14484RE: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Results in WA - technique of "framing"
- Mar 1, 2005This note from my mate Peter Woodward, an industrial officer in the MEAA
I've just been thinking about this "framing" thing in the light of things
I've said before.
In society, things happen because of the underlying forces at work. I
suppose people's perception of what is going on assumes the character of one
of the underlying forces and everything is affecting everything else in a
Suppose the world ran out of oil. People's perception of that will not
change the fact that there is no oil. It will just affect how they respond
to it. The particular ruling class of the time might want to affect people's
perception of the event to serve their particular purpose (whatever they
might be). Therefore, they will employ sophisticated propaganda techniques
if it is necessary.
However, if the ruling class is sufficiently powerful, what people actually
think doesn't matter at all if unless they can give practical effect to
their concerns. People in jail hate being there but they just can't bloody
do anything about it. In the interests of practical convenience the prison
authorities can give them bromide in the soup or personal TV sets or
anything else to minimise the effort required to maintain the status quo.
So, I'm putting my view that the object of propaganda, however contrived, is
simply to minimise the effort required to maintain the status quo.
Capitalism is been very good at this and it is using explicit language to
reinforce the values embodied in the consciousness of the generations who
have grown up under the capitalist system. Mostly though, it's not necessary
for them to do it knowingly because the people who operate the capitalist
means of mass communication have already internalised ruling class values
anyway; it's just second nature for them to propagate them to the masses.
But, if you're going to have a war, or destroy the environment or something
like that where people might have lingering doubts then a bit of framing
Some people on the left seem to believe that if you can just present a
logical argument to the rational population then they will engage their
rational processes and just change things for the better. I aberrantly
thought that for some of my recent life. I have now abandoned this view as
is right for any unreconstructed old Marxist. To think that people
could/would actually change the status quo by just changing their thinking
because of our version of 'framing' is just so much wishful thinking isn't
it? After all, (as Marshy used to say) if you could change things by voting
they'd just ban voting!
No, the object of our version of "framing" should be no more than to make it
a bit harder for the ruling class to minimise the effort required to
maintain the status quo. So, we should only use it where it might possibly
count like where it affects the point of view held by people with power and
Industrial Officer (entertainment and arts)
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