This book was first published in 1988... more than 3 decades ago! The authors, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, friends for more than half a century, had previously collaborated on other publications. Herman was an American economist and professor of finance at Wharton School. He passed away in 2017. Noam Chomsky is an American political activist and professor who was very outspoken in opposing the involvement of the USA in the Vietnam War, the role played by both Israel and the US government in ongoing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and present-day capitalism. The authors claim that we falsely believe that information provided by mass media is objective and trustworthy. We are framed into thinking that the narrative is factually as presented. The book explores how mass communication media in the USA resorts to propaganda to support institutional ideologies. 3 major lessons can be drawn:
1. The elite class controls what the media "serves" us and any voiced opinion from outside that "pool" is censored, suppressed, and kept quiet, if not worse. Example provided: the Watergate scandal with President Nixon...
2. Advertisers influence what gets published and what is not through large funneled sums to the media companies. This demonstrates the bias with what is reported: follow the money trail if you want to make sure! At the end of the day, these large corporations only care about their financial interests and to increase their sales.
3. The upper class pays so-called experts to present distorted facts in mass media. The example provided to illustrate this argument is the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II by a Turkish national.
I know this book is more than 3 decades old. However, the lessons from it are still very much in use to date. Many of us have become more aware of the partiality of the supplied information, or shall we rather call it misinformation, when it came to the Covid debacle. For weeks on end, mainstream media hammered us on TV, radio, and newspapers that, in order to be considered good citizens, we needed to practice social distancing, stop meeting with and hugging our loved ones, and accept being injected with dangerous substances that were presented as a panacea. Cultivating and instilling fear to subjugate minds and wills in our modern times was worthy of a Joseph Goebbels. Except this time, the access to information was not restricted. And each one of us has the possibility to fact-check what we are told/sold. And so many theories started emerging. I will just throw here a few questions in relation to this specific topic: How can one trust a "scientist" whose research has been financed by large Pharma groups? Where is the fairness and impartiality of such studies and statistics? And isn't that called bribery? How are doctors believed to be experts in their fields when what they are taught at universities is how to address which symptom and pair it with which medication instead of truly honoring the Hippocrates oath and searching for a root cause to solve an ailment? Why are ancient medical traditions and knowledge disregarded and considered outdated when their track record is much more genuine and not prejudiced by money from the elites?
Reading Manufacturing Consent in 2023 and realizing that the masses are still being manipulated by and in the interest of a select few is ... sickening, to say the least. It is also heartwarming to see that an awareness has awakened and that humanity is not just yet doomed. People are skeptical about the recent Hawaii fires, the earthquake in Morocco, and the floods in Libya. Amidst all the gloom, beacons of light still flicker and will eventually prevail. It is only a matter of time. For if indeed, as Noam Chomsky so accurately points out "education is a system of imposed ignorance", the Truman Show was not a fictional movie and our quest for answers gives us hope by removing us humans from the propaganda equation in use. It allows us to filter properly, perceive clairvoyantly, and elevate our state of awareness to surrounding realities. This is where the salvation of our species lies and how we can change social norms and behaviors that have been dragged down into the dark side...
Happy reading 📚📚