The socalled "mainstream press", as seen by an insider - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15306230
German original: https://www.infosperber.ch/medien/medie ... en-medien/


How I lost faith in the established media

Helmut Scheben / 29.06.2023 When news later turns out to be false, it is often already etched in our memories as "historical truth".

During and after the 1991 Gulf War, the media in the USA were prohibited from photographing or filming images of the coffins of dead US soldiers. This measure was only lifted in February 2009. Filming dead or wounded US soldiers was also forbidden, and the ban was enforced with extreme severity, especially during the Iraq war, as cameramen reported. Once, when I was looking for such footage in the huge archive of Swiss television, I found a single sequence that lasted about three seconds. An American soldier was trying to climb out of a burning tank.

Three seconds of thousands of videos shot during this war. Three seconds that - as is clearly recognizable - were due to a mistake by an editor who had placed an IN or OUT incorrectly, so that material became visible that should actually have been censored.

Scenes of defeat have not been shown since Vietnam. So there are no more defeats, because the TV news compressed into two and a half minutes is what makes history in our minds.

In his book "Liberty and the News", the US journalist and media theorist Walter Lippmann stated in 1920:

"Newspaper columns are public information carriers. If those who control them assume the right to determine what is to be reported and for what purpose, then the democratic process comes to a standstill."
(Lippmann p.24)

A few years ago, I couldn't have imagined that my morning walk to the letterbox to pick up the newspapers would be accompanied by a quiet counterpoint of reluctance and boredom. I like having paper in my hand with my morning coffee instead of looking at a screen. Reading, however, takes up less and less time every year. One reason for this is that many topics no longer interest me, for example the eternal soap opera of British royals, the daily obligatory LGBTQ issues, the me-too attitude of groupies at rock concerts or parliamentary investigations to find out why banks are going to the wall in the financial casino.

However, the real problems of most people, the war in Ukraine, the escalating conflict between the USA and China, i.e. events that are currently changing the lives of millions of taxpayers and burdening future generations (armament, inflation, energy policy, sanctions policy, asylum etc.) are presented in our leading media with such a reduced perspective that it leaves me stunned. The denial of reality takes place with a matter-of-factness bordering on rabies.


If you wonder about the strange comparison - it doesnt make much sense in the german original either.

There are more oddities in this text and I assume thats possibly because the author is swiss ? They use language a bit differently than other german talking people.

Out of 100 articles, there are not 5 from the point of view of the other warring party

I took the trouble to check the Zurich Tages-Anzeiger, which I subscribe to, for one-sidedness. From Russia's attack in February 2022 until the end of 2022, I looked at around one hundred articles that dealt directly with the war in Ukraine. By the hundredth report, I was exhausted by the same old story. Almost all of them describe the suffering and heroism of western Ukraine in the Russian war of aggression and - in garish colors - Russia's crimes.

Experts on weapons systems and geostrategy incessantly repeat why Russia must be defeated, and the investigators know little more than the hunt for some Russian or Russian woman whose assets could be expropriated.

I couldn't find five articles out of a hundred that reported what was happening on the other side of the front. The suffering of the pro-Russian Ukrainians under the rocket attacks and artillery fire of the pro-Western Ukrainians is not worth mentioning. The people behind the front line do not seem to exist for our major media. They report exclusively from the perspective of NATO, i.e. from the perspective of an arms lobby that functions worldwide as a crowbar for the US as a force for order.

The one-sidedness of the reports stems from the one-sidedness of the sources. Apart from the inescapable British secret service (whether 007 is involved remains a mystery so far), the daily sources of our "notification" are: President Selensky and his entourage in Kiev as well as his friends in Brussels, London, Washington and the associated experts and NATO think tanks. The Russians appear mainly as criminals who deny their crimes.

And when a dam bursts, largely flooding Russian defense positions and a territory occupied by Russia, all the German talk shows, as well as the Swiss radio magazine "Echo der Zeit", immediately find experts who know that it was the Russians who destroyed the dam. Just as it is the Russians who are shooting themselves at the nuclear power plant they are occupying. "Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead the blind", says Shakespeare in King Lear.


Not to mention the russians also blew up their very own, very expensive (billions of dollars) and impossible to quickly replace Nordstream pipeline. If Russia actually wanted to blackmail germany, all they would have to do is stop sending gas into the pipeline. No need to blow it up.

