Thought Control in Democratic
by Noam Chomsky
South End Press, 1989
A 1975 study on "governability of democracies" by the
Trilateral Commission concluded that the media have become a "notable
new source of national power," one aspect of an "excess
of democracy" that contributes to "the reduction of
governmental authority" at home and a consequent "decline
in the influence of democracy abroad." This general "crisis
of democracy," the commission held, resulted from the efforts
of previously marginalized sectors of the population to organize
and press their demands, thereby creating an overload that prevents
the democratic process from functioning properly. In earlier times,
"Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation
of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers,"
so the American rapporteur, Samuel Huntington of Harvard University,
reflected. In that period there was no crisis of democracy, but
in the 1960s, the crisis developed and reached serious proportions.
The study therefore urged more "moderation in democracy"
to mitigate the excess of democracy and overcome the crisis.
Putting it in plain terms, the general
public must be reduced to its traditional apathy and obedience,
and driven from the arena of political debate and action, if democracy
is to survive.
The Trilateral Commission study reflects
the perceptions and values of liberal elites from the United States,
Europe, and Japan, including the leading figures of the Carter
administration. On the right, the perception is that democracy
is threatened by the organizing efforts of those called the "special
interests," a concept of contemporary political rhetoric
that refers to workers, farmers, women, youth, the elderly, the
handicapped, ethnic minorities, and so on-in short, the general
population. In the U.S. presidential campaigns of the 1980s, the
Democrats were accused of being the instrument of these special
interests and thus undermining "the national interest,"
tacitly assumed to be represented by the one sector notably omitted
from the list of special interests: corporations, financial institutions,
and other business elites.
The charge that the Democrats represent
the special interests has little merit. Rather, they represent
other elements of the "national interest," and participated
with few qualms in the right turn of the post-Vietnam era among
elite groups, including the dismantling of limited state programs
designed to protect the poor and deprived; the transfer of resources
to the wealthy; the conversion of the state, even more than before,
to a welfare state for the privileged; and the expansion of state
power and the protected state sector of the economy through the
military system-domestically, a device for compelling the public
to subsidize high-technology industry and provide a state-guaranteed
market for its waste production. A related element of the right
turn was a more "activist" foreign policy to extend
U.S. power through subversion, international terrorism, and aggression:
the Reagan Doctrine, which the media characterize as the vigorous
defense of democracy worldwide, sometimes criticizing the Reaganites
for their excesses in this noble cause. In general, the Democratic
opposition offered qualified support to these programs of the
Reagan administration, which, in fact, were largely an extrapolation
of initiatives of the Carter years and, as polls clearly indicate,
with few exceptions were strongly opposed by the general population.
In the United States, in particular, the
ability of the upper and upper-middle classes to dominate the
marketplace of ideas has generally allowed these strata to shape
the entire society's perception of political reality and the range
of realistic political and social possibilities. While westerners
usually equate the marketplace with freedom of opinion, the hidden
hand of the market can be almost as potent an instrument of control
as the iron fist of the state.
Like other businesses, [the media] sell a product to buyers. Their
market is advertisers, and the "product" is audiences.
... the major media-particularly, the elite media that set the
agenda that others generally follow-are corporations "selling"
privileged audiences to other businesses. It would hardly come
as a surprise if the picture of the world they present were to
reflect the perspectives and interests of the sellers, the buyers,
and the product. Concentration of ownership of the media is high
and increasing. Furthermore, those who occupy managerial positions
in the media, or gain status within them as commentators, belong
to the same privileged elites, and might be expected to share
the perceptions, aspirations, and attitudes of their associates,
reflecting their own class interests as well. Journalists entering
the system are unlikely to make their way unless they conform
to these ideological pressures, generally by internalizing the
values; it is not easy to say one thing and believe another, and
those who fail to conform will tend to be weeded out by familiar
To confront power is costly and difficult; high standards of evidence
and argument are imposed, and critical analysis is naturally not
welcomed by those who are in a position to react vigorously and
to determine the array of rewards and punishments. Conformity
to a "patriotic agenda," in contrast, imposes no such
costs. Charges against official enemies barely require substantiation;
they are, furthermore, protected from correction, which can be
dismissed as apologetics for the criminals or as missing the forest
for the trees. The system protects itself with indignation against
a challenge to the right of deceit in the service of power, and
the very idea of subjecting the ideological system to rational
inquiry elicits incomprehension or outrage, though it is often
masked in other terms. One who attributes the best intentions
to the U.S. government, while perhaps deploring failure and ineptitude,
requires no evidence for this stance, as when we ask why "success
has continued to elude us" in the Middle East and Central
America, why "a nation of such vast wealth, power and good
intentions [cannot] accomplish its purposes more promptly and
more effectively". Standards are radically different when
we observe that "good intentions" are not properties
of states, and that the United States, like every other state
past and present, pursues policies that reflect the interests
of those who control the state by virtue of ,> their domestic
power, truisms that are hardly expressible in the mainstream,
surprising as this fact may be.
