One Nation, Indoctrinated
December 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
Just as the Bush years exposed a large portion of the American right for the party hacks that they are, the Obama presidency seems to be unveiling the ugly, partisan nature of the American left. It’s becoming increasingly popular for Americans to consider themselves “independent” or just plain apathetic. In other words, the luster of latching onto a party has worn off. Granted, this has been a slow process that spanned much of the twentieth century, but seems to have sped up recently.
Although apathy is perhaps a dangerous way to approach the political world, no one can be blamed for simply ignoring the barrage of statist and contradictory legislation that passes through DC. Indeed, it’s better to be ignorant yet indifferent, rather than boisterously wrong. I think I’m paraphrasing Rothbard here, but I’m too lazy to look up the exact quote.
The large majority of rhetoric and discussion amongst the DC politicians and their counterparts in the media can be described best as “boisterously wrong.” Both the left and the right, the Dem’s and the Repub’s, are dead wrong on many issues. Which would be okay, if they weren’t so loud about it. And to exasperate the problem, it’s precisely the words of these politicians and commentators which so strongly affect what the average American will discuss over the water cooler the next morning. Then again, it’s not easy to be both honest and succesful in Washington. After all, someone has take advantage of the numerous lobbyists lining the halls of the capital building(isn’t that right, Newt?).
When you get down to it, it’s the narrow spectrum of thought that is allowed by the mainstream media which distorts the thoughts of otherwise rational everyday Americans. Someone who is extremely intelligent in just about every facet of life can hold some extremely stupid political views. This is most likely the reason that I’m forced to explain to a Chemical Engineer that we weren’t attacked on September eleventh because of our freedoms. Besides, as I usually would say, if they hate us for our freedoms, wouldn’t legislation like the Patriot Act amount to letting them win(whatever the hell that means)? Such obvious contradictions should be obvious to any intelligent human, but because the dialogue in this country is so restricted, common sense is sometimes lost on average Americans.
This is where the internet comes in. And this also gives a good explanation as to why there seems to be such a gap in ideas between generations. The 50&over crowd primarily gets it’s information from Pravda— err, the national evening news. CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX all report essentially the same garbage. There’s a reason my parents had never heard Ron Paul mentioned on the television up until this month. Meanwhile, I’ve spent the past few years investigating the man, his influences, and reading just about every book he suggested. Let’s put it this way; I haven’t paid for cable in three years; my dad doesn’t know how to turn a computer on. You do the math.
The essential difference between my parents and myself, of course, has everything to do with the form of media we use. My parents get home from work, eat dinner, and listen to Brian Williams as he spoon feeds them whatever bits of news his superiors felt acceptable for public consumption.
Meanwhile, I get home from school/an internship and check out Google News, Youtube, LewRockwell, Mises.org, etc, etc. The difference between these media outlets and their dinosaur, mainstream counterparts is twofold:
1) Online media is a two way street. Not only can the Wall Street Journal and MSNBC post a new story or a video, but any average joe or independent news source can buy a domain or open up a YouTube account and immediately start dishing out their own material.
2) This prevents any type of “monopoly” or “oligopoly” from forming as it has on television(Not to worry, big brother is working on that as we speak).
It’s going to be very interesting to see how all of this works out as the younger generation become tax cattle–err, working adults, and eventually the majority in society.
Of course, as I hinted at earlier, the state is already trying to wrap it’s paws around the internet and strangle it before it does enough damage(is it too late?). Their latest attempt was SOPA, or the “Stop Online Piracy Act”. The outrage of Americans across the US was an encouraging sign that society may fight to hold on to the last shred of freedom we have left. Then again, when US congressmen essentially argue in favor of Chinese style censorship, it’s hard to say that any amount of public discontent will change the fact that 98% of Congress is incredibly detached from the American people(shoutout to Justin Amash and Ron Paul).
At any rate, I feel blessed to be living in an age where the truth is only a few clicks away. Whether this is a lifelong convenience or a historical flash in the pan, only time will tell. Either way, it’s done enough damage to my thoughts over the past few years. 😉 I’ll never be able to trust authority. 🙂
My co-op ends after Christmas. Then it’s time to visit family and pretend like I’m enjoying myself. Once the holidays are over, it’s back to the grind! I have a decently beefy schedule, so I will have to use the weekend to catch up on the news as well as update this blog.
Thanks for reading. 😉