In the years before the Russian attack, OECD observers recorded daily artillery detonations, and in February 2022, hundreds of explosions per day. Well over ten thousand people died in the fighting in eastern Ukraine between 2014 and 2022. So this war did not start in February 2022.

Did our newspapers report on it? They have largely swept it under the carpet. They only see what they already know. In other words, they always know what they're going to see. In other words, what I can read in the newspapers every morning. And therefore what I no longer have to read because I already know what it is before I open the newspaper.

"Don't be fooled by your own"

In the fall of 1983, more than a million people demonstrated throughout the Federal Republic of Germany against the deployment of nuclear bombs. Even in several countries that were members of NATO, a majority of people opposed further nuclear armament, because it was clear that the much-vaunted "balance of terror" had long been guaranteed by the British and French A-bombs. During the debate in the Bundestag, opposition leader Willy Brandt said that his party, the SPD, was being bombarded with letters of protest:

"These are Germans West and Germans East, these are Europeans and Americans, these are mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, workers and entrepreneurs, artists and soldiers, housewives, pensioners, and they are scientists and engineers of all academic degrees. I wonder who will benefit if the commitment and collective expertise of these fellow citizens is swept into the trash with all the arrogance of power."

The FDP-CDU majority in the German parliament chose the dustbin for the people's vote and decided to station medium-range nuclear missiles. Although these were abolished as part of a disarmament agreement, US nuclear warheads are still stored at Büchel Air Base in the Eifel region. German air force pilots train in their use as part of the so-called "nuclear sharing". It is no military secret that Russia has always been and continues to be the main target.

In the same year, 1983, Christa Wolf's book "Kassandra" is published, a text about a seer who contemplates the fall of her homeland Troy before her death:

"When the war begins, one can know, but when does the pre-war begin? If there were rules, they would have to be passed on. Engraved in clay in stone, handed down. What would it say? It would say among other sentences: Do not be deceived by your own."

I let myself be deceived by my own, but it took me a long time to realize that. The "Süddeutsche", the "Frankfurter Rundschau", the "Neue Zürcher", the "Spiegel" and other papers were my leading media when I was learning journalism.

The big media, both those financed by television and those of private corporations, have failed miserably in all the wars I have been able to observe. Their job would have been to question the actions of governments, but in many cases they have turned out to be loudspeakers for government propaganda and warmongers in unjustified and senseless wars.

The Balkan wars opened Pandora's box

If I remember correctly, my first major professional crisis came during the Balkan wars. I couldn't sleep at night when I realized that people were lying through their teeth. Tuzla was my key experience at the time. The city in Bosnia had been defined as a protection zone in 1993. Blue helmets were stationed there. The Bosnian Muslim population was to be protected from Serbian attacks. However, Serbian artillery continued to fire on the town. These attacks were a daily news item on the radio for months. The Western media were overflowing with indignation at the shelling of the "safe area".

I was taken aback when blue helmet soldiers told me in 1995: "The Serbs sometimes shoot in there, but the artillery in Tuzla also shoots out at the surrounding Serbian villages every night."

Tuzla was supplied with weapons by the USA at night and in the fog. There were restricted military areas where UN units were denied access. The same government in Washington, which outwardly played the role of "honest broker" to bring about an end to the war, secretly organized so-called "black flights" to arm the Bosniak military.

When a Norwegian blue helmet officer noticed this in 1995 and made it public, he was ordered to remain silent and was punished. The British broadcaster ITN/Channel 4 made a report on the matter, which I took over for a magazine on the SRG program Schweiz 4.

My attempts to draw the attention of the Swiss media to the revelations met with indifference. In Bosnia, as in Kosovo, NATO determined what was allowed to be known and what was not. Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor in The Hague, later complained that she had run into a wall with her request for insight into NATO's secret operations.

It was only much later that I learned that leading PR agencies in the USA were feeding the press with horror stories about Serbian concentration camps and Holocaust plans, which a gigantic media apparatus chased around the world in a matter of seconds. In their study "Operation Balkan: Advertising for War and Death", political scientists Jörg Becker and Mira Beham have identified well over a hundred such PR contracts in US archives. The brief was to portray the Serbs as perpetrators and the others as victims. James Harff, head of the PR agency Ruder Finn, described his job as follows:

"Our trade is to spread the news, to get it out there as quickly as possible (...) Speed is of the essence. Because we know exactly that the first message is important. A denial no longer has any effect."
Mira Beham: War drums. Media, war and politics. 1996. p.172 ff.

