Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Thought of the Day

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.

-Noam Chomsky
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The Chomsky quote is more apt all the day. So many confuse volume with range. The fact that the corporations have taken over both parties, and that unions and anti-trust, the two instruments that Adam Smith suggested would be the only checks on price fixing, extortion, etc. leaves only those emotional issues where we hear such a clamor.

A bit of political science, if I may. There hve typically been three forms of undemocratic ideological distribution. The first two are easy: either large distributions on either side of the spectrum, essentially fascism and communism. The third is the bi-polar distribution, essentially where Latin America was, and still is to a certain degree, and where Germany was in 1932. But, there is a fourth, the term for which I developed in my new book THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY LEFT. It is called the "compressed distribution," wherein the range of discussion is restricted and the ideological center spikes at the same time it narrows (p.94).
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