September 14, 2003
Propaganda is propaganda is propaganda
David weinberger recommends this piece of anti-Bush propaganda. That disappoints me. The data in the report may be accurate but the piece is still just propaganda and that is bad news. While a robust fight against the end of democracy is required it shouldn't be carried using the weapons of totalitarianism (just as the fight against fundamentalism and nationalism in the middle-east shouldn't be carried out by falling back to more and more nationalism and fundamentalism at home). This is not in my mind a 'hawks vs. doves' issue - I wouldn't recommend any compromise on the issues - but clearly the messages just blur together into a large blitz of value based attack ads, and nobody is the winner after such a thorough destruction of reason and sanity.
Posted by Claus at September 14, 2003 10:25 AM
If being anti-authoritarian means only talking about facts and doing so in measured tones, count me.
I do note in my blog entry that the Flash is "slick," which I meant to flag that it's not a sober presentation of the facts. And the Flash has a link to the article from which it draws its information if you prefer that type of presentation.
But sober presentations of the facts are not the only ways we're going to communicate. Nor have they ever been. Nor should they be. (Do I need to defend this paragraph? It seems obvious to me.)
Well, I actually think you do, but I'm in Europe of course, where this kind of heavyhanded rhetoric is only used by the extreme left and the extreme right.
From that same perspective, the Bush administration and the heavier and heavier rhetoric in the legislation and initiatives it proposes represents a new low - along the same lines as someone like Berlusconi in Italy. People who are obviously not telling the thruth, who don't really care that they're not, who are completely one sided in their argumentation, discount all other positions as morally unsound and unethical, in general take no part in open public debate, replacing debate with carefully controlled spin. The creation of a permanent state of war to defend these actions is right out of Orwell's 1984.
I think this anti-democratic attitude towards politics itself is as damning as the causes favoured by those who hold it. I think the methods favoured by these people to do politics are as dangerous. And I think this type of ad is right up there with the other propagande. That's straight out of 1984 too.