PR agencies provide the arguments for war and death

Harff showed a certain professional pride to Jacques Merlino, a deputy editor-in-chief of France 2, when he candidly described how his agency "pulled off its job with a great bluff" by getting three powerful US Jewish lobbying organizations to warn of an impending holocaust in the Balkans in advertisements in the New York Times.

"With one move we were able to simplify the issue and present it as a story of the good guys and the bad guys (...) And we won, because we picked the right target, the Jewish audience. Immediately there was a noticeable change in the use of language in the media, accompanied by the use of terms that had a strong emotional charge, such as ethnic cleansing, concentration camps and so on, all evoking a comparison with Nazi Germany, gas chambers and Auschwitz. The emotional charge was so powerful that nobody dared to contradict it."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer consequently toured Europe with the slogan "Never again Auschwitz" and his Defense Minister Scharping told the people that the Serbs were "playing football with the severed heads of their enemies." A photo that went around the world as proof of the Serbian atrocities and as an argument for the NATO war of aggression showed a horribly emaciated man with a naked upper body behind barbed wire. It was reminiscent of the photos of German extermination camps in 1945. The photo was - as was later proven - a fake. The refugee center in question, Trnopolje, was not cordoned off by a barbed wire fence at the time, nor were there any half-starved people there.

Nothing has changed. The war generates the same old propaganda. In 2022, a "writer from East Germany" living in Ukraine named Christoph Brumme wrote a regular "diary" in the NZZ am Sonntag in which he predicted, among other things, that the Russians would set up concentration camps in Ukraine and that Putin was a second Hitler. He was probably seriously ill and would stage his suicide with a nuclear bomb. And much more besides.

The category of "embedded journalists" had already emerged during the 1991 Gulf War, and there is hardly a term that better describes how this profession can degenerate into a kind of prostitution. In his study "Second Front: Censorship and propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War" (published in German by dtv "Die Schlacht der Lügen"), the US journalist John R. MacArthur showed how the media was kept on a leash and how the public was deceived.

The symbiosis of the big media and their governments became a matter of course after the 9/11 attack. This was defined as an attack by a hostile power and, following this logic, first Afghanistan and then Iraq were attacked. A "war on terror" was launched around the world, and once the clean-up was underway, "by the way" oppressed peoples were also "liberated" in Libya and Syria. The results can be seen in all these countries.

The renowned science journalist and peace activist Norman Cousins had already given the ideological mission of the US superpower a name in 1987: "The Pathology of Power".

A fabricated rape story in Libya

It is incomprehensible to me how journalists, who have been lied to so often by governments, continue to disseminate the political guidelines from above as if they were the tablets of the Ten Commandments. In June 2011, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on camera that she now had proof that Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi was using "systematic rape" as a strategy. At that time, civil war was raging in Libya. The Libyan army was trying to put down an uprising that had been escalating in the wake of the so-called "Arab Spring" since February 2011. The USA and its NATO allies had been bombing the country since March 2011 in order - according to the official argument - to help the Libyan people oppressed by Gaddafi and "enforce a no-fly zone".

A Libyan woman named Eman-al Obeidi was regarded as living proof of the accusation of rape. The woman had gained access to the luxury hotel Rixos Al Nasr in Tripoli on March 26, 2011. Hotel staff and security guards tried to prevent her from making contact with the journalists who were sitting there at breakfast. The woman screamed that she had been abducted and raped by Gaddafi militiamen at a checkpoint three days earlier.

Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim later explained that Ms Obeidi was initially thought to be drunk and mentally disturbed. It was then established that her statements were credible. The case was in the hands of the judiciary. It was a case of ordinary criminality and not a political crime.

Ms. Obeidi was interviewed by CNN and numerous other media outlets. She was presented as proof of the wickedness of the Libyan head of state Gaddafi. It hardly seemed worth mentioning to the major media that Libyan doctors had cared for the woman, had confirmed the rape and that the Libyan police had arrested suspects shortly afterwards.

In 2011, I asked an Amnesty International office in Zurich what the truth of the allegations was. I was told that Amnesty had been investigating in Libya for several months and had found no confirmation of the allegations of mass rape. The spokesperson for the Libyan organization "Human Rights Solidarity Libya", which was close to the insurgents, also told me on the phone: "We have no evidence. The only concrete case is that of Ms. Obeidi."

