Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Power but no rule


We live, in the West, in a society where the greatest power lies with the mass media.

(As we in the UK have discovered recently: Prime ministers come, Prime Minsters go; the nation swings Left, the nation swings 'Right' - but real power, the grey (or red) eminence behind the throne - continues through such changes.)


But of course the mass media cannot rule - thus there is no 'government'.

The mass media is powerful because 1. the media are crack cocaine dealers, suppliers of that addictive drug called distraction upon which our society is utterly dependent on an hourly basis; and 2. the media fills our thought and shapes our thinking - defines our education, evaluation and arbitration; and 3. the media can destroy anyone or any institution - can destroy history itself - at will, on principle or at a whim.


The mass media, as a hive mind, is the focus of power and yet it does not rule. 

Obviously it cannot rule. This is sometimes described as power without responsibility - the situation is much worse than that, because responsibility is not merely being eluded by the mass media - rather, for media responsibility is intrinsically impossible.

The mass media cannot rule, but it can (and does) prevent anyone else from ruling.


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