11/11/09 :: [MOP] Where oslo has gone? [permalink]
Doug Purdy is probably too young to remember the before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the after. Way back then, nobody wanted to sound like a USSR leader. In France, we even had our local Communist party (which was in direct contact with Moscow) which reminded us everyday how not to behave, what not to say. In the 70s or 80s, nobody would dare to use any Soviet rhetoric or participate in a Politburo. Fast-forward 20 years later, and our fearless leaders, well..., they don't fear that any longer. They even think we are all going to gobble up their propaganda. They make Hugo Chavez sound politically correct.
The Web has even given them the opportunity to control some media, just like in the good old days of the USSR. After all, propaganda, may only be a function of how much control one can have on its/his/her image. It does not matter if you control all media. Propaganda may also be a function of how many people work together to produce news, commentary and eventually knowledge. Maybe as humans we are totally unable to introspect ourselves and face our weaknesses without the help of others.
I would have smiled at Doug's post if it were not so characteristic of our society, at the dawn of the 21st century: when someone conquers power, from then on, all that he or she directs has to look clean, pristine, deterministic, intelligent, beautiful, loved... Our leaders probably spend more time crafting their stories than actually leading. Yes, you get the picture, that's exactly what was happening in the USSR, day in and day out, at all levels of society, but the lowest one. Actually, the whole leadership structure anneals into a giant Pavlovian propaganda machine capable of destroying entire countries and corporations. It seems these days that more and more of what we read, in many regions of the world, is just the same old Soviet propaganda.
I'll let you read Doug's post there is nothing worth commenting further. The writing was on the wall for months. Yet, it didn't have to be that way. Reading the comments from Doug's readers, you also get a sense of how much Doug's team listened to its potential customers or constituants... another characteristic of fearless 21st century leaders.