I hear Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda has a larger version, but I am quite happy reading this shorter one. And this is the first Chomsky I have just completed reading. Well, I did read some of his essays and watched interviews on YouTube.
Media Control seemed like a classic to me. There are many truths in it. It is an important resource for anyone wanting to know about how the media and the government control our lives.
Chomsky offers an account of how media and politicians manipulate the people and influence political debate.
In this book, Chomsky also discusses the modern public relations industry and the theory of spectator democracy, which views the people as a ‘mindless herd’. Chomsky calls the people a ‘bewildered herd’.
He argues that the public relations industry is all about manipulating public consciousness and the news cycle to promote government and other stakeholders’ agendas. He discusses how the public is controlled by public relations agencies. The author does not present quantitative evidence for his claims, but he provides enough to show the effectiveness of mass media in influencing public opinion.
For me, Media Control has been a timely read. The author argues that propaganda is the modern equivalent of a bludgeon. Many administrations in the past have used propaganda to trick the people public into war with unlikely enemies. Chomsky compares the political economy of the media to wartime propaganda.
The book’s title seems perfect as it addresses how the media control the public. Sometimes, it feels more like an anti-war pamphlet than a book. And that is what I loved about it.