Good polemic by George Monbiot in the Guardian today, which discusses the ways in which the press serves the interests of the 1% (that’s the small percentage of the population that earns over £100k) and even manages to convince many people who don’t belong in that group that tax and economic policies and savage spending cuts are the “best thing to do”. The process of exercising this kind of “soft power“, of winning the consent of the majority to serve the interests of the (tiny) minority is called hegemony.
The men who own the corporate press are fighting a class war, seeking, even now, to defend the 1% to which they belong against its challengers. But because they control much of the conversation, we seldom see it in these terms. Our press re-frames major issues so effectively, it often recruits its readers to mobilise against their own interests.
I like this bit, which brings in ideas about noise from our friend Michel Serres:
As the theologian Walter Wink shows, challenging a dominant system requires a three-part process: naming the powers, unmasking the powers, engaging the powers. Their white noise of distraction and obfuscation is the means by which the newspapers prevent this process from beginning. They mislead us about the sources of our oppression, misrepresent our democratic choices, demonise those who try to challenge the 1%.