I was like: how does government break down community? Like what is the mechanism that is stopping people from talking to each other? As far as I can tell government does nothing of the sort, if anything, government is a common source of discussion that brings people together.
However there is a much more disastrous and pervasive element in modern society and much more omnipresent than government, television. It is run by corporations and is having a disastrous effect on community. People stay home watching it, rather than socializing and they begin losing contact with other people.
Television is a one-way media and our only control over it is to change stations or switch it off. I prefer the latter. We can ring stations and complain or write letters, but its slow and indirect.
Some of the immediate things it does is it puts unrealistic expectations on love in our heads and causes the break down of marriages because television teaches us that love is the most important thing out there. We see perfect versions of people on TV where the women are all beautiful and the only men worth marrying are rich. As I have stated in earlier blog entries, what women want in men, men will chase. If the most important thing for a man to be is rich, then men will chase money to the exclusion of other desirable traits in a life partner, like gentleness, kindness, companionableness.
Love is the ultimate opiate of society now. It is beyond question the thing that is more important than pretty much everything else.
Television causes the break-down of community also because real people you know are not as cool, funny and as interesting as the people on TV that you watch every night. Real people don't have a team of script writers coming up with witty, intelligent and consistent things that iron out the wrinkles that real people have. Real people can be annoying. If people annoy you on TV, you can change the channel.
TV is probably what you'll discuss when gathered around the water cooler in the morning at the office. Why deal with real people and make allowances for their quirks when you can watch perfect people without faults on television each night?
I have heard people dismiss the dangers of television because its just entertainment, right? And we can always fast-forward during the ads. TV shows are full of product placements; films are full of people smoking cigarettes;
and TV and films have made guns so glamorous that people must have them since it is their supposed right, despite how many people are killed in suicides by rampage, domestic disputes or drug wars. While this is turning our streets, schools, malls and cinemas into war zones where the only people who benefit are gun manufacturers. There are no ads for guns on TV, there are whole films that are nothing but advertising for guns.
Need a distraction? Television is the answer and you can quickly forget about wars, drones, TSA, NDAA, patriot act, what's going on in Washington DC, wars, prisons... What ever is bothering you today, don't worry, there will be something very distracting on the TV tonight. Whether its the ending of a favourite series, a super-bowl will happen, the Oscars will be on, the finale of American Idol... Life will go on with a new TV series, we can forget about reality for awhile longer.
The only problem is it seems even our politicians are starting to believe what they see on TV. Even the GOP believed their own hype on fox news. These are people who can have a real impact on your life, and the lives of others all around the world. Reality becomes blurred and we come to believe the fantasies on television. And this was most dramatically portrayed in the 2012 election. Reality becomes questionable, debatable, and open to revision. Critical reasoning is under assault and the meanings of words are so easily altered that the meanings of words change. Words like 'science' have had their meaning so blurred that the process is not at all understood to the point that the word 'theory' is confused with the word 'story'. The reality that a fetus is merely a potential person rather than a full-developed anthropomorphized human. And that people are so little self-aware that they don't question their motivation or ethics for what they are doing.
Unquestionably, the right controlled the national conversation up until 2011 when the occupy wall street movement surfaced and since then reality became cool again. For a few months people were doing stuff in reality that was more interesting than the glimpses into the fantasy world created for us on television. We started taking back our power and we felt powerful again. I think that's mainly because interactive media like twitter and facebook were being brought to you live via the internet with the aid of hand held devices. The internet, once again given people full-duplex communication. More than anything the internet is letting people communicate with each other again.
The advertising on television turns corporations into benign entities. Charming people become the face of corporations whereas the reality of corporations is that no one takes responsibility for their actions. The person answering your phone just works there or works in India at a call-center. Their boss just works there, the CEO only works there until s/he can quietly exit the corporation with the remuneration package they organized. Stockholders have little to do with the decisions made by the corporation, its a wonder the corporation ever gets anything done. But TV told us the lie that corporations are always more efficient than government and always utterly aghast when I say that corporations are much less efficient than government, and that the falseness of the statement is indisputable, when really the efficiency of corporations is utter nonsense.
Many libertarians unthinkingly spruik corporate propaganda telling us that corporations products are always optional. Yet to use the internet, I am surrounded by corporate names, Dell, microsoft, google, twitter, facebook... My desk, chair, clothes, all necessary, all come from corporations. In fact it is only when I come on the internet that I even hear of the government. Yet corporations impact my life constantly. Advertising is everywhere, not just on television.
Meanwhile while we were distracted by television, corporations have been whispering into governments ear. Working deals behind our backs and if we ever hear what they are up to, we'll be distracted by television tomorrow, which has given society a permanent state of ADHD.
Television dumbed us down and made us conform by making us homogeneous, thus turning us into the perfect consumers. It keeps us quiet by distracting us while supposedly 'entertaining' us.
Television sets up an advertising event horizon. A business needs to pass this horizon after which it becomes kosher to buy from them. Once the corporation has set up a respectable veneer it has meet this condition, we the consumers are expected to buy from these corporations. We should beware of small corporations vying for your $$ as somewhat unworthy. Note the lack of air-time non-kosher political parties are given? Where were the greens, libertarians and Naders on the presidential elections? They weren't there because they haven't been given corporate approval. Never forget, corporations have both the democrats and republicans chasing them for their $$ for electoral campaign funding.
Television is the ultimate circus. Please turn off your TV.