Chomsky’s liberal and socialistic view expressed primarily in his work – “Manufacturing Consent.”
I am still trying to find someone who attended the talk/lecture in Laramie in the early 90s. I watched the video again and am very interested in learning more about Chomsky. In Chomsky’s view, there is little difference between the totalitarian state and the democratic, or capitalistic market. In the totalitarian state – such as Nazi Germany – the general public is controlled by brute force and fear. They are controlled by power exerted through force.
In the Capitalistic or democratic state, because the government has given up the ability to control the public through force, the most powerful – the rich and the corporations, which own everything meaningful – control the masses through propaganda via the media – which is controlled by the controlling state.
He popularly calls this the “big stick” vs. the “big lie.”
While the media is supposed to be non-biased and nonpartisan because it is the manner in which the public stays informed , the fact that the powerful and most wealthy people and corporations dominate the media has compromised this basic principal.
He says that Democracy is a game for the elite, not the powerful. He takes this back to one of the founders – John Jay – whose philosophy was that the people “who own the country ought to govern” the country. This was the basis of the founding fathers – who owned virtually everything.
Chomsky claims that the powerful – through the media – must guide the commoners – who are typically stupid – through providing them with “faith” via delusion. (provide the commoners with myths to keep the ordinary commoners “on course.”).
In Manufacturing Consent he writes about mobilizing public consent to support private interests – through the media. He says the consent is manufactured to govern two basic classes:
1 – the political class – 20% – who are educated and articulate, and participants in social life – these are the managers of business and the cultural managers (teachers). – The consent of this 20% is crucial to democracy.
2 – the commoners make up the 80%. These are the “others” – which are required to “follow orders” by the 20%, and pay the majority of the costs associated with the government – economic and social costs.
The Agenda – of the powerful 20% – is most influentially communicated to the masses by the National – or elite – media. It is communicated by the media’s:
1 – selection of topics
2- distribution of concerns
3 – emphasis
4 – framing of issues
5 – filtering of information
His politics are clearly left wing. His linguistics are sophisticated – but at the same time, he is able to clearly communicate his ideas in common terms (e.g. big stick vs. big lie). As for truth and reality – it is noteworthy that his ideas about the media providing the government with the tool by which it manufactures consent through propaganda is agreed to by the man to be the contrarian – Reed Irvine – which indicates he is truthful and speaking in real terms.