In the meantime, the crap had run its course and the story experienced an almost frenzied proliferation in practically all Western media. My Google search on Sunday, July 20, 2011, showed 21 million results. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Luis Moreno Ocampo, provided an excellent lubricant for the media apparatus with the remark that he actually had "information" about mass rape. When asked by a journalist what he thought of reports that Gaddafi had Viagra imported so that his soldiers could rape, the chief prosecutor did not reply: "Leave me alone with such nonsense". Instead, he said the perfidious sentence that evidence was still being collected: "Yes, we are still collecting evidence."

The fantasy continued to proliferate for weeks. The Swiss newspaper "Le Matin" took the creative story-telling as far as a photo illustration of a king-size bed complete with lamp and bedside table: allegedly a room in an underground bunker where, according to the paper, Gaddafi abused his female victims. During this time, I never met a journalist who said he was ashamed that his choice of profession made him part of this industry.

"Atrocity management" is as old as war itself.

Demonizing the enemy is a tried and tested instrument that is as old as war itself.


Indeed.

In his standard work "Images of War, War of Images", historian Gerhard Paul uses over 200 images to illustrate how modern visual media have branded war as iconography in the collective memory. According to Gerhard Paul, reality is lost to the same extent as the images are perfected and standardized.

Crimes against children are always effective in the media. This ranges from the Kuwaiti "nurse Najirah", who told a human rights committee of the US Congress that she had seen Iraqi soldiers tearing out the tubes of incubator babies, which later turned out to be a fabrication by the PR agency Hill & Knowlton, to the human rights commissioner Denisova in Kiev, who lost her job in June 2022 because it had become clear that she had spread lies. These included the claim that she had evidence that Russian soldiers were raping small children.

The depiction of the enemy as a bestial monster seems to be an unavoidable stereotype of war propaganda. During the First World War, the story that German soldiers had snatched a Belgian woman's baby, chopped off her hands and then eaten them was a long-running story in the French and British press.

When the enemy is a monster that embodies evil in itself, wars are easier to justify. In more than forty years of journalistic work, I have found that the major media usually disseminate such propaganda stories uncritically and are only very late or never prepared to admit their mistakes. The "New York Times", which asked its readers for forgiveness for the misinformation surrounding the war in Iraq, is the only case I know of.

In 19 years of working for Swiss television SRF, I am not aware of any case in which a program has apologized for false news. With the exception of the Meteo program, when the weather forecast was wrong.

In 2011, I drew the attention of Amnesty International Switzerland to the fact that there were no television pictures of the destruction caused by the NATO air strikes in Libya. The Libyan government's television studios had been reduced to rubble in the first wave of attacks. The NATO command center in Naples was thus able to prevent emotional images of victims being pulled from the rubble from being shown on Western TV channels. The problem had not come to the attention of the major media, or they ignored it.

The Amnesty spokesperson replied to me at the time that this one-sided portrayal was also of great concern to them. When I had finished the report for the Tagesschau in the evening with the editor at the editing suite, the head of the Tagesschau said during approval that this sentence by the Amnesty spokesperson had to be removed from the report. When I asked why, he said: "Otherwise the viewers might think that Gaddafi wasn't so bad after all and was in the right."

A new era of censorship has dawned

The corporate media and the fee-financed broadcasters dominate the news market. They all claim that they are the Fourth Estate, keeping an eye on the powerful, and that this is what makes democracy possible. My experience is that they are much more believers in a kind of religious community that sees itself as the axis of good. Anyone who does not share their world view is hushed up, defamed or simply banned.

In this sense, governments and their associated media work efficiently. The 27 countries of the European Union have banned the Russian news channels RT and Sputnik. Anyone who broadcasts or receives them will even pay a fine of up to 50,000 euros in Austria. This is how easy it is believed to be to enforce the diversity of opinion. Protest or criticism from the major editorial offices of the Fourth Estate? Zero.

While the Russian social media* continue to discuss this war with astonishing vigor and controversy, the Western media are obsessively trying to convince us that anyone in Russia who says anything against this war will be imprisoned. "Ten years in prison for thinking" is the headline of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (June 6, 2023).

Opposition media are simply banned in Kiev. Do we have to report on this? Obviously not. This is then dealt with casually, almost as a digressive digression, in eight words: "Since the beginning of the war, Ukrainian broadcasters have been showing a joint program" (Zürcher Tagesanzeiger, 28 July 2022). Community program? That almost sounds like community service.

The concealment is systematic. Nowhere is this more evident than in the silence that our leading media are maintaining about the rampant censorship of social media. A few weeks after the EU banned Russian channels, Google announced that it would block all Russia-related media worldwide. As is so often the case with Big Tech, the pressure allegedly came from its own staff: "Google employees had urged YouTube to take additional punitive measures against Russian channels."

