Tuesday 4 June 2013

The nature of the mass media - a demonic impersonation


The secular Right's location of Leftism in 'The Cathedral' (the term from blogger Mencius Moldbug) - emphasizing the Professoriate of elite universities such as Harvard - is mistaken and over-complex; in reality things are much worse that that!

The source of Leftism is the mass media.

The Educational institutions such as Universities, civil administration, the legal system etc.... these are merely conduits through which the Leftist message flows from its media source.


But the mass media is something im-personal, without head; specifically, it is a demonic force impersonating a human voice (just perceive the tone of voice by which we are addressed - as if emanating from a person, yet there is no identifiable or locatable person behind it).

This makes it so difficult to focus upon the media - indeed it is essentially impossible to do so, which is the secret of the media success. The editors and journalists and anchors and illustrators and the rest are all disposable units - the media is an organized colony with no visible controller - but there is a controller (not wholly in charge, but sufficiently so).


Whose voice is it, then, which emanates from the mass media, who grabs our attention, who engages us, diverts or terrorizes us, pre-organizes our categories of thought?

What is the personality behind the mass media, the purpose that drives it, the motivation which makes the mass media cohere sufficiently such as to become an unprecedented evil extending its micro-tentacles into every corner of life, into every recess of the mind?

Hmm, let's think... who could that possibly be?



Daybreaker said...

The Cathedral, as defined by Mencius Moldbug, is also a terrible term because it misdirects attention and blame. The Cathedral includes "stained glass windows" such as the New Your Times, and is served by "bishops" in "unaccountable conclaves". All of this builds an image of the Church as the supreme evil, the master type of evil.

The other aspect of The Cathedral is also a misdirection: it is defined as a specifically Christian Protestant evil, all tied up with the minutiae of white American political history; a specifically domestic white American and recent, not ancient or international let alone supernatural phenomenon.

Even those who have criticisms to offer of Christianity shouldn't go along with using terminology that frames the Church visible and invisible for evils that it is not guilty of and that others are.

Orthodox said...

A lot of people will tell you they know exactly who runs the media.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - All good points.

Another example: Question: who appointed the President of Harvard? Answer - The media, obviously (that is, the same people who sacked the previous President of Harvard).

Question: Who appointed the executive editor of the New York Times?

In a sense, does it matter?

Because the most striking thing about these personages is that they are so obviously public relations puppets: they are merely convenient Mouths of Sauron, but certainly not Sauron himself (leave aside Morgoth).

So where is the person who is pulling the strings: who is not a puppet but a strategic evil purpose?

Well, he exists - we perceive an organizing personality, don't we? - his fingerprints are everywhere - but you will search the world in vain for him.

josh said...

"Well, he exists - we perceive an organizing personality, don't we? - his fingerprints are everywhere - but you will search the world in vain for him."

I could not agree with this more, but I don't understand why you single out the mass media. Much of the destruction the saner aspects of traditional society was organized in secret and imposed on people by groups of secretive conspirators. The media didn't knock down the row houses in Philadelphia, which may have been a necessary step toward removing the Parish from the focal point of life.

Bruce Charlton said...

@josh - "I don't understand why you single out the mass media" - because I think that is the focus of influence, the media set the direction for society - and apply pressure at key moments and key points: what is on the agenda, what is off the agenda, what is *the issue* about any particular story and so on, what is the range of acceptable opinion, what is evil or crazy.

josh said...

Yes, I agree with you, but service of the University-Industrial complex is *the meaning of life* in our age.

I also don't think you can separate the NGOs, Universities, foundations, bureaucracies, etc. Its not clear who controls whom other than to say that they are all coordinated by Satan. I guess I am saying that I think the Cathedral is a useful concept for understanding the current state of the world, although it is unfortunately named and doesn't get at the ultimate reality. Each of these institutions allows, or attempts to allow, formulas and processes that disavow value to replace human judgment, this means anything motivated by the good is automatically disqualified. The only motivations that are allowed to dominate are demonic.

Each is connected with the others in a way that allows demonic coordination of the whole system.

