In the politically correct era of ethical inversion, 'disbelieving' the mass media is not enough. It is a necessary skill for modern reactionaries to have a 'negativistic' attitude to the major stories: to believe the opposite of whatever are the main stories of the day.
Negativism is a psychological description for a behaviour pattern characteristic of (approx.) 2 year old toddlers, and some patinest with catatonia, whereby - reflexly, without needing to think about it, they do the opposite of whatever they are told to do.
The tiny minority of reactionaries need to adopt a similar attitude of negativism towards the major stories of the international mass media. They need to believe the opposite of whatever message is being pushed.
Media negativism for reactionaries is based on the insight that the international mass media is primarily an instrument of Leftist propaganda, and the major such instrument.
Therefore, all major, high impact, especially mulit-national media stories are primarily Leftist propaganda - whatever else they may be in addition to this.
If a media story was not, or could not be made, an instrument of Leftist propaganda, then it simply will not become a major story; or if it already is (accidentally) a major story, then it will rapidly be killed by replacing it with something else, and ceasing to refer to it.
The modern mass media only unleashes hype for bad things - for things destructive of traditional values (of truth, beauty or - especially - virtue).
From the mass media perspective, therefore, that which is traditionally Good is re-presented as bad; and vice versa.
People and events presented by the media as Good are always in reality bad; and people or events presented by the media as bad are usually Good - and when bad people or events are not presented as Good, then they are condemned as bad for the wrong reasons.
Also, if genuinely Good things happen to be presented as Good by the mass media; then it will invariably be the case that they are said to be Good for the wrong reasons.
Thus, the major output of the modern international mass media consists of only four categories:
1. Good presented as bad
2. Bad presented as Good
(That is to say simple inversion)
3. Good presented as Good for a bad reason
4. Bad presented as bad for a bad reason
(That is to say explanatory inversion)
These four categories, which can be summarized as either simple or explanatory inversion, account for all sustained and high impact modern major mass media stories without any exceptions.
Therefore reactionaries must develop automatic negativistic behaviour towards the mass media output.
Usually pure negativism will suffice, and is most efficient: after all, the mass media generates vast numbers of false stories all the time.
But if a more precise reaction is required, then reactionaries merely need to decide whether a specific story is a simple inversion, or whether it is the explanation or 'framing' of the story which is inverted.
That's why it's hard not to like president Vladimir Putin: he is portrayed as such an evil in the international mass media that he must be good. Bashar al-Assad is another favorite of mine: media reporting on the Syrian civil war is simply inverted.
@MF - indeed.
Which made it so amusing and confusing when Putin endorsed Obama yesterday.
When the Leftist idea of evil endorses the Leftist ideal of good, what does it mean? Is it good for Obama to be endorsed by Putin, or harmful to Obama.
And does Putin want to damage or help Obama; to endorse Obama to harm his chances of re-election, or in hope of enhancing it?
If Putin really wants Obama to win, is this because another dose of BHO would be good for Russia, bad for America, or both?
Or is it sheer mischief?
I don't really care about the answer, indeed it is not knowable - I am just intrigued by the range of possibilities. But whichever way you cut it - the intervention puts Putin into the position of dominance; which maybe is the only real answer.
My taking this attitude and laughing whenever I catch something on the news has caused some strain in my marriage, so I would say that while I agree with your assessment, it is necessary to keep in mind the importance of humility and avoiding puffing oneself up because of this view of the media. To someone who isn't yet convinced of the evil of modernity (or just hasn't thought through the implications of the evil they are convinced of), we do sound like 2 year olds, as you acknowledge.
On Putin, I don't think it's very likely that anyone whose knowledge of him comes from mass media knows anything at all about the man. As far as endorsing Obama, it's pretty simple: he's better for Russia than Romney ("Russia is our #1 geopolitical foe", etc.). Mark Hackard has said good things about him, though.
I'd say the same about Assad (we don't know anything), except that he's the leader of the Ba'ath Party in his country (ie, nominally socialist). I'm much less inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt because of negative media coverage.
You are absolutely right about this. I got into this habit back in the 1980's, when the American liberal media was almost hysterically against Reagan. I pretty much automatically assumed that the inverse of what the media was telling us was true, and this pretty much worked out. Of course, it wasn't always true (for example, there were some atrocities committed by pro-Western forces in Central America, they were not ALL Communist disinformation as I assumed at the time, although some certainly were, but I certainly came closer to being right about world events that did those people who accepted the media's version.
What about putatively "rightist" newspapers, like our National Post here in Canada? They occasionally run stuff that I agree with, but does it probably fall into the category of "good presented as good for a bad reason"?
This topic puts me in mind of the abortion debate in America (and everywhere else I suppose) that the people advocating for saving the innocent (the unborn) are portrayed by the mass media as evil and those advocating for choice - the choice being the killing of innocent life - are virtuous. This always seemed upside down to me. Of course these same "virtuous" people were the ones protesting the incarceration of cop killers. The mass media's spin on these things fits exactly into your supposition.
@Samson J - I'm talking about the big, especially international, media stories.
Bruce - I think you are right.
To fully understand this phenomenon, one needs to place it in context. It is not only the big stories that tend to be misleading, but also about smaller questions that do not at all relate to moral inversion.
And this phenomenon precedes the rise of political correctness, and has been observed by many authors over the years. Humphrey Neil's the 'Art of Contrary Thinking' is the best book I have read on this topic. And the best living practitioner of this way of looking at this world is Dr Marc Faber, who published your piece on mass media in his 'Gloom, Boom, and Doom' report after I sent it to him a couple of years ago. Investors have been making money from contrary thinking for centuries.
This phenomenon has gathered momentum over the years, and I think a change in consciousness reflecting the greater use of technology is at the root of it - Mcgilchrist points out that one consequence of a tilt towards a left-hemisphere way of thinking is the loss of understanding of context in time and place.
Post a Comment