... the media serve the interests of state and corporate power,
which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis
in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate
and discussion accordingly.
In accordance with the prevailing conceptions in the U.S., there
is no infringement on democracy if a few corporations control
the information system: in fact, that is the essence of democracy.
In the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social
Science, the leading figure of the public relations industry,
Edward Bernays, explains that "the very essence of the democratic
process" is "the freedom to persuade and suggest,"
what he calls "the engineering of consent." "A
leader," he continues, "frequently cannot wait for the
people to arrive at even general understanding . . . Democratic
leaders must play their part in . . . engineering . . . consent
to socially constructive goals and values," applying "scientific
principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to
support ideas and programs"; and although it remains unsaid,
it is evident enough that those who control resources will be
in a position to judge what is "socially constructive,"
to engineer consent through the media, and to implement policy
through the mechanisms of the state. If the freedom to persuade
happens to be concentrated in a few hands, we must recognize that
such is the nature of a free society. The public relations industry
expends vast resources "educating the American people about
the economic facts of life" to ensure a favorable climate
for business. Its task is to control "the public mind"
Across a broad spectrum of articulate opinion, the fact that the
voice of the people is heard in democratic societies is considered
a problem to be overcome by ensuring that the public voice speaks
the right words. The general conception is that leaders control
us, not that we control them. If the population is out of control
and propaganda doesn't work, then the state is forced underground,
to clandestine operations and secret wars; the scale of covert
operations is often a good measure of popular dissidence, as it
was during the Reagan period. Among this group of self-styled
"conservatives," the commitment to untrammeled executive
power and the contempt for democracy reached unusual heights.
Accordingly, so did the resort to propaganda campaigns targeting
the media and the general population ...
The model of media as corporate oligopoly is the natural system
for capitalist democracy. It has, accordingly, reached its highest
form in the most advanced of these societies, particularly the
United States, where media concentration is high, public radio
and television are limited in scope, and elements of the radical
democratic model exist only at the margins, in such phenomena
as listener-supported community radio and the alternative or local
press, often with a noteworthy effect on the social and political
culture and the sense of empowerment in the communities that benefit
from these options. In this respect, the United States represents
the form towards which capitalist democracy is tending; related
tendencies include the progressive elimination of unions and other
popular organizations that interfere with private power, an electoral
system that is increasingly stage-managed as a public relations
exercise, avoidance of welfare measures such as national health
insurance that also impinge on the prerogatives of the privileged,
and so on. From this perspective, is reasonable for Cyrus Vance
and Henry Kissinger to describe the United States as "a model
democracy," democracy being understood
Most [Western democracies] have not achieved the U.S. system of
one political party, with two factions controlled by shifting
segments of the business community.
... Woodrow Wilson's Red Scare demolished unions and other dissident
elements. A prominent feature was the suppression of independent
politics and free speech, on the principle that the state is entitled
to prevent improper thought and its expression. Wilson's Creel
Commission, dedicated to creating war fever among the generally
pacifist population, had demonstrated the efficacy of organized
propaganda with the cooperation of the loyal media and the intellectuals,
who devoted themselves to such tasks as "historical engineering,"
the term devised by historian Frederic Paxson, one of the founders
of the National Board for Historical Service established by U.S.
historians to serve the state by "explaining the issues of
the war that we might the better win it." The lesson was
learned by those in a position to employ it. Two lasting institutional
consequences were the rise of the public relations industry, one
of whose leading figures, Edward Bernays, had served on the wartime
propaganda commission, and the establishment of the FBI as, in
effect, a national political police.
The submissiveness of the society to business dominance, secured
by Wilson's Red Scare, began to erode during the Great Depression.
