In America today, the mass media influences people’s thoughts on a daily basis. Like it, share it, connect and start over again. This is prevalent in the news with Ferguson, the Pornography industry, and television commercials.
The political thinker, Noam Chomsky once wrote that “America has a system of indoctrination including a system of propaganda imposed largely by media.” Some news headlines in Ferguson, a national outbreak read “Why aren’t we covering New York?” or “Why aren’t we covering black on black crime?” This is a perfect example of the misleading indoctrinate behavior the media and news portray. We as American citizens, unsure of most of the facts in the case have this feeling of sensation. We ‘trust’ the news, why wouldn’t we? It’s our one source of dubious information, these news headlines fill in the blanks we think we need, it substitutes for thinking. The average American will not question what is being shown on a public news station.
A free government like the United States benefits extremely from the ‘control of thought’ approach. The logic is straightforward: a despotic state can control its domestic enemies by force, but as the state loses this weapon, other devices are required to prevent the ignorant masses from interfering with public affairs, which are none of their business… we as american citizens the public are to be observers, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products.
Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to a dictatorship. One of the biggest distractions is the porn industry. There has always been pornography however there has not always been a porn industry. The media has blown the porn industry up over the past decade. It began in 1953 with playboy. Mind Geek become the most powerful forces in industry, owning six top ten porn industries. Pornhub gets more daily visits than Netflix. The porn industry has changed -- kids watching their first porn episode should not be able to be exposed to what America has to offer on the internet. We need to normalize healthy sex and stay away from degrading porn such as the rasicm “pimp my black teen.com” or “8th street latinas”, where if they have sex with men they’ll get a green card. Even in the media Miley Cyrus said, “I don’t always wanna be naked. One time I came out on stage fully covered and they wrote Miley is boring. I’m either boring or I’m a slut.” In American media, women are either fuckable or invisible.
Neil Postman once said “Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.” The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products. We are merely products to a capitalist system much bigger than ourselves.
Our social media has a huge effect on our individual thinking as well. Sharing is virtual form of word of mouth. The White House's Facebook page has nearly half a million fans; its Twitter feed has 1.7 million followers. President Obama was the first candidate to announce his White House run via Web video and his vice presidential pick by text message. Most information citizens receive, especially the younger generation come from the social media, meaning even if it is wrong people believe it.
These five huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States. America’s society, where the educated classes are so effectively indoctrinated and controlled by a subtle propaganda system – a private system including media, intellectual opinion forming magazines and the participation of the most highly educated sections of the population.
Chomsky argues that in order to break free, we as American citizens must take two actions: 1. They must seek out information from alternative media (media outside the mainstream and usually having a particular point of view). This means getting educated before speaking on what you heard from the media. 2. We must move toward change by becoming engaged in community action -- because people can use their ordinary intelligence to make changes in their lives and communities.
America is best known for it’s ‘freedom’, but are we really free? Is the idea of democracy a mere thought control maneuver? The First Amendment means that democracy requires free access to ideas and opinions, but does it ring true if your freedom of speech is controlled and learned? Democracy gives people a say in voting for their leader, but if they only see one person on the television, is that a true democracy?