Monday, July 10, 2006

Fight to Build a Progressive Media Alternative

This is an elaboration of a point I made on the comment page for a post on Union-Firms-Markets titled "Losing Hearts & Minds or Lack of Political Power."

The premise of the post is that the right is able to take over any debate and turn it to their own ends. The conclusion seemed to be that the left will continue to loose group by defending so-called failed social programs that came out of the New Deal.

I disagree. We fight for and defend these programs because they are good and have good material results for the masses and the poor. We are good people, and we fight to defend programs which bring good into the world. To cede more ground to the right is defeatist and counter-revolutionary.

We must understand that the "debate" that happens on television, in the newspapers, radio and all other mass media is simply the sound of one hand clapping. It is, in the words of Guy Debord in Society of the Spectacle:

[The spectacle's] means are simultaneously its ends. It is the sun which never sets over the empire of modern passivity. It covers the entire surface of the world and bathes endlessly in its own glory.
Therefore the project of progressives must be to develop a counter cultural media. We must educate people to simultaneously divorce themselves (as much as possible) from the media spectacle AND develop an informed critical eye of the spectacle so as to read between lines. Understanding what is omitted or maligned from within the media torrent reveals what the ruling classes fear the most - namely, a socialist working class consciousness.

The media spectacle omits, distorts, retards and alienates. Its purpose is to keep us afraid, weak, unorganized and alienated from each other, in our social relationships, our personal relationships and even in our relationships with our own bodies and minds. It teaches us to hate and fear and to feel disempowered.

It is clear from the history of the mass media and especially the internet media sphere including the blogosphere that another media is possible - one that does not conform to Marx's declaration that (in the German Ideology, 1845): "[the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas]."

Like our brothers and sisters in previous "epochs" we must today build a true alternative to the mass media and introduce the ideas of the working class to the broadest possible audiences. The fascists of all classes know this, it is time progressives learn it as well for the stakes are indeed very high.

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