 and "What Uncle Sam Really Wants" are choppy and prone to misunderstood interpretations by readers not already accustomed to Chomsky, Media Control is coherent, in depth and very easy and quick to read. The essay is from the time after the U.S. invasion of Iraq known as "Desert Storm" and traces the uses of propaganda and misinformation from that era back to the Wilson era and Walter Lippmann's theory of media control. Chomsky perhaps displays his dry wit in this short volume more than anywhere else, with his comparisson of the typical slogan "support our troops" to the absurd slogan "support the people in Iowa." What this makes clear, is the emptiness of the slogan. The question "do you support our troops?" cannot be answered with a "no" unless one is completely depraved. That question however masks the underlying question "do you support our policy?" which is something that elites in the govt. and media would prefer you not think about, because the answers would be more ambiguous and require real democratic discussion. The rulers and media heads would prefer to make those decisions for you, through what Lippmann dubbed "consent without consent". The mass media (now controlled largely by six major firms who all have holdings and enter into joint ventures with one another.) constrain debate on issues to within a moderate range, so of course most of the media will look to be at the "liberal" end of the allowed spectrum, but that only has the effect of cutting anything further to the "left" out of the discussion, so arguments many tend to go between something like the "hawks" who are for immediate war, unilaterally, and the "doves" largely represented in the media, who may tend to stand for "multi-lateralism" or waiting for more info. Thus, many who have other ideas on the subject are left out of mainstream debate, and thus seem to not exist. What we are left with is a host of false-dichotomies and debates that we don't even want to be in.
... Also, this new edition of Media Control is expanded to include transcript of a talk, previously printed in FAIR, which is a little thought experiment about how a journalist from Mars ... would cover the "war on terrorism." .../...  Permalink |

Chomsky is brilliant, but ...,
July 31, 2007
By  Gary Ark "GaryA" (Winchester, MA United States) - See all my reviews
Brilliant, very insightful. I have only one problem with Noam Chomsky's position - his absolution of general population from responsibilities of their government [which is the logic exploited by US Govt to justify the crushing of humans in other places -- BECAUSE 'they' are explicitly culpable for the circumstances 'they' created] . Yes, America is a big bully and there is a lot of propaganda, but isn't it what the majority wants to hear? Doesn't it feel good when we can beat up on countries like Yugoslavia to make us feel good about our might? The problem with Iraq and Vietnam is that, as with all bullies, if you fight back, the bully turns cowardly. Continuing resistance of Iraqis makes Americans, and media, feel insecure about themselves - with all that might and money we cannot control a few cavemen! Propaganda is successful not because there is a government conspiracy with media - it is successful because we want to hear ( palliatives, sugar-coated cornpone, the teevee toob-fed opiate of the comatose masses) what the media says. [it provides the plausible deniability, the '(DELIBERATE) Incompetence' the alibi of innocence from actual calibrations of mass genocide and cannibalism /js zog]

The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (American Empire Project) by Chalmers Johnson
516 of 555 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars 'War is a Racket' - General Smedley Butler USMC, April 1, 2004
By  Augustine Redux (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Am I the only one who thinks the the rest of his countryman are nuts? For the past 60 years and three generations, Americans have been led to believe that that spending billions for the Defense of the country is not only necessary but patriotic.

Forget conspiracy theories and ideological agendas, just contemplate one fact: The USA spends more on military and intelligence funding in 2004 than it has spent at any one time in history. Fourteen carrier groups to defeat the two remaining countries of the axis of evil, N. Korea and Iran? 750 and counting military bases outside the USA? However, the government tells us it is powerless to defend the country against an attack from a terrorist group with WMD??? So, the next time you watch television and the commentator tells you why we need another aircraft carrier, more tanks, more F-16's, etc., ask yourself: Who are we defending ourselves against? And, as Chalmers Johnson points out, follow the money!

This book is an excellent primer on how our beloved country is being led down the road to ruin by a group of people who are lining the pockets of themeselves and their friends and supporters. All of this is being done in the name of Democracy, Freedom and Globalization. But, why do we want to liberate people who sit on oil while those <other> countries being ruthlessly exploited and practcially enslaved are ignored since they can contribute little or nothing to the "world economy" (pick any poor third world country)?

