Mass media is the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society.
Lasswell was famous for his media analysis model based on:
Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect
By this model, Lasswell indicates that in order to properly analyze a media product, one must look at who produced the product (the people who ordered its creation), who was it aimed at (the target audience) and what were the desired effects of this product (to inform, to convince, to sell, etc.) on the audience.
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The (movie & television) industry can:
- reduce human beings to the state of mass by hindering the development of emancipated individuals, who are capable of making rational decisions;
- replace the legitimate drive for autonomy and self-awareness by the safe laziness of conformism and passivity; and
- validate the idea that men actually seek to escape the absurd and cruel world in which they live by losing themselves in a hypnotic state self-satisfaction.
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Lippmann, Bernays, and Lasswell have all declared that the public is not fit to decide their own fate, which is the inherent goal of democracy. Instead, they called for a cryptocracy, a hidden government, a ruling class in charge of the “bewildered herd.” As their ideas continue to be applied to society, it is increasingly apparent that an ignorant population is not an obstacle that the rulers must deal with: It is something that is DESIRABLE and, indeed, necessary, to ensure total leadership. An ignorant population does not know its rights, does not seek a greater understanding of issues and does not question authorities. It simply follows trends. Popular culture caters to and nurtures ignorance by continually serving up brain-numbing entertainment and spotlighting degenerate celebrities to be idolized.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson