Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Illiterate Society cannot be a Democracy

An interesting article that I came across via Mike.

The article talks about how fucked up America is, and how most people are so illiterate they are incapable of critical thinking. Specifically, the article discusses this in relation to the recent election.
Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience. They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal.
Political leaders in our post-literate society no longer need to be competent, sincere or honest. They only need to appear to have these qualities. Most of all they need a story, a narrative. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts.
The article is American, but I see so much that can apply to our own recent election. How many people actually went on the internet and found out what Stephane Dion's Green Shift was all about? Or did they just let the Conservative propaganda (Stephane Dion is not a leader!) make their decisions for them? And it's not just the Conservative Party. All the parties are guilty of this. Their ads were overwhelmingly negative, attacking the party's leader in personal terms rather than their policies. They attempted to create, as it says above, a narrative about respective party leaders, regardless of whether or not that had any basis in reality.

I don't think we're quite at the level of America yet, but I think we're heading in that direction. It's a really, really, depressing thought.

No comments: