Archive for the ‘ social commentary ’ Category

Something That Works, Meant To Last

Cliches, those trite oversimplifications of complex human conditions, are usually born of a desire to convey some  elemental truth. Perhaps no oversimplification speaks to our circumstances as a civilization better than ‘information is power’.  Economic imperialism, much like territorial imperialism,  requires control not only of information, but also of its shadow – misinformation. Conventional wisdom says that information is the ideological currency of freedom and choice, and that misinformation a tool of totalitarianism, fascism, communism and every other ‘repressive-form-of -government-ism’.  Yet in so much as absolute power corrupts absolutely,  information can become an oppressive shadow, while misinformation becomes pinpoints of truth in the darkness. Where there is substance there is spin; if there is access there is censorship.  Freedom of choice atrophies if not exercised.  And just because there is perception of choice doesn’t mean that there is one.  Truth takes no sides – we do.

Some century and a half ago Karl Marx said that “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” It would be difficult to find another instance in the history of the world where a metaphor would produce such tumultuous impact.  At the turn of the millennium, Rex Taylor Smith said:

“Media is the methamphetamine of the masses.”

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