In 1938 the board of directors of the National Association of
Manufacturers, adopting the Marxist rhetoric that is common in
the internal records of business and government documents, described
the "hazard facing industrialists". in "the newly
realized political power of the masses"; "Unless their
thinking is directed," it warned, "we are definitely
headed for adversity." No less threatening was the rise of
labor organization, in part with the support of industrialists
who perceived it as a means to regularize labor markets. But too
much is too much, and business soon rallied to overcome the threat
by the device of "employer mobilization of the public"
to crush strikes, as an academic study of the 1937 Johnstown steel
strike observed. This "formula," the business community
exulted, was one that "business has hoped for, dreamed of,
and prayed for." Combined with strong-arm methods, propaganda
campaigns were used effectively to subdue the labor movement in
subsequent years. These campaigns spent millions of dollars "to
tell the public that nothing was wrong and that grave dangers
lurked in the proposed remedies" of the unions, the La Follette
Committee of the Senate observed in its study of business propaganda.
In the postwar period the public relations
campaign intensified, employing the media and other devices to
identify so-called free enterprise-meaning state-subsidized private
profit with no infringement on managerial prerogatives-as "the
American way," threatened by dangerous subversives. In 1954,
Daniel Bell, then an editor of Fortune magazine, wrote that
It has been industry's prime concern,
in the post war years, to change the climate of opinion ushered
in by ... the depression. This 'free enterprise' campaign has
two essential aims: to rewin the loyalty of the worker which now
goes to the union and to halt creeping socialism,
that is, the mildly reformist capitalism
of the New Deal. The scale of business public relations campaigns,
Bell continued, was "staggering," through advertising
in press and radio and other means. The effects were seen in legislation
to constrain union activity, the attack on independent thought
often mislabeled McCarthyism, and the elimination of any articulate
challenge to business domination. The media and intellectual community
cooperated with enthusiasm. The universities, in particular, were
purged, and remained so until the "crisis of democracy"
dawned and students and younger faculty began to ask the wrong
kinds of questions. That elicited a renewed though less effective
purge, while in a further resort to "necessary illusion,"
it was claimed, and still is, that the universities were virtually
taken over by left-wing totalitarians-meaning that the grip of
orthodoxy was somewhat relaxed.
As early as 1947 a State Department public
relations officer remarked that "smart public relations [has]
paid off as it has before and will again." Public opinion
"is not moving to the right, it has been moved-cleverly-to
the right." "While the rest of the world has moved to
the left, has admitted labor into government, has passed liberalized
legislation, the United States has become anti-social change,
anti-economic change, anti-labor."
Operations of domestic thought control are commonly undertaken
in the wake of wars and other crises. Such turmoil tends to encourage
the "crisis of democracy" that is the persistent fear
of privileged elites, requiring measures to reverse the thrust
of popular democracy that threatens established power. Wilson's
Red Scare served the purpose after World War I, and the pattern
was re-enacted when World War II ended. It was necessary not only
to overcome the popular mobilization that took place during the
Great Depression but also "to bring people up to [the] realization
that the war isn't over by any means," as presidential adviser
Clark Clifford observed when the Truman Doctrine was announced
in 1947, "the opening gun in [this] campaign."
The Vietnam war and the popular movements
of the 1960s elicited similar concerns. The inhabitants of "enemy
territory" at home had to be controlled and suppressed, so
as to restore the ability of U.S. corporations to compete in the
more diverse world market by reducing real wages and welfare benefits
and weakening working-class organization. Young people in particular
had to be convinced that they must be concerned only for themselves,
in a "culture of narcissism"; every person may know,
in private, that the assumptions are not true for them, but at
a time of life when one is insecure about personal identity and
social place, it is all too tempting to adapt to what the propaganda
system asserts to be the norm. Other newly mobilized sectors of
the "special interests" also had to be restrained or
dissolved, tasks that sometimes required a degree of force, as
in the programs of the FBI to undermine the ethnic movements and
other elements of the rising dissident culture by instigating
violence or its direct exercise, and by other means of intimidation
and harassment. Another task was to overcome the dread "Vietnam
It is beyond imagining in responsible circles that we might have
| some culpability for mass slaughter and destruction, or owe
some debt to the millions of maimed and orphaned, or to the peasants
who still die from exploding ordnance left from the U.S. assault,
while the Pentagon, when asked whether there is any way to remove
the hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel bomblets that kill
children today in such areas as the Plain of Jars in Laos, comments
helpfully that "people should not live in those areas. They
know the problem."
Terry Anderson - historian and Vietnam veteran
The French still have 20,000 MIAs from
their war in Indochina, and the Vietnamese list over 200,000.
Furthermore, the United States still has 80,000 MIAs from World
War II and 8,000 from the Korean War, figures that represent 20
and 15 percent, respectively, of the confirmed dead in those conflicts;
the percentage is 4 percent for the Vietnam War.
The primary targets of the manufacture of consent are those who
regard themselves as "the more thoughtful members of the
community," the "intellectuals," the "opinion
leaders." An official of the Truman administration remarked
that "It doesn't make too much difference to the general
public what the details of a program are. What counts is how the
plan is viewed by the leaders of the community"; he "who
mobilizes the elite, mobilizes the public," one scholarly
study of public opinion concludes.
Atlantic Monthly editor Jack Beatty
"Democracy has been our goal in Nicaragua,
and to reach it we have sponsored the killing of thousands of
Nicaraguans. But killing for democracy - even killing by proxy
for democracy-is not a good enough reason to prosecute a war.''
Senator William Fulbright observed in Senate hearings on government
and the media in 1966
"It is very interesting, that so
many of our prominent newspapers have become almost agents or
adjuncts of the government; that they do not contest or even raise
questions about government policy."
The most effective device [of thought control developed in democratic
societies] is the bounding of the thinkable, achieved by tolerating
debate, even encouraging it, though only within proper limits.
But democratic systems also resort to cruder means, the method
of "interpretation of some phrase" being a notable instrument.
Thus aggression and state terror in the Third World become "defense
of democracy and human rights"; and "democracy"
is successfully achieved when the government is safely in the
hands of "the rich men dwelling at peace within their habitations,"
as in Winston Churchill's prescription for world order. At home
the rule of the privileged must be guaranteed and the population
reduced to the status of passive observers, while in the dependencies
stern measures may be needed to eliminate any challenge to the
natural rulers. Under the proper interpretation of the phrase,
it is indeed true that "the yearning to see American-style
democracy duplicated throughout the world has been a persistent
theme in American foreign policy," as Times correspondent
Neil Lewis declared.
... it was only proper to subvert the first and last free election
in the history of Laos, because the wrong people won; to organize
or support the overthrow of elected governments in Guatemala,
Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Chile, and Nicaragua;
to support or directly organize large-scale terror to bar the
threat of democracy, social reform, and independence in Central
America in the 1980s; to take strong measures to ensure that the
postwar world would return to proper hands; and much else-all
in our "yearning for democracy."
... a solicitous concern for democracy and human rights may go
hand in hand with tolerance for large-scale slaughter, or direct
participation in it. The Christian Science Monitor observed approvingly-and
accurately- that after General Suharto's impressive achievement
in eliminating the political threat in Indonesia by mass murder,
"many in the West were keen to cultivate Jakarta's new moderate
leader, Suharto"; here the term "moderate" is used
with an appropriate casuistic interpretation. Suharto's subsequent
achievements include extraordinary human rights violations at
home and slaughter in the course of aggression in East Timor that
bears comparison to Pol Pot in the same years, backed enthusiastically
by the United States, with the effective support of Canada, Britain,
France, and other guardians of morality. The media cooperated
by simply eliminating the issue; New York Times coverage, for
example, declined as atrocities increased along with U.S. participation,
reaching zero as the atrocities peaked in 1978; and the few comments
by its noted Southeast Asia correspondent Henry Kamm assured us,
on the authority of the Indonesian generals, that the army was
protecting the people fleeing from the control of the guerrillas.
Scrupulously excluded was the testimony of refugees, Church officials,
and others who might have interfered with public acquiescence
in what appears to be the largest massacre, relative to the population,
since the Holocaust. In retrospect, the London Economist, in an
ode to Indonesia under General Suharto's rule, describes him as
"at heart benign," referring, perhaps, to his kindness
to international corporations.