This review is written by a conservative American, cold war supporter and US Navy veteran (like Chalmers Johnson)who believes in the old Republic (when is the last time you heard that word mentioned in the era of the imperial presidency). Forget whether you are democrat or republican, take the blinders off and seek the truth, excellently told by Chalmers Johnson.

229 of 269 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars essential truths rather than pablum and propaganda, January 16, 2004
By  L. F Sherman "dikw" (Wiscasset, ME United States) - See all my reviews
Essential truths are discomforting but critically important while there may still be time to save the United States from its worst enemies - antidemocratic ruling cliques that are part of the military industrial-complex (now oil and communications industries included) at its worst. This is not the pabulum and propaganda of most of the press and right wing think tanks or corporate media but rather a tough minded well documented and truly scary reality that most would prefer to ignore -- at their own risk. The American Empire of Bases, hidden expenses and private corporate military contracts, together with a plethora of lies make for mass hallucination that has but an inkling of truth. One chapter could stand on its own as a great description of recent economic and military history "What Happened to Globalization?". The chapter also effectively highlights how mythological is the "free market capitalism" that is ideology and far from reality. It is clear that the problem is not new - but also that is far worse than ever with the megalomaniac boy emperor and his irresponsible quest that is destroying everything from the Constitution to the economy. The practical first step - not mentioned directly by Johnson - is to get Bush out of office and work for major restoration of the promise of America for the people and the world rather than a few oil and war profiteers. Wake up! Pray there is still time to restore our country! Johnson does not say it in so many words but it becomes clear that no one has done more to make enemies and reduce our security than this President and his administration. After reading this one is not likely to be a total 'sucker' like Goering's public that could be manipulated by freaking people out about their enemies abroad and calling anyone who disagrees unpatriotic or traitorous.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein

118 of 152 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The New "New Economy", September 18, 2007
By  Panopticonman "panopticonman" (Brooklyn, NY USA)
In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein brilliantly proposes a compelling counter-story to the prevailing fable of free market infallibility. Buttressed by painstaking and wide-ranging research, and an ability to see connections where others only see coincidence, Ms. Klein amply shows that profit-making is not the essence of democracy as Milton Friedman and his minions would have it. She shows instead that the machinery of the state and the requirements of "disaster capitalism" are now so tightly synchronized in their exploitation of disasters both man-made and natural as to be virtually one in the same.

Citing pertinent examples to prove her thesis that "disaster capitalism" is now rampant around the world - in Russia, in China, in Iraq to name just a few - she describes how in times of crisis, elites everywhere have learned that they can profit by implementing policies, e.g., "shock therapy" or "shock and awe," that would have been vigorously opposed in normal times. When these changes to Friedmanite free-market dicta are opposed, as they were in Chile, a third shock is implemented. This, according to Klein is a shock that is entirely man-made - the torture and murder of those who would stand in the way of the takeover of the public sector, or, as neo-liberal economists would have it, the bringing forth of a new birth of freedom.

During the "Reagan Revolution," Klein argues, the notion of the `Entrepreneur As Hero' was buffed to a high gloss though the influence of right-wing think tanks whose pronouncements were reported by a cowed and obedient media. A decade later in the era, entrepreneurs were burnished to blinding sheen when the media fed the world images of swashbuckling venture capitalists who were touted as bringing forth a new millennium through the Internet. Klein maintains that George W. Bush's "public offering" -- the War on Terror - covered slavishly and avidly by the media, has been wildly successful, lining the pockets of investors in the new Homeland Security sector as promises of taxpayer money everlastingly flowing into the coffers of the military-industrial-energy complex have been fulfilled. This is the new "new economy:" the looting of the public sector through the now tried-and-true methods of disaster capitalism.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE reveals the many wounds that disaster capitalism has inflicted upon the body politic both here in the U.S. and throughout the world over the past 25 years. It is a breathtaking achievement. Highly recommended.

Read this Book,
November 17, 2007
By  Aimee Montes De Oca "Truth Lover" (Beaches of Florida) - See all my reviews
If you want to understand the difference between democracy and capitalism, read this book. If you want to know why the world's problems never seem to get solved, read this book. I had never read a book on economics before, but this one is riveting. The book of Revelation describes the United States as appearing like a lamb, but having the voice of a dragon. The Shock Doctrine details the fulfillment of that prophecy made 2000 years ago. After you read this book, study Revelation to prepare for everything else that is about to happen.

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