Kevin Nowell said...

But who trains the media? Where are their minds formed (or malformed)? Who infects the media with liberalism?

Journalists aren't the idea makers, they report the news through the slant of preconceived ideologies learned at university or through cultural consumption.

I'm not saying it is all the professors fault; but, its not all the "media" either.

Bruce Charlton said...

@josh and KN - I am saying that The Cathedral is a fundamentally mistaken notion, lacking in explanatory power (a vague swirl of vaguely defined institutions) and insofar as it has substance - just plain wrong.

Hence the attempt to provide a focus in Harvard - but I find the focus on Harvard to be not a little embarrassing - Harvard is a bunch of industrious muppet mediocrities in a research factory - it is just a giant rubber stamp: originates nothing.

Harvard could be eliminated tomorrow and it would make no difference to how things work, there are a couple of dozen universities of exactly the same type; if it was necessary to replace Harvard and everybody in it, that could be done in a trice by a straight swap, so long as the mass media wanted it to happen.


This deficit is not specific to Harvard, of course - but my point is that there is *nothing* special about it except for hype, and the media does the hype. There are some socially essential institutions - most notably MIT - maybe things have broken now, but for the recent decades if MIT specifically had not existed, the world would be a very different place.


Anyhow, there really is not much point in the secular Right debating this issue when they must assume that there is an origin of evil in this world, and it is just a question of locating it.


KN asks where the ideas come from? They are anti-ideas - the ideas come from opposition, subversion, inversion the destruction of Good - those are the ideas, and they come from purposive evil, and they are propagated by the mass media primarily.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - I think you are making a big analytic error about prophecies concerning the future of Christianity. People who know much more about it than you (e.g. Fr Seraphim Rose) have a totally different way of interpreting prophecy.

And to whom do prophecies refer? It is the difference between a people, a race and a religion.

A 'people' may have a destiny, and a people is perhaps (not always) a race but certainly is a religion; but a race does not have a destiny any more than does a family.

Maybe this is clearer to me because I am English and the English 'people' have almost disappeared during my lifetime, although the race was substantially intact.

But either way, we need to try and remember CS Lewis's words about the fact that souls are immortal and eternal; but civilizations, societies, races and all other things of that sort are temporary and mortal.

We, personally, will outlast all of these.

Ryan said...


If I'm not mistaken, "mass media" refers to more than just journalists. It includes the entire entertainment industry (TV, movies, music, etc.). I think those media may be even more destructive than journalism.

Bruce Charlton said...

harvard has left a comment on "The nature of the mass media - a demonic impersona...":

The mass media, like any mass profit driven phenomenon, is mostly lowest common denominator driven. (...)

I think its somewhat wrong to say that the "Cathedral" is blameless. Aristocrats are supposed to fight against the lowest common denominator. If they aren't, they aren't doing their job. The entire undergrad class of Harvard signed a petition to get Richwines PhD revoked. They didn't have to do that. The mass media wasn't bearing down on students. They volunteered. There is something deeply wrong with that. I can't see Harvard circa 1960 doing that.

Bruce Charlton said...

@harvard - But I don't say the "Cathedral" is blameless - what I DO say is that the concept of 'The Cathedral' is so vague as to be meaningless (and not the *kind* of thing that can have a strategic purpose) - and that 'The Cathedral' is NOT the centre, origin, energy or motivator on secular Leftism/ political correctness.

Unknown said...

I'm beginning to think that the source of Leftism is actually Gnosticism. The ancient Gnostic worldview fits so easily into modern Leftism that the only difference between the two that I can see is that Leftism leaves out the God part. It's simply a secular Gnosticism. Therefore, the culture war is actually a religious war, which explains the zeal and unity of Left. This also makes the term "Cathedral" a pretty apt expression of Leftism. This also falls neatly in line with your identification of who's speaking through the media.
All in my humble opinion,
Kent Thomas
Eufaula, AL

Bruce Charlton said...

@CK - I think it is more a matter that 'Gnosticism' is a permanent tendency in human thought - rather than any kind of influence.