Tuesday, 18 March 2014

If religion is the opium of the masses, the Mass Media is the cocaine of the masses

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It was Karl Marx who pronounced that religion was the opium of the masses - by which I suppose he meant something that kept them docile.

A rat given the ability to self-administer an opiate like heroin will do so repeatedly and permanently, will spent much time in a state of dreamy passivity - but it will not die: it will break-off from self-stimulating to drink, eat and sleep.

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Well, since Marx's time, the Mass Media has replaced religion as the primary social evaluation system - and the mass of the Western population is now addicted.

And Mass Media addiction is more like cocaine than heroin - the Mass Media hijacks the primary (dopaminergic) motivational system.

Thus the cocaine self-administering rate will dose himself again and again, and will not drink, eat or sleep adequately to survive - he will get horribly emaciated and be dead in a few weeks.

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Religious societies may survive very long periods - the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) survived for 800-1000 years - despite the dream-like euphoria of its religious life.

But a society which is addicted to the Mass Media will be wholly focused on self-stimulation, will mistake self-stimulation for reality; and fail to do the essentials necessary for its own survival.

If we must be addicted - and perhaps we must - better opium than cocaine.

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