ed phillips on Wed, 12 Jan 2005 01:14:00 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Working on article about the need for a progressive press in US


Your technological or rather mediun determinism, remains as suggestive
as ever, and I wouldn't dare try to think I could change or even alter
your opinion. I'd just leave it that there is something to your
point. I've gradually come to understand and respect and some
of the Mcluhanesque critique. What I find funny and rather charming
about such analyses are the grimness of them and the jaundiced eyed view
of the hype centered around the latest fad in technology. It's not
worth saying to you that yours is a narrow analysis. It's narrowness
is its charm. The situation is indeed quite grim. <grin> or g as you so
often add.

Isn't the grin one of the first mediums for the expression of aggression?

But, I think that Ronda's set of questions are worth attempting to
answer on their own merits, that analysis in and of itself is a worthy
task. Effectualness or effectuality is another matter.

No one imagines, or maybe someone does, that Marx's years in the
Library and his analyses, were directly effective in transforming
social relations or in god forbid overthrowing the reign of global
capital, the long twentieth century, as Arrighi playfully names
a set of dynamics that were set into play in the 16th century. It was
left to the Russian nihilists to attempt to act on Marx's critique, to
what effect in the end? the long twentieth century goes on.

So what of the recent elections in the US and of course this little
thing folks are calling the internet?

I don't thinks it's enough to lay WMD on the "conservative" media,
this dud rather should be layed on the doorstop of the liberal media,
and the newspapers of record, who were shown to be so dependent on
"access" to various organs, as to just parrot what they are told by
their sources. They are no match for a concerted campaign to control
information that comes out of the official instutions of intelligence
and the executive branch. Even well meaning liberal types are
controlled by the protocols of access journalism. It's not the noble
lie we saw with WMD, but the bald faced lie, or the beardless lie.

They don't need to hide behind their beards, and no contemporary
U.S. big time politician or even CEO has any visible facial hair. We
like our lies bald and beardless I suppose.

Mere opinion is indeed ineffectual, except perhaps to call everything
into question. For every issue or even for what might be called
empirical fact, there is contest, and it all seems to hang in a kind
of weightless gelatin where even pointing out a lie has no effect.
To each their media tunnel. Even old Leo Strauss, had no qualms about
what he called empirical fact, because he still believed a science of
politics was possible, and he would not dare argue with a fact. 
He missed this wonderful era when facts bend to the will of our great

For obfuscation and for taking the sting out of criticism, opinion is
very useful. You can neutralize almost any historical fact now, by
enlisting legions of editorializers to spread a contrary
narrative. And the do it for free now, even better, go bloggers go.

On Mon, Jan 10, 2005 at 10:28:46AM -0500, Newmedia@aol.com wrote:
> Ronda:
> Perhaps you might consider an alternative view . . . the Internet makes even 
> propaganda-about-propaganda obsolete.
> Opinions can no longer be manipulated; people simply believe whatever the 
> believe in and they are likely to act on these beliefs.
> Unlike radio which actually *was* propaganda (as psychological ground) or 
> television which worried about the "dangers" of propaganda (as psychological 
> figure), the Internet makes all of this seem . . . silly.

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