In accord with the same principles, it
is natural that vast outrage should be evoked by the terror of
the Pol Pot regime, while reporters in Phnom Penh in 1973, when
the U.S. bombing of populated areas of rural Cambodia had reached
its peak, should ignore the testimony of the hundreds of thousands
of refugees before their eyes. Such selective perception guarantees
that little is known about the scale and character of these U.S.
atrocities, though enough to indicate that they may have been
comparable to those attributable to the Khmer Rouge at the time
when the chorus of indignation swept the West in 1977, and that
they contributed significantly to the rise, and probably the brutality,
of the Khmer Rouge.
These achievements of "historical
engineering" allow the editors of the New York Times to observe
that "when America's eyes turned away from Indochina in 1975,
Cambodia's misery had just begun,'' with "the infamous barbarities
of the Khmer Rouge, then dreary occupation by Vietnam" (incidentally,
expelling the Khmer Rouge). "After long indifference,"
they continue, "Washington can [now] play an important role
as honest broker" and "heal a long-ignored wound in
Cambodia." The misery began in 1975, not before, under "America's
eyes," and the editors do not remind us that during the period
of "indifference" Washington offered indirect support
to the Khmer Rouge while backing the coalition in which it was
the major element because of its "continuity" with the
Pol Pot regime.
U.S. relations with the Khmer Rouge require
some careful maneuvering. The Khmer Rouge were, and remain, utterly
evil insofar as they can be associated with the Communist threat,
perhaps because of their origins in Jean-Paul Sartre's left-wing
Paris circles. Even more evil, evidently, are the Vietnamese,
who finally reacted to brutal and murderous border incidents by
invading Cambodia and driving out the Khmer Rouge, terminating
their slaughters. We therefore must back our Thai and Chinese
allies who support Pol Pot. All of this requires commentators
to step warily. The New York Times reports the "reluctance
in Washington to push too hard" to pressure China to end
its support for Pol Pot-with the goal of bleeding Vietnam, as
our Chinese allies have forthrightly explained. The Assistant
Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs rejected a congressional
plea to call for a cutoff of aid to Pol Pot because the situation
was "delicate." U.S. pressure on China "might irritate
relations unnecessarily," the Times explained, and this consideration
overcomes our passionate concern over the fate of Cambodians exposed
to Khmer Rouge terror. The press explains further that while naturally
the United States is "one of the nations most concerned about
a Khmer Rouge return," nevertheless "the US and its
allies have decided that without some sign of compromise by Vietnam
toward a political settlement Eon U.S. terms], the Khmer Rouge
forces must be allowed to serve as military pressure on Vietnam,
despite their past"-and despite what the population may think
about "a Khmer Rouge return."
The United States has no principled opposition to democratic forms,
as long as the climate for business operations is preserved.
If the enemies of democracy are not "Communists," then
they are "terrorists"; still better, "Communist
terrorists," or terrorists supported by International Communism.
The rise and decline of international terrorism in the 1980s provides
much insight into "the utility of interpretations."
What Ronald Reagan and George Shultz call
"the evil scourge of terrorism," a plague spread by
"depraved opponents of civilization itself" in "a
return to barbarism in the modern age," was placed on the
agenda of concern by the Reagan administration. From its first
days, the administration proclaimed that "international terrorism"
would replace Carter's human rights crusade as "the Soul
of our foreign policy." The Reaganites would dedicate themselves
to defense of the civilized world against the program of international
terrorism outlined most prominently in Claire Sterling's influential
book The Terror Network. Here, the Soviet Union was identified
as the source of the plague, with the endorsement of a new scholarly
discipline, whose practitioners were particularly impressed with
Sterling's major insight, which provides an irrefutable proof
of Soviet guilt. The clinching evidence, as Walter Laqueur phrased
it in a review of Sterling's book, is that terrorism occurs "almost
exclusively in democratic or relatively democratic countries."
By 1985, terrorism in the Middle East/Mediterranean region was
selected as the top story of the year in an Associated Press poll
of editors and broadcasters, and concern reached fever pitch in
subsequent months. The U.S. bombing of Libya in April 1986 largely
tamed the monster, and in the following years the plague subsided
to more manageable proportions as the Soviet Union and its clients
retreated in the face of American courage and determination, according
to the preferred account.
