Monday 25 November 2013

What would happen if The Right 'rebooted' modernity, purged the mass media and took over all leadership positions? Or, How the mass media is like the One Ring


A comment to yesterday's post from 'Christian in Hollyweird' suggested a comparison between the mass media and the One Ring of Tolkien; and asks Boromir's question - can we use the One Ring against Sauron?

In other words, can the mass media be used against the Left?

This is a good question - indeed it is a test question for my thesis that the modern Left IS the modern mass media - in a definition of the mass media to include not just print, broadcast and internet media - but also government propaganda (civil administration), education and all other few-to-many communication systems.


An example of the Boromir parallel would be the idea, proposed by Mencius Moldbug and taken-up by many of the blogosphere secular Right, of taking-over the mass media in toto - by purging the mass media leadership of all Leftists and replacing them with sensible, realistic people (i.e. Rightists).

What would happen if this societal 'reboot' was to succeed and the Right really did take-over?


The two possibilities are 1. That the vast power of the mass media/ One Ring would become available to the forces of Good; or 2. That the mass media - being intrinsically Leftist - would inevitably turn the Right into the Left.

To me it seems obvious that the second possibility would certainly happen - the Right would become the Left; because the nature of the mass media is that it cannot be used, but will itself use.


(In this sense the mass media has used the Old Left, and now cast it aside. Because for a century or more the Old Left was focused on the proletariat, the native-born working man, and his grouping such as Trades Unions. The mass media/ primary-Left is primarily anti-Good; and this true Leftism used the partial-Leftism of the partly-Good Old Left (with its genuine desire to alleviate poverty, its William Morrisite socialist utopias, its residual ethical/ Christian aspects) for as long as this worked towards net destruction. But now, the New Left is much more wholly destructive, and its old-time heroes of the proletariat are not just cast-aside and ignored, but their destruction is actively-sought and well-advanced.)


The Right could only sustain the power of the mass media in its vast attention-seeking, mind-filling and hyper-addictive form by subordinating itself to the fundamental grammar of the mass media, its modus operandi, the evaluations of the mass media - and by so doing, the Right would become Leftist - which is to say subversive, destructive, anti-reality - hence reality-denying or 'nihilist': hence anti-Good.


My conclusion is that the choice is we can have either The Good or The Mass Media - since the mass media cannot be taken-over by The Right, only the reverse.

Therefore, for a society to reverse Leftism entails destroying (not taking-over) the mass media; and, in our own individual minds, escaping the toils of Leftism means first to escape from the mass media in our lives.

So Gandalf was correct and Boromir was wrong: nobody can use the Ring to overcome the Dark Lord without himself becoming a Dark Lord.



asdf said...

Even more directly look at popular media "rightists".

You'll be happy to note that this message isn't lost on people. At the retreat I was at last week the discussion of reducing mass media consumption was a prominent topic, with the no uncertain decree that it, "kills souls."

asdf said...

BTW, I think that the ultimate problem with mass media is that it demands certain kinds of results (either monetary or simply influence/status) and thus anyone who takes control will be pressured to produce these results or over time be removed.

I think the very nature of mass media as a medium means that producing such results requires evil.

Thus any "good" mass media will almost always be temporary and specific while sliding towards corruption at varying degrees from the moment it starts.

josh said...

How would you respond to the fact Fulton Sheen was apparently being viewed by 30 million people in the early 1950s?

Is he the exception that proves the rule? Was it inevitable that shows like his would disappear? Was the message leftist?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Josh - In a short blog post you have to note the qualifying terms - like overall, net effect, on average and suchlike - also 'modern'.

Anonymous said...

Bilbo used the One Ring to fight off giant spiders in Mirkwood. Exceptions don't just prove the rule, they provide the allure.

Bruce Charlton said...

@z - Yes. You can do good with the One Ring... at first.

As Galadriel said: "“That is how it would begin. But it would not stop with that, alas! We will not speak more of it."