Millions of posts disappear from the platform. Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who was involved in the Edward Snowden revelations, has pointed out this extreme censorship campaign and the billions of dollars that play a role in it:

"Unsurprisingly, the Silicon Valley monopolies are exercising their censorship power in full alignment with the US government's foreign policy interests. Many of the major tech monopolies - such as Google and Amazon - routinely seek and obtain highly lucrative contracts with the US security apparatus, including the CIA and NSA. Their top executives maintain close relationships with top Democratic Party officials. And Democrats in Congress have repeatedly called tech executives before their various committees to threaten them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they don't bring censorship more in line with the party's political goals and interests."


Its very annoying that I dont know the original english statement from Greenwald because this one was of course first translated to German and then translated back to English.

Anyone who reads the Twitter files knows how the system works. A discreet intervention by the FBI can cause leading media outlets to put politically sensitive topics on ice until the "danger", in this case an election defeat for candidate Joe Biden, has been averted.


The Twitter files is another issue that mainstream news never talks about.

What shocked me at the time and still leaves me stunned today is the hooliganism that is reflexively set in motion by a media mob when a few dare to swim against the tide and question published opinion. The political scientist Mira Beham told me that she had been banned from writing in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" because she dared to argue that the perpetrator-victim scheme would get us nowhere in the Balkan conflicts, that the matter was more complex. Nowadays, a renowned journalist like Patrick Baab loses his teaching position at the University of Kiel if he dares to report from the Donbass "from the wrong side of the front".

Orwell's dystopian vision of "newspeak" and "ministries of truth" is well on the way to becoming reality. In this respect, we are indeed experiencing a turning point, even if the German chancellor meant something different when he used the term.

The word "luegenpresse" is not accurate

Media scientist Uwe Krüger has documented that most of the established media's alpha males are members of NATO- and US-affiliated institutions. Of course, there is the factor of coercion and conformity, such as the well-known fact that every employee at Axel Springer Verlag ("Bild", "Die Welt") has to agree to the statutes that demand support for the transatlantic alliance and solidarity with the USA.

Nevertheless, one should be careful with the abusive term "lying press". The matter is infinitely more complicated. On the one hand, as far as news outlets are concerned, there is a system based on abbreviation and exaggerated spin. The philosopher Paul Virilio spoke of an "industry of oblivion", which incessantly fills up what has just been reported with new news. A news apparatus that produces highly fragmented fragments of events cannot provide context and background, even if well-meaning journalists wanted to.

And they want to. In my entire life, I have hardly met any media people who wanted to falsify or report dishonestly. People don't lie, they are usually convinced of what they say and write. They are shaped by their entire life story, their education and their social contacts and are integrated into the world view of their environment.

There is this "huge chunk of truth", which the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand called "implanted memory":

"We are all born into a universe of fields of discourse shaped by the ideological power struggles of previous generations. Even before the historian can acquire the tools for critical questioning, all the history, politics and Bible lessons at school, the national holidays, memorial days, public ceremonies, street names, memorials, television series and other spheres of remembrance shape his world of imagination. There is a huge chunk of 'truth' in his head that he cannot simply avoid."
Shlomo Sand: The invention of the Jewish people. S. 40

Every magician and sleight-of-hand artist is familiar with the problem of an industry that is supposed to serve the daily search for truth under the name of journalism: perception is not determined by actual events, but by expectations. By a huge chunk of "truth".


Thats 100% what I mean when I use the term luegenpresse.

As scientific studies have shown, journalists here in the west are almost exclusively recruited from the top 10%. They thus have the worldview of the upper 10% and distribute it.

The luegenpresse tells system lies - lies that keep the system working. It doesnt matter if the people producing this material are unaware of the fact they are lying. Its still lies, and bloody obvious ones, too. For those who are NOT part of the upper 10% and dont live a cushioned life.

(gray box in the middle of the article)

Author Helmut Scheben

Helmut Scheben (*1947 in Koblenz, Germany) studied Romance languages and literature in Mainz, Bonn, Salamanca and Lima. He received his doctorate in 1980 from the University of Bonn. From 1980 to 1985, he worked as a press agency reporter and correspondent for print media in Mexico and Central America. From 1986 he was editor of the weekly newspaper WoZ in Zurich, and from 1993 to 2012 editor and reporter for Swiss television SRF, including 16 years on the news program Tagesschau.


