The means of communication, the irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry, carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits, certain intellectual and emotional reactions which bind … to the social system … indoctrinate and manipulate … promote false consciousness.  Thus emerge patterns of one-dimensional thought and behavior.  (Emphasis added.)

Herbert Marcuse

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Read against the background of Leftist politics and the Democrat Party of today we can see how destructive and dangerous it is when a political ideology makes handmaids of the entertainment and news industry.

The danger, of course, only heightens when the intellectual class is marching in unreflected goose step with the Left and its American political party: the Democrats.

That said, the risk is greater and the damage more serious when one considers how mass communication can convert those who bathe in it to a state whereby they forfeit their human value by being mere echos of the dominant view, or worse they become so devalued that they are but a word or phase reflecting a false, destructive mass consciousness.

A case in point is due.

In the 1960’s a war protester named Roger LaPorte, age 22, set himself afire in front of the United Nations Building in New York City.  Mr. LaPorte made of himself a small and fleeting statement for public consumption.  Doing so, he exchanged the divine gift of his life to be but a soon-to-be forgotten name and news incident in a very contemporary and disposable public conversation.

His action was as soon a denial of life as it was a proclamation of it.  Public image, in essence, was preferred to life and the eternal statement, opportunity, hope and faith that its long embrace insures.

In a life, mass communication notwithstanding, we can live to endorse what is best, eternal, hopeful, worthy and sacred. Or we can – without thought – become but a word, or phrase that echos the errors and superficiality of mass communication society and (as Marcuse identifies) its false propositions, deadly ideology and the destruction that is (in almost as respects) the view of the Left in the United States and in the world.

In the words of Thomas Merton (commenting on Mr. La Porte’s actions and subsequent death) the Left had become “pathological” and the statements made by burning oneself to death “demonic.”

It mass communication culture, such as we have here today and witness in the antics of the Left, we need not reduce our self to gain a moment of press or public attention. Life, you see, is both worth more and demands more from each of us.

In 2017 you would be wise to be leery of what mass communication says to you.

Ignoring them and reclaiming responsibility for being informed and for thinking for yourself will make you and this nation far healthier than it is today under the command of the institutions governed by ideologues on the Left.

Shalom.

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