Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Why is the mass media intrinsically anti-Good? Because it necessarily displaces religion


The mass media is an enigma - of the kind that happens when we ask exactly the wrong questions.

And, of course, it is exactly the mass media which specializes in getting people to ask exactly the wrong questions.


I have been trying to unravel this stuff for several years - for example in this piece from my pro-modernization, libertarian, pre-Christian era -

That piece is, of course, wrong both fundamentally and superficially - but the basic insight was correct that the mass media replaces religion.


(Religion may be pro- or anti-Good and to varying degrees, according to the religion - but the mass media is necessarily anti-Good.)


So, if we accept the McLuhanite insight that the medium is the message - so it is not the contents, but the fact the of mass media which is primary (and the fact that so many people are engaged by it for so many hours per day)...

And add to it the observation that there is a reciprocal relationship between the mass media and religion - and as the mass media grows, there is a commensurate destruction of religion...

Then we have the basis of an explanation for what the mass media is doing, and why it is intrinsically anti-Good.


The confusion comes because to be anti-Good is not the same as to be pro-evil.

So much of the content of the modern mass media in the West is indeed overtly pro-evil that we neglect to notice that this is mostly a phenomenon of the post mid-1960s era, growing in strength over the past several decades.

Early mass media was equally anti-Good in its effect - but the content was often anti-evil, or pro-Good - so that this was hard to discern.


The anti-Good effect of the mass media therefore essentially comes from the fact that it displaces religion as the social evaluation system.

The specific evaluations of the mass media may variously be pro-evil, or even pro-good - but it is the fact that the mass media has become the major societal evaluation system which is primary.

Once the mass media has become the primary system of evaluation, then a line has been crossed (this was crossed in the mid-1960s in the West).


So, while the specific media evaluations can and do vary, this is not the phenomenon of primary significance.

It is that the mass media necessarily displaces religion as the mechanism of societal evaluation which is primary. 

What matters essentially is that in the modern West it is the mass media which makes and communicates (or does not communicate) all significant social evaluations: and that is why the nature of the mass media is to be anti-Good.