Finally:

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)


(and double checked by me)
#15306238
Reality sucks.

Much of what he is discovering is old news, if you're old.

The thing with Gadaffi is that the Brits wanted revenge. They cashed in some IOU's with other countries like the USA, and bye, bye Gaddafi.

Guess what, humans are human. Frankly, Gaddafi was not exactly a peach. Which is not to justify the attack on Libya, we made a mess, and didn't clean it up.

Poor Yugoslavia. But the reality is there was no way we were going to let those aholes spread their revenge killing into NATO territory. They had to be stopped. Btw, that was a diplomatic nightmare. We had some great people on the ground there, it's amazing they got them to stop killing each other. (and when I say that, I mean that was more like terrorism than military combat, most of the dead were civvies)

If I've heard people whine about Nuland once, I've heard it a thousand times. And that's no exaggeration. She came in and played hardball. No doubt, but what the geniuses never mention is that Putin had been playing hardball for years.

I could keep going. One of the evils in the world is the American Ag Dept. But it keeps a low profile, and hardly anyone knows it is screwing things up on a global scale. It is so close to politically invulnerable even I don't talk about it (much).

If you keep an eye peeled, you can find an expose written by some kid every few months. They find out the world isn't perfect, and let everyone know. I must have read a dozen before I noticed the obvious. There are always, always, always, other things going on (almost always). There is no passionate message here, just pay attention.
#15308003
An article that Negotiator provided wrote:"Newspaper columns are public information carriers. If those who control them assume the right to determine what is to be reported and for what purpose, then the democratic process comes to a standstill."
(Lippmann p.24)


And lacking a democratic media, the public are turned into children who are to be lied to in order to control their behavior in ways that are profitable to "friends of commercial media"... ie. advertisers.

late wrote:...humans are human...

Yes, and tyrants are tyrants.
Ignorance is ignorance.
And extinction is extinction.

Having a media that lies to people means that we don't live in a democracy. We live in an oligarchy.

This means that businessmen oligarchs - with no nobless oblige - are free to do whatever they want to their slaves (ie. you and me).

This gives them enough power that they will experience hubris and other forms of control-related insanity. They will become so power-mad that they will destroy a lot of things - like Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia... the environment... our communities and families...

But it's all because masters are masters, and cattle are cattle. Right?
#15308231
late wrote:Hmmm, human cattle, the other white meat...


Guy Debord really hammers the role of "media" in his seminal work "The Society of the Spectacle."

...Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: "All that once was directly lived has become mere representation."[2] Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as "the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing."[3] This condition, according to Debord, is the "historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life."[4]

The spectacle is the inverted image of society in which relations between commodities have supplanted relations between people, in which "passive identification with the spectacle supplants genuine activity". "The spectacle is not a collection of images," Debord writes, "rather, it is a social relation among people, mediated by images."....


There is also this great documentary in French:



In it, the narrator interprets Guy Debord's work as suggesting that we live in societies that are controlled by media, and that most of humanity have become passive consumers of what they used to call "life."
#15308241
QatzelOk wrote:
Guy Debord...



... is a dead French Marxist.

Turns out he was a leader in the 68 Paris Uprising. That was a big deal, although the political effectiveness of protests is quite limited.'

In the 50s and 60s France was a hotbed of intellectual activity. Most of it isn't memorable, but it was a high water mark for French philosophy. Take a look at Derrida..

Anyway... I will counter with Marshall McLuhan. New information technologies are often disruptive. The printing press played a key role in setting off an era of war. The "mainstream press" of the era got screwed sideways by the Protestants. Something similar is happening right now, social media is drowning the mainstream press at times.

It is also likely to be instrumental in starting a new era of war..
#15308244
late wrote:... I will counter with Marshall McLuhan. New information technologies are often disruptive. ...social media is drowning the mainstream press at times...

I love McLuhan. Yes, new media are disruptive. But eventually they are taken over by the same powers that controlled the last one. (The Global Village)

And Guy Debord adds that the powers-that-be need to control media because... media is what they use to control us.

Combined, Mcluhan-Debord are saying that we don't live in a democracy - we live as passive media-consumer-slaves under a media-controlled oligarchy. And this is important because it means that our political memes are all lies.
#15308249
QatzelOk wrote:
I love McLuhan. Yes, new media are disruptive. But eventually they are taken over by the same powers that controlled the last one. (The Global Village)

And Guy Debord adds that the powers-that-be need to control media because... media is what they use to control us.