The rise and decline of the plague had
little relation to anything happening in the world, with one exception:
its rise coincided with the need to mobilize the U.S. population
to support the Reaganite commitment to state power and violence,
and its decline with rising concern over the need to face the
costs of Reaganite military Keynesian excesses with their technique
of writing "hot checks for $200 billion a year" to create
the illusion of prosperity, as vice-presidential candidate Lloyd
Bentsen phrased the perception of conservative business elements
at the 1988 Democratic convention.
The public relations apparatus - surely
the most sophisticated component of the Reagan administration
- was faced with a dual problem in 1981: to frighten the domestic
enemy (the general population at home) sufficiently so that they
would bear the costs of programs to which they were opposed, while
avoiding direct confrontations with the Evil Empire itself, as
far too dangerous for us. The solution to the dilemma was to concoct
an array of little Satans, tentacles of the Great Satan poised
to destroy us, but weak and defenseless so that they could be
attacked with impunity: in short, Kremlin-directed international
terrorism. The farce proceeded perfectly, with the cooperation
of the casuists, whose task was to give a proper interpretation
to the term "terrorism," protecting the doctrine that
its victims are primarily the democratic countries of the West.
To conduct this campaign of ideological
warfare successfully, it was necessary to obscure the central
role of the United States in organizing and directing state terror,
and to conceal its extensive involvement in international terrorism
in earlier years, as in the attack against Cuba, the prime example
of "the evil scourge of terrorism" from the early 1960s.
Some "historical engineering" was also required with
regard to terrorism in the Middle East/Mediterranean region, the
primary focus of concern within the propaganda operations. Here,
it was necessary to suppress the role of the United States and
its Israeli client.
These tasks have been well within the
capacity of the media and the terrorologists. The U.S. role is
easily excised; after all, the phrase "U.S. terrorism"
is an oxymoron, on a par with "thunderous silence" or
Reinhold Niebuhr once remarked that "perhaps the most significant
moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy." The point
is well taken. There is a simple measure of hypocrisy, which we
properly apply to our enemies. When peace groups, government :figures,
media, and loyal intellectuals in the Soviet sphere deplore brutal
and repressive acts of the United States and its clients, we test
their sincerity by asking what they say about their own responsibilities.
Upon ascertaining the answer, we dismiss their condemnations,
however accurate, as the sheerest hypocrisy. Minimal honesty requires
that we apply the same standards to ourselves.
The only really fundamental approach to
the problem is to inquire concerning the necessary effect of the
present economic system upon the whole system of publicity; upon
the judgment of what news is, upon the selection and elimination
of matter that is published, upon the treatment of news in both
editorial and news columns. The question, under this mode of approach,
is not how many specific abuses there are and how they may be
remedied, but how far genuine intellectual freedom and social
responsibility are possible on any large scale under the existing
Within the reigning social order, the general public must remain
an object of manipulation, not a participant in thought, debate,
and 1 decision. As the privileged have long understood, it is
necessary to ward off recurrent "crises of democracy."
In earlier chapters, I have discussed some of the ways these principles
have been expressed in the modern period, but the concerns are
natural and have arisen from the very origins of the modern democratic
thrust. Condemning the radical democrats who had threatened to
"turn the world upside down" during the English revolution
of the seventeenth century, historian Clement Walker, in 1661,
They have cast all the mysteries and
secrets of government ... ') before the vulgar (like pearls before
swine), and have taught both the soldiery and people to look so
far into them as to ravel back all governments to the first principles
of nature ... They have made the people thereby so curious and
so arrogant that they will never find humility enough to submit
to a civil rule.
Walker's concerns were soon overcome,
as an orderly world was restored and the "political defeat"
of the democrats "was total and irreversible," Christopher
Hill observes. By 1695 censorship could be abandoned, "not
on the radicals' libertarian principles, but because censorship
was no longer necessary," for "the opinion-formers"
now "censored themselves" and "nothing got into
print which frightened the men of property." In the same
year, John Locke wrote that "day-labourers and tradesmen,
the spinsters and dairymaids" must be told what to believe.
"The greatest part cannot know and therefore they must believe."
John Stuart Mill
"Not the violent conflict between
parts of the truth, but the quiet suppression of half of it, is
the formidable evil. There is always hope when people are forced
to listen to both sides."
The propaganda model does not assert that the media parrot the
line of the current state managers in the manner of a totalitarian
regime; rather, that the media reflect the consensus of powerful
elites of the state-corporate nexus generally.
Noam Chomsky page