Combined, Mcluhan-Debord are saying that we don't live in a democracy - we live as passive media-consumer-slaves under a media-controlled oligarchy. And this is important because it means that our political memes are all lies.



“The day of political democracy as we know it today is finished. Let me stress again that individual freedom itself will not be submerged in the new tribal society, but it will certainly assume different and more complex dimensions.”
–1969, March. Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan. Playboy. Pp. 53 – 74, 158.

“One obvious effect of writing and printing is to bind together long tracts of time by making past writers simultaneously available. Associated with this effect is the republicanism of letters. Anybody, no matter what his origin or condition, has access on equal terms to the written messages of “the mighty dead,” so that we can readily link, as most have done, the rise of democratic attitudes to the mechanization of writing.”
– Technology & Political Change, International Journal, 1952, p. 190

“TV reaches out for the corporate attributes of office. Potentially, it can transform the Presidency into a monarchic dynasty”.
– Understanding Media, 1964, MIT, p. 336.
#15308329
late wrote:...“One obvious effect of writing and printing is to bind together long tracts of time by making past writers simultaneously available. Associated with this effect is the republicanism of letters. Anybody, no matter what his origin or condition, has access on equal terms to the written messages of “the mighty dead,” so that we can readily link, as most have done, the rise of democratic attitudes to the mechanization of writing.”...1952...


Of course, this was his vision of the state of Modern humanity... in 1952. There have been many technology changes since then, and they have had the effect of revealing even more dangers.

Another effect of widespread literacy and the central importance of *texts* in civilizations for the last few millennia... is that literate humans are often inspired to "get into the history books" ... whatever it takes.

The easiest way to "get into the history books" is to commit widespread atrocities. And this mania for committing widespread atrocities (like world wars) in order to put one's name in print for eternity... might end up driving humans to extinction (like so many other animals have been driven to extinction by humans striving to see their name in texts).

So on a deeper level, literacy might drive humanity to extinction. Many human technologies have the ability to do this. We play American Roulette with humanity every time a technology is globalized and our History Book poseurs don't care, they just want to see their name in lights.
#15308339
QatzelOk wrote:
Of course, this was his vision of the state of Modern humanity... in 1952. There have been many technology changes since then, and they have had the effect of revealing even more dangers.

Another effect of widespread literacy and the central importance of *texts* in civilizations for the last few millennia... is that literate humans are often inspired to "get into the history books" ... whatever it takes.

The easiest way to "get into the history books" is to commit widespread atrocities. And this mania for committing widespread atrocities (like world wars) in order to put one's name in print for eternity... might end up driving humans to extinction (like so many other animals have been driven to extinction by humans striving to see their name in texts).

So on a deeper level, literacy might drive humanity to extinction. Many human technologies have the ability to do this. We play American Roulette with humanity every time a technology is globalized and our History Book poseurs don't care, they just want to see their name in lights.



Tribes of chimps have been observed attacking and killing other tribes, one would assume in a fight over territory and/or resources.

I suspect what is going on with them is not an attempt to get into history books, but fights over territory, resources, and dominance. It may not be biologically accurate, but we're just monkeys with big brains.

So it's German roulette thanks to the printing press, English roulette for military R&D, Germany again for mechanised warfare.

To borrow a lyric, we didn't start the fire...
#15308342
late wrote:Tribes of chimps have been observed attacking and killing other tribes, one would assume in a fight over territory and/or resources.

I suspect what is going on with them is not an attempt to get into history books, but fights over territory, resources, and dominance. It may not be biologically accurate, but we're just monkeys with big brains.

So it's German roulette thanks to the printing press, English roulette for military R&D, Germany again for mechanised warfare.

To borrow a lyric, we didn't start the fire...


Not all of the primate species are xenophobes Late.

Bonobos share more of our DNA than even the chimps do. And they are mostly pacifist and like grooming each other and chilling and having sex.

So I tend to think we have a future beyond tribal warfare. Now if we could get past the need to see TV we might be getting somewhere eh?

Maybe I should give up writing on PoFo forever eh? Keep my views off the forum discussion boards. Polluting the world with my words contaminated by media that I never thought about before?

You know I was a couple of courses shy of a degree in journalism. I dumped that degree. Once I realized it was all lies about reporting the news and the editorial aspects were about selling out to power in the media? It is highly cynical.

Not for me eh?

;)
#15308351
Tainari88 wrote:
Not all of the primate species are xenophobes Late.

Bonobos share more of our DNA than even the chimps do. And they are mostly pacifist and like grooming each other and chilling and having sex.

So I tend to think we have a future beyond tribal warfare. Now if we could get past the need to see TV we might be getting somewhere eh?

Maybe I should give up writing on PoFo forever eh? Keep my views off the forum discussion boards. Polluting the world with my words contaminated by media that I never thought about before?

You know I was a couple of courses shy of a degree in journalism. I dumped that degree. Once I realized it was all lies about reporting the news and the editorial aspects were about selling out to power in the media? It is highly cynical.

Not for me eh?

;)



There's a bunch of different kinds of primates, but the point was that we and chimps had a little something in common.
#15308352
late wrote:There's a bunch of different kinds of primates, but the point was that we and chimps had a little something in common.


Yes we do.

I am afraid we are losing our deep feelings of attachment for each other and our families and societies.

We need to observe more about what Flint felt for Flo in this chimp group in Africa.

He grieved a lot.

We are creatures of rationality but also of irrationality. Government should be strictly about logic and rationality. But it often is not. It is about chavunism, prejudice and feelings or delusions of grandeur eh?

Got to be careful about that. We share a proclivity for a deep depressive state when some tragedy happens to us Late. We need to keep government very rational and very scientific in order to let people have their intimate and feeling driven family relationships stay sane and protected. You get the feelings involved in politics? It is a big mistake.

#15308399
late wrote:Tribes of chimps have been observed attacking and killing other tribes, one would assume in a fight over territory and/or resources....

The main point is that chimps... are not driving the world to extinction, and they don't "live their lives" to see their names in print one day. They don't have texts or technology, so they are not the kind of risk for the planet that insane techno-humans are.

By not having technology, the most chimps can do is to fight with their bodies. If humans limited themselves to that, a lot of animals would not have gone extinct. (By the way, you provided another species as a scapegoat for human atrocities. This is yet another way that humans exploit the shit out of the natural world).

Another way in which History can kill us... is that the books of History are given as an example of notable behavior. The heroic battles of WW2 are used to sell colonialism all over the world as a way or re-enacting world war battles that History depicts as heroic and "good."
#15308487
QatzelOk wrote:
The main point is that chimps... are not driving the world to extinction, and they don't "live their lives" to see their names in print one day. They don't have texts or technology, so they are not the kind of risk for the planet that insane techno-humans are.

By not having technology, the most chimps can do is to fight with their bodies. If humans limited themselves to that, a lot of animals would not have gone extinct. (By the way, you provided another species as a scapegoat for human atrocities. This is yet another way that humans exploit the shit out of the natural world).

Another way in which History can kill us... is that the books of History are given as an example of notable behavior. The heroic battles of WW2 are used to sell colonialism all over the world as a way or re-enacting world war battles that History depicts as heroic and "good."



There is an old Greek myth about a guy named Procrustes. He had a room he rented out. If you were short, he stretched you out to fit the bed. If you were too tall, he cut you down to size.

You are ignoring the obvious, that this is observable in the wild. And that the fight to get and keep dominance leads to a lot of regrettable results.

Btw, we didn't start colonies after WW2. We started global trade, but in a new way. Most of the time you could trade anything anywhere. Granted, we did a lot of exploitation.

People that do business don't usually go to war. It's bad for business.
#15308507
late wrote:There is an old Greek myth about a guy named Procrustes. He had a room he rented out. If you were short, he stretched you out to fit the bed. If you were too tall, he cut you down to size.

You are ignoring the obvious, that this is observable in the wild...


And yet you cite no examples of wild animals cutting other animals to fit a bed or other technological object.

You seem to be suggesting that "Nature imitates Greek mythology" with no irony whatsover. And this is the problem with our current survivalability. We live in myths and can't live within nature anymore. This is a fatal condition that we accept because we are so wrapped up in our human-made myths.

By the way, most mythology are "lies with a social function." They are not usually nature-based, they are only "set in nature" like many Hollywood movies are (equally fake).
#15308510
late wrote:You are ignoring the obvious...

What "obvious" am I ignoring?

And by "obvious," do you mean "that which has been presented to us by the elite as information?"

Because living by the obvious... is very similar to "ignorance is bliss."

Are you promoting this kind of bliss on a political discussion forum? :lol:

(I didn't realize your Greek mythology reference was ad hom or I would have ignored it)

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